The NCAA keeps going. The 2021-22 season started a few weeks ago and most colleges have already played at least 10 games through the start of the 2022 calendar year—probably every team by the time you read this. When it comes to recruiting players, though, things have slowed down a bit of late as 1) there aren’t many players ranked nationally (in other words, D-I talents) available and/or 2) most colleges have already built their classes and don’t need any more additions to them.
This month saw a thin three-man group of top-100 kids pick places while having an average rank-position of around 50 on the 247Sports Composite board. That said, the individual ranks range from that of a top-15 player to a lowest of a top-85 prospect. With just seven more players sitting in the top-100 without having named where they’ll play next, the 2022 HS class of Seniors is surely running out of available players and that means we’re getting closer to fully turning our focus into the 2023 crop—yes, the one including Bronny James and DJ Wagner, just to name a couple of top-tier/most-known prospects. But they’ll still have to wait a bit for that to happen.
Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?
While two top-10 players committed in November, the best we could do through December was to get a top-15 prospect picking his next destination—Duke of all places, of course... The three kids come from different states, rank as top-5 prospects in them at the very least, and are four- (two of them) or five-star (one) players among his fellow 2022 seniors.
The players themselves are listed next, including their national ranking, position, current high school, bio, and star/ovr rating per 247Sports:
2022 HS Class - December 2021 Commitments
|Sunrise Christian (Wichita, KS)
|Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, AZ)
|Northfield Mount Hermon (Northfield, MA)
The kids picking places in December aren’t really anything out of this world when it comes to their player profiles. We have a couple of very physically-similar wings in Mitchell and Lands, while we also have a point in Brumbaugh moving from his native Massachusets to Texas to play for the Longhorns.
Duke, already boasting the no. 1 class in the nation by the start of December, was still able to land another top-15 player to a loaded class of talents that now features four five-star players to go with one more player assigned a four-star rating. Jesus. Louisville landed its first four-star player, the same Texas (though the Longhorns already had two five-star kids in their 2022 recruiting class).
Have Those High Schools Any Track Record Of Top-Player Production?
Sunrise Christian (KS) has produced a lot of ranked prospects over the years spanning all the way back to 2010 when they put their first product on the 247Sports Composite board. Things have turned for the better in terms of prospect ranks, but maybe not in actual production—a certain Buddy Hield was just 2012 no. 156 player and look at where he’s at these days. Mark Mitchell is the seventh top-100 Sunrise prospect since 2019 and one of three such players part of the 2022 class to come out of the Kansas high school.
Although Hillcrest Prep (AZ) as is has only produced 13 players since 2019, the truth is that six of those (including 2022 prospect Kamari Land) have been part of the top-100 groups of players from their respective HS classes. The likes of Makur Maker, Dalen Terry, and Michael Foster were all top-50 prospects and Lands is joining them while coming out of Hillcrest. He’s also breaking the two-year-running trend of top-tier Hillcrest players going Pro early after Maxwell Lewis (2020) ad Michael Foster (2021) did so in the last two years.
There have been nationally-ranked hoopers coming out of Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) since at least 2003 (the earliest year I have data from 247Sports Composite ranks), though it took them 10 years to land one of their kids inside the top-100 when Zena Edosomwan did so in 2013 committing to Harvard. In fact, NMH only has four top-100 prospects since they started pumping talent into the system, with Rowan Brumbaugh being the latest one in that group and the first one joining it since no. 65 Nate Laszewski did it back in 2018.
And The Most Important Thing... Where Are They Going To Play College Ball?
Here is the recruiting leaderboard from the past five years—which includes the senior HS classes from 2018 to 2022 and only accounts for top-50 players in their respective years, updated to include this month’s decisions:
- 21 Commits - Duke
- 20 - Kentucky
- Prep-to-Pros - 10 players
- 10 - North Carolina
- 9 - Oregon, Kansas
- 8 - Michigan
- 7 - Florida, USC, Memphis, Texas, USC, LSU
- 6 - UCLA, Gonzaga, Villanova, Tennessee
- 5-to-1 - 48 Other Colleges
Kentucky and Duke are clearly the top two universities at getting (top) talent. On average, they have gotten four top-50 players per class in each of the past five years and are leading the way, as they have done for most of the last couple of decades. Duke, though, was good to edge Kentucky over the last five-year period coming to an end on Dec. 31 as they landed yet another top-100 prospect during the winter month that saw us wave goodbye to 2021.
So, have things been different during the past few weeks when it comes to college commitments? Here is how the last month ended looking like:
- 1 Prospect Added — Duke, Louisville, Texas
Not the busiest of months on the recruiting/committing trail, was it? Duke kept on adding more über-talented kids to the fold by landing a top-15 and five-star player in SF Mark Mitchell—the fourth top-15 kid expected to play for the Blue Devils. No wonder Duke retained the no. 1 class in the nation...
Texas, in adding another four-star prospect, is now sitting at a very solid no. 13 spot in the ranks of 2022 team classes—the Longhorns have one four-star kid and two five-star prospects on top of that. Louisville finally got to steal a four-star player from the 2022 crop of seniors and is now ranked no. 41 for next season (their best pre-December prospect was labeled as “only” a three-star player).
Nothing else changed, with Arkansas and Alabama closing the top-3 teams, and Kansas and USC rounding the top-5 in that order.
No top-100 hooper (nor anyone else part of the 247Sports Composite ranks for that matter) joined a Pro league during the four weeks of December.