Ranking the 2013 Big 12 Recruiting Classes as of Right Now

Posted by Nate Kotisso on October 24th, 2012

With the lull between Midnight Madness and the start of the season, there’s not a whole of compelling topics that need covering. So it only makes sense to rank how each Big 12 team is faring out on the recruiting trail. While getting some help from Verbalcommits.com, here’s how my league teams shake out among players in the class of 2013 as of right now.

As of Now, Wayne Selden is the Top Prospect Entering the Big 12 Next Year

10. Texas Tech

Commitments: None

Analysis: This was an easy one. Texas Tech isn’t exactly the hottest thing going right now. Forget top-flight recruits, but how are mid-level prospects going to want to go to Lubbock when they just fired the head coach after one season and currently have an interim who may also be gone after this year? If they’re going to get anyone, they’ll probably be players who committed and de-committed to a bunch of schools or players who’ll take a Red Raider scholarship because it sounds better than say, a Florida Gulf Coast scholarship.

9. Texas

Commitments: None

Analysis: Surprised? The reason I put the Horns here is because they don’t have any verbal commitments at the moment but when all is said and done, Texas will surely rack in some recruits of notoriety. Currently, they have two scholarships available for prospects including the top power forward in the class, Julius Randle, and a trio of four-star talents: Keith Frazier, BeeJay Anya and Brandon Austin. Methinks the Longhorns will be just fine.

8. Oklahoma State

Commitments: Jeff Carroll, 3-star (Rivals/ESPN); Leyton Hammonds, 3-star (Rivals/ESPN); Chad Frazier (JuCo transfer)

Analysis: What the Cowboys have as a class so far is not bad. They are after bigger names but I think those recruits are taking the wait-and-see approach with Travis Ford, knowing the Oklahoma State coach is under the most fire since he’s seen since arriving in Stillwater. We know Ford can bring in the big names but we have yet to see whether he can bring in the big wins with his own guys.

7. Oklahoma

Commitments: Jordan Woodard, 4-star (ESPN) and 3-star (Rivals); Dominique Elliot and Keshaun Hamilton (both JuCo transfers)

Analysis: Woodard is the headliner in this class. He’ll likely be asked to be more of a scorer for the Sooners than a prototypical point guard since that’s already taken care of by Sam Grooms. Getting a commitment from an Oklahoma prospect is also huge for Lon Kruger, who is a master of turning programs around. Tough to gauge how the JuCos will turn out but there’s still time to make this class better. They’ll be a much improved team this season but the future is looking even brighter in Norman.

6. Kansas State

Commitments: Marcus Foster, 4-star (ESPN) and 3-star (Rivals); Wesley Iwundu, 3-star (Rivals/ESPN); Alex Etherington, 3-star (Rivals) and 2-star (ESPN)

Analysis: I bet y’all like him now, huh, K-State fans? He wasn’t the most popular hire way back in March but if a coach can change people’s minds, he can change them on the recruiting trail. Between September 10 to 17, Bruce Weber locked up two commitments from the state of Texas: Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu. Foster is a do-it-all guard from Wichita Falls while Iwundu is an athletic and versatile three out of Houston. This may not be the last time Weber delves into the fertile ground that is Texas since new assistant Alvin Brooks is from Houston and spent a lot of his coaching career in the state.

5. TCU

Commitments: Karviar Shepherd, 4-star (Rivals/ESPN); Brandon Parrish, 4-star (ESPN) and 3-star (Rivals); Michael Williams, 3-star (Rivals/ESPN)

Analysis: I wish I were making this up but, yeah, Trent Johnson is making an instant impact in Fort Worth. I can’t remember Jim Christian having this kind of success in recruiting. I can’t even remember what job Christian left for at the end of last season (Only kidding, I know he’s at Ohio U. now). ESPN has Shepherd as the third-best center in the entire class, Parrish is an assassin from the arc and Williams is “a smooth shooting point guard known for his leadership and playmaking ability.” (Scout.com) While these are all nice gets for the Horned Frog program, it’s worth noting that this is Johnson’s fourth coaching job since George W. Bush became president. Opposing coaches are probably going to use that tidbit of info to sway recruits to look elsewhere.

4. West Virginia

Commitments: Elijah Macon, 4-star (Rivals/ESPN); Brandon Watkins and Nathan Adrian, both 3-stars (Rivals/ESPN)

Analysis: Bob Huggins has had a lot to be happy about. He’s coaching his alma mater, he’ll be coaching a little bit longer, and he’s still making inroads in recruiting. In June 2011, Elijah Macon was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and instead attended prep school. The Mountaineers could have used him in their relatively soft interior last year, considering all they had was Deniz Kilicli in the post. Now with Kilicli, transfer Aaric Murray , the 6’9″ 250-pound Macon, and shot-blocker Brandon Watkins, you’ll definitely think twice if you want to go in the paint against those guys. Adrian, a Morgantown native, could also grab some minutes as he aims to bulk up 30 pounds before the season starts. I would really hate to be a point guard facing the Mountaineer front line this year.

3. Baylor

Commitments: Ishmael Wainright, 4-star (Rivals/ESPN); Johnathan Motley, 4-star (Rivals) and 3-star (ESPN)

Analysis: Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Scott Drew left Valparaiso for Baylor. He’s certainly grown a lot as a coach, too. He went from recruiting the Aaron Bruces to the Isaiah Austins of the world. A few days ago, the Fighting Drews got a verbal from Ishmael Wainright, who was sought after by just about every Big 12 school. The ex-Mizzou recruit is joined by Johnathan Motley, a 6’8″ forward who is athletic but also still raw offensively. The Bears are also in the final two for center/forward Dominic Woodson with NC State. If you ask me, Woodson could go either way since both programs are essentially at similar competitive levels now. The rich could very well get richer. This is Baylor we’re talking about.

2. Iowa State

Commitments: Matt Thomas, 4-star (Rivals/ESPN); Monte Morris, 4-star (Rivals/ESPN); Richard Amardi (JuCo transfer)

Analysis: The amount of transfers that Fred Hoiberg has been able to bring in is well-documented. Now he’s taking that success to the high school level. Morris led Beecher HS in Flint, Michigan, to a undefeated and state championship season, averaging 18.3 points, 6.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. Not to be outdone, Thomas averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists per game on a 27-1 team that also won a state title in Wisconsin. There’s not a lot known about Amardi. He last played for Weatherford College in Texas during the 2010-11 season so there’s no telling how much better he is now. Still, Hoiberg has done an amazing job in Ames in such a short amount of time.

1. Kansas

Commitments: Wayne Selden, 5-star (ESPN) and 4-star (Rivals); Brannen Greene, Connor Frankamp both 4-stars (Rivals/ESPN); Frank Mason, 3-star (Rivals) and 2-star (ESPN)

Analysis: I remember reading this article by Jeff Goodman of CBS a year ago. I thought it was ridiculous then but do you see how ridiculous it is now? Was he just writing a story just to write a story? We  may never know. The Jayhawks were coming off an Elite Eight season and going into a season with a NPOY candidate. Anyway, the 2012 class is a good one but 2013 is off the charts. Kansas is a brand name, so naturally, big names are gonna make their way to Lawrence. You can make a lot of arguments for a lot of coaches, but to me, Bill Self is the best coach in America. As balanced a league as the Big 12 is, it’s crazy to think that one school has UCLA’d the league for the better part of the last decade. And recruits want to be a part of that.

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