Roundtable: Top end outliers

Each week, we ask the hoops recruiting team to ruminate on a specific question.

The number of top 100 seniors flying off the board has been remarkable, and yet, only two of the top 10 have made commitments.

Is this just a fluke, and if not, to what extent are the dynamics different for players in the top 10 versus those ranked outside of it?

Brian Snow: I think it is a combination of a lot of different factors. First of all this group of kids seems to understand that they have the leverage and that no one is going to take their scholarship, so they feel it is in their best interest to wait to make a decision.

On top of that, most of them have strong support systems that keep the pressure of recruiting off of them, and then there is just some fluke to it where this group of kids is more inclined to wait for some random reason. Overall to me there are a lot of reasons at play, and for each individual it is probably slightly different, but as a group they seem more inclined to wait things out.

Josh Gershon: I think it's completely on a kid/family basis and there's not one specific reason why these guys are waiting it out a little longer than some of their peers. In more cases than not, for a variety of reasons they legitimately don't know where they're going and need time to figure it out. I don't think there are many players we think are waiting until the spring and everyone knows where they're going in advance, which has happened in the past.

Evan Daniels: The biggest difference is most of the top 10 guys don't feel the need to decide early. They aren't in danger of losing their scholarship. In those cases they are good enough to wait out the process knowing that a scholarship will be available for them.

They have the luxury of waiting if they want. I'm sure to a degree some of them want to wait and examine coaching situations and see what other prospects are doing. I would say its a mixture of all the above.

Rob Harrington: Mostly, the top 10 players possess by far the most leverage. Their recruitments work differently even from those in roughly the 11-50 range, given that there's never time pressure on them to decide. Even the hypothetical No. 22 player may need to look over his shoulder at No. 30, if the school in question is happy to take either player.

Contrast that with the true elites. There's no substitute for those guys, and college programs face by far the most pressure to land them. A program in the mix can't casually stop recruiting No. 6 in they're still in the picture, even if it means landing No. 40.

Moreover, I think those guys face different media expectations and opportunities as well. A top 25 prospect might have a press conference at his high school, but the guys at the top typically announce on national television and get a huge publicity boost in the process. That development — which is relatively recent — has caused a lot of those players to make calculated strikes rather than commit more spontaneously as they may have been inclined in the past.

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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