At this stage in the 2015 recruiting cycle, the class narrative has begun to take shape. Only 25 of Scout.com's top 100 seniors remain on the board, and thus the next few weeks leading into the fall signing period — which opens on Nov. 12 — will feature fewer decisions than typically has been the case in the past.
But the most intense drama has yet to arrive. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, seven of the 25 undecideds reside within the national top 10. With only three of the 10 best prospects in the class continuing to navigate their recruitments, obviously a lot of tension, elation and heartache remain to be doled out to various fanbases.
Every blueblood program is involved with at least one of those seven prospects to one extent or another, and in some cases schools are involved with multiple top 10s.
For example, can a Southern school keep No. 1 Jaylen Brown close to home, or will UCLA be able to lure his west? For that matter, can reigning national champ UConn tear Diamond Stone from his Midwestern roots?
But it's not all about the top 10. While those guys are the ones you may see announcing their college choices on national television, the 18 other uncommitted top-100 prospects will comprise the backbone of their chosen teams. In most and possibly all cases, those 18 will spend more than one season on campus and thus help their squads for up to four seasons.
Put another way, the seven uncommitted top-10 prospects likely will combine for, what, 10 seasons of college basketball? >
And the other 17 likely will combine for approximately 50. That's why recent national champions such as UConn and Louisville are winning big; they've stockpiled talented, experienced players who have utilized their physical and mental seasoning to outlast the more talented, one and dones-laden squads.
So while the future of 2015 commitment hysteria remains somewhat untapped, the actual future of NCAA Tournament fates already has been set in motion more than you might initially assume.
We're not dismissing the possibility that Kentucky or someone else may compile enough talent to overcome the experience disparity, mind you — as the 'Cats proved in 2012 and very nearly last season — but if you were to examine the best college teams in 2018 and 2019 (when the current high school seniors will be college upperclassmen), the truth is that many of them already have issued pledges to the schools of their eventual triumph.
But most of those at the top still haven't, and they're certainly going to make an impact, too.