In order to have this conversation, one must assert a degree of confidence in Scout.com's individual player rankings.
OK, now that you're comfortable with our Top 100 rankings let's take a look at the landscape of college basketball from the perspective of each conference. Our goal is simple: determine where the players are going these days and what trends are occurring within the infrastructure of collegiate basketball.
Over the last five years, the Atlantic Coast Conference has signed more Top 100 players (90) during the early signing period than any other league. The Big East (84) is a close second. A total of 6 Top 100 recruits separate the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-10 which had 60, 58 and 56 respectively.
Keep in mind, one would expect higher overall numbers for leagues with more teams. The Big East and ACC count more members in their ranks than the Pac-10 and Big Ten.
The rest of this article deals solely with the past 3 early signing periods.
Who Gets The Most Top 10 Recruits Early?
This is where it begins to get interesting. UCLA and North Carolina are two of the highest-ranked teams in college basketball this season. They're also two of the most individually talented and they represent leagues that, as of the last three years, have attracted the most Top 10 players.
Both the Pac-10 and ACC are healthy leagues because in the last 3 early signing periods the leagues have signed 7 Top 10 prospects each. The Big Ten, during the same 3-year period has accumulated 5 and the Big 12 and Big East 4 each. The most amazing stat comes from the SEC where no SEC program in the last 3 early periods has signed a Scout.com Top 10 prospect (Nick Calathes ended the 2007 year No. 10 and signed with Florida).
Getting Fat On Top 25 Prospects
Once again, research shows that the Pac-10 and ACC were on top of their games. In 2007, the Pac-10 signed just 9 Top 100 players but they made ‘em count amassing 4 Top 25 talents. The Pac-10, with 14 Top 25 signees over the last 3 years, finished one recruit behind the ACC (15) during the period.
Big seasons from the Big East and Big Ten (23 total Top 25 recruits combined) put their leagues in good shape to compete. Unfortunately, leagues like the Big 12 and SEC have found the sledding rough during the early period. The Big 12 will sign zero Top 25 players during the early period this year while the SEC was shutout in 2006. To be fair, both leagues added elite post graduate players this signing period.