Basketball Recruiting Roundup

In this week's Basketball Recruiting Roundup, we conclude our 10-part series breaking down the nation's Top 10 hoop recruiting classes by looking at No. 10 Alabama.

In this week's Basketball Recruiting Roundup, we conclude our 10-part series breaking down the nation's Top 10 hoop recruiting classes.

In the previous weeks, we tackled No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 5 Washington, No. 6 Louisville, No. 7 Georgia, No. 8 Mississippi State and No. 9 Memphis. Now it's time to move on to No. 10:

10. Alabama

Those of you who have been reading our hoop recruiting class rankings for years know how much weight we at SchoolSports give to colleges that land truly elite recruits.

After all, bringing in a deep class of talented recruits is great, but in the end, you need stars to win the Big Dance. Just ask Carmelo Anthony and Emeka Okafor.

With that in mind, that explains why Alabama comes in at No. 10 in our 2005 recruiting class rankings. Though the Crimson Tide only landed one Top 100 recruit — Athens (Ala.) power forward Richard Hendrix — that one was a huge catch.

Hendrix, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound beast, is rated the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2005 by His combination of size, skills and athleticism is unmatched in the senior class.

The McDonald's All-American averaged 24 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks per game this season. Though he's a prototypical big man in that he dominates in the paint, he also passes the ball and runs the floor extremely well for a player his size.

When Hendrix chose in-state Alabama over North Carolina, he gave the Crimson Tide a low-post warrior and double-double machine who'll be able to come in and make an immediate impact at the college level. And with the dearth of elite big men in college, his signing is even more important for the Tide.

There is, of course, the possibility that the NBA could come calling for Hendrix, especially if he plays well in some of the postseason all-star games. And he's admitted in the past that if the opportunity is there, he'll look into it.

But Hendrix is currently not considered one of the more likely high school players to attempt the jump, and right now the thinking is that he'll most likely end up at Alabama.

Though Hendrix is their only Top 100 recruit, the Tide did land another blue-chip player whose stock continues to rise in Dwyer (Fla.) senior swingman Alonzo Gee. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder is rated the No. 25 shooting guard in the country by

Gee was somewhat overshadowed as a junior by a pair of senior teammates who went on to play in college, but he blew up over the summer and catapulted from mid-major prospect to big-time recruit.

As a big, athletic guard who can attack the rack and score, Alabama may have really gotten a steal in signing Gee.

Rounding out its recruiting class, 'Bama landed Wilcox Central (Ala.) power forward Yamene Coleman and juco point guard Ray George. Though it remains to be seen how much of an impact either player will have, they at least give the Tide depth at two key positions.

With Selection Sunday just days away, Alabama is on the verge of its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. And with a recruiting class like this led by a star like Hendrix, expect that streak to continue in the years to come.

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