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August 14, 2012, 07:12 PM ET
Since Reputable People Are Using These

by Drew Cannon

Since my recent historical (2002-present) recruiting class rankings have been used a little bit around the Internet, but I’ve never actually written much about them, I thought I should remedy that. I give teams credit for signing players by fitting each player’s ranking to a curve that spits out 10 points for the #1 player, seven points for the #10 player, five points for the #25 player, three points for the #50 player, and one point for the #100 player. If you sign someone and they never play (Enes Kanter, J.R. Smith), you get half credit. Anybody unranked is generally ignored, although sometimes there are exceptions, as in the case of Jarnell Stokes (who I give a ranking of 18.5). All rankings are Dave Telep’s.

The 50 most impressive recruiting classes of the 2002-12 era:
1. 2006 North Carolina (#3 Brandan Wright, #5 Ty Lawson, #7 Wayne Ellington, #36 Deon Thompson, #55 Alex Stepheson, #79 Will Graves - 32.60 points), top ACC
2. 2011 Kentucky (#1 Anthony Davis, #4 Michael (Kidd-?)Gilchrist, #8 Marquis Teague, #19 Kyle Wiltjer - 31.42 points), top SEC, top 4-man class
3. 2009 Kentucky (#2 John Wall, #3 DeMarcus Cousins, #17 Daniel Orton, #37 Eric Bledsoe, #46 Jon Hood - 31.09 points)
4. 2002 Duke (#8 Shelden Williams, #12 Shavlik Randolph, #13 J.J. Redick, #29 Sean Dockery, #31 Michael Thompson - 29.58 points)
5. 2012 Kentucky (#1 Nerlens Noel, #13 Alex Poythress, #15 Archie Goodwin, #40 Willie Cauley - 26.40 points)
6. 2010 Kentucky (#6 Brandon Knight, #8 Terrence Jones, #28 Doron Lamb, #67 Stacey Poole, half credit for #3 Enes Kanter - 26.30 points)
7. 2012 UCLA (#2 Shabazz Muhammad, #5 Kyle Anderson, #26 Tony Parker, #41 Jordan Adams - 25.83 points), top Pac-12
8. 2006 Ohio State (#1 Greg Oden, #13 Daequan Cook, #28 Mike Conley, #31 David Lighty - 25.67 points), top Big Ten
9. 2008 UCLA (#4 Jrue Holiday, #23 J’mison Morgan, #31 Jerime Andersen, #39 Malcolm Lee, #42 Drew Gordon - 25.36 points)
10. 2011 Duke (#3 Austin Rivers, #29 Michael Gbinije, #35 Marshall Plumlee, #38 Quinn Cook, #41 Alex Murphy - 24.93 points)
11. 2005 Kansas (#8 Julian Wright, #15 Brandon Rush, #19 Mario Chalmers, #22 Micah Downs - 24.61 points), top Big 12
12. 2005 Duke (#1 Josh McRoberts, #18 Greg Paulus, #36 Eric Boateng, #55 Marty Pocius, #88 Jamal Boykin - 23.78 points)
13. 2012 Arizona (#4 Kaleb Tarczewski, #9 Grant Jerrett, #16 Brandon Ashley, #65 Gabe York - 23.74 points)
14. 2002 North Carolina (#3 Raymond Felton, #7 Rashad McCants, #10 Sean May - 23.28 points), top 3-man class
15. 2006 Texas (#2 Kevin Durant, #19 Damion James, #29 D.J. Augustin, #80 Matt Hill, #86 Dexter Pittman - 22.39 points)
16. 2006 Duke (#15 Gerald Henderson, #18 Lance Thomas, #20 Jon Scheyer, #38 Brian Zoubek - 21.46 points)
17. 2009 North Carolina (#4 John Henson, #33 Dexter Strickland, #53 Leslie McDonald, #55 David Wear, #56 Travis Wear - 20.73 points)
18. 2010 North Carolina (#1 Harrison Barnes, #16 Reggie Bullock, #29 Kendall Marshall - 20.71 points)
19. 2004 Texas (#12 LaMarcus Aldridge, #17 Daniel Gibson, #26 Mike Williams, #53 Dion Dowell - 20.32 points), top 2004
20. 2004 Kentucky (#8 Randolph Morris, #13 Joe Crawford, #15 Rajon Rondo - 20.06 points)
21. 2007 Kansas State (#2 Michael Beasley, #7 Bill Walker, #50 Dominique Sutton - 19.78 points), top 2007
22. 2005 North Carolina (#7 Tyler Hansbrough, #24 Danny Green, #41 Bobby Frasor, #52 Marcus Ginyard - 19.17 points)
23. 2010 Memphis (#12 Will Barton, #20 Jelan Kendrick, #23 Joe Jackson, #75 Tarik Black - 19.17 points), top C-USA, top mid-major
24. 2009 Villanova (#9 Mouphtaou Yarou, #22 Dominic Cheek, #26 Maalik Wayns, #82 Isaiah Armwood - 18.89 points), top Big East
25. 2005 Oklahoma State (#23 Byron Eaton, #46 Roderick Flemings, #81 Kenneth Cooper, #94 Terrel Harris, half credit for #2 Gerald Green and #14 Keith Brumbaugh - 18.88 points)
26. 2006 Connecticut (#23 Stanley Robinson, #35 Curtis Kelly, #39 Hasheem Thabeet, #43 Jerome Dyson, #62 Doug Wiggins - 18.86 points)
27. 2002 Villanova (#5 Jason Fraser, #37 Randy Foye, #41 Curtis Sumpter, #49 Allan Ray - 18.66 points)
28. 2009 Texas (#5 Avery Bradley, #14 Jordan Hamilton, #47 Shawn Williams - 17.60 points)
29. 2009 Kansas (#6 Xavier Henry, #24 Thomas Robinson, #29 Elijah Johnson - 17.56 points)
30. 2006 Washington (#4 Spencer Hawes, #16 Quincy Pondexter, #52 Adrian Oliver - 17.30 points)
31. 2004 Kansas (#28 Sasha Kaun, #32 Russell Robinson, #45 Alex Galindo, #59 C.J. Giles, #62 Darnell Jackson - 17.15 points)
32. 2007 Syracuse (#8 Donte Greene, #21 Jonny Flynn, #58 Rick Jackson, #75 Scoop Jardine - 17.02 points)
33. 2004 Indiana (#14 D.J. White, #47 Robert Vaden, #72 A.J. Ratliff, #78 James Hardy, half credit for #5 Josh Smith - 16.98 points)
34. 2010 Ohio State (#4 Jared Sullinger, #24 Deshaun Thomas, #64 Jordan Sibert, #97 Aaron Craft - 16.74 points)
35. 2007 Florida (#10 Nick Calathes, #32 Chandler Parsons, #45 Jai Lucas, #68 Alex Tyus - 16.66 points)
36. 2003 Kansas (#4 David Padgett, #21 J.R. Giddens, #59 Omar Wilkes - 16.28 points), top 2003
37. 2008 Ohio State (#3 B.J. Mullens, #14 William Buford, half credit for #64 Terrelle Pryor - 16.18 points)
38. 2009 Duke (#12 Ryan Kelly, #18 Mason Plumlee, #40 Andre Dawkins - 16.16 points)
39. 2002 Arizona (#19 Hassan Adams, #21 Chris Rodgers, #26 Andre Iguodala - 16.08 points)
40. 2006 Louisville (#24 Earl Clark, #25 Derrick Caracter, #44 Jerry Smith, #64 Edgar Sosa - 15.74 points)
41. 2005 Mississippi State (#32 Jamont Gordon, #38 Vernon Goodridge, #49 Reginald Delk, half credit for #3 Monta Ellis - 15.62 points)
42. 2007 Purdue (#27 E’Twaun Moore, #29 Scott Martin, #47 JaJuan Johnson, #51 Robbie Hummel - 15.56 points)
43. 2003 LSU (#14 Brandon Bass, #27 Regis Koundjia, #34 Tack Minor - 15.36 points)
44. 2007 Duke (#6 Kyle Singler, #26 Nolan Smith, #56 Taylor King - 15.34 points)
45. 2009 Georgia Tech (#1 Derrick Favors, #36 Mfon Udofia, #90 Kammeon Holsey - 15.23 points)
46. 2011 Arizona (#15 Josiah Turner, #22 Nick Johnson, #61 Angelo Chol, #94 Sidiki Johnson - 15.02 points)
47. 2011 St. John’s (#25 Dom Pointer, #39 Moe Harkless, #64 D’Angelo Harrison, #99 Amir Garrett, half credit for #32 JaKarr Sampson and #77 Norvel Pelle - 15.00 points)
48. 2003 Syracuse (#24 Demetris Nichols, #25 Darryl Watkins, #41 Terrence Roberts, #90 Louis McCroskey - 14.99 points)
49. 2012 Baylor (#3 Isaiah Austin, #36 Ricardo Gathers, #63 L.J. Rose - 14.99 points)
50. 2003 Michigan State (#5 Shannon Brown, #28 Brandon Cotton, #65 Drew Naymick - 14.93 points)

Top five by teams currently outside the BCS conferences:
1. 2010 Memphis (#23 above)
2. 2008 Memphis (#5 Tyreke Evans, #55 Wesley Witherspoon, #63 Angel Garcia, #89 Matt Simpkins - 14.22 points)
3. 2005 Memphis (#25 Shawne Williams, #42 Antonio Anderson, #51 Chris Douglas-Roberts, #85 Robert Dozier - 12.85 points)
4. 2007 Memphis (#5 Derrick Rose, #43 Jeff Robinson - 11.53 points)
5. 2012 UNLV (#7 Anthony Bennett, #47 Katin Reinhardt - 10.75 points)

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