The 2021 men’s basketball recruiting class rankings are generated by 247sports.com and ESPN RISE to help college coaches get an idea of where the best players in the country will be playing their collegiate ball this year. Look below for a list of all freshmen who have committed thus far in ’20-’21, followed by 2020 recruits in alphabetical order.,
The “college basketball recruiting rankings 2022” is a list of the 2021 men’s college basketball recruiting class. The list includes rankings for each position.
Back in May, it seemed like the 2021 class was about to come to an end. Only one ESPN Top 100 prospect was available, and the class rankings seemed to be fixed in stone. In fact, things didn’t really settle down until three months later, when Memphis signed probable top-five selections Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates, who reclassified from 2022 to play for the Tigers this season.
So, although this is the last update for the 2021 class rankings, it’s also worth reflecting on a couple of the cycle’s major themes:
The Dead Period in Recruiting: The class of 2021 will very certainly be the least-evaluated in our lives. Because of the epidemic, coaches were not permitted to observe athletes in person from March 2020 until June 2021. From live AAU periods in April and July through senior high school season, that’s typically a big 15 months for high school seniors. During this period, college coaches were not on the road, and recruits were unable to tour schools. What does this imply for the class of 2021’s immediate future? We’ll find out next spring, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the transfer site became especially busy than normal as a result of misvaluations and rash college choices.
Reclassifications: While reclassification isn’t a new practice, it did drastically alter the pecking order of the 2021 class late in the process. Duren and Bates, as previously said, were the main attractions. Penny Hardaway had the country’s No. 19 recruiting class before the two players committed. With those two in the fold, the Tigers finished second. They weren’t the only athletes that enrolled in college after the AAU season concluded in July. Justice Williams (LSU) and Corey Floyd (UConn) both provided their clubs a lift in the final class rankings as ESPN 100 prospects.
No mention of Duke or Kentucky in the top three: Duke and Kentucky are college basketball’s two greatest recruiting powerhouses, and it’s unusual to see any single school — much alone three — break their duopoly atop the class rankings. From 2014 through 2018, and again in 2020, the Blue Devils and Wildcats were No. 1 and No. 2 in any order every year, and it seems they’ll be doing it again in 2022. In 2021, however, the top three teams were Michigan, Memphis, and Gonzaga, with Duke barely outside and Kentucky a few places below. What went wrong? It’s self-evident, but the other institutions did an outstanding job securing their primary objectives. With Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate, Michigan got it done early, while Gonzaga was the clear favorite for No. 1 prospect Chet Holmgren throughout the majority of his recruitment. But don’t feel sorry for Duke and Kentucky. Despite this, they managed to acquire a total of four five-star prospects in 2021 and are dominating in 2022.
Influence of the 2021 class: According to ESPN’s NBA draft rankings for 2022, the incoming freshmen are anticipated to have a significant impact. Incoming freshmen make up the top nine college basketball players in those rankings, with exceptional 2021 guard Jaden Hardy (who chose the G League) placing third. Although Holmgren is the finest long-term potential in the bunch, Duke forward Paolo Banchero may have the most effect in college of anybody in the class. Bates, Jabari Smith (Auburn), Duren, Houstan, Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee), Peyton Watson (UCLA), TyTy Washington (Kentucky), and J.D. Davison (Alabama) are all anticipated to contribute right away for top-25 teams, while Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee) is the Horizon League’s most skilled player.
1st place previously
The Wolverines have as much recruiting momentum as anybody in the country, having jumped to the top of the rankings after receiving commitments from top-10 seniors Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate in a two-week period last autumn. Houstan, a native of Canada, reclassified from the class of 2022 and selected Michigan over Alabama, Duke, and Virginia. Diabate kept his recruitment close to the vest, but the Wolverines made up a lot of ground when he committed. Summer commitments Isaiah Barnes and Will Tschetter join ESPN 100 guards Frankie Collins and Kobe Bufkin, as well as summer commits Frankie Collins and Kobe Bufkin. In 2020, Juwan Howard showed potential as a recruiter when he signed four ESPN 100 prospects, including five-star Isaiah Todd, who ultimately chose to play in the G League. However, a No. 1 class solidifies his reputation as a top recruiter.
Previous position: 19
Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren were the national Class of 2022’s top two prospects until they both reclassified up to attend Penny Hardaway in 2021. They approach collegiate basketball with as much collective hype as any freshmen combination in recent memory. Duren is a physical specimen in the center, long, strong, explosive, and capable of asserting his will on both ends of the spectrum. Bates is a talented big winger with exceptional scoring instincts and skills. Most people forget, though, that Memphis had already assembled a strong class before to those big last-second victories. Both ESPN 100 prospects Johnathan Lawson and Josh Minott can play various positions, while Sam Onu is a genuine big man in the center and John Camden is a shooting specialist who can spread the floor. The Tigers have rebuilt the bulk of their roster, including newcomers from the transfer wire, and are poised to be one of the most exciting teams in college basketball next season.
Previous position: 2
Gonzaga has established itself as a top destination for high school talent, including one-and-done level players, despite falling short of its goal for a perfect season. Chet Holmgren, the ESPN 100’s top prospect, will follow in the footsteps of former teammate Jalen Suggs and go to Spokane. Holmgren, who stands 7 feet 1 inches tall, is the most unusual high school prospect, possessing height, talent, and shot-blocking abilities while still developing into his physique. Hunter Sallis is another five-star recruit, this time in the backcourt, who may provide the Bulldogs with the kind of explosive playmaker that Suggs’ departure left open. Nolan Hickman is the class’s third five-star prospect. His pledge was noteworthy not just for his talent and consistency in the backcourt, but also for the fact that he decommitted from Kentucky only to choose the Zags, a symbol of the changing trends in college basketball recruitment. Kaden Perry, like Hickman, is a local product from the Northwest who offers a four-star forward capable of playing immediately and then developing into a focal point in future years.
3rd place before.
The Blue Devils have a four-man core that is among the best in the country. Paolo Banchero (No. 3) makes a strong argument for being the country’s best prospect. He has been productive for the majority of his high school career and will make an immediate impact in Durham, North Carolina. A.J. Griffin (No. 27) committed to Duke in November 2019, and although he hasn’t played much in the last year, he has excellent height and physical attributes for a wing player and can create plays on both ends of the floor. Trevor Keels, a five-star guard and one of the greatest pure scorers in the class, rounds out the bunch. He’ll improve Duke’s backcourt output right away. With the arrival of ESPN 100 point guard Jaylen Blakes earlier this week, the Blue Devils’ backcourt depth has also strengthened.
Previous position: 4
Rick Barnes has landed an even deeper group in the 2021 class after securing a top-five group in 2020 that featured two five-star talents. It starts with Kennedy Chandler, one of the best point guards in the nation, who picked Tennessee over Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and his home state of Memphis. Chandler should start the season with the ball in his hands; he enjoys attacking the basket and can regularly make plays off the dribble. Since the ESPN recruiting database started in 2007, he is the third-highest-ranked prospect to choose Tennessee. Jahmai Mashack, a four-star winger from California who is one of the best defensive players in the class, joins Chandler in the backcourt. Quentin Diboundje Eyobo of Montverde Academy is a 6-foot-6 winger who offers long-term depth and flexibility on the flank. Following his decommitment from Marquette, Tennessee acquired ESPN 100 center Jonas Aidoo and five-star forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who reclassified from 2022 to 2021 to join the Vols straight immediately, giving them one of the finest incoming frontcourt tandems in the nation. There are currently five players in this group, four ESPN 100 products, and two five-star prospects.
Previous position: 8
Will Wade’s 2021 class was distinct in that it was more flexible in nature. It all started with two early ESPN 100 commitments, one of whom enrolled early (Alex Fudge). Wade now has a ‘twin towers’ kind of incoming pair up front, with Jerrell Colbert providing a high-upside big man with obvious skills on both ends of the floor thanks to a late commitment from Efton Reid, a talented southpaw standing just a hair under 7-feet. Bradley Ezewiro, who enrolled in the 2020 class but opted to reclassify and wait a year over the summer, will provide depth to the frontline. Brandon Murray, a talented big-bodied guard, joined LSU’s class in the spring, while Justice Williams, a huge playmaking guard in the ESPN 100 for 2021, reclassified up to attend LSU a year early during the summer. After everything was said and done, Wade had assembled one of the best incoming frontcourts in the nation, as well as a backcourt that should be able to contribute right away while still having untapped potential.
Previous position: 5
Before this spring, John Calipari constructed his program in a different way. The Wildcats spent the most of their time in the transfer portal, acquiring four high-impact transfers who could all compete for immediate employment. Kentucky, on the other hand, did not drift away from the recruiting scene. Bryce Hopkins, a big-bodied combo forward and mismatch scorer who can contribute offensively right away, and Daimion Collins, a big man who fits the Kentucky model up front as a rim runner, explosive finisher, and shot-blocker with plenty of room for future growth, did the majority of their work early in the cycle. Calipari went out and got TyTy Washington after Nolan Hickman decommitted earlier this spring. Washington, a great offensive player who makes huge plays in big games, improved his profile as much as anybody in the nation as a senior.
Previous position: 13
In little over two weeks in July and August, Dan Hurley and the Huskies went from an empty class to a three-man group. It all began with Rahsool Diggins, a gritty playmaking point guard from the Philadelphia region who opponents had a hard time keeping out of the lane. Jordan Hawkins, an upside wing who can shoot it from the outside and has excellent bounce at the rim, came in after Diggins. Samson Johnson, a 4-man with a high potential who mixes movement, fluidity, jumping ability, and some emerging technique, capped off the stretch. Corey Floyd, an ESPN 100 recruit in the Class of 2022, decided to reclassify and attend the Huskies a year early. This class offers the Huskies four potential impact players in the future, several emerging stars, and a fresh reach from New England to the District of Columbia.
Previous position: 6
The Jayhawks will welcome a strong frontcourt trio to Lawrence next season, which could present a slew of matchup issues. Zach Clemence is a big guy with excellent size and a nice shooting stroke who can play on both ends of the court. He’ll draw opposing rim defenders away from the hoop and open up the lane, which is perfect for fellow ESPN 100 forward K.J. Adams, a 6-foot-6 monster who relentlessly assaults the rim. Sydney Curry, a junior college transfer, provides them with a big body in the center. Kyle Cuffe, an explosive leaper with the quickness to match, and ESPN 100 lead guard Bobby Pettiford, a playmaker who should provide some pace to the team, round up the backcourt. After reclassifying up from 2022, he may be a redshirt candidate.
Previous position: 7
Nate Oats is restocking on the recruiting road after winning the SEC regular season and tournament titles. J.D. Davison, a five-star guard who is one of the best in the nation, is a crucial component. Davison will be a highlight reel fixture because to his game-changing jumping ability and excellent finishing abilities. With his height and wingspan, top-30 center Charles Bediako should be able to contribute right away up front. He has a lot of potential. Transfers Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech) and Noah Gurley (Furman) have also joined the Oats, but don’t overlook four-star small forward Jusaun Holt, who will aid the Crimson Tide’s perimeter shooting.
Previous position: 9
This past season, Tad Boyle had six scholarship seniors in the program, and although some may still return due to the new NCAA waiver, the Buffaloes needed a reload in the 2021 class, so he went out and recruited five players and a possible sixth. Lawson Lovering, a 7-foot center, Quincy Allen, a small forward, and K.J. Simpson, a former Arizona signee, are among the ESPN 100. Allen is a skilled wing scorer who can hit shots, while Lovering has developed significantly over the course of his high school career, increasing his movement and extending his offensive game. After restarting his recruiting, Simpson progressed swiftly; he’s a guard who can play both backcourt positions. Javon Ruffin and Julian Hammond III, both guards, could offer depth, while Drew Carter, a dual-sport standout, is anticipated to have a larger role on the floor.
Previous position: 10
Emoni Bates is just a high school junior, and he may never play college basketball, but his early verbal commitment to Michigan State provided the Spartans with an obvious boost on the recruiting path, as well as the momentum needed to assemble their current top-10 class. They already had Pierre Brooks, a 6-foot-5 four-star wing from nearby Detroit, and they got Max Christie, a five-star guard who just grew to 6-foot-7, less than 10 days after Bates’ promise. Later in the summer, they added Jaden Akins, a large guard from Michigan, to complete a three-man class from within the ESPN 100, reaffirming their supremacy in the Midwest.
Previous position: 11
Until top-35 talent Bryce McGowens decommitted in October, the Seminoles had the best recruiting class in the nation, but Leonard Hamilton still has a quality bunch on the way to Tallahassee. Matt Cleveland (No. 30) is now the main attraction, having been one of the most outstanding prospects at numerous livestreamed competitions during the spring and early summer. Jalen Warley (No. 46) is another guy who has exploded in the last year. He can play both backcourt positions. Center John Butler (No. 66) has a lot of potential, and 7-foot-3 Naheem McLeod is one of the best junior college prospects in the nation. During a two-week period between July and August, all four commitments made their pledges.
Previous position: 12
Greg McDermott lost five-star point player TyTy Washington, as well as two of his three assistant coaches, when he decommitted from the Bluejays in March, but he still produced a top-10 class. Four players have committed to the Bluejays, including three ESPN 100 prospects. Ryan Nembhard’s stock rose significantly as a senior, demonstrating that he is one of the most dependable pure point guards in high school and capable of directing Creighton’s offense. Mason Miller is a talented southpaw forward with some bounce and shot-making skills who will continue to develop as his body fills out. As a pure shooter, John Christofilis is another excellent match for McDermott’s approach. Arthur Kaluma, a dynamic four-star combo-forward and college-ready mismatch scorer, was previously committed to UNLV before to its coaching change, and he offers Creighton with a versatile four-star combo-forward and college-ready mismatch scorer in the front line. Trey Alexander, the lone available ESPN 100 prospect, is still a possibility for the Bluejays.
14th place before.
In July, Scott Drew’s team made headlines when it received three pledges in less than a week from a pair of highly regarded ESPN 100 prospects in Langston Love and Kendall Brown, as well as an ultra-versatile and productive forward in Jeremy Sochan. All three are multi-positional, have faced tough competition before, and can make an instant impact. Brown is a 6-foot-7, 195-pound combo forward who is one of the country’s most explosive prospects. On the wing, Love is a dangerous scorer, while up front, Sochan is smart and talented. Following this year’s national title, all three freshmen should be able to play immediately next season.
15th place before.
This may be Nebraska’s greatest recruiting class ever. Bryce McGowens, a talented 6-6 guard who had originally committed to Florida State but is now joining the Huskers, is the main point. Trey McGowens, the older brother, had transferred in from Pittsburgh the year before. Wilhelm Breidenbach, an accomplished frontcourt player who wants to follow in the footsteps of Fred Hoiberg’s Georges Niang at Iowa State, is another ESPN 100 product in the class. They join as the first ESPN 100 duo to pledge to Nebraska since 2015. Oleg Kojenets, a center, and Keisei Tominaga, a shooting guard, completed Hoiberg’s lineup.
Previous position: 16
Aminu Mohammed, the highest-ranked recruit to pledge to Georgetown under Patrick Ewing, leads a strong five-man class for the Hoyas in 2021. Mohammed is a five-star recruit with a college-ready physique and a strong motor who should be one of the Big East’s top rookies next year. He won’t be the only player the Hoyas count on to make an instant impact, however. Jordan Riley is a dynamic guard and one of the class of 2021’s finest natural athletes. Tyler Beard rounds out the incoming backcourt trio as a playmaking lead guard. The Hoyas have added Ryan Mutombo, the son of Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, who will offer some rim protection and low-post potential, as well as three-star big Jalen Billingsley, to their frontcourt.
Previous position: 17
Mick Cronin’s first complete recruiting class in Westwood had some bad luck, with five-star point guard Daishen Nix opting for the G League rather of enrolling at UCLA as planned. Cronin, on the other hand, has rebounded in the 2021 class, securing ESPN 100 wingers Peyton Watson (No. 12) and Will McClendon (No. 13). (No. 67). Watson, a five-star prospect, has continued to improve his stock over the last year and has climbed in the rankings at a faster rate than anybody else in the nation. Meanwhile, McClendon has a terrific frame and can go to the hoop quickly. Cronin may have a national title contender on his hands next season if everyone returns to Westwood after a stunning journey to the Final Four. The Bruins also added Myles Johnson, a Rutgers grad transfer, to their frontcourt.
Previous position: 18
Isa Silva, a 6-foot-3 point guard and one of the most creative passers in the class, was one of the first to commit. In September, the Cardinal won a recruiting fight for Harrison Ingram, one of the most versatile forwards in the nation, who is expected to follow in the footsteps of Williams and KZ Okpala as Jerod Haase’s next big, playmaking wing. Stanford completed the class by solidifying its backcourt with a commitment from Jarvis Moss, a high-upside big guard from North Carolina.
Previous position: 20
Shaka Smart lost ESPN 100 center Jonas Aidoo soon after replacing Steve Wojciechowski in Milwaukee, but the Golden Eagles have acquired a handful of players this month to maintain them among the top 25 classes in the nation. Stevie Mitchell, an ESPN 100 point guard, is the star of the show; he’s an aggressive offensive player who can score on his own or set up teammates. Mitchell will be in charge of putting Smart’s system in place right now. Point guard Kameron Jones and shooting guard Emarion Ellis are two more four-star guards who will offer immediate depth, while frontcourt newcomers Keeyan Itejere and David Joplin boosted the class in mid-April.
The No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2021 is Chet Holmgren, a 7-foot-1 power forward from Minneapolis. Who else is on his side? Player rankings in their entirety »
Previous position: 21
After decades in the NBA, some doubted Mike Woodson’s ability to recruit, but if his first month on the job is any indicator, he’s more than up to the task. Woodson not only kept important players of the rotation and former coaching staff, but he also performed well in the transfer market. When it came to high school recruiting, he secured a commitment from ESPN 100 big man Logan Duncomb and got Tamar Bates, who may be the greatest genuinely available talent in the class. Duncomb is essential not just because he can play instant minutes in the front row, but he also helps to solidify local recruitment pipelines. Bates, on the other hand, has a potential to be a big celebrity. With his length, defensive prowess, and shot-making ability, he’s an exceptional competitor who can influence the game on both sides of the floor.
22nd in the previous ranking
Last year, Anthony Grant’s team garnered national headlines for both its overall performance and Obi Toppin’s individual fame. With a number of four-star commitments, including ESPN 100 big man DaRon Holmes, the highest-ranked prospect to ever pledge to Dayton, the Flyers are riding that wave of enthusiasm to new heights on the recruiting path. Inside, Holmes is honing his physical tools and honing his face-up abilities to compliment his inside game. Mustapha Amzil (who entered mid-year) is a perfect complement to Holmes and Washington as a talented big forward, while Kaleb Washington also has a lot of physical skills and promise up front. Malachi Smith, an ultra-reliable and solid floor general who maintains the Flyers’ pipeline into the New York City region, and Philadelphia native Lynn Greer III, a large and muscular lead guard who completed a prep year at IMG Academy, make up the future backcourt.
Previous position: 23
The Fighting Illini were given a one-seed in the NCAA tournament this year, but they will have to replace five of its top eight players, including All-Americans Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. Omar Payne (Florida) and Alfonso Plummer (Utah) are transfers who will assist, as will the incoming freshmen. ESPN 100 wings Ramses Melendez and Luke Goode lead Brad Underwood’s three-man batch of four-star prospects. Both players are capable of shooting from the outside, while Goode has offensive flexibility beyond the 3-point line. Illinois got a commitment from four-star shooting guard Brandin Podziemski earlier this month, a player whose value has skyrocketed in the past year.
Previous position: 24
Kevin Keatts’ class includes three distinct features. To begin with, he and his team got to work early, securing all three pledges within the early signing period. Second, they gave local support a high priority, with two of the three commitments originating from inside their own state. Third, they added players who can thrive in their full-court system. ESPN’s top 100 products One of the best examples is Ernest Ross. He’s a big forward with the agility and flexibility to fit in with NC State’s fast-paced offense. Local products Terquavion Smith and Breon Pass will pair up in the backcourt. Smith is a high-motored shot-maker who committed his sophomore year, while Pass is a dynamic player with a unique flair.
Previous position: 25
Villanova’s 2021 recruiting class has been in the works for two years, so it’s no surprise that Jay Wright and his team were able to get four key commitments before the end of July. The Wildcats’ template hasn’t changed, as they’ve acquired talented and adaptable players from the upper part of the East Coast who all suit their culture. Trey Patterson, one of them, graduated early from high school and entered in the middle of the season, dropping the Wildcats’ class for the first time since the autumn. However, ESPN 100 product Nnanna Njoku offers a lengthy and strong big man in the center with some developing face-up ability, while Jordan Longino and Angelo Brizzi are flexible and have the perimeter size Villanova has always prized in the backcourt.
You may see previous class ranks here.
The “espn top 100 basketball 2021” is the class rankings of the 2021 men’s college basketball recruiting class. The rankings are compiled by ESPN based on a formula that includes players’ high school, AAU, and international experience.
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