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April 28, 2011
UK, Duke atop team rankings
MORE: Past Team Rankings | Class of 2011 Rivals150 | Class of 2012 Rivals150 | Class of 2013 top 15
If it seems like Kentucky has had a stranglehold on the claim to the top recruiting class in the country, well, it's because John Calipari's Wildcats have. For the third year in a row, Coach Cal has put together the nation's top recruiting class.
Headlining the class is power forward Anthony Davis. This time a year ago, the thin and skilled big man was but a blip on the radar but his profile was on the verge of blowing up. Now, the 6-foot-9 Chicagoan almost claimed the top spot in the final Rivals150 for the class of 2011. He's joined by the nation's top small forward, Mike Gilchrist, the nation's top point guard, Marquis Teague, and another five-star big man in Oregon's Kyle Wiltjer.
Who is in and who is out?
Of the thirty teams who made our list of team rankings after the Fall signing period, 27 still remain. Out are Tennessee, Auburn and Xavier, and taking the first two of those open spots are Kansas who checks in at No. 29 and Villanova at No. 30.
The highest ranked entrant into final ranking of the nation's top recruiting classes is Pittsburgh. Jamie Dixon's Panthers enter at No. 18 with a bullet thanks in large part to the addition of power forward Khem Birch. Originally a class of 2012 prospect, Birch moved ahead to the class of 2011 where he attained five-star status and ranked No. 9 nationally helping to lift Pitt's class.
Movement within the top 30
As it turns out, most movement within the top 30 recruiting classes was relatively minimal. However, there were a few notable changes as six teams saw their ranking move five or more spots in one direction or the other.
Making the biggest leap is John Thompson III's Georgetown club who moves all the way up to No. 17 from their previous spot of No. 28. Playing a large part in their climb was the signing of four-star Otto Porter. The thin forward from Missouri moved up nearly 60 spots in the final Rivals150 and also received strong consideration for five-star status. Also, while three-star prospects Jabril Trawick and Greg Whittington remain unranked, both are highly regarded and could end up as sleeper pickups and it's more a matter of not having a chance to get evaluated than not being able to play that has kept them out of the individual rankings.
Sean Miller's Arizona club forced its way into the national top five at No. 4 after ranking ninth in the Fall. Four-star Angelo Chol was a fine addition and helped the overall depth of the Wildcats class. However, it was the elevation of shooting guard Nick Johnson from four-star status at No. 40 nationally to five-star status at No. 18 in the final Rivals150 that had the biggest impact on the Wildcats climb up the charts.
While Levi Randolph continues to linger just outside of five-star status for Anthony Grant's Crimson Tide, it was wing Rodney Cooper's meteoric rise from three-star status to four-star status and the national top 50 that elevated 'Bama.
For the Hokies, it was a combination of movement around them and some important changes with their signees. Star wing Dorian Finney-Smith flirted with five-star status. Also, wing Robert Brown went from just barely making four-star status at No. 105 nationally to solidly there at No. 82 nationally. Three-star point guard Marquis Rankin was among the final cuts to the Rivals150.
Taking the biggest tumble inside the top 30 recruiting classes is Syracuse who falls all the way to No. 16 from the sixth spot they held during the Fall. The reason for that is that their two signature recruits -- big man Rakeem Christmas and wing Michael Carter-Williams -- both fell from five-star status. While both Christmas and Carter-Williams are still highly regarded four-stars, their slide had a big impact on the Orange's class ranking.
Also taking a notable slide is Rutgers. The biggest reason for that is that four-star big man Kadeem Jack who had ranked No. 33 nationally during the post-summer Rivals150 enrolled early. Since he essentially red-shirted this season, Rivals.com chose to move him back into the class of 2010 which is the primary cause for the Scarlet Knights slide from No. 15 to No. 23 overall in the ranking of 2011 classes.
Looking at the rankings from a conference standpoint the Big East leads the way with eight teams followed closely by the SEC with seven teams in the top 30 rankings. The ACC, the Big 12 and the Big Ten all tied for second by placing four teams each in the final team rankings. Rounding out the rankings is the Pac-12 which has three teams included in the group of 30 teams.