BOZICH | How many Top 25 recruiting classes in this Final Four? You'd be surprised
How many Top 10 recruiting classes are represented in the 2017 NCAA Final Four? You'll be surprised at the number.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – There are countless ways to separate the teams that will begin to decide the college basketball national championship during the Final Four Saturday in suburban Phoenix.
There is the school that gave us Nike (Oregon), with the school that was given the Jordan Brand (North Carolina), with the school that merely wears Nikes (Gonzaga) and the school avoids Nike (South Carolina, repping Under Armour).
One Hall of Fame coach with multiple championship rings (Roy Williams of North Carolina) vs. three Final Four newbies (Mark Few, Gonzaga; Dana Altman, Oregon and Frank Martin, Kansas State).
A program that has signed 71 McDonald’s all-Americans (Michael Jordan University) vs. three programs that have combined to sign nine throughout their histories– four each by Oregon and South Carolina and one by Gonzaga.
How about this remarkable nugget?
Over the last four seasons, the Tar Heels, Ducks, Gamecocks and Zags have combined to sign one Top 10 recruiting class?
That is one in 16 cracks.
That was the 2014 group at North Carolina that was ranked seventh by Scout.com because it featured forwards Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson as well as point guard Joel Berry.
Here are more recruiting numbers to chew on before you advance to the nachos and popcorn.
Recruiting Nitty-Gritty – Three Top 25 classes the last four years (according to Scout), No. 13 in 2013; 7th in 2014; 11th in 2016.
Kennedy Meeks – Ranked only 68th in 2013 because of concerns about his weight.
Isaiah Hicks – Considered a better prospect than Meeks, No. 18 nationally in 2013, because of his agility and bounce.
Theo Pinson – Scouts overlooked his shooting deficiencies and ranked him 19th in 2014 because of his length and ability to play multiple positions.
Joel Berry – Although he was considered the 33rd best player in the 2014 class, Berry was ranked behind Emmanuel Mudiay, Tyus Jones, Tyler Ulis and Parker Jackson-Cartwright at point guard, one spot ahead of Quentin Snider.
Justin Jackson -- The 10th best overall in the Class of 2014, ranked ahead of Trey Lyles, Justise Winslow, De’Angelo Russell and several others who are already playing in the NBA.
Recruiting Nitty-Gritty – One Top 25 class the last four seasons, 2013 when the Gamecocks ranked 23rd.
Maik Kotsar – unranked in Class of 2016 after moving from Estonia to Sunrise Christian in Bel Aire, Kansas.
Duane Notice – Two-star guard from Canada who finished his prep career in Oakdale, Conn., unranked.
Chris Silva – Three-star forward unranked nationally from Roselle, N.J.
P.J. Dozier – The 25th best overall prospect and No. 4 shooting guard in the 2015 class, who turned down offers from Louisville, Michigan and others.
Sindarius Thornwell – Four star shooting guard, ranked 30th in 2013 class, the first big get by Frank Martin in Columbia.
Recruiting Nitty-Gritty – One Top 25 class the last four seasons: 2016 when the Zags ranked 16th.
Josh Perkins – Ranked the 15th best point guard in the 2014 after transferring from Regis High School in Denver to Huntington Prep in W. Va.
Jordan Matthews – Unranked nationally in the Class of 2013, Matthews played in Santa Monica, Calif., where many expected him to play for California.
Johnathan Williams – Signed with Missouri in 2013, ranked No. 34 in the 2013 class and a four-star forward.
Prezmek Karnowski – Fifth-year senior developed through the club system in Poland, he was discovered by a Gonzaga assistant working in Europe while scouting another player.
Nigel Williams-Goss – Former McDonald’s all-American who transferred from Washington after ranking No. 50 in the 2013 class, behind guards Anton Gill and Connor Frankamp.
Recruiting Nitty-Gritty: Two Top 25 classes the last four years: 22nd in 2014; 17th in 2016
Dylan Ennis – Canadian native who started his career at Villanova as an unranked recruit.
Peyton Pritchard – Ranked No. 49 among all players and 12th among point guards in the 2016 class.
Jordan Bell – Three-star prospect unranked nationally in 2014, Bell played at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High School.
Tyler Dorsey – Ranked 43rd nationally, behind Jalen Coleman-Lands in the 2015 class from Pasadena, Calif.
Dillon Brooks – Canadian import who finished his career at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Brooks was ranked 65th in the 2014 class, behind Paschal Chukwu.
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