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November 18, 2010

Winners, losers of signing period

MORE EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: Team rankings

The early signing period has ended, and this year it provided plenty of punch. Here's a look at the winners and losers of the early signing period.

Winners

Steve Lavin. There is no bigger story in college basketball right now than the recruiting turnaround that Lavin has orchestrated at St. John's. In his first full recruiting season at the school, he has secured the No. 2 recruiting class in the country.

Quinn Cook. Numerous schools offered this top 30 prospect early in the process, but there was one offer Cook awaited. Finally Duke offered, and Cook jumped on the opportunity to team with Austin Rivers in the Blue Devils' backcourt.

Kentucky. The beat continues at Kentucky with coach John Calipari. He has gone 3 for 3 with No. 1 recruiting classes, with the 2011 class containing four five-star prospects, including three ranked in the top 10 of the Rivals150.

Vanderbilt. It is difficult to remember Vanderbilt having a backcourt player as athletic as Dai-Jon Parker. Along with exceptional playmaker Kedren Johnson, coach Kevin Stallings signed a formidable backcourt of the future.

Arkansas. If John Pelphrey truly was on the hot seat, he certainly bought himself some time with this No. 5 recruiting class in the country. If it weren't for Kentucky, Arkansas would have the top recruiting class in the top recruiting conference in 2011.

Harvard. Not often does an Ivy League school go into California and snag a four-star prospect, but that is exactly what Harvard did when Tommy Amaker convinced Wesley Saunders to come to the Northeast.

Losers

Kansas. It has been a miserable recruiting season for Kansas. The Jayhawks lost their top point guard target, Josiah Turner, to Arizona without even getting an official visit. Then they lost low post target Mikael Hopkins to Georgetown. And now top wing target Ben McLemore isn't signing early with the Jayhawks.

Ben McLemore. You have to feel for a prospect who knows where he wants to go to school but is not in a position to make it official. Instead of being able to focus on academics, McLemore will have to continue on with the recruiting process.

Ky Madden. With so much confusion as to whether he would sign early or late with Arkansas, or sign with Arkansas at all, it would have made a lot of sense for Madden to have waited it out until the spring.

UCLA. With so much tradition and recent trips to the Final Four, UCLA has fallen on hard times on the recruiting front. The Bruins did manage to land four-star guard Norman Powell but have largely been spinning their wheels recruiting-wise.

Clemson. Until the very last days of his recruitment it looked like Clemson had its top low post target, Nick Jacobs, locked up. In the end, however, Jacobs opted for Alabama and left the Clemson coaching staff baffled.



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