College Basketball Recruiting and Basketball Recruiting Rankings

Successful, highly ranked programs are the result of effective college basketball recruiting. High profile coaches at highly ranked schools seek talent to develop from all over the world using expansive scouting resources dedicated to college basketball. More highly ranked programs often have more competitive basketball recruiting processes that are very selective when offering a college basketball scholarship.

College Basketball Recruiting Rankings

College basketball recruiting rankings are designed to track a school’s progress toward signing top talent and elite players’ standings among their peers. These rankings are typically organized by school year, athletic conference, and region.

College Basketball Recruiting Team and Player Rankings

College basketball recruiting team rankings will show the number of prospects currently committed to a school, the quality of each committed prospect designated in stars, along with a point value assigned to each commit that is tallied to compare basketball teams total recruiting classes. College basketball player rankings denote a player’s current standing according to scouts and talent evaluators. Most college basketball player rankings are organized according to position.

2020 College Basketball Recruiting Team Rankings

Below you will find the current college basketball recruiting team rankings for the 2020 recruiting class based on players currently committed.

  1. Nebraska
  2. Tennessee
  3. North Carolina
  4. Marquette
  5. Michigan
  6. Gonzaga
  7. St. John’s
  8. Florida State
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Tulane

*Our ranking system is based on composite college basketball team rankings from 247sports.com, rivals.com, espn.com, and scout.com. Last updated March 2019.

Team Total 5-stars 4-Star 3-Star Avg Points 247 Sports Rivals ESPN Scout Rank*
Nebraska 2 0 1 1 91.07 38.31 1 4 n/a 1 2
Tennessee 1 0 1 0 98.74 28.74 2 2 n/a 2 2
North Carolina 1 0 1 0 98.67 28.67 3 1 n/a 3 2.3
Marquette 1 0 1 0 98.09 28.09 4 3 n/a 4 3.7
Michigan 1 0 1 0 97.59 27.59 7 6 n/a 7 4.5
Gonzaga 1 0 1 0 97.91 27.91 5 5 n/a 5 6.7
St. John’s 1 0 1 0 97.61 27.61 6 8 n/a 6 6.7
Florida State 1 0 1 0 97.42 27.42 8 9 n/a 8 8.3
Oklahoma State 1 0 1 0 95.91 25.91 9 11 n/a 9 9.7
Tulane 1 0 1 0 95.66 25.66 10 10 n/a 10 10

2020 College Basketball Recruiting Player Rankings

These players are currently ranked in the top ten of the 2020 recruiting class based on scout evaluations.

  1. Evan Mobley
  2. Jalen Green
  3. Jalen Johnson
  4. Scottie Barnes
  5. RJ Hampton
  6. Greg Brown
  7. Brandon Boston Jr.
  8. Joshua Christopher
  9. Cade Cunningham
  10. Jalen Suggs

*Our ranking system is based on composite college basketball team rankings from 247sports.com, rivals.com, espn.com, and scout.com. Last updated March 2019.

Player Pos Ht Wt Team 247 Sports Rivals ESPN Scout Rank*
Evan Mobley C 6’11” 200 Undecided 1 1 1 1 1.0
Jalen Green SG 6’5″ 170 Undecided 2 2 2 2 2.0
Jalen Johnson SF 6’8″ 170 Undecided 3 3 3 3 3.0
Scottie Barnes SF 6’8″ 210 Undecided 4 4 4 4 4.0
RJ Hampton CG 6’4″ 170 Undecided 5 5 5 6 5.3
Greg Brown PF 6’9″ 195 Undecided 6 6 6 5 5.8
Brandon Boston Jr. SG 6’6″ 175 Undecided 9 7 7 11 8.5
Joshua Christopher SG 6’4″ 200 Undecided 7 12 9 7 8.8
Cade Cunningham SF 6’7″ 215 Undecided 8 10 10 8 9.0
Jalen Suggs CG 6’5″ 185 Undecided 10 14 12 10 11.5

2021 College Basketball Recruiting Player Rankings

These players are currently ranked in the top ten of the 2021 recruiting class based on scout evaluations.

  1. Patrick Baldwin Jr.
  2. Terrence Clarke
  3. Jonathan Kuminga
  4. Michael Foster
  5. Jaden Hardy
  6. Paolo Banchero
  7. Moussa Diabate
  8. Moussa Cisse
  9. Aminu Mohammed
  10. AJ Griffin Jr.

*Our ranking system is based on composite college basketball team rankings from 247sports.com, rivals.com, espn.com, and scout.com. Last updated March 2019.

Player Pos Ht Wt Team 247 Sports Rivals ESPN Scout Rank*
Patrick Baldwin Jr. SF 6’8″ 200 Undecided 1 1 1 2 1.3
Terrence Clarke SF 6’6″ 190 Undecided 2 2 3 1 2
Jonathan Kuminga SF 6’7″ 210 Undecided 4 3 4 3 3.5
Michael Foster PF 6’8″ 210 Undecided 3 4 6 4 4.3
Jaden Hardy SG 6’4″ 185 Undecided 5 6 2 5 4.5
Paolo Banchero PF 6’8″ 230 Undecided 6 5 5 6 5.5
Moussa Diabate PF 6’9″ 190 Undecided 7 7 7 8 7.3
Moussa Cisse C 6’10” 205 Undecided 8 9 8 9 8.5
Aminu Mohammed SF 6’4″ 200 Undecided 9 11 16 7 10.8
AJ Griffin Jr. SG 6’5″ 200 Undecided 11 10 12 11 11

How to Get Recruited for College Basketball

  1. Perform a self-assessment of your athletic abilities and work with your coach to develop skills.
  2. Build a relationship with prospective college basketball recruiters.
  3. Target 5 colleges/universities which align with your athleticism
  4. Commit to bettering your GPA and ACT/SAT scores to maintain high academic standards.
  5. Develop your visibility plan – get your name/ability in front of college recruiters.
  6. Let your high school/club coach know of your intent to play college basketball.
  7. Create effective recruiting profile materials including your best video (scoring/defense/hustle).
  8. Research and adhere to NCAA policies and timelines.
  9. Research college programs. Let them know your interest in the university (not just basketball).
  10. Contact coaches expressing interest in their program and be persistent with communication.

The underlying key to get recruited for college basketball is consistency. You must be consistent in your communication efforts with coaches to effectively express your interest in their program. Coaches want to see consistent production from you at all levels of competition. Maintaining high academic standards proves your commitment as a student athlete. The college basketball recruiting process takes multiple years of determined work both on and off the court.

How to Get a College Basketball Scholarship

As a student-athlete your desire to obtain a college basketball scholarship will be met with many stumbling blocks before your pursuit becomes a reality – and it begins with knowing your own athletic abilities. It’s easy for the most elite basketball players moving through the high school ranks as they likely have had the benefit of being noticed for talent at the youth level and were invited to play for an AAU team rich in competitive tradition. What about a ‘late bloomer?’ While you may have been a clumsy 10-year-old, you have now grown into your body and are a very talented high school hoops player.

For players like these, the road to securing a full scholarship at the NCAA Division 1 level, or even a partial scholarship at the NCAA D2 or NAIA levels, may seem like asking a 5-9 high school point guard to block a LeBron James three-pointer. It really isn’t, though, as there are several success stories for qualified student-athletes, just like you, with a desire to receive scholarship monies at the collegiate levels.

Do You Have to Play AAU to Get Recruited?

Playing AAU basketball is not a requirement to obtain a college basketball scholarship; there have been prospects who forego the AAU circuit and move on to successful college and professional careers. Participating in AAU basketball is a very valuable tool in gaining exposure within college basketball recruiting.  AAU programs allow recruits to compete against difficult competition and offer coaches an extended look.

The so-called ‘blue chippers,’ or those most sought by college basketball recruiters for their established D1 powerhouse programs, are almost certain to have gained initial recognition from their pre-high school days of AAU league play. If you don’t play for an AAU team, don’t worry. There are instances where not playing AAU isn’t a deciding factor. For example, student-athletes with higher GPA and ACT scores, as well as multi-sport athletes, can counter-balance a college basketball recruiter’s concerns over not playing AAU ball.

What is a 5 Star Recruit in College Basketball?

In college basketball recruiting, a 5 star recruit denotes a player among the top 25-30 players in the country as determined by scouts and analysts. There are usually only a few 5 star recruits at each position within the college basketball player rankings. These are players whom are expected to be premiere players at the collegiate level within a couple of years. There is more than one evaluating service available, but all use similar ranking models to determine a player’s star rating.

How to Get Noticed by College Coaches

You should seek advice from your high school or club coaches, as well as dutifully ranking your own athletic talents, before making a move to get college basketball recruiters to notice their athletic abilities. Upon doing this it is very important you recognize the importance of communication. Communication is much more than ‘shooting a video link’ to a college recruiter through an email. Enhancing your credibility (commitment to better grades by sending a follow-up email informing recruiter of a higher GPA, e.g.) and your visibility (increased off-season weightlifting totals or additional video presenting a better overall on-court presence) is paramount for the student-athlete.

If a college basketball recruiter shows interest in you by returning the email, keep in contact. Let recruiters know when you will be playing future games. Send the recruiters links to video of a better skill drill than shown on your initial video. Such progress in ability can lend to a college basketball recruiter making a positive decision to your benefit.

What Do College Basketball Coaches Look for in Point Guards?

There is no doubt as college point guard you must have superior dribbling and ball handling skills, but leadership and a take charge attitude are also near the top of the list for college basketball recruiters. The point guard is the sport’s equivalent to the quarterback in football. You must recognize when other players are out of position and then you must skillfully ‘right’ wrongs of your teammates when working on a scoring play. While all collegiate players will have video study sessions of opponents, as a point guard you must learn what the entire defense does in order spot weaknesses to take advantage of during the game.

The Average Height of College Point Guards

  • NCAA D1 – 6’1”
  • NCAA D2 – 6’0”
  • NCAA D3/NAIA – 5’10”
  • NJCAA – 5’9”

What Do College Basketball Coaches Look for in Shooting Guards?

Besides the obvious, excellent shooting ability, as a successful shooting guard you must be nearly as adept at ball handling skills as the point guard as you will be required to create ‘plays’ for the offense during a turnover or other time during games. At this position you must be an excellent three-point shooter and be able to drive for the lay-up when the situation occurs.

The Average Height of College Shooting Guards

  • NCAA D1 – 6’3”
  • NCAA D2 – 6’2”
  • NCAA D3/NAIA – 6’0”
  • NJCAA – 5’10”

What Do College Basketball Coaches Look for in Small Forwards?

Versatility is the foremost characteristic of a highly recruited small forward prospect. College basketball coaches look for small forwards who exhibit elite athleticism. As a small forward you will be highly sought after if you possess with above average dribbling and ball skills, but only if you can still drive to the basket and play very good defense. Small forwards need to be exceptional at the short-to mid-range scoring area and excellent rebounders on offense and defense.

The Average Height of College Small Forwards

  • NCAA D1 – 6’6”
  • NCAA D2 – 6’5”
  • NCAA D3/NAIA – 6’3”
  • NJCAA – 6’3”

What Do College Basketball Coaches Look for in Power Forwards?

Power forwards with a dynamic skill set are highly sought-after recruits in today’s college landscape. An athlete with good size, agility, rebounding ability, and flexible defensive skill can be recruited as a power forward. Having a reliable three-point shot with substantial height is also very appealing to a college coach because it allows them to stretch the floor offensively. To get the attention of college coaches as a power forward, show off a well-rounded game allowing you to create mismatches on the offensive end.

The Average Height of College Power Forwards

  • NCAA D1 – 6’8”
  • NCAA D2 – 6’6”
  • NCAA D3/NAIA – 6’5”
  • NJCAA – 6’4”

What Do College Basketball Coaches Look for in Centers?

Height and wingspan are key physical tools of a highly recruited center. Coaches want to see an elite athlete who can block shots and secure rebounds using effective boxout technique. Offensively, a highly recruited center will be able to set screens and finish strong at the rim utilizing both length and mobility. You should include instances of properly executed pick and roll plays in addition to defensive stops when composing your game tape video.

The Average Height of College Centers

  • NCAA D1 : 6’9”+
  • NCAA D2 : 6’8”+
  • NCAA D3/NAIA : 6’7”+
  • NJCAA : 6’6”+

How Many NCAA Basketball Teams Are There?

The NCAA is made up of three divisions for men’s and women’s basketball:

  • Division 1 – 351 men’s teams/347 women’s teams
  • Division 2 – 320 men’s teams/321 women’s teams
  • Division 3 – 403 men’s teams/426 women’s teams.

New NCAA Basketball Recruiting Rules

One significant reform to the NCAA’s college basketball recruiting policies is the change to the recruiting calendar for coaches. They will be allowed two additional weekends in June to attend high school events to evaluate prospects. The second week of July is no a longer designated recruiting weekend. The third week of July will be focused on providing conferences and resources to families regarding financial aid and life skill instruction. There will also be more permitted paid visits for prospective recruits available after their sophomore year. Please refer to the appropriate calendar for specific NCAA dates regarding contact between coaches and players.

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For Further Reading

Looking for more information? Visit one of the pages below for related content.

Basketball Camps and Showcases

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Basketball History

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