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ESPN Best Recruiting Classes of the OAD

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1 month 1 week ago #25582 by CorpusJayhawk
ESPN did a bit on the best recruiting classes of the one and done era. I'm guessing the OAD era began in 2006 since that is the oldest class in the top 25 classes. The total breakdown goes like this.

Kentucky -- 11
Duke -- 6
North Carolina -- 2
UCLA -- 2
Kansas -- 1
Memphis -- 1
Ohio St. -- 1
USC -- 1

So here is my question. What is it about Duke and especially Kentucky that skews these results so badly. There are 353 D-1 college programs. There are 75 power 6 conference basketball programs. How do 2 schools so radically dominate the recruiting? Obviously some of the answers are obvious but you could make an argument that even with the obvious advantages, the distribution of top talent should be more diverse.

1. TV exposure -- Sure Duke and Kentucky are on TV constantly but no more than Kansas or a handful of other programs.

2. Chance to win -- For all of these recruiting classes, only 2 have won the National Championship (2015 Duke and 2012 Kentucky) Surely opposing coaches are using that info to sway players that they need more than just a fab recruiting class.

3. Lifestyle/Facilities -- Once again, I am guessing that UK and Duke have wonderful facilities and offer a great lifestyle to recruits. But so do many other schools. Heck, my guess is no place tops Texas for all the money they spend. This does not seem to explain the lopsidedness, only why a good share would pick those schools.

4. Playing time -- Good grief, most of these players would start wherever they go.

5. Coach relationships -- Are K and Cal really that much better than everyone else at establishing relationships? I just can';t see that. Obviously they are very good but seriously, so are many other coaches.

6. School allegiance -- Nah!! Most of these top players are mercenaries. Few have been fans from childhood. Although having said that, there probably are some who grew up seeing Duke and Kentucky dominate the TV games. But KU is on TV as much as UK and Duke.

7. Play with friends -- We know this is true to some degree but why would Kentucky or Duke have an advantage. You can play with your friends anywhere.

8. Reputation for tournament success -- Both UK and Duke have had decent tourney success but there are other schools that have done better, relatively speaking. But clearly, Duke and UK have the most historic NC's other than UCLA.

What else am I missing? These factors in my mind are enough to put Duke and Kentucky at the top but not completely dominating like they do. Maybe my assessment is wrong and these factors do supply ample justification to dominate. But with so many quality programs and so many quality coaches, it seems like the talent would be spread somewhat more evenly.

Don't worry about the mules, just load the wagon!!
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1 month 6 days ago #25584 by hairyhawk
I think the obvious answer is they pay better than anyone else. I look no further than Zion. I think they pay better and it is as simple as that.
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1 month 6 days ago #25588 by porthawk
Thanks for the info and analysis, Corpus. Would you mind posting a link to the article?

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1 month 5 days ago #25590 by CorpusJayhawk
This is a pay article so unless you pay for ESPN+ you will not get this. But here you go.

ESPN OAD Article

Don't worry about the mules, just load the wagon!!
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