All of the final player rankings for the high school basketball class of 2016 are now in, and those numbers confirm the obvious: UK will once again have an absurd amount of new talent on the court next season.
Rivals.com released its final 2016 rankings Tuesday, becoming the final major recruiting service to do so and shutting the book on a class that analysts have called the best in years.
All five of UK’s signees — so far — for next season are consensus five-star recruits. The Cats could add a sixth five-star signee in Marques Bolden, who still has not set an announcement date but is expected to decide between UK and Duke sometime in the coming weeks.
This is only the second time that UK has signed as many as five five-star recruits in a single class. John Calipari signed six such prospects — all McDonald’s All-Americans — in the class of 2013, and that group led the Wildcats to an appearance in the national title game the following season.
Rivals.com ranks point guard De’Aaron Fox as the No. 6 overall prospect in the class of 2016 and UK’s highest-rated signee for next season. Fox was also ranked as the No. 6 overall player by Scout.com, ESPN and 247Sports.
Power forward Bam Adebayo was next on Rivals.com’s list at No. 7, followed by fellow UK signees Malik Monk (No. 9), Wenyen Gabriel (No. 13) and Sacha Killeya-Jones (No. 24).
Adebayo ended up at No. 5 on ESPN’s list, No. 11 in the Scout.com rankings and No. 12, according to 247Sports.
Monk — a combo guard from Arkansas — was ranked No. 9 by ESPN, No. 10 by 247Sports and No. 13 by Scout.com.
Gabriel — a 6-foot-10 small forward from New Hampshire — is ranked between No. 12 and No. 14 by all of the major recruiting services. Killeya-Jones — a 6-11 forward from Chapel Hill, N.C. — landed at No. 24, according to Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports. Scout.com pegged Killeya-Jones as the No. 27 player in the class.
Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports rank all five of UK’s signees as five-star players. Scout.com has Killeya-Jones as its top-rated four-star prospect, and that website ranked the other four UK signees as five-star recruits.
This is only the second time that UK has signed as many as five five-star recruits in a single class.
Bolden — a 6-10 center from DeSoto, Texas — was No. 11 in the final Rivals rankings. Scout.com has him at No. 8, ESPN ranked him No. 16, and 247Sports put him as the No. 18 overall player in the class.
UK currently has the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and it would only become stronger with a commitment from Bolden. If Duke lands Bolden, the Blue Devils would likely overtake UK for the top class in the nation.
Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi said Monday that there are 16 or 17 players in the class that would be considered top-10 recruits in other years. Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels said earlier this month that this recruiting class is the best since the 2007 group that produced future NBA stars Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, James Harden and Kevin Love.
Kansas signee Josh Jackson is the consensus No. 1 player in the class of 2016, earning the top spot from Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Duke signee Harry Giles, who missed almost all of his senior season due to a torn ACL, was the No. 1 player in the final ESPN rankings.
Rivals.com’s final top 10, in order: Jackson, Giles, Duke signee Jayson Tatum, UCLA signee Lonzo Ball, Washington signee Markelle Fultz, Fox, Adebayo, Florida State signee Jonathan Isaac, Monk and Michigan State signee Miles Bridges.