We've all heard that "perception is reality". In the case of basketball recruiting over the past several years, there seems be a strong contingent of CC posters who "perceive" that it's been terrible. I guess the definition of "terrible" is also up to each own's opinion. I just don't feel that many posters look very deeply to form those opinions.
I've posted this information as a comment a few times, but according to Scout.com, here are our recruiting rankings since 2005:
2005 – 5th
2006 – 9th
2007 – NR
2008 – 4th
2009 – 21st
2010 – NR
2011 – 6th
Maybe my definition of "terrible" is more lenient than that of other posters, but I'd consider 4 top ten classes in 7 years to be pretty solid. In fact, 3 of those 7 years have landed in the top 6. Clearly, 2007, 2009, and 2010 were disappointing. 2011 really had to be a good year and it has turned out that way despite the circus it became.
I think our perception is built on what becomes of these recruiting classes rather than what those recruiting classes were. If top recruiting classes always translated into final four runs and championships, we would never see George Mason, VCU, or Butler hanging banners in their small gymnasiums.
Speaking of George Mason, let's talk about Luke Hancock. He put up some nice stats last season. The same stats for us would've ranked him second in points and assists. You may say "he did that at George Mason in the CAA", but George Mason got past Villanova in their "second" round game and has posted a final four since our 2005 run. In fact, Hancock posted better stats last year than Ryan Harrow did for NC State.
If you think recruiting has been bad, you have higher expectations than I have. That's my perception.
Before I provide further data, as requested in comments, let me just say that my intent was to raise awareness of the rankings our recruiting classes have been given in recent years by one of the services. We're clearly excited about this year's top 10 class. But, if we don't meet expectations next season on the court, will we then say this recruiting class was bad? Food for thought.
Anyway, here is a comparison of rankings for the same years among some key schools:
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Kentucky NR 16 11 15 1 1 1
North Carolina 4 1 NR 5 3 4 7
Connecticut 25 5 NR 7 13 18 NR
Florida 21 22 3 9 17 14 NR
Duke 2 4 6 13 8 8 2
Memphis 6 25 4 6 NR 2 NR
There was also some questions about what players our rankings were built from. Well, here you go:
Listed in order of Scout ranking. Bold represents players that never showed up or transferred out.
2005 - Johnson, Williams, Huffman, McGee, Harvey, Millard, Holloway
2006 - Caracter, Clark (early entry), Sosa, Smith
2007 - Goode (injuries), Knowles, Holloway
2008 - Samuels (early entry), Jennings (early entry), Swopshire, Kuric
2009 - Siva, Buckles, Van Treese, Marra
2010 - Coleman, Dieng, Smith, Justice
2011 - Blackshear, Behanan, Price, Nunez
I hate to point out the obvious, but our headline recruit has typically left us disappointed in retrospect. I'm confident PS3 will change that pattern along with the incoming freshmen.