It may not be as highly anticipated or publicized as National Signing Day in college football, but Wednesday was college basketball's equivalent deadline for signing a National Letter of Intent to play Division I basketball during the 2012-13 season.
The main reason why the spring signing period in college basketball period is not as big a deal as football, far and away the prime revenue producer in college sports, is that many high school basketball prospects commit to college programs prior to their senior year.
National champion Kentucky will probably lose three more players from its starting five this past season to the NBA draft coming up in June, but you shouldn't feel that sorry for them, because coach John Calipari's bunch has the No. 1 incoming recruiting class for the fourth consecutive season, according to the rating service Scout.com.
Baylor and Texas from the Big 12 Conference rank in the top 10, at No. 5 and No, 7, respectively in the national team rankings. Big 12 champion and NCAA Tournament runner-up Kansas and Oklahoma State landed signees ranked in the top 20 nationally.
Kansas is ranked 13th by Scout.com and Oklahoma State comes in at No. 19.
Kentucky beat out Georgetown and Syracuse for the nation's top prospect, Noel Nerlens, a 6-10 center from Tilton, NH. Muhammad Shabazz is the No. 2 high-school prospect. The 6-5 forward from Las Vegas signed Wednesday with UCLA.
Baylor, whose men's and women's basketball programs on Wednesday were placed on three years' probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations dating back to , has among its recruiting class of 2012 the country's third best prospect overall: a five-star seven-foot center from Arlington, Texas, Isaiah Austin. The Bears also signed the No. 10 point guard and 67th-ranked prospect in Lynden "L.J." Rose, from Houston, and another big man in 6-11 forward Chad Rykhoek, from Ft. Worth, the
Texas, which played six freshman in 2011-12, signed six new first-year recruits for next season, led by the No. 9 prospect overall and fifth-ranked center, Cameron Ridley, a five-star recruit from Richmond, Texas.
Kansas, which had three talented recruits from 2011 have to sit out last season because of eligibility requirements, is bringing in another good one in 6-8 forward Perry Ellis from Wichita (Kansas) Heights High School, the No. 6 power forward in the country and the No. 6-rated player overall.
Coach Travis Ford of Oklahoma State announced three signings on Wednesday, the most promising of which was five-star recruit Marcus Smart, from Flower Mound, Texas, near Dallas, the No. 3 shooting guard, according to Scout.com. The 6-4 Smart was rated the 13th best prospect overall.
The Atlantic Coast Conference had the most teams in the top 25 in the national team recruiting rankings with seven. The Big 12, Big Ten and Big East each placed four teams in the national top 25.