Following the commitment of top 50 prospect Missouri's 2024 recruiting class surged to No. 1, according to the 247Sports team rankings. While months still remain in the recruiting cycle, the Tigers' recruiting prowess under second-year coach Dennis Gates is a sight to behold.last week,
Save for the one-year blip when it landed five-star brothers Michael and Jontay Porter, Mizzou has rarely been so relevant in modern college basketball recruiting -- and it's indicative of the sport's wider landscape. Also in the top 10 of the team rankings are programs like Rutgers, Creighton and Notre Dame, none of which are regarded as recruiting powers.
But in an era where some programs choose transfers as their primary method of talent acquisition, the door is open for new players to score with high-ranking high school prospects. The advent of name, image and likeness (NIL) earning rights for athletes also allows for well-financed programs to compete for top prospects even if they are light on basketball tradition.
Kentucky Duke or Memphis finished with the top recruiting class for each of the past 13 years. The Blue Devils are certainly off to a strong start with the 2024 class. But the emergence of some surprise teams in the market raises the question: who will finish No. 1 in the 247Sports Team Rankings for the 2024 recruiting class? Our writers weight in for this week's Dribble Handoff.
Let me start by stating that I'm impressed with what Dennis Gates is doing at Missouri and super-impressed with his entire career to date. In the past three seasons -- two at Cleveland State, one at Mizzou -- the Cal graduate compiled a record of 64-29 overall (42-17 in conference games), won two league titles and made two NCAA Tournament appearances. Now Gates is undeniably recruiting at a level higher than his employer's historical standard, and -- at the age of 43 -- has clearly established himself as one of the best young coaches in the sport.
His star is bright.
So is Mizzou's future.
But, when all is settled, my expectation is that Duke, not Missouri, will end up with the nation's best recruiting class. A class that should be headlined by Cooper Flagg, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2024. The Blue Devils already have commitments from five-star prospects Isaiah Evans and Kon Knueppel, as well as a pledge from four-star recruit Darren Harris. Assuming Duke eventually adds Flagg, Jon Scheyer's program would then have three of the top 16 prospects in the Class of 2024, including the consensus best in Flagg. That should be enough to represent the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. -- Gary Parrish
The obvious answer to this question is Duke -- which is the favorite to land superstar prospect Cooper Flagg and thus would be in pole position to snap up to the top of the rankings. But I'll go with a slightly off the map (but really just down the road) answer and go with UNC. Coach Hubert Davis has already assembled a superstar squad with two top-10 commits in Ian Jackson and Drake Powell.
The Tar Heels' class sits No. 2 right now in the 247Sports Team Rankings just one spot ahead of Tobacco Road rival Duke. One more addition for the Tar Heels (Boogie Fland, perhaps?) could keep them contending near the top of the ranks. -- Kyle Boone
If Rutgers can land Dylan Harper, it will have a legitimate shot at finishing No. 1 in the 2024 cycle, which is an insane proposition for a program whose last five recruiting classes have averaged a final ranking of 85.8. Harper -- the No. 2 prospect in the class -- is from New Jersey and has a strong familial connection to the program. His brother, Ron Harper Jr., starred for Rutgers from 2018 to 2022 and is now on a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors.
Thus, Dylan should have a keen understanding of what it's like to play under Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell, who has made the Scarlet Knights more relevant than they had been at any point since their lone Final Four appearance in 1976. With No. 3 overall prospect Ace Bailey already committed, Rutgers' class is ranked No. 5 with a 247Sports score of 60.85. Add in Harper and that number jumps to 67.37. That would be enough for the Scarlet Knights to jump Missouri for No. 1 in the current rankings.
History shows the No. 1 ranked class typically finishes with a score between 69 and 71. So after a theoretical Harper commitment, the Scarlet Knights would likely still need one more pledge from a top-100 prospect. It's a tall ask, but let's dream big here. It's a new era in college basketball as some programs eschew traditional recruiting to focus on transfers. That opens the door for programs like Rutgers to land better high school prospect than ever before. -- David Cobb
I agree with GP. Duke appears to be in the driver's seat to land Cooper Flagg. The term "generational prospect" is thrown around very loosely these days but let me be clear. Flagg is just that. He is the best available high school prospect regardless of position or class in America.
Flagg isn't the only marquee name that could commit to Duke in the future. Dylan Harper, the No. 2 player in the class is considering Duke and two more top-40 players (C Patrick Ngongba ll and SF Tyler Betsey) have the Blue Devils on their radar. If Duke can land one of those players in addition to Flagg, they will have a strong case to finish No. 1. Let's be honest though, whoever lands Flagg will be the biggest winner in this recruiting cycle. -- Cameron Salerno