College Basketball Recruitment: Five Programs Struggling To Capitalize On Talented Recruits

CBS Sports examined the first seven college basketball shows that thrived on the court with no much-hyped prospects earlier this week. Now we take a look at five programs that have consistently signed the best recruiting classes, but struggled to translate recruiting praise to success on the field.

The cancellation of the NCAA 2020 Tournament robbed some of these programs of the possibility of getting rid of that label. But even after recent recruiting wins, two of them weren’t projected to hit the 68-team field by CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down the 2020 coaching carousel, all five shows on the list move forward with the same leader in banking, meaning each will have a chance to get rid of the underperforming tag on the season. 2020-21. For now, though, these are the five college basketball programs that do less with more. All recruitment class rankings are courtesy of 247Sports Composite Rankings.

  • 2019: 17
  • 2018: 8
  • 2017: 6 6
  • 2016: 6 6
  • 2015: 18 years

AVERAGE: eleven

Shaka Smart managed to land in the nation’s No. 18 class immediately after taking the job for the 2015-16 season. Her recruiting has only improved since then with a streak of three consecutive classes in the top 10 between 2016 and 2018.

But success has not continued. The Longhorns have only finished with a Big 12 winning record once in Smart’s five seasons, and that was in his first year. The 2019-20 team salvaged a bad start by winning five of their last six games to reenter the NCAA Tournament conversation. But the fact is, Texas has underperformed relative to its talent level over the past five seasons.

Getting basically everyone from that team and getting five-star prospect Greg Brown in the Class of 2020 will give Smart another great opportunity, and potentially his last chance, to get results on the court that match the program’s results in the recruitment.

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  • 2019: 10
  • 2018: 41
  • 2017: 27
  • 2016: 33
  • 2015: 7 7


Washington achieved two top 10 classes between 2015 and 2019 and its worst course in that period was ranked 41st nationally. But even with a five-year class average of 22, the best result the Huskies had in the final stretch was a second round exit from the NCAA Tournament in 2019. That team finished 27-9 and won the Pac- 12, but it is the only Washington team to do the NCAA Tournament since 2011.

The Huskies failed particularly in the 2019-20 season, even after achieving two top-10 leads in Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels in the Class of 2019. Losing point guard Quade Green due to an academic problem during the season hurt, but the Huskies still had enough talent to go much better than their final record of 15-17 (5-13 Pac-12).

  • 2019: 32
  • 2018: 4 4
  • 2017: 17
  • 2016: 51
  • 2015: 10


LSU made the Sweet 16 in 2019 and was in a position to be a possible weekend NCAA Tournament second team again in 2020 before the season’s cancellation. At what price, however? The program has been recruiting well without major results since before Will Wade’s arrival and the FBI’s scrutiny of the program.

But Ben Simmons ‘only season with the Tigers in 2015-16 did little but hastened Johnny Jones’ demise as coach, and the breakthrough hasn’t been under Wade, even with the help of five-star prospects Emmitt Williams, Naz. Reid and Trendon Watford. .

Now it feels like the clock is ticking for Wade, who signed with another five-star player at Cameron Thomas in the class of 2020. Will the Tigers have a Final Four reward before the hammer falls on Wade, assuming he eventually will. make?

  • 2019: 60 60
  • 2018: sixteen
  • 2017: Sixty-five
  • 2016: 10
  • 2015: 22


When Ben Howland took the Mississippi state job and quickly landed the state’s five-star guard Malik Newman of the Class of 2015, it felt like there was great things on the horizon for the Bulldogs. Many expected Newman to be a unique prospect, but not in the way it ended. Mississippi state had a 14-17 record and Newman transferred to Kansas after a good but not great freshman season.

Mississippi State earned the No. 10 class in 2016, but only a couple of players from that seven-man class faced Howland, who is still looking for his first NCAA Tournament victory after five seasons at the school.

The Bulldogs bounced back nicely from a 0-3 start in league play in the 2019-20 season with No. 31 overall prospect of the Class of 2018 leading the way at Reggie Perry. But even after securing a double-bye in the SEC Tournament, the State of Mississippi still stayed out of the projected NCAA Tournament bracket.

  • 2019: 7 7
  • 2018: 18 years
  • 2017: 31
  • 2016: 3. 4
  • 2015: Four. Five


USC has been close; the 2015-16 team lost by one to Providence in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the 2016-17 team lost four to Baylor in the second round and the 2017-18 team narrowly lost the NCAA Tournament after being ranked so high. as No. 10 at the beginning of the season. But the 2018-19 season was a disaster, even with five-star guard Kevin Porter Jr. on the list.

The Trojans peaked in late 2019-20, securing a projected No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning three consecutive games to end the regular season. So it’s possible that they would have raced in the postseason and spent the first Big Dance weekend for the first time in Andy Enfield’s seven seasons as a coach.

But the fact is, USC has underperformed overall relative to its recruiting success at Enfield. He is on his way to having a golden opportunity to shake that trend in the 2020-21 season. The Trojans got Evan Mobley, the No. 3 prospect in the 2020 class, and will join his brother Isaiah Mobley, a five-star prospect in the 2019 class, to make USC one of the most talented teams in the Pac – 12.