A little more than two months after announcing his intention to reclassify to his original graduating class, Tilton (N.H.) big man Nerlens Noel has assumed the top spot in the final 247Sports 2012 Top 247 player rankings.
Some consider Nerlens Noel, who moved to the No. 1 spot in the Top 247, to be the best prep shot blocker in a generation (photo by Jeff Drummond/247Sports).
The 6-foot-10 center, who some consider to be the best shot blocker in a generation, assumes the pole position from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman phenom Shabazz Muhammad, who had a stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking until Noel's reclassification.
Both Noel and Muhammad will get the spring signing period started off with a bang Wednesday night as both will announce their college decisions. Muhammad will choose among Duke, Kentucky and UCLA while Noel will pick between Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse.
Both prospects were the first basketball prospects in the history of 247Sports to be given the franchise rating, which is a numerical rating greater than 100. A franchise rating is not given in every class and is reserved only for those prospects we consider rare or special.
Muhammad set a Nike Hoops Summit single-game scoring record Saturday night, pouring in 35 points in Team USA's 84-75 loss to the World Team in Portland. He also scored a game-high 21 points in being named MVP of the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago.
Following Muhammad and Noel's Wednesday decisions, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep power forward Anthony Bennett, who's stock has sky-rocketed over the course of the last year all the way to the No. 4 spot, will become the highest-ranked undecided prospect left on the board.
Bennett, whose final five consists of Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, UNLV and Washington, is followed by Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove big man Tony Parker (20), De Kalb (Miss.) Kemper County wing Devonta Pollard (22) and Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends Central forward Amile Jefferson (23).
Fresh off a national championship, Kentucky coach John Calipari, who already has Sherwood (Ark.) Sylvan Hills guard Archie Goodwin (14) and Clarksville (Tenn.) Northeast hybrid forward Alex Poythress (16) in the fold, looks to secure his fourth consecutive consensus top-ranked recruiting class with the potential additions of Noel, Muhammad and Bennett.
But Calipari is getting a serious run for his money from Pac-12 schools Arizona--where coach Sean Miller has inked three of the top 11 prospects in Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett--as well as UCLA, with No. 3 Kyle Anderson and possible signings of Muhammad and Parker.