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September 14, 2011

Top 10: Recent impact commitments

MORE: Meyer's Whispers | Mailbag | Experts

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi rank the top post-summer commitments that have the most impact.

1. Andre Drummond
The Buzz:
If Drummond did choose to play in college, he was expected to play at Connecticut. What wasn't expected was for him to pull a reversal after a a press release that he would attend prep school in 2011-2012 and instead enroll at Connecticut for the 2011-2012 year. With one of the top big men in the country now on its roster, the Huskies are once again a national championship contender.

2. Danuel House & Chicken Knowles
School:
Missouri City (Texas) Hightower & Houston (Texas) HYCA
The Buzz: Houston coach James Dickey and his staff pulled off a major coup in getting these two dynamic players to stay home. During the summer there were some coaches chuckling at Houston spending so much time with the 6-foot-7 House and 6-foot-9 Knowles but the Cougars have the last laugh. A five-star, House is a potential star on the wing and Knowles is a face-up four man with significant upside. Most importantly, it sends a major message that Houston can compete for major local talent.

3. Marcus Smart
School:
Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus High School
The Buzz: Many thought it would come down to a Texas versus North Carolina fight for Smart. Instead, Smart opted to stick with his longtime teammate Phil Forte and commit to Oklahoma State. Physical, skilled and fiercely competitive, Smart will instantly bring a winning edge to the Cowboys program.

4. Kris Dunn & Ricardo Ledo
School:
New London (Conn.) High & Providence (R.I.) TBD
The Buzz: First-year Providence coach Ed Cooley makes a major statement by landing the nation's Nos. 8 (Ledo) and 10 (Dunn) players. Although they didn't commit as a package deal as Houston's House and Knowles, they send the same message to New England area recruits that it's alright for high-profile kids to pick somebody other than the traditional powerhouses. Ledo is a big-time scoring guard with size, athleticism and skill. However, his academic and school standing is a bit unclear as he vies to make it in for the second part of the 2011-12 season. Dunn is a lengthy point guard with size and athleticism who is just starting to tap into his potential.

5. Brandon Ashley
School:
Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep
The Buzz: The Ashley commitment to Arizona has several meanings for the Wildcat program. First of all it gives the Cats one of the top forwards in the country, a guy who is versatile and full of upside. Secondly, it proves coach Sean Miller and his staff can battle the top programs in the country for a marquee recruit. And it only strengthens the Arizona pipeline with the Oakland Soldiers, which is one of the top travel programs in the country.

6. Kendrick Nunn
School:
Chicago (Ill.) Simeon
The Buzz: Shockwaves were felt around the recruiting world when the Chicago native committed during an August unofficial visit to Texas A&M. There's no question Billy Kennedy is pleased as can be with this commitment. The 6-foot-3 Nunn - ranked No. 18 in the class of 2013 - is a competitor and potentially elite defender who can score.

7. Shaquille Cleare
School:
Houston (Texas) The Village School
The Buzz: Since arriving at Maryland, Mark Turgeon and his staff have made the Eastern Seaboard a priority, but they haven't forgotten about Texas either. Landing Cleare, who is one of the top big men in the 2012 class, gives Maryland a physical force down low and establishes a recruiting presence in the fertile state of Texas.

8. Jordan Loveridge
School:
West Jordan (Utah) High
The Buzz: It isn't every year that the state of Utah produces a Rivals150 prospect so that alone made him a must get for Utah. But for Larry Krystkowiak to land the versatile inside/out wing in his first year in St. Lake City and to beat out a BYU program that has been the recipient of a lot of press the past couple of years is huge.

9. Katin Reinhardt
School:
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
The Buzz: There is a lot of excitement around the UNLV program about what new head coach Dave Rice might be able to accomplish on the recruiting front. Reinhardt, who is a top 50 prospect, was wanted by programs across the country. UNLV landing him could be a start for what might be a bright recruiting future for the Rebels.

10. Martavious Newby
School:
Memphis (Tenn.) Booker T. Washington
The Buzz: Andy Kennedy needed to find himself an impact guard who could come right in and play. He got that in the hard-nosed Newby. Capable of making jump shots or operating off the dribble, the 6-foot-2 combo guard is a fierce competitor and will help to keep a pipeline into Memphis open for Ole Miss.



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