In the past, the SEC Conference seemed to be lacking. Year in and year out the clear dominant team in the conference was Kentucky due to their stellar recruiting. After teams like Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn made tremendous coaching changes, things have turned around. Arguably, the SEC has the best recruiting class among all conferences in the 2021 class. Just five-stars alone, the SEC has seven five-star commits. In addition, it is not one SEC school dominating the recruiting trail as five different SEC teams have a five-star 2021 signee. Clearly, the SEC should have some terrific freshmen in next year’s college basketball season, but who are the top incoming SEC recruits?
5. Daimion Collins
At five is the five-star power forward Daimion Collins. Collins is ranked 13th nationally while standing at 6-foot-9. Also, he is rated as the fourth-best power forward in the 2021 class. Kentucky has landed many five-stars since John Calipari took over, and Collins is another five-star commit.
First and foremost, Collins is a fantastic shot blocker. He should be the next great shot blocker at Kentucky, and could replace Isaiah Jackson’s shot blocking production. In addition, Collins is extremely athletic for a power forward. He has a long, lengthy frame and has a good vertical with the ability to run the floor very well. Collins has the ability to handle the ball and has a good jump shot. Weighing only 210 pounds at 6-foot-9, Collins will need to gain some weight. If Collins adds some muscle to his frame and has a consistent jump shot in the 2021-22 season, he could be a lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
— Overtime (@overtime) February 11, 2021
4. TyTy Washington
Next up is the five-star point guard ranked 12th nationally TyTy Washington. Washington’s recruitment has been quite remarkable. He was committed to Creighton for some time, but then decommitted after the controversy surrounding Greg McDermott. After decommitting from Creighton, Washington’s recruiting rank has skyrocketed. In early March, Washington was a four-star ranked anywhere from 30-35 nationally depending on the recruiting ranking outlet. In only two months, he has risen to five-star status and is even approaching a top ten national rank. Washington will team up with Collins at the University of Kentucky.
Washington is not your usual flashy five-star point guard. He has all the attributes of a steady floor general. He handles the ball well, is a good passer, rarely turns it over and can score in nearly any fashion. There is a reason Washington has been such a high riser in the last two months. Kentucky desperately needs a playmaking point guard after a rough 2020-21 season, and Washington can provide this. How Washington plays in his freshmen campaign will be quite interesting when considering his sudden rise to stardom.
— Overtime (@overtime) May 13, 2021
3. JD Davison
According to 247 Sports’ Composite rankings, JD Davison is a five-star ranked 10th nationally. He is the third-best point guard in the class, and is the top recruit out of Alabama. Davison will stay home and play for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021-22 season.
Davison is one of the most entertaining recruits in the current recruiting cycle. He is a high flyer and could be the best dunker in the 2021 class. This is extremely impressive since he is a point guard standing at 6-foot-3. Further, Davison even won the 2021 Iverson Classic Dunk contest. As his top ten ranking suggests, Davison is not just a dunker. He can handle the ball very well and has a good jump shot. The head coach at Alabama, Nate Oats, has a “three and d” philosophy. Oats wants gritty defenders who can shoot the rock. Davison can fit this mold to a tee while also bringing highlight reel dunks.
— Overtime (@overtime) April 19, 2021
2. Kennedy Chandler
Rick Barnes at Tennessee has a huge incoming talent in Kennedy Chandler. Chandler is a five-star ranked sixth nationally and is the top point guard in the class. As mentioned, Chandler will attend Tennessee for his freshman season.
Chandler should be even better than Tennessee’s last outstanding freshmen Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson. The five-star point guard does just about everything. He can handle the ball, pass well, can drive off dribble and can shoot the ball. In addition, Chandler could translate to one of the best isolation players in the country next season. Also, he should be tremendous running pick and rolls. Chandler should be the best true freshman guard in college basketball next season. As an NBA prospect, he certainly looks like an NBA guard. If Chandler performs at a high level next season, he should be a top ten pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
— Overtime (@overtime) March 29, 2021
1. Jabari Smith
The top SEC recruit in the 2021 class is the Auburn commit Jabari Smith. After landing Sharife Cooper in last year’s cycle, Bruce Pearl could have an even better freshman in the 2021-22 season. Smith is ranked fourth nationally and is the second-best power forward in the class. In addition, Smith was on the 2021 Naismith All-American team and is a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year.
Standing at 6-foot-10 with good length, Smith has a great frame. Above all else, Smith is simply a bucket getter. Whatever his team needs, he can do it. Whether it be isolation situations, in transition or in the pick and roll, Smith can excel. He has great handling for a big man and can shoot at a high level. Thanks to his length, Smith is also a nightmare when driving off dribble. Smith has the potential to be one of the top players in all of college basketball next season. Also, his game should translate very well to the NBA. With a good season, Smith could be a top five pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
McDonald’s All-American Jabari Smith was a PROBLEM this season 😤
— Overtime (@overtime) March 21, 2021
The SEC has continued to improve in recent years. In a down year for Kentucky, the SEC still had some elite teams like Alabama and Arkansas in the 2020-21 season. Many teams like Kentucky and Tennessee should improve next season thanks to elite recruiting. The SEC should be extremely exciting next year with NBA prospect talent and many good, complete teams. All of which, will make the SEC extremely competitive and one of the best conferences in college basketball next season.
All stats courtesy of 247 Sports.