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December 9, 2009MORE: Conference recruiting breakdown | 1. ACC | 2. SEC | 3. Big East | 4. Big Ten
The Big 12 gained a third team in the national rankings during the early signing period when five-star forward Tony Mitchell signed with Missouri. The Tigers, who also have four-star point guard Phil Pressey, are the top team in the conference. Texas A&M (No. 2 in the conference) and Baylor (No. 3 in the conference) are also ranked nationally. The Aggies have a bevy of big men on the way, and Baylor has elite power forward Perry Jones headlining its class. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State just missed a national ranking but have strong classes. Texas also signed a five-star big man, Tristan Thompson, as its only recruit.
Best recruiting battle
The recruiting saga of five-star forward Tony Mitchell began and ended in the Big 12. Mitchell was a little-known prospect nationally when he originally committed to Kansas State in November of last year. Just prior to the July evaluation period, Mitchell opened up his recruitment. A plethora of schools pursued the big-time athlete, but in the end it was Georgetown and Missouri left standing. Mitchell visited both schools and signed with Missouri during the early signing period.
Out of the 12 ranked prospects entering the Big 12 next year only one prospect is a point guard and two are shooting guards. The other nine prospects are forwards.
At the top of the list are five-star forwards Perry Jones, Tony Mitchell and Tristan Thompson. Jones has all the physical tools of an NBA talent. Mitchell is a high-flying wing scorer. Thompson is a high-energy producer in the paint.
In the four-star range, Cameron Clark is at the top of the list. He should make an immediate impact at Oklahoma with his versatile game. Michael Cobbins was one of the summer's most pleasant surprises. His length and skill game will give Oklahoma State an added dimension. Texas A&M adds two power forwards with differing games from the four-star ranks in Tobi Oyedeji and Daniel Alexander. Oyedeji thrives on attacking the rim and the glass. Alexander is a finesse player who is a long-range shooting threat.