How 12 Final Four Stars Were Rated By Top Recruiting Services Before College

Most players weren’t blue-chip recruits.

Three major recruiting services are considered the authority on evaluating the talent of top high school and junior college players. If your play earns the attention of, or ESPN’s recruiting website, chances are you’ll be playing college basketball at some level. Rivals and Scout rank players based on a five-star system. ESPN rates players on a 1-100 scale (they didn’t start using stars at all until 2010). However, a player’s ranking doesn’t always determine their own or their team’s future success. Of the following 12 players, only one had a five-star rating, and that was from only one of the three recruiting services.

Louisville Cardinals

3. Russ Smith - South Kent School (South Kent, CT)

Michael Conroy / AP

4. Peyton Siva - Franklin High School (Seattle, WA)


5. Gorgui Dieng - Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV)


Michigan Wolverines

7. Trey Burke - Northland High School (Columbus, OH)

Jim Young / Reuters

8. Mitch McGary - Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, NH)

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

9. Tim Hardaway Jr. - Miami Palmetto High School (Pinecrest, FL)

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Syracuse Orange

11. Michael Carter Williams - St. Andrews School (Barrington, RI)

Win McNamee / Getty Images

12. James Southerland - Notre Dame Preparatory School (Fitchburg, MA)

JASON REED / Reuters

13. C.J. Fair - Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, NH)

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Wichita State Shockers

15. Malcolm Armstead - Chipola Junior College (Marianna, FL)


16. Cleanthony Early - Sullivan County Community College (Loch Sheldrake, NY)

Harry How / Getty Images

17. Ron Baker - Scott City High School (Scott City, KS)

Mark J. Terrill / AP

18. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Wildcats 2012 recruiting class looked like this:

They have watched the entire tournament from home.

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