College Basketball Recruiting: States with the Most Talent in 2014 Class

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2013

College Basketball Recruiting: States with the Most Talent in 2014 Class

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    It is always interesting to see where the elite-level high school basketball talent comes from.

    Some states consistently produce 5-star prospects on an annual basis.

    But every year, there are unexpected sources of gifted recruits who will be the future stars of college basketball.

    Here is a list of the states with the most talent in the 2014 recruiting class.

    You might be surprised at which state is at the top of the heap!

    Player information is provided by

10. Tennessee

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    The great state of Tennessee never disappoints in terms of churning out future collegiate hoops stars.

    Illinois-bound Leron Black is a dynamic combo forward who is awesome in the open court and powerful on either glass.

    Because Florida head coach Billy Donovan has a perceptive eye for point guard talent, do not lose track of future Gator Chris Chiozza. He has great court vision and a high hoops IQ to match.

    Small forward Jalen Lindsey will tear it up at Providence. His silky shooting touch and great hops will make him a tough matchup on the perimeter.

9. Georgia

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    There is no lack of Class of 2014 hoops talent in the Peach State.

    Missouri-bound power forward JaKeenan Gant is long and ultra-bouncy. He runs the floor like a guard and finishes extremely well in transition.

    Keep your eye on shooting guard Ahmed Hill. He has emerged as a recruiting target for many high majors, but do not be surprised if he ends up committing to Missouri.

    Future Georgia Tech shooting guard Tadric Jackson is a powerful penetrator who has no trouble finishing after contact. Think SEC running back on the basketball court.

    Maryland commit Trayvon Reed has the size (7’1”) and athleticism to be special.

8. Maryland

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    The Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area is always fertile recruiting terrain. This year is no exception.

    UNLV commit Dwayne Morgan is a versatile player who can defend multiple positions.

    Maryland's head coach Mark Turgeon scored big, pulling in two local backcourt stars: Romelo Trimble and Dion Wiley.

    Trimble will eventually end up running the point for the Terrapins, while Wiley, a supreme marksman, will jump into the shooting guard role quite nicely.

    According to the Courier Journal’s Steve Jones, Louisville, Miami and Georgetown are in a recruiting battle for 4-star rim protector Chinanu Onuaku.

7. New York

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    The Empire State is well represented among the top recruits in the nation.

    Syracuse-bound power forward Chris McCullough runs the floor like a guard, gets up above the rim instantly and is a vicious shot-blocker.

    ESPN’s recruiting expert Adam Finkelstein said this (Insider subscription required) about Seton Hall commit Isaiah Whitehead: “There isn't a more naturally talented scoring guard in the country.”

    VCU’s Shaka Smart scored big in landing Terry Larrier. His athleticism, explosiveness and swagger make him a perfect fit for Smart’s “Havoc” full-court press.

    Another Seton Hall commit, power forward Angel Delgado, is a beast on the boards and a shutdown defender.

6. Indiana

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    Very few states take their high school basketball as seriously as Indiana.

    This year, the Hoosier state has some exceptional prospects who will be taking the hardwood by storm.

    But there is an odd trend with these top recruits. They have each announced their respective school decisions, and then changed their minds.

    Trey Lyles is the No. 2 power forward in the nation. At 6’10”, 255 pounds, he can dominate down low or face up and knock down jumpers out to the arc.

    According to the Courier Journal’s Steve Jones, Lyles will choose between Kentucky and Louisville, after decommitting from Indiana.

    Combo guard James Blackmon Jr. originally committed to Tom Crean and Indiana, but he has now reopened his recruitment. ESPN’s Paul Biancardi expressed this about Blackmon: “When it comes to shooting, nobody shoots it deeper or better.”

    Another combo guard, JaQuan Lyle, originally committed to Louisville, but is now back on the open market. He is a confident penetrator and an excellent passer.

5. Minnesota

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    Minnesota may have its best collection of elite-level high school hoops talent ever.

    Tyus Jones is the nation’s top point guard. He is a consummate, pass-first floor leader who can play at any speed or pace.

    At 6’6”, Rashad Vaughn causes all kinds of backcourt bedlam. He is a strong shooting guard who can absolutely dominate games from the perimeter.

    Reid Travis may be the hardest working 5-star player in the nation. He is a blue-collar power forward who has a powerful low-post game and an unexpected shooting touch.

4. Florida

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    There is no shortage of talent coming out of Florida in the 2014 recruiting class.

    The top national programs come to the Sunshine State when they need to find players with game.

    Point guard Joel Berry may be the next great North Carolina floor general.

    Duke commit Grayson Allen is a beyond-the-arc marksman who can score points in bunches.

    Florida-bound Brandone Francis is a shooting guard with size and strength. He is an open-court nightmare who finishes above the rim on the break.

3. California

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    California is once again near the top of the most talented states list.

    Surprised? Me neither.

    Stanley Johnson, the No. 2 small forward overall, is constantly in attack mode, and he uses his brute physicality to get work done.

    UConn commit Daniel Hamilton is a rangy shooting guard who has a full arsenal of offensive weapons.

    USC-bound Jordan McLaughlin is a scintillating scorer from the point. ESPN’s scouting report (Insider subscription required) says “His game resembles a young Russell Westbrook or Allen Iverson.”

2. Illinois

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    It is no surprise that Illinois is ranked high on this list.

    Chicago turns out a wide assortment of elite-level high school basketball talent on an annual basis.

    Just in the past few years, you do not have to look any further than Jabari Parker and Anthony Davis as prime examples of what the Windy City produces.

    The 2014 recruiting class is no different.

    Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander are the No. 1 and No. 3 recruits in this year’s group.

    Okafor’s skill development is unbelievable. At 6’10” and 265 pounds, he will instantly make whatever school he chooses an instant national contender.

    Alexander is a powerful power forward who overwhelms opponents and dominates the glass on both ends.

    Ohio State-bound Keita Bates-Diop has no troubles getting shots from the perimeter or in the post.

    Kentucky commit Tyler Ulis is a pure point guard who makes great decisions both in the open court and in half-court sets.

1. Texas

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    High school football will always reign supreme in the Lone Star State. But this year’s collection of elite-level talent in Texas is remarkable.

    Not only does the state that produced Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and Deron Williams have the most players (10) in ESPN’s 2014 Top 100, it also has the highest number (5) in the Top 15.

    Myles Turner has continued his meteoric rise through the recruiting ranks. The 6’11” center’s development has been the story of this recruiting class. Turner is the definition of “upside.”

    Emmanuel Mudiay is an overpowering point guard that uses his size (6’5”, 190 lbs.) to punish and dominate opponents. The SMU commit is a handful coming off of screens and has no trouble getting to the rim.

    North Carolina-bound Justin Jackson is a slender scorer whose ESPN’s scouting report (Insider subscription required) says, "Jackson shoots over smaller defenders like they are invisible."

    Kelly Oubre is a rangy and versatile small forward who causes mayhem on either end of the court.

    Justise Winslow is a suffocating perimeter defender who alters the course of games by shutting opponents down.