November's week-long early signing period ends Wednesday for men's and women's basketball. As previously posited here and elsewhere, the SEC men's teams ended up doing a fairly good job signing talent for the 2015 class, even without beginning to consider Kentucky and Florida's efforts. That's important for league-wide depth in the future. It'll be interesting to see if the nice start for SEC men's hoops continues during the spring signing period.
Let's run down the recent signings and commitments in case you're unfamiliar with the performance's of other SEC schools. There is a combination of signings and commitments, and an attempt was made to specify for each player. Hoops decommitments are much rarer than in football, but it's still worth noting if a player didn't sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI).
Note: The use of 247 is due to their composite rankings.
Kentucky (currently ranked No. 2)
Kentucky signed five star center Skal Labissiere who may have some issues with his guardian. Labissiere is the 7th best player in this class, according to 247 consensus rankings. UK also added combo point/shooting guard Isaiah Briscoe who is considered the six best player in the class. Reports are mixed if Briscoe signed a NLI or just financial assistance paperwork committing the school to him rather than the other way around.
These two join previous UK commit Charles Matthews who probably plays the three position at UK. UK likely signs more recruits in the spring after current UK players decide to declare for the NBA Draft. There could be as many as 7 or 8.
Texas A&M (currently ranked No. 3)
Billy Kennedy is entering his fourth year in College Station, and by all reports he needed a good season to retain his job. This signing class should definitely earned him some breathing room. With the help of assistant Rick Stansbury (and former Mississippi State coach), the coaches signed an excellent class, and did it by signing four in-state stars, and three of them are composite Top 40 players.
Texas produces as many high-level prep basketball stars as just about any other state. If Kennedy can take advantage going forward he should be well positioned for future success. For a more detailed read on center Tyler Davis, shooting guard Admon Gilder, forward DJ Hogg, and center/forward Elijah Thomas click here. GBH also has an excellent run-down here.
Auburn (currently ranked No. 11)
Less than three months ago Bruce Pearl was still subject to a show-cause penalty, and per that penalty he was not allowed to recruit though his assistants were allowed. It's impressive that Auburn was able to sign maybe as many as five players in this signing period given those parameters.
Pearl signed the highest rated JUCO player in the country shooting guard TJ Dunans. He also added four star Danjel Purifoy. Top 50 recruit Horace Spencer may have just signed his financial aid agreement papers, and not a NLI. For more information on these players C&M has you covered.
Pearl recruited well while at Tennessee and he seems to immediately be picking up where he left off. It's important that Auburn lock-in as much talent now before what will probably be a tough season.
Florida (currently ranked No. 13)
Florida did not sign any players in this early signing period, or receive any commitments, but it currently has four commits that presumably will sign in the spring. Nonetheless, they are currently a Top 15 class with a real shot at moving higher. AA has more info on the commits here.
South Carolina (currently ranked No. 27)
South Carolina probably got the most meaningful recruit of any of the programs listed so far (except for maybe LSU which I'll get to in a second) when it received a commitment from shooting guard, and the 26th best player in 2015, Perry Dozier. As G&BA points out, South Carolina has the makings of a pretty good team in 2015 with the returning players and Rozier. South Carolina also holds a commitment from borderline Top 100 power forward Chris Silva.
Vanderbilt (currently ranked No. 44)
Vanderbilt signed four players led by small forward Joseph Toye who is the highest rated recruit going by the composite scores, but 247 rates center Djery Baptiste as a Top 100 recruit. Baptiste is nearly 7 feet tall and is already a muscular 245 points. He's my dark horse to make an All-SEC team in several years after he gets in a proper strength, conditioning, and dietary program that packs on twenty-five good pounds. Like a more refined Festus Ezeli. Here are AoG's thoughts on the class from last spring.
MSU (currently ranked No. 49)
The Bulldogs added two three star recruits, and also have a commitment from a three star point guard.
Ole Miss (currently ranked No. 50)
Ole Miss signed two three star recruits, including the 25th best JUCO player in this class. The Rebels have a commitment from a three star guard, that 247 ranks as a borderline Top 100 recruit.
Other SEC teams are currently ranked outside of the Top 50. Georgia is ranked 53rd, Alabama is 55th, and LSU is 61st. LSU is worth focusing on a bit because they signed the recruit many consider the best player in the 2015 class, small foward Ben Simmons.
The 6'10'' Australian native is actually capable of playing guard too. Mike Decourcy likens Simmons to Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Yeah, those guys. Further details can be found here. LSU could shoot further up the rankings if they are also able to sign Antonio Blakeney and/or Brandon Sampson. Sampson is a local kid, but signing Blakeney will be tougher.
Rounding out the SEC is Arkansas at 66th, Tennessee at 73rd, and Missouri at 89th.
Please add your thoughts in the comments, especially if I missed something.