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SEC Basketball's Top Recruits

While this year isn't done, we can still take a peek at who might make a big impact next year.

David Becker

Even as this year is still very much alive, it can't hurt to scope out some of the talent that will be coming to the SEC next year. In basketball, as you know, newcomers can make a bigger impact than in just about any other sport.

If you're talking basketball recruiting down this way, the conversation has to begin with Kentucky. John Calipari is bringing in the No. 2 class in the country according to the 247sports Composite, a quartet consisting of two 5-stars and two 4-stars. His two 5-stars are roughly even in the national rankings, and they are big: 6-9 PF Trey Lyles and 7-1 Karl Towns.

Lyles might (or might not) be one of those one-and-done guys, though it's not hard to find 2015 mock NBA Drafts already that have him in it. He's a scorer primarily, and definitely a true power forward rather than a hybrid wing guy. He will pair nicely with Towns, who he actually outweighs according to the recruit database despite being four inches shorter. Towns actually is more of a wing guy, as he can shoot from three and drive despite being legitimately taller than seven feet. If Calipari can convince him to commit to doing dirty work down low for rebounds from time to time, these guys could be a deadly combination.

The highest SEC recruit who isn't headed to Lexington is 6-8 SF Devin Robinson, who will be in Gainesville next year. With seniors Casey Prather and Will Yeguete vacating that spot on the floor, Florida could really use him too to go with Dorian Finney-Smith. As for his play, he might seem familiar according to Andy at Alligator Army:

Robinson is long and fluid, and has decent hops — you don't need much more than decent hops at 6'8" — a good shot, and good handles. He's the kind of slithery wing/forward hybrid player that Donovan's had so much success with in his career, whether that player's Mike Miller, Brewer, or Chandler Parsons, and he's a great fit for Donovan's ball screen offense.

One more highly rated guy to keep an eye on is JaKeenan Grant, a 6-7 power forward who signed with Missouri. Mizzou still figures to be a guard-driven team next year, but Grant's highlight tapes show a player who is athletic and fluid to match that style. His toughness on the interior will be a good addition to the formula, one which probably came up short of an NCAA Tournament bid this year.

Given the variance that can be associated with recruiting rankings, it's possible that some other true freshman could set the conference on fire next year. However according to the scouts, these five guys are the most likely to make an instant impact.