We caught up with ESPN hoops recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin to pick his brain about everything from the pros of signing early to the likelihood that the uncommitted top 10 players in the ESPN 100 would be off the board by the end of the Early Signing Period.
Jason Jordan: What are some of the benefits for players that sign during this early period?
Reggie Rankin: Well, there are a number of benefits to signing early; I signed early out of high school. The reasons I did was, one, I wanted to be able to concentrate on my senior season, both academically and athletically. That’s huge. I got my research done early so I was comfortable with my decision. You just get to go back and be a normal person for a while. You can enjoy your senior year. Then, God forbid, there’s an injury you’d already be signed and, hopefully, that school would still honor that scholarship until you got healthy.
JJ: Do coaches ramp up the heat during these seven days to lock players down?
RR: As a coach there’s a sense of urgency when you’ve invested the time into that recruit and his family. You’ve gotten him on campus, you’ve been to their home, you know about each other, you say you want each other, so it’s like, why wait?
JJ: Right now 11 of the top 25 players in the ESPN 100 are uncommitted, why do players wait?
RR: Well, you’ll always have some guys that want to watch and see how teams play during the season to see who’s gonna declare for the draft. They’ll watch the coaches, watch the program and the environment within an actual season. Then, quite honestly, some kids just don’t know what they want to do yet.
JJ: What, if anything, would you change about the process?
RR: I would actually like to see the NCAA change the rule altogether. I would like for kids to be able to sign whenever they want to. If you want to sign in October, OK, commit then sign. We shouldn’t even have signing periods. It’s really overrated. Why wait for a certain time? It makes no sense. Now you don’t have as many decommits and that way you’ll know who really wants to be there. I would love for that to be the rule. I think they could put a stipulation in there that it’d have to be after your junior year, but I think that would be beneficial on a lot of different levels.
JJ: Nearly half of the top 10 players in the ESPN 100 are uncommitted, Giles came off the board late last week, who else could end their recruitment during the early period?
RR: Well, De’Aaron Fox has indicated that he’s going to decide during the early period. I could see Josh Jackson, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo all going either way.
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