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December 2, 2011

Cougars lead non-BCS conference teams

MORE: Team rankings | Non-BCS conference breakdown

Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Houston (12)
2. Memphis (24)
3. Xavier
6. Wichita State
7. Charlotte
8. Towson
9. Temple
10. Butler
Best by category
Best perimeter scorer: Danuel House (Houston)
Best low post scorer: Shaquille Goodwin (Memphis)
Best passer: Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State)
Best shooter: Kellen Dunham ( Butler)
Best rebounder: Shaquille Goodwin (Memphis)
Best shot blocker: Skylar Spencer (San Diego State)
Best defender: Jerome Hairston (Towson)
Most versatile: Daniel Dingle (Temple)
Best in the clutch: Katin Reinhardt (UNLV)
Best pro prospect: Danuel House (Houston)
Best speed: Semaj Christon (Xavier)
Best motor: Staphon Blair (UCF)
Impact player: Semaj Christon (Xavier)
Biggest sleeper: CleAnthony Early (Wichita State)
Best at each position (top overall player in bold)
PG- Semaj Christon, Xavier
SG- Katin Reinhardt, UNLV
SF- Danuel House, Houston
PF- Shaquille Goodwin, Memphis
C- Blaise Mbargorba, SMU
Inside the Numbers
2- Teams ranked in the top 25 nationally
20- Rivals150 prospects coming to non-BCS conference schools
1- Five-star prospect coming to non-BCS conference schools
6- Four-star prospects coming to non-BCS conference schools
13- Three-star ranked prospects coming to non-BCS conference schools
14- Number of states represented by Rivals150 non-BCS conference schools
From year to year, few cities produce as much talent as Houston. While the city has pumped out ridiculous amounts of talent, it's been awhile since the city's best talent has chosen to remain home.

That is, until this year.

Even after losing big-time shot-blocker Valentine Izundu to cold feet during the 11th hour, James Dickey and his staff at Houston have landed an awesome two-man class in summer teammates Danuel House and Chicken Knowles. A five-star prospect, House is a big-time wing who burst onto the national scene during the summer thanks to his athleticism and proficient scoring ability from the perimeter. Skinny and skilled with the ball, Knowles is a four-man who can put the ball on the floor, score and has athleticism.

X marks the spot

At Xavier, Chris Mack and his staff hate the label of mid-major so they can't get upset for being included in the "Non BCS" rankings. However you label the Musketeers, there's no denying they have an excellent recruiting class and it's one that has serious potential to make a climb come spring time.

Xavier's 2012 recruiting class is made up entirely of fifth-year seniors and they are all making big moves. Notably, point guard Semaj Christon is in line to make a major move up the class of 2012 rankings. The four-star floor general is quick, can score and has considerable upside. Michigan native Jalen Reynolds was a member of the class of 2011 Rivals150 as a highly rated three-star. For rankings purposes, the live-bodied four-man will remain in the rankings for that class. But, he's under serious consideration to receive a fourth star come spring. Finally, Myles Davis is a big-time shooter with a craftiness about his game, while Illinois native James Farr is a four-man with rapidly developing skills.

Vegas revival

The city of Las Vegas has been begging for a winner at UNLV again. In hopes of reclaiming the glory days of the Jerry Tarkanian era, the Runnin' Rebels turned to one of Tarkanian's former players in Dave Rice. Rice has already proven to be turning things around on the floor and his first signing class will go a long way toward securing future success.

Four-star combo guard Katin Reinhardt brings a dangerous jumper, confidence and swagger that would have been a perfect fit during the Rebels late 1980s/early 90s heyday. Big man Demetris Morant is a raw and slender insider who can run and jump with the best of them and brings energy to the floor. Baltimore point guard DaQuan Cook is a bit of an unknown on the national level but has a major reputation locally for his ability distribute and score with toughness.

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