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Sports Winners and losers from college basketball's early signing period feature Michigan, Duke

03:45  12 november  2020
03:45  12 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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College basketball's early signing day period left surely some teams ecstatic and others not so excited, following a unique recruiting season for coaches with limited travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although there's still much to be determined for the  2020-21 season, post-signing day conclusions can be drawn.

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Juwan Howard standing in front of a crowd: Michigan coach Juwan Howard pulled in an elite recruiting class. © Paul Sancya, AP Michigan coach Juwan Howard pulled in an elite recruiting class.

USA TODAY Sports tracked the signing period to see which teams bolstered their programs the most and which fell short (by their own standards in some cases) and were left frustrated as Wednesday's big day concluded.

Here are the winners and losers of college hoops' signing day (247 Sports' Composite Rankings used for team and player rankings):

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Winners

Duke. The Blue Devils are still pursuing the nation's No. 1 recruit, Robert Baldwin Jr., a 6-9 versatile forward who is also considering Wisconsin-Milwaukee (you read that right), where his father, Patrick, is the head coach. But as of right now coach Mike Krzyzewski already has an elite class with the commitments of top-10 recruits Paolo Banchero (No. 3) and AJ Griffin (No. 6). Coach K and Co. are also in the mix for five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels and 6-11 big man Charles Bediako.

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Michigan. Coach Juwan Howard had big shoes to fill in taking over for coach John Beilein and he's wasted little time in blazing his way to success on the recruiting trail. Currently he has the Wolverines ranked with the No. 1 class behind commitments from five-star prospects Caleb Houstan (No. 8 recruit) and Moussa Diabate (No. 20).

Michigan State. The Spartans signed three players Wednesday — five-star shooting guard Max Christie, four-star point guard Jaden Akins and four-star combo guard Pierre Brooks II — to climb to the No. 6 recruiting class in the country, one of coach Tom Izzo's best ever.

Florida State. It's a good sign when you can suffer a major de-commitment (five-star Bryce McGowens opted out in October) and still have the strongest recruiting class in the ACC -- for now. Coach Leonard Hamilton has used his team's first ACC regular-season title to fuel a major haul with two five-star recruits in Matthew Cleveland and Jalen Warley, and a top junior college prospect in 7-3 center Naheem McLeod.

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Losers

Kansas. The Jayhawks' top 2021 commitment is four-star power forward Zach Clemence. While KU is in the mix for some other elite recruits, right now the lack of a major haul of talent is a large drop from years' past for coach Bill Self as the program remains under investigation by the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) where potential postseason bans are looming.

North Carolina. The Tar Heels still could end up with a solid class, currently in contention to sign Hunter Sallis (No. 7 recruit), Trey Kaufman (a four-star) and Skyy Clark. But right now coach Roy Williams only has commitments from two four-star recruits Dontrez Styles and D'Marco Dunn, whereas his 2020 class had three five-stars and two four-stars.

Kentucky. Jaden Hardy, coach John Calipari's prime target, will announce which school he chooses Thursday on national television. UK is also in the mix for five-star Hunter Sallis. But for right now the Wildcats' 2021 class is led by Daimion Collins, the No. 19 prospect. This is the No. 3 class in the country, but considering UK typically will have top-15 commitments in flux, the program will fall into the loser category for now.

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winners and losers from college basketball's early signing period feature Michigan, Duke

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