Rick Barnes has a top-five basketball class, and he's not finished - FreakNotes

Rick Barnes has a top-five basketball class, and he’s not finished

© Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Barnes is recruiting at an elite level as the Vols’ 2020 class is among the nation’s best.

With the addition of 4-star shooting guard Keon Johnson last night, Tennessee’s 2020 recruiting class is now ranked in the top five by both Rivals and 247Sports.

Johnson, the No. 31 player overall according to Rivals.com, joins 5-star small forward Corey Walker, Jr. (rated No. 24 overall) in the Vols’ 2020 class. Together, the duo gives Tennessee the 4th-best class in the Rivals team rankings.

Rivals 2020 Basketball Team Recruiting Rankings

The results on 247Sports are similar. Tennesse’s class is ranked No. 5, behind only Virginia, Houston, Duke and Kentucky.

247Sports 2020 Basketball Team Recruiting Rankings

It can’t be stated emphatically enough: last night’s commitment from the top-rated player in the state of Tennessee is a big deal for Rick Barnes and company. Johnson is an impact player — a future first round pick according to analyst Jerry Meyer of 247Sports. It only makes sense that Barnes’ track record of developing players was an important factor in Johnson’s decision.

“It was really Coach Barnes and the way they recruited me,” Johnson said of his commitment. “He was always very honest with me through the whole process. They showed me a lot of love from the start.”

“With Coach Barnes, his player development at Tennessee has been through the roof. Just look at the guys he’s put into the league and that’s the ultimate goal for me.”

The early signing period for the 2020 class isn’t until November. The regular signing period is in April. So it’s still early, but by the time those dates roll around, this class could look even better. The Vols are in serious contention to land 5-star guard Jaden Springer and 4-star forward P.J. Hall.

You can learn more about those two in their respective player threads.

Landing Walker and Johnson is fantastic. Landing all four would be extraordinary. But regardless, Tennessee’s current top-five ranking is quite the feat.