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Pac-12 Basketball Recruiting: The 10 Biggest Busts of the Past Decade

J'mison Morgan is just one of members of UCLA's class of 2008 to not live up to expectations.
J'mison Morgan is just one of members of UCLA's class of 2008 to not live up to expectations.

There is a very good chance that only two Pac-12 players will be selected in next month's NBA Draft and while much of this can be attributed to players leaving early in previous drafts, the conference simply just hasn't been able to keep its shelves stocked with NBA caliber players in the last few seasons. One of the main reasons for this is that a large number of the supposedly NBA level players who have signed with Pac-12 schools in recent years either haven't panned out of haven't fit in with the program and have had to transfer.

Since almost every high rated basketball recruit coming out of high school has spent the last five years or so playing select hoops with other top level players by the time they sign with a college, there are far fewer "busts" in college basketball then there are in football and the 5-star recruits are almost always the guys who end up being lottery picks. However, over the course of the last decade, the Pac-12 has seen some busts who were expected to lead their program and instead, for the most part, left their program.

While transfers have just become a part of the college game and many of these guys have gone on to have success at other programs, I wanted to take a look at the ten biggest busts in the last decade of Pac-12 basketball recruiting and how they have affected different programs.

1. J'mison Morgan - C - Class of 2008 - Dallas, TX (South Oak Cliff) - UCLA

It looked like the Bruins had capped one of the greatest classes in the history of the conference when they were able to get Morgan to back out of a previous commitment to LSU in 2008. All five of their signees were top 50 players and the big man from Texas might have been the most highly regarded of them all. Morgan struggled on and off the court, averaging just two points per game and being suspended for behavior before eventually being kicked off of the team. Morgan has since transferred to Baylor where he failed to make much more of an impact in his junior season and redshirted last season.

2. Jabari Brown - SG - Class of 2011 - Oakland, CA - Oregon

One of the strangest careers in the history of college basketball thus far, the five-star Brown surprisingly signed with Oregon over more elite programs only to play just two games for the Ducks before abruptly quitting. It is speculated that Brown wasn't happy with his role on the team and that Ducks coach Dana Altman doesn't do well with big egos. Luckily for Brown, he should have four years to prove himself at Missouri where he transferred.

3. Josiah Turner - PG - Class of 2011 - Sacramento, CA - Arizona

Lauded as the next great Arizona point guard, Sean Miller beat out Kansas, Louisville and UCLA for the talented guard's signature only to have him play one season with the Wildcats before transferring to SMU. Turner was suspended indefinitely prior to last season's Pac-12 Tournament, so it is likely that he had off thecourt issues along with not living up to his billing on the court.

4. Evan Burns - SF - Class of 2002 - Los Angeles, CA - UCLA

The local McDonalds All-American was supposed to help keep the Bruins near the top of the conference when he signed in 2002 but instead failed to qualify and never ended up playing a game for UCLA. Burns ended up at San Diego State but only played one season before a brief professional career in the NBDL.

5. J.P. Prince - PG - Class of 2005 - Memphis, TN (White Station) - Arizona

A highly decorated point guard, Arizona scored by plucking Prince out of SEC country but only had him on the team for a total of three games before he decided to transfer back home. It turned out to be an unfortunate loss for the Wildcats as Prince had a successful career at Tennessee.

6. Michael Dunigan - C - Class of 2008 - Chicago, IL (Farragut Academy) - Oregon

One of the only players on this list to not transfer to another program, Dunigan shockingly signed with the Ducks in 2008 despite being offered by almost every elite program in the nation. Regarded as one of the best big men in his class, Dunigan never lived up to his potential during two seasons in Eugene and decided to declare early for the NBA Draft, but would not be drafted. Dunigan has since played professionally overseas.

7. Jamil Wilson - SF - Class of 2009 - Racine, WI (Horlick) - Oregon

Yet another highly rated recruit that the Ducks pulled away from more elite programs that didn't work out. Wilson started some games during his freshman season and was a solid contributor for the Ducks but transferred home to Marquette after just that one season and was a stand out for the Golden Eagles last season.

8. Rodrick Stewart - SG - Class of 2003 - Seattle, WA (Rainier Beach) - USC

Rodrick and his twin brother, Lodrick were extremely hyped in the Seattle area coming out of powerhouse Rainier Beach and ended up as a package deal at USC. Despite great athleticism, neither twin ever became superstars and while Lodrick had a solid career with the Trojans, Rodrick transferred to Kansas where he struggled with injuries, but did end up winning a national championship.

9. Drew Gordon - PF - Class of 2008 - San Jose, CA (Archbishop Mitty) - UCLA

Another member of the vaunted UCLA class of 2008 that was supposed to be the West Coast's version of the Fab 5, Gordon was pointed out in a nasty Sports Illustrated article about the Bruins as being one of the players who contributed to the downfall of the program. Despite his struggles as a Bruin, Gordon transferred to New Mexico and helped lead the Lobos to the NCAA Tournament and should be a second round draft pick in this year's NBA Draft.

10. Jerime Anderson - PG - Class of 2008 - Anaheim, CA (Canyon) - UCLA

While Anderson ended up playing all four years of his career for the Bruins, he didn't live up to the billing he garnered coming out of high school as one of the most high regarded point guards in the country. Anderson was also specifically pointed out as being one of the most troublesome of UCLA's catastrophically disappointing class of 2008 and was arrested in 2011.

Honorable Mention

Jeremy Barr (Class of 2005 C Houston, TX USC), Marquis Kately (Class of 2002 SF San Francisco, CA Cal), James Keefe (Class of 2006 PF Santa Margarita, CA UCLA), Adrian Oliver (2006 PG Modesto, CA Washington)