Data: 247Sports; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

College basketball's regular signing period began yesterday, and with only a handful of players still undecided, the 2020 recruiting class has begun to take shape.

By the numbers: The chart above specifically captures the 119 four- and five-star recruits, per 247 Sports.

  • 40 players come from four states: California (14), Georgia (11), Virginia (8), Florida (7).
  • 39 locations represented: 34 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand.
  • 57 schools: The 119 recruits have committed to 57 different schools, while five players are hoping to jump straight to the NBA and six remain undecided.
  • 7 schools: There were seven schools who ended the 2019-20 season in the AP Top 25 but failed to land a single four- or five-star recruit (Dayton, San Diego State, Villanova, Seton Hall, BYU, Butler and Iowa).

Highlights:

  • Top 10 recruits: 1. Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), 2. Evan Mobley (USC), 3. Jalen Green (undecided), 4. Terrence Clarke (Kentucky), 5. Ziaire Williams (Stanford), 6. Scottie Barnes (FSU), 7. B.J. Boston (Kentucky), 8. Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga), 8. Greg Brown (undecided), 10. Joshua Christopher (Arizona State).
  • Top 10 classes: Kentucky and Duke lead the way with six four- and five-star recruits each, while North Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, NC State, Oklahoma State and Gonzaga round out the top 10.

The backdrop: College basketball used to be a place where teenage superstars introduced themselves to the world and first became household names.

  • But in an era where star athletes have already built "brands" by the time they graduate high school — and with the one-and-done rule expected to be reversed by 2022 — the role of college hoops is in flux.
  • For some top-tier talent, like No. 10 prospect Christopher, college is merely a mandated pit stop en route to the NBA.

What they're saying: Here's Josh's father, Laron Christopher, speaking with The Athletic (subscription):

"I asked every college that we've spoken to, 'OK, you guys have a platform. We have a brand.' I told them, 'We're not going to stay [in college] forever, so we want to know how you're gonna roll this out. How can we use your platform to increase our brand, as well as your brand? Both are important. They're important to you, they're important to us.'"

P.S. ... This recruiting class is chock full of NBA legacies, with Jamal Mashburn Jr., Kenyon Martin Jr., Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Shareef's son), Makur Maker (Thon's brother) and Marcus Bagley (Marvin's brother) all among the top 100.

Go deeper: Coronavirus causes delay in WNBA season and training camps

Go deeper

22 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.