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The recruiting decisions that will alter the landscape of college basketball

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These dominoes will decide where the best college basketball recruits choose to go to school.

Francois Nel

With National Signing Day less than three months away, 26 of ESPN's top 60 prospects in the class of 2015 have already verbally committed to a college. Consensus No. 1 player Ben Simmons is headed to LSU, big man Chase Jeter and shooter Luke Kennard are going to Duke, while Sean Miller has three top 30 recruits lined up.

The top of the class remains mostly uncommitted, though. Simmons is the only member of ESPN's top 12 players who has picked a school. Everyone else? They're waiting for a few dominoes to fall that will help shape the course of college basketball in the 2015-16 season and beyond.

This is our best guess at a few of the decisions that will tip the scale for the top players in the class of 2015.

Will the Diamond Stone-Malik Newman package go through?

Diamond Stone and Malik Newman haven't been shy about their desire to play together. They've been telling people they're a package deal for months. Will the friends actually come through on their word? It all depends on what Stone decides to do when he announces his intentions on Nov. 12.

There's a lot at stake here, and it seems like it's all up to Stone.

Newman has already said he's going to take some time with his decision, putting the ball in Stone's court when he makes his choice on the first day of the signing period. Kentucky, Kansas and UConn are a few of the schools that have been on both players' lists. There's a strong chance Stone could choose to stay home at Wisconsin, a school that isn't after Newman. If that happens, the package deal will be off.

As the recruitment of each player has dragged out, the combo deal is starting to look less likely. At the moment, 247 Sports' crystal ball has UConn at 33 percent, Kentucky at 25 percent and Wisconsin at 21 percent for Stone. Newman, meanwhile, is at 64 percent for Kentucky and 21 percent for his native Mississippi State.

Should UConn or Kentucky land both Stone and Newman, it will get arguably the best guard and best center in the class of 2015. There's a lot at stake here, and it seems like it's all up to Stone.

Who stays home?

Stone's decision between Wisconsin and the blue-blood programs is one of many worth monitoring. Will LeBron James' decision to return to Cleveland have any impact on the top high school players? We'll see.

Georgia is one of the many schools hard after Alpharetta, Ga., native Jaylen Brown, considered by some to be the second-best player in the class. Big man Cheick Diallo, a New York native, could go with St. John's over Kansas and Kentucky. Another New York big man, Thomas Bryant, will have to choose between sticking close to home at Syracuse or following his old high school coach Rob Fulford to Missouri. Cleveland native Carlton Bragg will decide between Kentucky, Kansas and hometown Ohio State. Throw center Stephen Zimmerman in the mix too, as the Nevada native is reportedly choosing between UNLV and Arizona.

For many of the top players in the class of 2015, the choice will be either going to Kentucky or Kansas or staying close to home.

What big man does Arizona grab?

Sean Miller already has a point guard (Justin Simon), scoring guard (Allonzo Trier) and wing (Ray Smith) in the class of 2015. What he doesn't have is a big man, and everyone assumes he's still going to get one.

Arizona has cast a wide net, but Zimmerman and Oakland native Ivan Rabb seem like the two most likely targets. Recruiting site 247 Sports has Rabb at 59 percent for Arizona and 27 percent for North Carolina, making him the odds-on favorite to join Miller's next stacked recruiting class.

Could Illinois quietly put together a top class?

Illinois fans know all about heartbreak after seeing homegrown stars spurn the Illini for a decade. From Jon Scheyer to Derrick Rose to Jabari Parker to Cliff Alexander, top players from the state have routinely decided to spend their college years away from home. John Groce has been making steady progress in his first two years on the job, though, and he now has Illinois poised to potentially pull off one of the best classes in the country.

Illinois has already locked up two solid players in Simeon forward D.J. Williams (No. 39, per ESPN) and guard Aaron Jordan (No. 77). Groce is majorly in the mix for power forward Elijah Thomas (No. 9) and point guard Jawun Evans (No. 62), a pair of Texas natives who reportedly want to be a package deal. Oklahoma State is in the mix for Evans and Thomas, too, and with Travis Ford fighting for his job it would be foolish to count out the Cowboys.

Jalen Brunson is the other game-changer for Illinois. The point guard out of Lincolnshire, Ill., once looked like a lock for Temple, but that's not so certain after his father's recent arrest. Brunson is a monster -- hanging 56 points on Jahlil Okafor's high school team in the Illinois state playoffs a few months ago -- and Illinois will be one of his five visits.

Can Groce pull off what Bruce Weber never could? It's too early to tell, but he has the Illini in the hunt.

What shade of blue will Brandon Ingram be wearing?

Ingram was one of the summer's biggest risers after a strong effort against Jaylen Brown at adidas Unrivaled camp in Chicago. The 6'8 wing is one of the best shooters in the class, and essentially has every top program after him. Most think the Kinston, N.C., native will stick close to home. The question is will it be at Duke or North Carolina?

When Jeter picked Duke at adidas Nations in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, it stirred speculation that Ingram could be next:

Still, UNC might be getting desperate with no recruits locked up for 2015 yet. Ingram's ascent makes him a fine centerpiece to any recruiting class. Will he want to be the man at North Carolina, or join Kennard and Jeter in Durham?