Ranking Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and the No. 1 men's college basketball recruits in the ESPN era

Anthony Davis, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2011 recruiting class, has been an eight-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection and three-time blocks leader. Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

As we approach the early-signing period for men's college basketball, we are taking a moment to look back on the best No. 1-ranked prospects in the ESPN recruiting era.

Last cycle, Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren was the No. 1-ranked prospect. This time around, it is Kentucky commit Shaedon Sharpe. Overall, we have ranked college basketball recruits since the Class of 2007.

Player rankings are based on many criteria, including their performances, production, potential and projection. To select the best of the best was a challenging process, and it made us remember their giftedness. With so much star power to choose from, the likes of Brandon Jennings (2008), Harrison Barnes (2010), Jahlil Okafor (2014) and Marvin Bagley III (2017) missed the cut.

The selections below were based on a combination of their high school and college careers, along with their draft selection and their NBA career. Greatness leaves no doubt. These five are the best of the best.