By Chris Johnson
November 15, 2013

Jahlil Okafor Jahlil Okafor (above) and Tyus Jones are expected to attend the same school. (Guy Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)

Four of the nation’s top five recruits (according to in the class of 2014 are set to announce their college commitments on Friday. Two of the players – center Jahlil Okafor of Chicago and point guard Tyus Jones, who is from Minnesota – are expected to choose the same school. Power forward Cliff Alexander and small forward Stanley Johnson are not involved in any so-called “package deals,” but their decisions, like those of Okafor and Jones, carry big implications for next season’s national championship picture. All four players are scheduled to announce their decisions on an ESPNU special at 4 p.m. ET.

Here is some background information, video highlights and listed favorites for each player to get you prepared for a huge day on the college basketball recruiting calendar.

Jahlil Okafor

Position: Center

High school: Whitney Young; Chicago

Rivals rank: 1

Favorites: Duke, Kansas 

Many people were surprised in May when 2013’s No. 1 player, Andrew Wiggins, chose Kansas over North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State. If Okafor picks the Jayhawks if would be just as surprising. What would be truly shocking, based on everything Okafor has said throughout his recruitment, is if he chooses a different school than Jones. Here’s what Jones told Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis this summer about their presumed package deal: “We look for the same things, the same coaching styles and philosophies. We both like the same type of stuff. That's why we figure we want to go on this journey together and try to make something special happen in college.” Jones seems to be leaning towards Duke, so if Okafor sticks to his commitment to play with Jones, the Blue Devils will benefit from Okafor's presence in the post. But after Wiggins’ somewhat unexpected decision last year, it would be foolish to count out Kansas coach Bill Self.

Stanley Johnson

Position: Small forward

High school: Mater Dei; Santa Ana, Calif.

Rank: 3

Favorites: Kentucky, Arizona, USC

During the past four years, Arizona has signed four players from the Oakland Soldiers AAU program: junior guard Nick Johnson, since-departed guard Josiah Turner, sophomore forward Brandon Ashley and freshman forward Aaron Gordon. That list is a good reason to be bullish on Arizona’s chances of hearing its name announced at Johnson’s announcement ceremony. There’s also the matter of winning, and at Arizona – where Sean Miller has his program positioned to remain atop the Pac-12 for years to come – an elite player like Johnson would have the opportunity to compete for conference -- and possibly national -- titles. Kentucky is still in play, and it’s never smart to dismiss coach John Calipari’s chances of landing a top recruit. USC offers Johnson the opportunity to stay close to home and play in coach Andy Enfield’s up-tempo system. Any of these schools would make sense for Johnson, but neither Kentucky nor USC seem as good a fit as Arizona.

Cliff Alexander

Position: Power forward

High school: Curie Metropolitan; Chicago

Rank: 4

Favorites: DePaul, Illinois, Kansas

It has been assumed that Alexander would choose Kansas, but it appears Illinois is making a late push for the big man. Alexander’s high school coach Mike Oliver told last week he believed Bill Self was focusing on Okafor, and that the Kansas coach has visited Chicago in recent weeks without meeting with Alexander. “He was there to visit Jahlil,” Oliver said. At Illinois, Alexander would be joining a 2014 recruiting class currently ranked 18th in the country by Scout. He would also be able to play close to home, with a team riding an upward trajectory under coach John Groce. Kansas is an attractive option for obvious reasons, but it should be noted that Alexander’s girlfriend, Caelynn Manning-Allen, plays for the Jayhawks women’s team. And if Okafor picks Duke, as expected, that could make Alexander more likely to choose Kansas.

Tyus Jones

Position: Point guard

High school: Apple Valley; Apple Valley, Minn.

Rank: 5

Favorites: Kansas, Duke

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