In looking back at each college basketball recruiting season, coaches like to put labels on the class of high school seniors graduating that year. The Class of 1980, at least right now, is labled Wait Til Next Year.

This was not a highly visible group of high school seniors. Among the centers there were no Ralph Sampsons or Sam Bowies. In fact, the one center who might approach that class, Earl Jones, failed to qualify for a Division I scholarship and will attend the University of the District of Columbia, a Division II school, in the fall. There were no Albert Kings or Mark Aguirres among the forwards and no Darnell Valentines among the guards.

That is not to say there were no outstanding players, nor that the rich didn't get richer, because they did. But a lott of assistant coaches started making lists of the juniors early this year.

Here is a partial rundown of who did what this year in recruiting.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE: Overall, the league had one of its poorest years because of two schools, Duke and North Carolina State, changed coaches and struck out almost entirely. A third, Georgia Tech failed to recruit anyone outstanding.

North Carolina, Maryland and Clemson, however, did extremely well. Wake Forest had a good year and Virginia, with only two scholarships to give, picked up a couple of guards who may give the Cavaliers needed quickness.

North Carolina got two top players: Sam Perkins, 6-foot-10, from Latham, N.Y., who should solve Dean Smith's perennial problem at center, and Matt Doherty, 6-7, from Hicksville, N.Y. who should help right away with Mike O'Koren graduated. The Tar Heels signed three other players who will provide depth.

Maryland picked up three players, all of whom should help. The best is 6-8 Charles Pittman from Merced Junior College. He is a Buck Williams type who will enroll as a junior. Coach Lefty Driesell also signed 6-6 Pete Holbert from W. T. Woodson High School, an outstanding shooter, and 6-3 point guard Steve Rivers from Long Island.

Clemson, which lost both its starting guards, came up with 6-7 Clarke Bynum for Sumter, S.C., versatile enough to play at either guard spot or the small forward. The Tigers got another good guard in 6-1 Marc Campbell from Bristol, Tenn., and signed 6-9 Raymond Jones from Union, S.C.

Wake Forest, with five starters returning, added depth. Its top signee was 6-5 Glenn Mayers from Oak Hill (Va.) Academy. The Deacons also signed the best guard in North Carolina, 6-2 Danny Young, and another guard, 6-2 Scott Davis from Monaca, Pa. -- the town that produced Brad Davis.

Virginia signed tow guards from in the state, 5-10 Ricky Stokes, younger brother of former Cavalier Bobby Stokes, and 6-0 Othell Wilson of Garfield High School in Woodbridge.

Duke lost its chance for several top players during the coaching transition from Bill Foster to Mike Kryzyzewski and signed just one player, 6-5 swingman Doug McNeely from El Paso, Tex., an unknown quantity. Jim Valvano, taking over for Norman Thompson, 6-5, from Raeford, N.C., a good shooter.

Goergia Tech, which won once in 15 tries its first ACC season should get help from two transfers: 6-3 Stu Lyon from Oregon, a wing guard, and 6-9 Lee Goza, who came from Georgia by way of Alabama Christian Junior College.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: As always, one must start with Kentucky. The Wildcats added no fewer than four players who are rated among the nation's top 40 prospects. They are: Melvin Turpin, 6-11, from Fork Union Military Academy: Bret Bearup, 6-9, from Greentown, N.Y.; Jim Master, 6-3, from Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dicky Beal, 5-11 from Covington, Ky., the little guard who intially committed to De Paul.

Georgia had a second consecutive outstanding year under Hugh Durham, beating out Maryland and North Carolina in the stretch run to sign James Banks, 6-6, of Atlanta, and adding 6-5 Vern Fleming of Astoria, N.Y., and 6-4 Sid Truesdale from Canton, N.C. LSU also did extremely well, getting 6-6 Brian Kistler from Indianapolis; 6-7 Leonard Mitchell from Martinsville, La.; 6-4 Johnny Tudos from Pineville, La., and 6-5 Matt England from Houston.

BIG TEN: The no. 1 recruiter in the league this year is still undetermined because of the man who probably will be the league's top freshman still has not picked his school. Russell Cross, 6-11, from Chicago, probably will end up at Iowa or Illinois.

Illinois already has done quite well, signing 6-3 Derek Harper from West Palm Beach, Fla., considered the best guard in the nation by some. They also landed 6-6 Andre Allen from Fort Worth and 6-5 Mitch Arnold from Effingham, Ill.

Iowa, which lost Pittman to Maryland, did pick up 6-7 Craig Anderson from Madison, Wis. and 6-2 Steve Carfino from Los Angeles.

Michigan picked up a top center in 6-10 Tim McKormick from Clarkson, Mich., as did Minnesota, which persuaded 6-10 Jim Peterson to stay home in Minneapolis. Ohio State signed only 7-0 JuCo Derrick Polk from Yuma, Ariz. Bobby Knight picked up 6-9 Mike Lafare from Indianapolis.

Purdue, despite a coaching change, landed 6-11 Joe Gampfer from Cincinati and 6-1 Ricky Hall from Fort Wayne, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each signed four players, none of them cup-rattlers.

BIG EAST: Georgetown, the defending champion, did as well as anyone, although Coach John Thompson has announced only the signing of one of the best guards in the country, 6-5 1/2 Fred Brown from New York. It is well known among his peers that Thompson also has added two local players, 6-7 Arnie Russell from T. C. Williams and 6-8 Ray Knight from St. Anthony's. Brown and Russell are among the nations top 40.

Syracuse, which always recruits well, followed form this year. The Orangemen picked up an excellent guard in 6-5 Gene Waldren, another New Yorker, and got 6-9 Larry O'Neill from Greensburg, Pa., and 6-7 Leo Rautins, a transfer from Minnesota.

Connecticut may be the league's sleeper next year with the addition of 6-10 Kentucky transfer Chuck Aleksinas. Providence signed 6-1 Carl Hill, who almost went to Maryland, and with five other players, while St. John's got only 6-0 Larry Washington, a transfer from Texas Tech. Villanova, with everyone returning, signed only a transfer from Texas Tech. Villanova, with everyone returning, signed only 6-4 Frank Dobbs from Pittsburgh.

EASTERN EIGHT: George Washington has signed four players, the best of whom may be Steve Perry, 6-5, from Woodbridge. Also joining Bob Tallent will be 6-4 Wilbert Skipper, a JuCo transfer from Nebraska, 6-4 Jon Turner from Bloomfield, Conn., and 6-8 Doug Vanderwal from Hightstown, N.J.

Rutgers will add 6-7 Clarence Tillman, a transfer from Kentucky. West Virgina gets 6-10 Tim Kearney from Falls Church and 6-6 Mike King from Fairchance, Pa. Duquesne got stronger with 6-10 Dave Udanis from Fox Chapel, Pa. Pittsburgh signed 6-8 Steve Beatty from Slippery Rock, 6-4 Clyde Vaughan from New Rochelle, N.Y., and 6-6 Brett Crawford from San Francisco, Rhode Island signed four players, while Massachusetts, which won only one game last season, signed six, including 6-5 Keith Whitt, a transfer from Clemson.

PACIFIC 10: Larry Brown, after signing four top players his first year at UCLA, picked up where he left off. He got 6-8 Kenny Fields, the best forward on the West Coast, from Los Angeles, and snared the best guard in his town, 6-2 Ralph Jackson. He also has 7-2 JuCo Mark Eaton and 6-8 Danny Sears, another JuCo.

Oregon State got a bona fide talent in 6-8 Charles Sitton from McMinneville, Ore. Washington State Coach George Raveling landed 5-10 Tyrone Brown from Brevard [Fla.] Junior College and 6-5 Brian Pollard from Detroit. Southern Cal picked up a solid prospect in 6-3 Dwight Anderson, who transfered from Kentucky, and got 6-10 Clayton Olivier from Fountain Valley, Calf. Arizona State signed an excellent guard in 6-2 Jim Pollard from Dayton, Ohio.

BIG EIGHT: Colorado gets 6-11 Justin Ellis, from St. John's High via Wake Forest. Missouri signed 6-8 Richie Johnson from New Albany, Ind., and Shawn Teague, 6-2 from Anderson, Ind. Oklahoma picked up 6-9 Ron Webb, a transfer from Georgia. In all, the league had a lean year.

SOUTHWEST: Look out for Arkansas again. The Razorbacks, coming off a "down" year of [21 wins], did quite well. Coach Eddie Sutton signed 6-8 Craig Olson from Englewood, Colo.; 6-2 Dicky Norton from Oklahoma City; 6-5 Darrell Walker, an Arkansas JuCo, and 6-6 John Snively, another top JuCo.

No one else in the league can challenge Arkansas' recruiting year, although Houston did lure 6-11 Don Bruce from Conroe, Tex., and 6-2 Rodney Parker, an instate JuCo. Texas A&M won 6-2 Reggie Roberts from Dallas and 6-7 Ethan Glass from Houston. Texas got 6-8 Mark Whacker from San Marcos, Tex., and 6-0 Ray Harper from Breman, Ky.

METRO SEVEN: A particularly lean year. National champion Louisville signed only 6-2 Lancaster Gordon of Jackson, Miss. Cincinnati picked up 6-3 Brad Waller from Chicago and 6-5 Mark Dorris from Cincinnati.

Virgina Tech may have had the best year in the conference, signing five players, including 6-9 John Dixon of Alexandria.

In the East, St. Joseph's Coach Jim Lynam had an excellent year, getting three top players to stay home: 6-10 Tony Costner, 6-5 Lonnie McFarland and 5-11 Billy Mitchell.

Also in Pennsylvania, Dick Harter had a good year at Penn State, signing 6-10 Richie Mumma from New Bedford, Pa., and 6-7 David Griffin from Cleveland.

Other independents did well with Marquette and Notre Dame [as usual] leading the way Marquette picked up as good a guard as was available in 6-3 Glenn Rivers from Chicago and signed 6-5 Dan Smolinski from Menasha, Wis., and 6-6 Marc Marotta from Pittsburgh.

Notre Dame's Digger Phelps may have done better. He picked up 6-6 Barry Spencer from Detroit; 6-4 Tom Sluby from Gonzaga in Washington, 6-8 Cecil Rucker from Washington; and 6-10 Joe Kleine from Slater, Mo. De Paul, after losing out on Beal and Rivers, signed two, 6-11 Brett Brukholder, a transfer from Rice, and 6-4 Jerry McMillian from Newark, Iona won an outstanding leaper in 6-7 Gary Springer from New York.

Here are the freshman recruits and transfers eligible to play next season at other area division i colleges:

AMERICAN -- Fernando Aunon, sophomore, 6-7 forward from Stuart High and St. Joseph's [Pa.]; Juan Jones, sophomore, 6-6 forward from McKinley and Allegany C.C.; Marc Nickens, sophomore, 6-5 guard-forward from Mackin and Texass Christian; David Ridley, sophomore, 6-6 forward from Gonzaga and St. Francis [Pa.]; Michael Wade freshman, 6-3 guard from Wilde Lake H.S., Columbia.

CATHOLIC -- Catholic will move to Division iii in September 19818 and no longer can offer Division i scholarships. It has no new recruits.

GEORGE MASON -- Andy Bolden, 6-0 guard, freshman from Granby High, Norfolk, Va.; Larry Hampton, 6-5 guard, freshman from North High School, Worchester, Mass.; Tommy Sheehan, 6-5 forward, freshman from Archbishop Molloy, New York.

HOWARD -- James Harris, 6-7 forward, freshman from Centennial High, Columbus Ohio.

NAVY -- Mike Jones, 6-3 guard, freshman from High Point High; Gary Price, 6-7 forward, freshman from California; Peter Tiano, 6-1 guard, freshman from Abington High, Philadelphia.