Conference Breakdown: No. 2 Big East

It didn't take Steve Lavin long to make an impact at St. John's and in the Big East conference. The Red Storm are No. 1 in the Big East conference rankings.

Top Class?

Behind a strong recruiting effort by Steve Lavin, St. John's sits atop the Big East recruiting class rankings.

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Lavin used his national contacts to get out and score commitments from Jakarr Sampson, Dom Pointer, D'Angelo Harrison and Nurideen Lindsey. But he also worked the local angle in pulling in New York native Maurice Harkless.

"A lot of guys don't really want to stay local," Harkless told "I'm the first New York guy to stay in New York."

The five-man group consists of one five-star prospect – Sampson – a trio of four-star players – Pointer, Harrison and Harrison – as well as Lindsey -- a JUCO scoring sensation.

While their class ranks No. 1 in the Big East, it also stacks up pretty well nationally and ranks among the top five classes in the country.

Other Winners

After St. John's, Louisville and Syracuse battled it out for the second and third spots.

Big East Rankings
1.  St. John's
2.  Louisville
3.  Syracuse
4.  Rutgers
5.  West Virginia
6.  Georgetown
7.  Villanova
8.  Pittsburgh
9.  Cincinnati
10.  DePaul
11.  Marquette
12.  Connecticut
13.  Notre Dame
14.  Providence
15.  South Florida
16.  Seton Hall
The Cardinals, with commitments from Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Zach Price and Angel Nunez, get the slight nod over the Orangemen's three-man class of Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney and Michael Carter-Williams.

Each class has an elite player, as well as two more top 50 recruits.

For Louisville, Blackshear is the elite scoring talent. His strong frame allows him to muscle up with defenders when he attacks the basket, but his best attributes are his ball skills and jump shot.

Behanan and Price will really boost Louisville's frontline. Behanan, who was MVP of the NBA Camp, is an undersized monster on the block, while Price is a developing big man that continues to get better.

Jim Boeheim's class contains an elite shot blocker in Christmas, but also plenty of scoring talent on the perimeter. Cooney has the reputation as one of the best shooter in the country, while Carter-Williams is an electric scorer.

Much like Lavin, Mike Rice managed a pretty strong first year class at Rutgers.

Kadeem Jack is by far their best recruit, but they also have a trio of four-star recruits – Myles Mack, Derrick Randall and Jerome Seagears – as well as Michael Taylor, Greg Lewis and Malick Kone.

Top Big East Prospects
Top Prospect:Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Best Scorer:Wayne Blackshear, Louisville
Best Passer:Tyrone Johnson, Villanova
Best Shot Blocker: Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Best Floor General: Tyrone Johnson, Villanova
Best Post Player: Chane Behanan, Louisville
Best Shooter:Trevor Cooney, Syracuse
Best Rebounder: Chane Behanan, Louisville
Best Athlete:Dom Pointer, St. John's
Jack, who is in the midst of a post-graduate season, was ranked No. 43 overall in the 2010 class. At 6-foot-8 and nearly 200-pounds, Jack brings versatility and mobility to the power forward position.

Rutgers also filled their need of a point guard; by picking up a pair of top 20 lead guards in Mack and Seagears. Mack is one of the best shooters in the country, while Seagears brings skill and a nice overall floor game to the table.

How did the Big East stack up?

The Big East, which ranks No. 2 of the big six conferences, faired pretty well this year.

Now the league doesn't have near as many five star prospects as the SEC, who ranks No. 1, but it does have far more depth than any of the other conferences.

The league will bring 20 four-star recruits and 18 three-star prospects. So while the league has more teams they are also bringing in far more players.

The top rated players headed to the league are Christmas, Blackshear and Sampson. <a href="" target="_new" title="">Scout: Big East Recruiting Recap</a>

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