The best class in the Big Ten clearly goes to Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers. Crean mined one of the best in-state classes in a long time, and brought in several top prospects. Leading the way for the Hoosiers is a trio of top 40 prospects in Hanner Perea, Kevin Ferrell, and Jeremy Hollowell.
Ferrell is one of the best floor generals in the country. His strength, quickness, and shot making make him a problem for opposing defenders. At the NBA Players Association Camp, Ferrell was probably the top player based on performance.
With Hollowell it is all about natural ability. At 6-foot-8 with a great shooting stroke, a good handle, and solid athleticism, Hollowell has as much raw ability as any player in the nation. Add in that he is starting to make strides with his motor and as a leader, and Hollowell's best basketball could be in front of him.
Those three make up the meat and potatoes of the class, but Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin are also solid additions. Patterson is an excellent on-ball defender and someone who can make shots while Jurkin is a shot blocking machine, and a great athlete who really runs the floor for a 6-foot-11 player.
Overall this is a class that will rank as one of the best in the nation, and it has three players that could make an instant impact for the Hoosiers.
|Big Ten Rankings|
5. Michigan State
10. Penn State
12. Ohio State
McGary is the No. 2 player in the class and the best big man in the country. He has the ability to be a one-and-done prospect, and should make an impact from day one for the Wolverines with his size, motor, and toughness.
Robinson is one of the fastest rising players in the country. He has grown, gotten stronger, more athletic, and is now also a very good outside shooter. Robinson is just now figuring out how good he is, and the level he has stepped his game up to is impressive.
Those two are joined by a big time shooter in Nick Stauskas. The Canadian native had a good summer for Grassroots Canada, and could be a surprise to some since his ability to make shots should help him see the floor right away.
While Indiana got a lot of the press in the state, Purdue also brought in a very talented class. The Boilermakers are led by top 100 prospects Ronnie Johnson and A.J. Hammons, as well as another four-star prospect in Jay Simpson.
Johnson had a big time junior year, and then really broke out at the NBA Players Association Camp where he proved his worth as an elite floor general who can really pass the basketball and has a good feel for the game.
Hammons and Simpson will give depth down low. Hammons is an aircraft carrier center who had offers from nearly the entire conference, but in the end wanted to come back close to home and pick Purdue. Simpson was an early pledge, and as a skilled power forward he has a ton of upside.
Also the Iowa Hawkeyes deserve a ton of praise. The Hawkeyes went head-to-head with North Carolina for Adam Woodbury and landed his commitment. The in-state pledge was a huge one for the Hawkeyes, but not the only big time get. Also they landed Woodbury's AAU teammate and good friend Mike Gesell. Gesell is a tough combo guard who makes shots and can run a team.
How the Big Ten stacks up?
|Top Big Ten Prospects|
|Top Prospect:||Mitch McGary, Michigan|
|Best Scorer:||Sam Dekker, Wisconsin|
|Best Passer:||Ronnie Johnson, Purdue|
|Best Shot Blocker:||Peter Jurkin, Indiana|
|Best Floor General:||Ronnie Johnson, Purdue|
|Best Post Player:||Mitch McGary, Michigan|
|Best Shooter:||Nick Stauskas, Michigan|
|Best Rebounder:||Hanner Perea, Indiana|
|Best Athlete:||Hanner Perea, Indiana|
Overall it was just an average recruiting cycle. The fact that Ohio State hasn't signed anybody and Illinois only brought in one prospect means that the conference was light on scholarships available.
Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, and Iowa all deserve mention for doing a good job and landing a top 25 class, and if Michigan State can pull off Harris they would also join that mix.
Not a banner year for the Big Ten, but it was one that provided some depth to the conference.