Five-star Omari Spellman leads the way for the Big East

It has been a solid year for the Big East led by five-star Omari Spellman. Here is an in-depth look at the conference as a whole

Best Class

This is a pretty easy winner, and probably not surprisingly it is the team that has dominated the league the past two seasons. Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats have brought in the top class in the conference.

Leading the way for Villanova is five-star interior player Omari Spellman. Spellman split time in high school between Northeast Ohio and prep school in Massachusetts, but the Wildcats were always involved with him and were able to secure an early commitment from the impressive prospect.

At 6-foot-9 and around 260 pounds, Spellman has college ready size and also fills a need for Villanova. With Daniel Ochefu set to graduate, Spellman will step in right now and likely play a starting and starring role.

As of this point Spellman is the only five-star coming into the league. That said he is far from the only talented prospect as four-star Dylan Painter is also in the class for Villanova.

Painter is a skilled 6-foot-10 prospect who is just scratching the surface. During the summer Painter really improved and showed off an impressive all-around game at the Nike Peach Jam.

Look for Painter to give Villanova quality depth from day one on the interior, and eventually move his way into the role of being a major contributor as he is an upperclassmen.

Other Winners

After bringing in a major class last season, Marquette has done it again in the 2016 class. The Golden Eagles have signed a pair of sharp shooting wings in four-stars Brendan Bailey and Sam Hauser.

Bailey won’t enroll right away due to a LDS Mission, but getting Hauser is huge. Hauser is a bigtime shooter from the forward position who is at his best on the wing, but has the versatility to be a stretch forward as well when teams go small.

Marquette has really brought in a ton of talent the last two years, and quality wings with size who can shoot are never easy to find. Now the Golden Eagles are set in that regard for years to come with these two four-star prospects.

Also the Butler Bulldogs and Xavier Musketeers have strong groups coming in.

Butler has a four-man class led by top 100 big man Joey Brunk. The local product was a top priority for the Bulldogs and should provide rebounding and scoring on the low block. He is joined by a pair of very solid guards in Howard Washington and Kamar Baldwin as well as an athletic wing with upside in Henry Baddley.

Xavier technically has a two man class coming in. Four-star point guard Quentin Goodin as well as four-star power forward Tyrique Jones. Both Goodin and Jones bring excellent athleticism to the Musketeers roster. Also Xavier will sign three-star Eddie Ekiyor but he is enrolling at the semester break and now counts as a member of the class of 2015.

Who Will Help the Most as a Freshman

The easy answer here is Spellman. Not only is Spellman the highest rated recruit coming into the conference, but he is also stepping into a spot that will be able to give him immediate minutes.

Look for Spellman to be someone who contends for a double-double every night as a freshman, and positively impacts Villanova with a skilled and tough interior player that really haven’t had. Ochefu has gotten better over the years, but he doesn’t possess the refined skill that Spellman already has.

He is the obvious answer, but one other player to watch is Maliek White. Providence loses all world guard Kris Dunn after this year, and White is a four-star point guard with athleticism and the ability to score coming in to replace him.

There are some other quality backcourt options for the Friars, but White is someone who could surprise with his strong immediate impact.

Top to Bottom

Here is how the Big East stacks up from top to bottom

1). Villanova

2). Marquette

3). Butler

4). Xavier

5). St. John’s

6). DePaul

7). Seton Hall

8). Providence

9). Georgetown

10). Creighton

How the league stacks up

This would best be described as a solid, but not great recruiting year for the league. The entire league only has one five-star prospect coming in, and that is a bit of a disappointment. Also only two schools rank in the top 25 of the class rankings.

Still the league is bring in quality players and sits at fifth with a total of 10 prospects ranked four-star or better coming in. That is ahead of the Big XII and the American, but well behind the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Pac 12.

There are still a few key targets out there left to get like Rawle Alkins and Bruce Brown, so there could be a late bump here, but this class would best be described as solid for the league with room to improve.

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