Big Ten Basketball Making Comeback?

Look out Big Ten basketball fans. For the past ten years or so the national media has really made it quite clear that the talent level has dropped. Reports are that Illinois guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr. from Zion-Benton committed to Ohio State. Get inside for recruiting guru Dave Telep's point of interest on the Big Ten.

With the commitment of Lenzelle Smith to Ohio State, the Big Ten and OSU look like the "good" old days of the Big Ten. The Buckeyes, according to, has Jared Sullinger of Northland HS (OH), Cameron Wright of Benedictine (OH), DeShaun Thomas, Bishop Luers HS, Fort Wayne (IN) and Jordan Sibert, (OH). "Clearly Ohio State has done well. They have put an enormous effort into this class. If they can land Adreian Payne – look out. I really don't think Thad Matta is done either," said Telep.

Looking at the Fighting Illini Class of 2010, he likes them as well. "No matter how you shake it when you bring in Top 10-15 talent, it's going to make you better. The key to Illinois class to continue to skyrocket will be Jereme Richmond and Crandall Head - just how much better they will get. Every year they must show significant improvements to their game; then you add a nice player in Meyers Leonard to go along with them is a nice looking class. But when it comes to getting better, not just the Illinois kid, all the players must get better from year to year," added Telep.

Don't sleep on just the Illini and the Buckeyes, according to Telep. Michigan State and Indiana have done well for themselves. "Michigan State and Indiana are doing very well also with the new coaching staff, and Indiana they're gaining some serious momentum and that's a good sign for the Big Ten," Telep said.

So how does this help the Big Ten? "Recently Ohio State and Illinois have been to the Final Four, but the Big Ten over the past ten years hasn't sustained it like the Big East of the ACC has. There have been some good teams and good players, but the past decade it's not been where some of the other conferences have been," Telep stated.

So who has the better class? That remains to be seen, but the quality of players coming to the conference will certainly look more attractive to other high-profile players. If you're in the star system when it comes to rankings, then OSU may have the lead in that category. Having said that, as Telep mentioned before, all the players must get better every year. Telep added that it was too early from his perspective to say where the Illini and Buckeyes will end up nationally when it comes to ranking the classes, but both schools have done well.

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