2009 Big East Recruiting Rankings

The 2009 early signing period concluded and the Big East hauled in a number of highly ranked recruits. All rankings are from Scout.com.

1. Villanova Wildcats

Who they signed:

Maalik Wayns No. 4 PG, No. 26 Overall

Mouphtauo Yarou No. 10 PF, No. 28 Overall

Isaiah Armwood No. 12 PF, No. 31 Overall

Analysis: Jay Wright landed a star-studded class for 2009 that should make his team a force in the Big East. Traditionally known as a guard school, the Wildcats now add size, in Armwood and Yarou, to their quality back court and throw in one of the top floor generals in the country. They are still in the mix for top-15 player Dominic Cheek, who is going to sign in the spring. Even without Cheek, this class is the cream of the crop in the Big East and is also a top-five class nationally.

2. Marquette Golden Eagles

Who they signed:

Junior Cadougan No. 5 PG, No. 50 Overall

Jeronne Maymon No. 26 PF, No. 75 Overall

Erik Williams No. 21 SF, No. 95 Overall

Dwight Buycks NR

Brett Roseboro NR

Analysis: Buzz Williams hauled in a gem of a class in his first year at the helm in Milwaukee. He almost had to in order to stay competitive in the Big East with the impending loss of Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews after the season. Cadougan should start immediately, and Buycks plays a similar style to McNeal. Maymon and Williams provide length on the wing and Roseboro is a developing lefty. Marquette is still looking at local prospect Jamil Wilson, a versatile player who has a huge upside.

3. Connecticut Huskies

Who they signed:

Alex Oriakhi No. 4 C, No. 14 Overall

Jamaal Coombs No. 17 SF, No. 81 Overall

Analysis: With Jeff Adrien graduating and Hasheem Thabeet likely to enter the NBA draft, a bruising post player was a need for the Huskies. They got their man in Alex Oriakhi, who, much like Adrian, is going to be a force in the Big East. Coombs adds size and length on the wing and should contribute right away. I wouldn't be surprised to see Connecticut go after another center in the spring if Thabeet leaves.

4. Louisville Cardinals

Who they signed:

Rakeem Buckles No. 17 PF, No. 48 Overall

Peyton Siva No. 7 PG, No. 54 Overall

Stephan Van Treese NR

Mike Marra NR

Analysis: The Cardinals landed another top class this year after hauling in Scout's fourth-ranked class last year. Buckles is an extremely athletic four man who has some perimeter skills. Siva is capable of scoring in bunches. Van Treese will provide some size and strength down low, and Marra is an excellent shooter. This is a really solid and well-balanced class. With Terrence Williams leaving, Louisville will be looking for someone to pick up the scoring, and any one of these freshmen should be able to step in.

5. Georgetown Hoyas

Who they signed:

Hollis Thompson No. 7 SF, No. 34 Overall

DaShonte Riley No. 9 C, No. 57 Overall

Analysis: Georgetown's class may be underrated due to the fact they signed two players. But they got two really, really, solid players. Thompson oozes with potential but has some work to do on his perimeter shot. Riley is another long-term prospect that could contribute down the road. They Hoyas have the luxury of not needing impact players right away, and the players they got could develop into stars in time.

6. Pittsburgh Panthers

Who they signed:

Dante Taylor, #5 PF, #17 Overall

Lamar Patterson #19 SF, #93 Overall

J.J. Richardson NR

Talib Zanna, NR

Analysis: Pittsburgh is expected to lose some size this year, and Jamie Dixon did an excellent job of addressing that problem here. Taylor is an absolute beast in the paint, and other Big East teams are not looking forward to seeing him paired alongside DeJuan Blair. Patterson is a solid wing player whose toughness fits him in the same mold as past Pitt players. Richardson and Zanna are long-term prospects at this point. Pittsburgh is also still in the mix for Cheek.

7. West Virginia Mountaineers

Who they signed:

Dalton Pepper #30 SG

Dan Jennings #23 C

Deniz Kilicli NR

Analysis: West Virginia signed arguably the biggest unknown in the class. Deniz Kilicli, who hails from Turkey, who attends in-state Mountain State Academy, had many high major schools lining up for his services this fall. Not many talent evaluators have had a chance to see him, but the early word is that he is a big-time player. Pepper is an undervalued wing that should fit in nicely in the Mountaineers offense. Jennings adds toughness and a mean streak in the paint.

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Who they signed:

Tom Knight #35 C

Mike Broghammer NR

Jack Cooley #24 C

Joey Brooks NR

Analysis: Mike Brey seems to be preparing himself for the loss of Luke Harandgody. Cooley fits that same mold. He is tough in the paint and is physically ready to battle in the Big East. Broghammer and Knight are both tough in the paint, but neither play above the rim. Brooks is a combo guard who has size (6'5") to be disruptive defensively.

9. Providence Friars

Who they signed:

James Still #34 C

Johnnie Lacy #12 PG

Kyle Wright NR

Kadeem Batts NR

Duke Mondy NR

Analysis: Providence will be losing four key players from the 08-09 team, including three starters. They have big shoes to fill and it will be interesting to see how Keno Davis can mold a new group together. Still is a lanky post player that has a high ceiling. Batts is known for his back-to-the-basket game. Mondy is a well-rounded scorer that can both shoot and attack the rim. Wright, a lengthy wing, will provide experience in this class. Lacy is a big time scorer that can really fill it up from anywhere on the court. Antoine Allen, a teammate of Lacy's, is expected to sign in the spring.

10. Syracuse Orange

Who they signed:

Brandon Triche NR

Analysis: Syracuse didn't need much for the 2009 class and they landed a good, but not spectacular, player. The only concern for the Orange is if ultra-talented point guard Johnny Flynn decides to go pro. Triche is a combo guard who can fill in at the point or the shooting guard. James Southerland, an athletic wing that had to prep this year due to academics, is expected to sign in the spring.

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Who they signed:

Dane Miller NR

Austin Johnson NR

Analysis: Rutgers landed a McDonalds All-American and a top-50 big man last year. This year their signees are not as highly regarded. Miller, who some believe to be undervalued, is an athletic wing who can get to the rim and hit open jumpers. Johnson should be a nice compliment to Gregory Echenique in the paint. Rutgers also has an outside shot at landing Cheek.

12. Saint John's Red Storm

Who they signed:

Omari Lawrence #22 SG

Dwight Hardy NR

Analysis: Norm Roberts is on the hot seat and needed to land a quality class. Omari Lawrence is a local talent who will be able to step in and score right away. Hardy, a junior college transfer, comes from a good program and a great coach. He should provide another backcourt option for the Red Storm. The big fish is still out there, though, as Lance Stephenson will sign in the spring. He may end up going to Europe, but if St. John's lands him it could resurrect the program

13. South Florida Bulls

Who they signed:

Jordan Dumars NR

Shaun Noriega NR

Analysis: South Florida has taken in a couple of high major transfers the past few seasons in Mike Mercer and Augustus Gilchrist. With this class they were looking for role players to surround those big names. Jordan Dumars, the son of ex-NBA player Joe, is a skilled wing that can play inside and out. Noriega is a pure shooter from deep who is best off the catch. They are also in the top-three for power forward Keith Clanton.

14. DePaul Blue Demons

Who they signed:

Tony Freeland NR

Mike Stovall NR

Analysis: DePaul has a couple of rising stars on their roster in Mac Koshwal and Dar Tucker, and Jerry Wainwright will need these guys to really step up in order to keep his job. Stovall and Freeland should provide some depth, but you would think that with all of the talent in Illinois, Wainwright has underachieved big-time in recruiting. Freeland is an undersized post that finds ways to get it done. Stovall is a JUCO transfer that has size to play both shooting guard and small forward.

15. Cincinnati Bearcats

Who they signed:

Sean Kilpatrick, NR

Analysis: With only one scholarship senior on the roster, Mick Cronin did not have much to work with. Kilpatrick is a solid, but not spectacular player. With the nice class that the Bearcats landed last year, not much was expected for this year. The Bearcats are already one of the up and coming teams in the Big East.

16. Seton Hall Pirates

Who they signed:

No one

Analysis: What the heck is Bobby Gonzalez thinking? He has four open scholarships and zero players signed. His experiment of landing transfers and trying to get them eligible immediately failed. If he wants to keep a job for long he is going to have to recruit better. A whole lot better. Late Wednesday night, Seton Hall received a commitment from Cliff Dixon, a 6'9" post player from Hutchinson Community College. He will sign in the spring.

Signing Superlatives

Best Player: Alex Oriakhi-Connecticut

Best Shooter: Mike Marra-Louisville

Best Passer: Maalik Wayns-Villanova

Best Rebounder: Dante Taylor-Pittsburgh

Best Shot-Blocker: Alex Oriakhi-Connecticut

Top Floor General: Junior Cadougan-Marquette

Biggest Sleeper: James Still-Providence

Best Junior College Player: Dwight Buycks-Marquette

Most Athletic: Rakeem Buckles-Louisville

Most NBA Potential: Hollis Thompson-Georgetown

Top Defender: Alex Oriakhi-Connecticut

Best Mid Range Shooter: Dalton Pepper-West Virginia

Best Low Block Scorer: Mouphtauo Yarou-Villanova

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