WVU, Big East Considered Solid, Not Spectacular

While WVU's latest basketball class has generated excitement among Mountaineer fans, it has not transferred over to basketball recruiting gurus.

Like a mirror image, most basketball recruiting experts seem to view the latest West Virginia and Big East recruiting classes the same way, solid results, but nothing spectacular.

According to PrepStars.com, of the forty-one (41) Big East recruits to either sign or verbally commit during the NCAA early signing period, only three (3) were ranked among the top 50 prospects. When the list is expanded, the results are slightly more positive, twenty-nine (29) of the signees ranked among the top 200 seniors and four (4) are among the top junior college players.

Pittsburgh appears to have garnered the best overall class so far. The Panthers signed the highest individually rated recruit in 6-9 Chris Taft, a native of Brooklyn, New York. WVU's class was rated overall as the 10th best in the Big East. The order of recruiting classes was as follows:

1. Pittsburgh (4 recruits)
2. Miami (FL) (4 recruits)
3. Syracuse (2 recruits)
4. Rutgers (3 recruits)
5. Georgetown (3 recruits)
6. Villanova (2 recruits)
7. UCONN (2 recruits)
8. BC (4 recruits)
9. Providence (3 recruits)
10. WVU (four recruits)
11. ND (2 recruits)
12. St. John's (2 recruits)
13. Seton Hall (2 recruits)
14. Va. Tech (2 recruits)

Tyler Relph was rated highest among the WVU recruits signed by Coach John Beilein and staff at #12. Surprisingly, WVU football recruit Milton Collins was the second highest-rated prospect at #29. Franklin Young (#36), Brad Byerson (#37) and Jerrah Young (#39) round out the Mountaineer class.

WVU recruiting targets who signed with other Big East schools included: 6-8 Omari Isreal (#10 ND), 6-9 Josh Boone (#14 UCONN), 6-11 Aaron Gray (#21 Pitt), 6-4 Gerald Brown (#22 Providence), 6-8 Dante Milligan (#30 Pitt), Jamon Collins (#35 Va Tech) and 6-6 Jeffrey Parmer (#40 Providence).

The HoopScoop rates WVU's recruiting class as #11 in the Big East. Miami (FL) was rated as having the #1 overall class. Here is the HoopScoop ranking of all the Big East schools:

1. Miami
2. Syracuse
3. Pittsburgh
5. BC
6. Rutgers
7. Providence
8. Georgetown
9. Villanova
10. St. John's
11. WVU
12. Notre Dame
13. Seton Hall
14. Va Tech.

HoopScoop did not rank any of WVU's signees in the top 25 of Big East recruits to sign or verbally commit. HoopScoop had Franklin Young as WVU's highest ranked recruit at #142, Tyler Relph was #155, BJ Byerson was #250 and Jerrah Young #260.

Just goes to show you that beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, but where a recruit signs. Politics among recruiting services dictates so much of where a particular recruit is ranked.

For example, HoopScoop ranks Villanova bound Mike Nardi as 49th best high school player in the nation. No question Nardi is enjoying a good senior season and has lead his New Jersey high school squad to one of the top rankings in the state. However, having seen Tyler Relph and Nardi play on several different occasions, there is no way Nardi is somehow a top 50 recruit while Relph is not even listed among the top 150!

Looking closer at the situation, it appears the recruiting services simply want to "elevate" Nova's recruiting class for media darling head coach, Jay Wright. Of course, time will tell over the course of the next four or five seasons who is right and who is wrong. In the mean time, take the rankings for what you think they are worth.

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