Picking the best class in the Big Ten was very easy. With a strong late close the Indiana Hoosiers ran away from the field in the conference to secure the top class. Head Coach Tom Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson pulled in Troy Williams and Noah Vonleh late to give the Hoosiers a top two class in the country and easily the best class in the conference.
Clearly the gem of the class is Vonleh. Vonleh is ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in the country and is the type of player who projects as a potential one and done type of talent. He is at his best at the power forward position, but it isn't unreasonable to think he will spend some time on the wing as a small forward.
Along with Vonleh, four-star prospects Luke Fischer, Stanford Robinson, and Troy Williams give the Hoosiers great depth, and then they are complemented by in-state pledges Collin Hartman and Devin Davis. The five prospects are all bring a little something different to the table.
Robinson is an elite scorer who is at his best attacking the rim and finishing through contact. He is a good athlete who just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket and never shows fear. Williams and Davis are both combo forwards who play with super high motors and are near elite athletes. Hartman is a solid spot up shooter who can stretch the floor, and Fischer is a developing post player who can hit the mid-range jumper as well as score inside.
Overall this group is a great one for Crean and his staff. With the likely departure of All-American Cody Zeller to the NBA, the Hoosiers look to be re-loading with quality prospects that will keep the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten standings for a while to come.
After the Hoosiers you would point to Michigan, Illinois, and Purdue as three schools who have to be happy with their Signing Day haul. All three schools attacked their home recruiting ground and came away happy with the results.
The Wolverines, coming off of a great 2012 class, have a trio of four-star prospects who will shore things up in Ann Arbor. Most important is Derrick Walton who might have to come in right away and lead the team, but do not sleep on Zak Irvin and Marc Donnal. Irvin is a multitalented scorer who is capable of getting absolutely scorching hot from the perimeter and Donnal is a versatile post man who rebounds and can score out to the three point line.
John Groce has to be thrilled with his effort at Illinois. While he came in late and had limited time to put a quality class together he kept Malcolm Hill in the fold and then in what was a huge win over Marquette pulled in a commitment from Kendrick Nunn out of Chicago (Ill.) Simeon. Nunn and Hill should give the Illini firepower on the wing for a long time to come. Also Groce was able to shore up his frontcourt with center Maverick Morgan and power forward Austin Colbert. Both prospects are three-stars, and both had numerous high level offers.
As usual with Purdue they landed some very nice in-state prospects and then also went to the Windy City to snag a legacy recruit. Kendall Stephens out of the Chicago suburbs is the son of former Purdue player Everette Stephens, and Kendall is a sniper from long range and is a better athlete than people give him credit for. Bryson Scott and Basil Smotherman were both very early commitments from the state of Indiana. Scott is a scorer from the guard spot who is tough as nails while Smotherman is a skilled wing who seems to be putting together the natural tools that he possesses.
How the Big Ten Stacks Up?
This was a solid, but not great recruiting year for the Big Ten as a whole. The conference only landed one five-star recruit in Vonleh, so the star power isn't necessarily coming into the conference, but there is some quality talent.
|Top Big Ten Prospects|
|Top Prospect:||Noah Vonleh, Indiana|
|Best Scorer:||Kameron Williams, Ohio State|
|Best Passer:||Jaylon Tate, Illinois|
|Best Floor General:|| Derrick Walton, Michigan|
|Best Post Player:|| Mark Donnal, Michigan|
|Best Shooter:||Kendall Stephens, Purdue|
|Best Rebounder:|| Noah Vonleh, Indiana|
|Best Athlete:||Troy Williams, Indiana|
Even though schools such as Ohio State and Wisconsin don’t rank in the top 25 in terms of team rankings, they both have good players coming in who will fit the system they are being asked to play.
With 13 four-star recruits and 18 three-star recruits, many of which come from the Big Ten footprint all entering in this class it will be a solid group of young talent. Not the elite kids they brought in last year, but still some very good talent.