Big East Recruiting Round-Up: Inaugural EditionPosted by Patrick Prendergast on November 23rd, 2011
Big East Recruiting Round-up is a recurring feature that will focus on, well, recruiting. Rumors, buzz, rankings…..everything potentially shiny and new.
Class of 2012 Early Signing Period
The early signing period for class of 2012 recruits occurred this past week. Let’s take a look at how the Big East fared.
- The hauls of Providence, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have received the highest accolades amongst Big East schools nationally.
- Providence’s class is currently the conference’s highest rated and most surprising, as Ed Cooley began his rebuilding effort with a much-needed infusion of talent. The Friars inked consensus top 30 guards in Providence native Ricardo Ledo (6’6″ shooting guard – South Kent – CT – Ranks: Rivals 8, ESPN 22), Kris Dunn (6’3″ point guard, New London – CT – Ranks: Rivals: 10, ESPN: 29) and sharp-shooter Josh Fortune (6’5″ shooting guard – Kecoughtan – VA).
- Pittsburgh continued to leverage their connections with Notre Dame Prep (MA), landing premier 6’10″ big man Steven Adams (Rivals: 4) along with 6’3″ point guard James Robinson (DeMatha – MD – Ranks: Rivals: 58, ESPN: 48).
- Syracuse scored two highly rated recruits in local product DaJuan Coleman (6’10″ center - Jamesville DeWitt – NY – Ranks: Rivals: 27, ESPN: 14) and Jerami Grant 6’7″ – forward – DeMatha – MD – Ranks: Rivals: 60 , ESPN: 43)
Links to a few class of 2012 national rankings:
Top Unsigned ’12s & Big East Targets
Fourteen of ESPN’s Top 100 2012 recruits remain unsigned and several, predictably, are considering Big East schools, among others of course.
- Anthony Bennet (No. 7) – 6’8″ power forward: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
- Devonta Pollard (No. 20) – 6’7″ small forward: Georgetown
- Amile Jefferson (No 24) – 6’7″ power forward: Connecticut, Villanova, St. John’s
- Ricardo Gathers (No. 30) – 6’7″ power forward: St. John’s (decommitted, still involved), Syracuse
- Andrew White (No. 51) – 6’6″ shooting guard: Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville
- Savon Goodman (No. 67) – 6’6″ forward: Villanova (decommitted, still involved)
- Christopher Obekpa (No. 94) - 6’8″ power forward: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Providence, St. John’s
Noel: Never in a Giving Mood
Looking ahead to the class of 2013 Nerlens Noel (6’10″ center – Tilton School - NH - RANKS: Rivals: 3, ESPN: 2) is a game changer. Lauded by many as the best defensive player in college basketball, Noel, a shot-blocking savant, recently participated in a Q&A session with recruitrecon.com. This is premium material so we cannot link to it, but in August Noel participated in an online chat with Josh Paunil of the National Recruiting Spotlight that covered similar, and in some cases more expansive, ground. While Noel did not officially provide a list in the latest Q&A, he named five schools that have “stuck around,” four of which reside in the Big East: Connecticut, Georgetown, Providence and Syracuse to go along with Southeastern Conference power Florida. Noel has been deliberate and tight-lipped about his recruitment, so although there remains a way to go and virtually every major Division I school has pursued him, it is reasonable to conclude this “stuck around” group represents his current fav five. However, Kentucky could make a push as omnipresent head coach John Calipari made an appearance to see Noel play on Sunday at the National Prep Showcase in New Haven, CT. In the timing is everything department, Coach Cal and his Wildcats were in the area to compete in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Noel, along with his Tilton (NH) teammate, 6’7″ forward Goodluck Okonoboh, another highly sought after recruit who is ranked 92nd nationally by Rivals and being courted by Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Providence, were present at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center last night to watch the Providence defeat Southern.
Where will Nerlens Noel end up Big East fans? Vote here!
Odds & Ends
- Jaylen Brantley (5’9″ point guard – “13 – Wilbraham & Monson Academy – MA), an AAU teammate of Nerlens Noel, who saw his recruitment skyrocket after a stand-out summer, recently visited UCONN and has interest from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
- JaKarr Sampson (6’8″ forward – ’12 – Brewster Academy – NH), former St. John’s 2011 signee, and highly regarded recruit, who de-committed and reclassified to 2012 after being ruled academically ineligible, attracted some high-profile attention at this weekend’s National Prep Showcase in New Haven where Brewster Academy competed on Saturday and Sunday. St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin was in the house for both contests and Providence’s Ed Cooley, whose Friars had a game on Saturday afternoon, were in attendance on Sunday. Pittsburgh and Louisville are also in the mix for Sampson, who has scheduled an unofficial visit to Pitt. As for non-Big East competition, Baylor appears to recruiting him hardest with Kansas and Florida actively involved. Sampson will not decide until after the Final Four according to Brewster coach Jason Smith.
- We have mentioned the National Prep Showcase a couple of times. This has become one of the top events for college coaches to keep an eye on and it is well attended by a throng of notable media outlets and national recruiting analysts. NBE does a fantastic job covering Big East recruiting. Here are their Saturday and Sunday recaps.