Hoosiers continue talent grab
The relative shambles that the Indiana Hoosiers‘ basketball program was in when coach Tom Crean took over has all but been erased from the minds of college basketball fans at large in a few short years, and a significant reason is because of their outstanding success on the recruiting trail.
After a stellar 2012 class, the 2013 group is once again the top rated in the Big Ten, following the early signing period. With six signees, capped by elite top-10 prospect Noah Vonleh, Indiana will once again reload at the conclusion of this season, as they are expected to face significant losses. Vonleh has the tools to be a veritable star, a face-up mismatch at forward with an ever ticking motor. After reclassifying from the 2014 class in recent months, he quickly made the call to the Indiana Hoosiers.
Joining Vonleh is a high-ceiling athlete in Troy Williams and skilled guard Stanford Robinson, among the six man signing class. A star, depth and a variety of skill sets are all present in the group.
Coach John Groce’s first signing class at Illinois is a good one, as he dipped into Simeon (IL) to land a backcourt combo in Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon. Given the pipeline of talent in the Simeon program, it’s an important bridge to create for the Fighting Illini. Overall, there’s no slouch in the five prospects signed by Illinois, as in-state wing Malcolm Hill has the frame to impact, and big men Austin Colbert and Maverick Morgan have a shot.
In adding a guard, wing and post, the Michigan Wolverines are ably addressing future departures. The key to the class might be heady point guard Derrick Walton, who figures to have a huge role when current sophomore Trey Burke departs for his NBA career. Sharpshooter Zak Irvin and no frills big man Mark Donnal are both top-100 prospects.
Two signees landed for the Ohio State Buckeyes, but they’re both dandy players. Small, but potent shooting guard Kameron Williams scorched nets all summer long, and smooth wing forward Marc Loving has every look of a successful Big Ten wing forward. Ohio State quality with this tandem on the way.
The Purdue Boilermakers have a strong trio for their perimeter, as Kendall Stephens can be a major factor in stretching defenses with his shooting ability. Also, Basil Smotherman has upside when the Purdue staff harnesses his gifts.
It’s rare that the Wisconsin Badgers make waves on the recruiting trail, but their results speak loudly. In-state guard Bronson Koenig is underrated nationally, and the rest of the class consists of no nonsense players that value their team.
Depth was added by the Penn State Nittany Lions and Nebraska Cornhuskers, with four and three new additions, respectively. The Minnesota Gophers and Iowa Hawkeyes each added some fresh blood, while Michigan State hasn’t signed anyone in the 2013 class, but is considered a frontrunner for elite forward Jabari Parker, along with the Duke Blue Devils.
- Best Player: Noah Vonleh, Indiana
- Best Potential: Noah Vonleh, Indiana
- Best Scorer: Kameron Williams, Ohio State
- Best Shooter: Kendall Stephens, Purdue
- Best Rebounder: Noah Vonleh, Indiana
- Best Passer: Derrick Walton, Michigan
- Best Defender: Kendrick Nunn, Illinois
- Best Glue Guy: Bronson Koenig, Wisconson
|Stanford Robinson||6′-3″||SG||Paul VI (VA)||HS||Signed|
|Luke Fischer||6′-10″||C||Germantown (WI)||HS||Signed|
|Devin Davis||6′-6″||SF||Warren Central (IN)||HS||Signed|
|Collin Hartman||6′-5″||SF||Cathedral (IN)||HS||Signed|
|Noah Vonleh||6′-8″||PF||New Hampton (NH)||HS||Signed|
|Troy Williams||6′-7″||SF||Hampton (VA)||HS||Signed|
|Malcolm Hill||6′-5″||SG||Belleville East (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Maverick Morgan||6′-10″||C||Springboro (OH)||HS||Signed|
|Kendrick Nunn||6′-3″||SG||Simeon (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Jaylon Tate||6′-1″||PG||Simeon (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Austin Colbert||6′-9″||PF||Gill St. Bernard (NJ)||HS||Signed|
|Mark Donnal||6′-9″||PF||Wayne (OH)||HS||Signed|
|Derrick Walton||6′-0″||PG||Chandler Park (MI)||HS||Signed|
|Zak Irvin||6′-5″||SF||Hamilton Southeastern (IN)||HS||Signed|
4. Ohio State
|Marc Loving||6′-7″||SF||St. John’s (OH)||HS||Signed|
|Kameron Williams||6′-2″||SG||Mount St. Joseph (MD)||HS||Signed|
|Kendall Stephens||6′-5″||SG||St. Charles (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Basil Smotherman||6′-5″||SF||Heritage Christian (IN)||HS||Signed|
|Bryson Scott||6′-1″||PG||Northrop (IN)||HS||Signed|
|Bronson Koenig||6′-3″||PG||Aquinas (WI)||HS||Signed|
|Riley Dearring||6′-5″||SG||Minnetonka (MN)||HS||Signed|
|Nigel Hayes||6′-7″||PF||Whitmer (OH)||HS||Signed|
|Vitto Brown||6′-8″||PF||Bowling Green (OH)||HS||Signed|
|Jordan Hill||6′-3″||SG||Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)||HS||Signed|
|Jaren Sina||6′-2″||PG||Gill St. Bernard (NJ)||HS||Signed|
|Nathan Taphorn||6′-7″||SF||Pekin (IL)||HS||Signed|
8. Penn State
|Geno Thorpe||6′-3″||PG||West Oaks Academy (FL)||HS||Signed|
|Julian Moore||6′-9″||PF||Germantown Academy (PA)||HS||Signed|
|Payton Banks||6′-5″||SF||Orange Lutheran (CA)||HS||Signed|
|Graham Woodward||5′-11″||PG||Edina (MN)||HS||Signed|
|Nick Fuller||6′-6″||SF||Sun Prairie (WI)||HS||Signed|
|Nathan Hawkins||6′-7″||SF||Rowlett (TX)||HS||Signed|
|Tai Webster||6′-2″||PG||New Zealand||HS||Signed|
|Alex Foster||6′-8″||PF||Seton Academy (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Alvin Ellis||6′-4″||SG||De La Salle (IL)||HS||Signed|
|Peter Jok||6′-5″||SF||West Des Moines Valley (IA)||HS||Signed|
12. Michigan State
No reported signees.
For those fans that wish college basketball was a year-round sport, the College Basketball Newcomers Guide paperback and Kindle book previews the incoming recruits for every team nationally. There’s no need to wait until Fall to learn about the new names in college basketball that will be starring on the hardwood.