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November 22, 2011

Hoosier State provides Big Ten with talent

MORE: Team rankings | Conference breakdown

BEST OF THE BIG TEN
Ranking the classes (national rank)
1. Indiana (2)
2. Michigan (5)
3. Michigan State (11)
4. Purdue (23)
5. Iowa
6. Wisconsin
7. Northwestern
8. Nebraska
9. Minnesota
10. Penn State
11. Illinois
12. Ohio State
Best by category
Best perimeter scorer- Gary Harris (Michigan State)
Best low post scorer- Mitch McGary (Michigan)
Best passer- Kevin Ferrell (Indiana)
Best shooter- Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
Best rebounder- Mitch McGary (Michigan)
Best shot blocker- Hanner Perea (Indiana)
Best defender- Ron Patterson (Indiana)
Most versatile- Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
Best in the clutch- Gary Harris (Michigan State)
Best pro prospect- Mitch McGary (Michigan)
Best speed- Kevin Ferrell (Indiana)
Best motor- Ronnie Johnson (Purdue)
Impact player- Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
Biggest sleeper- Kale Abrahamson (Northwestern)
Best at each position (top overall player in bold)
PG Kevin Ferrell (Indiana)
SG Gary Harris (Michigan State)
SF Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
PF Mitch McGary (Michigan)
C Adam Woodbury (Iowa)
Inside the Numbers
5- Teams ranked in the top 25 nationally
19- Rivals150 prospects coming to the Big Ten
5 - Five-star prospects coming to the Big Ten
10 - Four-star prospects coming to the Big Ten
4 - Three-star ranked prospects coming to the Big Ten
7 - Number of states represented by Rivals150 Big Ten recruits
10- Recruits from Indiana coming to the Big Ten, the most of any state
Led by Tom Crean, the Indiana Hoosiers have the top recruiting class in the Big Ten and the No. 2 class nationally. Crean and his coaches did a good job of locking up in-state talent and the guys that they didn't get all looked to stay in the conference as Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan each raided the state for Rivals150 prospects.

Speaking of Michigan, what John Beilein has been able to do on the recruiting trail may be the conference's biggest recruiting storyline. He outfoxed the likes of Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland and many others to land the conference's top recruit in Mitch McGary. Beilein was also way ahead of the pack when it came to identifying high four-star Glenn Robinson III as a potentially elite talent. Finally, Canadian Nick Stauskas is a versatile performer and dangerous scorer.

Wing performers

Conference schools really loaded up on top-notch wing talent. The battle between Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State for five-star Gary Harris was maybe the single hardest-fought recruiting battle in the country and for good reason. Harris looks to be an impact wing but he isn't the only one.

Wisconsin signee Sam Dekker isn't the highest rated prospect headed to the Big Ten, but he may be the most important for any team. The Badgers will be losing lots of talent and leadership after this season and each of those are things that the tough, 6-foot-7 five-star wing has plenty of.

Up in Ann Arbor, Glen Robinson III looks like the kind of guy who could eventually lead the Wolverines in scoring. He's gotten stronger, is a big-time athlete and is very efficient with his performance from the field. His future teammate Nick Stauskas is no slouch either.

Indiana figures to get an instant boost from Jeremy Hollowell who is also versatile enough to play some as a high-post four while Ron Patterson is a high level defender.

Purdue and Northwestern should each see immediate results from incoming wings as well. Rapheal Davis is a physical and tough scorer who fits in well with the Boilermakers while Kale Abrahamson has touch from long range and size that the Wildcats need on the wing.

Ohio State 0-fer

It wasn't for lack of effort, but the biggest surprise of the early signing period has to be Thad Matta and his staff taking the collar in November. The Buckeyes were involved with several high level prospects like DaJuan Coleman, but didn't get anybody to pull the trigger. The encouraging thing, though, is the Buckeyes are still very much in the mix for high four-star big man Tony Parker.



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