Each week, we'll be doing a wrap-up of major goings-on that occurred during the preceding week in the world of Big Ten recruiting. Our staff will be breaking down some of the key moves and highlighting certain targets their respective schools are going after. This edition will focus on the entire month of September.
Robert O'Neill: Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State
Jeremy Haynes: Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern
Scott Manning: Indiana
Kevin Piotrowski: Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers
Due to some turnover at the site, this is our first roundtable in quite some time, so we'll be looking at the entire month of September. Which of your teams had the best month from a recruiting standpoint?
Kevin: Rutgers has to be the answer here. On September 4th, the Scarlet Knights landed an impactful commitment from Corey Sanders, a consensus top-100 2015 PG out of Florida. Sanders is a great start to the class who should be able to help draw in additional talent
Scott: Indiana had a pretty good month. They picked up the commitment of 2015 4* PF Juwan Morgan and were visited by 2015 4* G Shake Milton - who many believe will commit to Indiana in the next week or two. The Hoosiers also had a good in-home visit with 2015 5* C Stephen Zimmerman and secured a visit from 2015 4* C Thomas Bryant.
Jeremy: Michigan State continued to rack up wins on the recruiting trail. 4* 2015 SG Matt McQuaid chose MSU recently and 5* Deyonta Davis seems to gain accolades by the day but ultimately I had to give the nod to Nebraska. The two additions they made really elevate the level of talent on their roster. Both 4* 2015 players, Glynn Watson is a dynamic lead guard and Ed Morrow is an active power forward. Together, they should form a potent nucleus for Tim Miles and the Cornhuskers, especially if he can keep the momentum rolling in 2016.
Robert: I think I have to go with Minnesota. Their class continued to improve in landing 2015 3* C Jonathan Nwanko, and 2015 4* PG Jarvis Johnson. Richard Pitino's class now contains three three-star players and one four-star player. Not bad for his first full offseason behind the bench
On the other hand, which of your teams would you say had the "worst" month, for whatever reason?
Kevin: It's hard to say any team had a bad month, but things could have gone better for Maryland. Maryland's empty 2015 class, combined with the commitment of high-profile target Esa Ahmad to West Virginia, has made it clear that Maryland will need to offer more prospects this fall.
Robert: While it wasn't necessarily "bad", Iowa didn't receive a single commitment this past month, and also lost out on four-star PF Alex Illikainen, who chose Wisconsin over the Hawkeyes. With only one visit scheduled for October as of right now, the Hawkeyes' may be done recruiting for 2015, which wouldn't be great.
Jeremy: Michigan State and Nebraska both had a great month. Northwestern hasn't done poorly, but this summer isn't anything like last summer as far as the Wildcats are concerned. Last summer, Northwestern made a splash in the basketball world by bringing on Chris Collins and landing their first 4* player in a long time in Victor Law. Law is about ready to hold court(forgive me) in his freshman season, but Chris Collins is yet to serve up the follow-up to the recruiting coup he managed last year. Of course, Collins will have an opportunity to shut know-it-all pundits like myself up this weekend when he hosts 2015 4* PF Aaron Falzon, who has already narrowed his list to Northwestern and Harvard, on Falzon's final official visit..
Which coach do you think is under the most pressure to bring in a great Class of 2015?
Kevin: While the Big Ten has a whole has seen a lot of success the last couple years, Purdue stands out as a program that has regressed recently. Matt Painter's squad won just 15 games last season, the fewest since Painter's inaugural season 9 years ago. The Boilermakers have won fewer games in each season since their last Sweet 16 run in 2010, and their recruiting has suffered as well. Painter needs to show he can still bring in top talent.
Scott: I have to agree with Kevin above - it's Purdue. The Boilers have been headed in the wrong direction for several seasons now and while they hope they have brought in a good 2014 class - it is going to take a great class in 2015 to save Matt Painter's job in my opinion.
Robert: I definitely agree with Kevin and Scott. Purdue has regressed severely, really since Robbie Hummel graduated. They used to be an annual favorite to at least contend in the B1G, and of late they have become an absolute laughingstock. I think the job Matt Painter is doing could be masked in other conferences, but in the B1G, where the caliber of recruiting is so high, he is exposed and it is costing his team.
Jeremy: If Painter needs a great 2015 class to keep his job then we need to starting drumming up lists of candidates because so far the guys on board don't appear to be a strong class. Cline is a 3-star sharpshooter, but Grant Weatherford is a near total unknown, unranked prospect that was leaning towards football as far as I understand it. Matt Painter is my answer as well, but for the sake of avoiding beating the war drum here I'm going to bring up another coach: Mark Turgeon. After last season's disappointing end, several players transferred out of Maryland including Seth Allen, Shaquille Cleare, Nick Faust, Charles Mitchell, Roddy Peters, and a walk-on. Turgeon has brought talent to Maryland, but he hasn't won, those players are mostly gone now, and he is looking at a bagel for 2015 as things currently stand. If Turgeon doesn't turn things around on the court or the recruiting trail soon it could be too late.
What should we be on the lookout for in October for your teams?
Kevin: Entering the fall, we'll start to see more official visits lined up for Maryland, Penn State, and Rutgers. With Rutgers and Maryland having many more 2015 scholarships to fill, look for a lot of action on those recruiting trails.
Scott: Indiana will be a school to watch in October as they could pick up as many as two commitments in the coming weeks. While Shake Milton appears to be the most likely, the Hoosiers will also get a visit from 2015 3* SF O.G. Anunoby who appears very high on Indiana as well. If Coach Crean remains interested in Anunoby, it would not be surprising at all to see him commit as well which would cause Indiana to be potentially over signed by 3 players heading into this season.
Robert: I would be surprised if Iowa doesn't set up a few more visits, as I don't see any way Fran McCaffery is satisfied with his class as it stands right now. Minnesota does not have anything lined up at the moment. As for Ohio State, they can afford to just sit back and stand pat as they already have four 4* players in their Class of 2015, which is the best in the B1G right now.
Jeremy: October will be a big month for the entire Big Ten as the 2015 class continues to shake out and players choose their universities. Michigan State is looking to hear from 5* C Henry Ellenson, who should decide soon as he recently narrowed his list to three prospects. Northwestern is hoping to land another 4* talent in Aaron Falzon that they can play next to Victor Law.
Stay tuned to BTPowerhouse for all your Big Ten recruiting coverage.