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.
Make sure to check back in every Monday to start your new week with a recruiting recap and a brief glimpse into the future.
Nick Moyle: Recruiting Editor (Temporarily handling Nebraska coverage)
Scott Manning: Resident Hoosier expert
Jeremy Haynes: Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue
Robert O'Neill: Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin
Andy Patterson: Illinois, Northwestern and Ohio State
With the month coming to a close, which of your teams had the most impactful August on the recruiting trail?
Kevin: August started well for Penn State when they started off their 2016 class with 4* forward Joe Hampton. Since then, news from PSU has been sparse, as Pat Chambers has just one scholarship left for 2015. Rutgers, though without any commitments this month, managed to stay in the fight for highly touted ‘15 prospects such as Isaiah Briscoe and Corey Sanders.
Scott - Indiana landed 2014 three star forward Emmitt Holt on earlier in the month. Holt fills the last scholarship available in both 2014 and 2015 on paper. He adds some much needed size as he currently stands at 6'7" with a 7'3" wingspan. It was also announced this month that the Hoosiers will get visits from Shake Milton, Juwan Morgan, and O.G. Anunoby in September / October.
Nick - Nebraska closed August with a bang. Tim Miles signed Glynn Watson, the No. 11 point guard in the nation, pushing the Huskers' 2015 recruiting class up to No. 21 in the nation. Miles also got a head start on his 2017 recruiting class, signing in-state shooting guard Aguek Arop, the youngest player to ever sign with Nebrasketball. And, perhaps most importantly, Miles added Kansas transfer Andrew White III. White will join Watson, Michael Jacobson and Keanu Pinder next season in one of the most exciting new Huskers crops in recent memory.
Andy - August came and rent without Illinois, Ohio St or Northwestern getting any new commitments. Ohio St just found out that they got left off the final five list for 5 star power forward and Ohio native Carlton Bragg. Illinois just finished the first of two very important weekends, in their pursuit of a top flight point guard. Northwestern just made the final 7 list for 4 star center Trevor Manual. Other than that, August was a month for all three programs to create framework that will hopefully yields results in September .
Robert - Iowa probably had the biggest August of my teams, they landed 3-star 2015 SF Ahmad Wagner and also locked up 3-star 2017 guard Connor McCaffrey, son of head coach Fran McCaffrey. As for Wisconsin, their biggest news of the month came when 2015 top-10 player, Diamond Stone (Milwaukee, WI) announced the Badgers were in his final five. Minnesota's big news came when 3-star 2015 guard Dupree McBrayer committed August 22.
Jeremy - Michigan State enjoyed a solid month between Deyonta Davis' rising stock and Bryn Forbes' immediate eligibility, but their in-state rival notched two commitments. Tranfer Duncan Robinson chose the Michigan Wolverines first, then 2016 big man Jon Teske also committted wrapping up a great month for the Maize n' Blue.
Conversely, did any player moves end up being a detriment to your school(s)?
Kevin - Maryland started August on a poor note with the loss of 2014 forward Trayvon Reed, who has since committed to Auburn. Maryland has since recovered, making progress with a couple of talented 2015 bigs.
Scott - There have been several 2015 players that have had Indiana on their final list, but decided to go elsewhere - the latest of which was C Nick Marshall who ended up at Memphis. The Hoosiers currently do not have any scholarships open in 2015, but look for them to try and land 2-3 players due to expected turnover at the end of the current season.
Nick - Several players Nebraska had offers out to either removed Nebraska from contention for their services or signed elsewhere. Landry Shamet, Jimmy Whitt, Kevin Puryear and Henry Ellenson either accepted a scholarship elsewhere or cut Nebraska from their list. Still, with the kind of month Tim Miles just had, there's very little to be upset about in Lincoln.
Andy - Ohio State has been a powerhouse of recruiting over the last ten years, but missing out on top 10 talent from within your state really hurts. Carlton Bragg is a game changing talent that all schools would love to have for at least one year before he moves on to NBA. Now it seems that they won't even get a chance for an offical visit. It will hurt even more if he chooses Illinois which made Bragg's top 5 list.
Robert - Iowa target 3-star 2015 F Dean Wade committed to Kansas State this past weekend, but outside of that, my teams had a tame month.
Jeremy - August opened with one of MSU's top targets, Montague Gill-Caesar, reclassifying to 2014 and signing on to play for Missouri this fall. For their part Michigan looks to be out of the race for Jalen Brunson. Finally and most recently Purdue lost out on Glynn Watson to a newer Big Ten rival, Nebraska.
With the college basketball season a little over two months away, which incoming Big Ten freshman are you most excited to see play?
Kevin - There hasn't been too much hype around Rutgers' incoming 2014 class, but when I watch them in their first Big Ten season, I'll have my eye on freshman D.J. Foreman, a 6'8", 200+ pound forward. Rutgers needs playmakers in its first year in the Big Ten, and Foreman's size and athleticism could immediately make him a tough matchup for many conference opponents.
Scott - James Blackmon Jr - hands down. I think he will run away with B1G Freshman of the year and he will have a huge impact in Bloomington. He is a pure scorer of the basketball and can be counted on when the shot clock is running down. Being paired with Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt will also be a big benefit to him as a lot of the focus might end up on Ferrell. The only question I have is whether the Hoosiers have enough down low to take some pressure off of the backcourt.
Andy - Leron Black will be the one of the most intriguing freshman in the Big Ten. He is a powerful low post player that has a knack for hitting the glass. It will be very interesting to see if he can emerge to become an eventual starter as the season progresses. Jack Ingram was the last player at Illinois with a similar skill set, so it will be nice to have the ability back on the floor for Illinois.
Nick - Like Scott, I'm looking forward to seeing what Blackmon can do. We know he can shoot the rock, but he is vastly underrated in other areas of the game. Running with Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams is going to be a ton of fun for Blackmon and fans of up-tempo basketball. I also hope to see a little bit of a friendly shooting rivalry develop between Blackmon and senior transfer Nick Zeisloft. Zeisloft is nowhere near the player Blackmon is, but they are among the best shooters in the Big Ten, despite not playing a single B1G game yet.
Robert - Like Nick and Scott, I think Blackmon will be the Freshman of the Year, but i'm most intrigued to see what guard D'Angelo Russell brings to Ohio State. Russell was Thad Matta's best recruit in this class, and after a slight enrollment delay (http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2014/06/24/0624-dangelo-russell-eligible.html) he was granted eligibility.
Jeremy - Between Michigan, Purdue, and Michigan State I believe Lourawls Nairn may be the most key newcomer for their respective program. While he may not be the most heralded player joining the competitive Big Ten conference, Nairn may end up as the Spartans' lead guard if he can protect the ball and utilize his speed to break down defenses. Travis Trice may get a shot here as well, maybe in conjunction with Forbes, but the freshman guard may be the best point that the Spartans have.
Purdue could also end up starting a freshman at lead guard because Ronnie Johnson transferred during the offseason, but I think they're more likely to go with Bryson Scott or another returning guard.
Did any of your teams make any notable moves or announcements this past week?
Kevin - As I mentioned, things are heating up for Maryland on the 2015 trail. On Thursday, they had an official visit from forward Esa Ahmad. Maryland also made the top five for Diamond Stone, a top-10 2015 prospect.
Scott - Hoosier Hysteria was announced as October 25th and that will no doubt bring a lot of visitors in. This is a later date than normal and likely a later date than most schools - so there should be a lot of prospects available to visit Assembly Hall and those will start to leak out over the coming weeks. This event provides for one of the best recruiting advantages in college basketball as the crowd will be raucous and will provide some good insight into what it is like to be a basketball player at Indiana.
Andy - Illinois hosted what might have been the most important visit in the last 10 years. Jalen Brunson is the perfect point guard for John Groce's system. Brunson is a pure floor general with all the natural leadership skills that coaches love. He also can shoot the ball better than almost every prospect in the country. If Illinois is lucky enough to get a commitment from Brunson, it would catapult them to the top tier of the Big Ten.
Nick - See Watson, Glynn.
Robert - As I covered above, Iowa landed Connor McCaffrey and Wisconsin made Diamond Stone's top-5. It was a slow week in St. Paul for the Gophers.
Jeremy - Michigan and Michigan State, both began to make more serious inroads with 2016 and 2017 prospects. Michigan hosted two of the top prospects in the Midwest, hailing from the 2016 and 2017 classes respectively. Michigan State brought in 2017 PF Xavier Tillman for an unofficial visit. The Spartans also made the top 3 for 2015 5* PF Henry Ellenson.
What should we be looking for on the recruiting trail in September?
Kevin - Penn State has one spot left in its 2015 class, and they could be looking to fill that spot with Levan Alston, a 6'4" shooting guard. Alston recently scheduled official visits to VCU, Temple, and Notre Dame, but if he doesn't pull the trigger and commit in the next few weeks, Penn State could get a visit as well. It will be tough to pull Alston in, though, as PSU already has a shooting guard in the class in Josh Reaves.
Scott - As I stated above, the Hoosiers will get visits from Shake Milton and Juwan Morgan on September 26th followed by O.G. Anunoby the weekend after that. Both weekends will include home football games (Maryland and then North Texas). These seem to be the three players most likely to commit to the Hoosiers at this point and I would be surprised if at least one of them didn't commit right after their visit ends. The question then becomes available scholarships as there are currently none available with no seniors on the current roster.
Nick - Class of 2015 PF Ed Morrow will take a trip to Lincoln on September 19. Miles still has one scholarship open for that class. Should he manage to work some more magic and nab the No. 29 PF in the country, Nebraska's class could vault into the top ten. The 6-foot-7, 215 pound forward from Simeon is very high on the Huskers. The 247Sports Crystal Ball currently places Morrow's likelihood of joining Nebraska at 91 percent.
Andy - Illinois will know in the next few weeks if they are going to get one of their top two point guard prospects. They hosted Jalun Bruson this weekend and will have Juwan Evans on campus in a few days. Either point guard would make Illinois immediately better and set them up for a great four year run. September will make or break Illinois' 2015 recruiting class
Robert - Wisconsin will be anxiously awaiting Diamond Stone's decision while Iowa will be waiting to hear from Davon Dillard (http://247sports.com/Player/Davon-Dillard-30902) who looks to be Purdue-bound. Minnesota's big target for this month will be 4-star Alex Illikainen (http://247sports.com/Player/Alex-Illikainen-31471). As always, be sure to check BTPowerhouse for the latest news around the conference
Jeremy - Michigan State will host both Jalen Brunson and Henry Ellenson on official visits. Both players will wrap their official visits before the month ends and could end their recruiting process consequently. PJ Dozier will take an official visit to Michigan, but is not sure when as of now.