BT Powerhouse continues its weekly Recruiting Round-Up. Last Friday we delivered a complete overview for the Class of 2017. This Friday we will tackle the 2016 Class, featuring the most sought-after prospects, player profiles, and video mixtapes. In addition, more updates as it looks to be the beginning of another interactive summer.
Big Ten teams have made 192 offers to 96 prospects and 14 have verbally committed, thus far. This deep talent pool of "stud muffins" is one of the top recruiting classes in recent years, featuring 14 5-Stars, 49 4-Stars, and 26 3-Stars, per 247Sports Composite. In all, 249 players have received 3-Star or better status in the composite. That number will increase dramatically as time goes on.
The top Big Ten teams in the National Recruiting Rankings are Michigan State (2nd), Ohio State (6th), Northwestern (8th), Penn State (9th), and Michigan (10th). We still have about nine months before the remaining 32 scholarships are filled.
Just a few trends, Illinois has offered eight point guards and Indiana has offered 10 shooting guards. The rest of the conference has been seeking 6' 7" to 6' 9" forwards. Since the advent of the 30-second clock by the NCAA, more schools are concentrating on versatile youngsters who can play combo positions. The days of post players are diminishing.
2016 Big Ten Recruiting Matrix
|Illinois||Jermaine Haley, Alterique Gilbert, Xavier Simpson, Bryce Aiken, Tony Carr, CJ Walker, Charlie Moore, Zach Norvell, Xavier Sneed, Tony Bradley, Tyler Cook, Nick Rakocevic, Marques Bolden, Isaac Humphries, Barret Benson||2|
|Indiana||Eric Hester, Quentin Goodin, Tony Carr, Malik Monk, Josh Langford, Rawle Alkins, Bruce Brown, Eron Gordon, Kameron McGusty, Curtis Jones, Elijah Wright, Vijay Blackmon, De'Riante Jenkins, Miles Bridges, Amir Coffey, Braxton Blackwell, Lamar Stevens, De'Ron Davis, Juwan Durham, Toney Bradley, Nick Rakocevic, Thon Maker, Barret Benson||4|
|Iowa||Xavier Simpson, Tony Carr, Jerry Myles, CJ Walker, Charlie Moore, KJ Santos, Kevin Huerter, Lamar Stevens, Willie Jackson, Derrick Daniels, Tyler Cook, Nick Rakocevic, Cordell Pemsl (VC), Dylan Painter, Sedee Keita, Barret Benson||3|
|Maryland||Jermaine Haley, Alterique Gilbert, Markelle Fultz, Bryce Aiken, Anthony Cowan (VC), Tony Carr, Rawle Alkins, Frank Jackson, Brandon Robinson, Curtis Jones, Kevin Huerter, De'Monte Buckingham, Josh Jackson, Vance Jackson, Lamar Stevens, Jonathan Isaac, Harry Giles III, Wenyen Gabriel, Udoka Azubuike||3|
|Michigan||Cassius Winston, Quentin Murphy, Josh Langford, Tyus Battle, Jon Teske (VC), Bruce Brown, Austin Davis (VC), Tyler Cook||1|
|Michigan State||Cassius Winston, Josh Jackson, Miles Bridges, Amir Coffey, Nick Ward (VC), Josh Langford (VC)||2|
|Minnesota||Quentin Goodin, Jagan Mosley, Shamorie Ponds, Rawle Alkins, Bruce Brown, Quinton Rose, Frankie Hughes, Elijah Wright, Amir Coffey, Willie Jackson, Xavier Sneed, Keith Gilmore Jr, Michael Hurt (VC), Tyrique Jones, Kevin Marfo, Jeriah Horne||2|
|Nebraska||Jerry Myles, Eron Gordon, Isaiah Roby (VC), Kwe Parker, Mitch Lightfoot, Wenyen Gabriel, Tyrique Jones, Marques Bolden, Schnider Herard, Jordy Tshimanga, Barret Benson||2|
|Northwestern||Xavier Simpson, Jagan Mosley, Isaiah Brown (VC), Breein Tyree, Quentin Jackson, Quiton Ross, Marquell Frazer, Dylan Painter, Rapolas Ivanauskas (VC), Barret Benson||1|
|Ohio State||Kobi Jordan-Simmons, Jermaine Haley, Markelle Fultz, Tyus Battle, Derek Funderburk (VC), Mario Kegler, Braxton Blackwell, Harry Giles III, Iran Bennett, Micah Potter (VC)||0|
|Penn State||Markelle Fultz, Tony Carr, Alani Moore, CJ Walker, Jair Bolden, KJ Santos, Joe Hampton (VC), DeAndre Hunter, Frankie Hughes, Quinton Rose, Kevin Huerter, Ian Sistare, Amir Coffey, Lamar Stevens, Willie Jackson, Anthony Wilson Jr, Nazeer Bostick (VC), Darius Hicks, Dylan Painter, Arnaldo Toro, Abdulhakim Ado, Sedee Keita, Barret Benson||4|
|Purdue||Quentin Goodin, Xavier Simpson, DeJon Jarreau, Carsen Edwards, CJ Walker, Bruce Brown, Eron Gordon, Jarron Cumberland, Elijah Wright, De'Ron Davis, Tyler Cook, Nick Rakocevic, Schnider Herard, Barret Benson||3|
|Rutgers||Bryce Aiken, Asante Gist, Jagan Mosley, Rawle Alkins, Kwe Parker, Myles Powell, Rashond Sainave, Matt Bullock, Charles Minlend Jr, Isaiah Richardson, Austin Burnette, Taurean Thompson, Sedee Keita, Iran Bennett, Isaiah Richardson||4|
|Wisconsin||JaQuori McLaughlin, Amir Coffey, Willie Jackson, Nick Rakocevic||
The Most Sought-After 2016 Recruits by Position
Point Guard Markelle Fultz (3 offers)
From JV to must-see, Fultz is gaining big-time college attention. The 5-Star can play multiple positions - point guard, shooting guard, small forward - but he prefers point guard. On the JV squad his sophomore season, Fultz took full advantage his junior season, averaging 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists at the varsity level for DeMatha Catholic (MD). He was named WCAC Player of the Year.
The "6' 4" and 170 lbs." youngster plays AAU ball for DC Blue Devils of the Under Armour Association. Fultz is the top prospect in the State of Maryland and No. 24 nationally. In 12 games this spring, he averaged 18.6 points and 2.6 assists per game, while shooting 41 percent from the field.
Fultz has a high basketball IQ and is equipped to play multiple positions. He has been training hard this summer and his athleticism has improved. He also tightened his handle by keeping the ball lower to the ground. He has gained a better understanding of when to attack, and how to defend the pick-and-roll scenarios. He has an explosive first step and off the ball, he keeps his motor running, looking for open pockets of space.
He has received 18 offers, including Maryland, Penn State, and Ohio State. He is favoring Maryland.
Shooting Guard Rawle Alkins (4 offers)
The 5-Star is ranked No. 23 nationally and No. 5 at his position. He has received 19 offers, including Indiana, Minnesota, Maryland, and Rutgers. He averaged 20 points with three triple-doubles last season with Christ the King (NY). He is listed at "6' 5" and 210 lbs." He is a strong kid who can play shooting guard or small forward.
After torching the Adidas Gauntlet with his 24.3 points per game average this spring, Alkins led the US Select Team to a 3-0 record at the 2015 Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy. In a 76-71 win over France, he scored 18 points with five rebounds.
Check out his Mixtape. He shows a nice stroke from the perimeter and finishes strong at the rim. Also, he shows great ability to make plays for others. He needs to work on ball-handling skills.
Small Forward Amir Coffey (5 offers)
Coffey is a 4-Star talent from Hopkins, MN. He is listed at "6' 7" and 180 lbs." He is the top-ranked player in Minnesota and No. 36 on a national scale. He is still recovering from ACL surgery in January. He plans to return to basketball in July. He missed out on AAU ball this spring for Howard Pulley.
The 18-year-old is long and lanky and quite effective from the 8 to12-foot range. The silky smooth lefty shows great vision on the perimeter. He is versatile and plays like a point-forward. His style of play resembles a Tayshaun Prince or Jalen Rose.
Obviously, conditioning will be an issue when he returns to the court, along with the psychological ramifications of trusting his knee.
Coffey has received 17 offers, including Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Among others are Arizona and Baylor. He is favoring the Golden Gophers.
Power Forward Nick Rakocevic (5 offers)
The 3-Star Rakocevic keeps growing. Last year he was listed at 6' 8", this year he is at 6' 10". The Westchester, IL, native plays AAU ball for Mac Irvin Fire in the Nike EYBL. He averaged five points, three rebounds with eight blocks in 14.2 minutes per game.
Since he's grown, his coaches have been having him work on his post play. In addition, he has been working out with a personal trainer to gain more muscle weight. His St. Joseph's HS coach Gene Pingatore said that Rakocevic is just scratching the surface of his potential. Pingatore told Bob Narang of the Chicago Tribune:
He has so many skills for a kid his height. To be able to handle it and shoot like that, that's a dream. He can do a lot of things on the floor. He can play inside or outside, run the floor, play defense outside or inside...His weakness is lack of strength. That will change in college. When he gets bigger and stronger, he will be unstoppable. He has high goals for the next level.
Rakocevic has received 14 offers, among them are Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Purdue. He's also received offers from UCLA and Florida. The Badgers have the inside track.
Rakocevic talks AAU and recruiting.
Center Barret Benson (7 offers)
The 3-Star Benson holds 13 offers, seven from the Big Ten. Among them are Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa, and Indiana. He also holds offers from Iowa State, Kansas State, and DePaul. He ranks No. 12 at center nationally and No. 96 overall. Give the slight edge to Purdue.
He plays for Hinsdale South (IL) where he averaged a double-double, 19.5 points and 10.6 rebounds, his junior season. He posted 36-point games twice. He plays AAU ball for Illinois Wolves of the Under Armour Association. Benson averaged 6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. In the final session, he scored nine points with 14 rebounds and two blocks. He's a perfect fit for the bump and grind style of Big Ten play.
The 6' 10" kid is a lanky recruit with a good frame. He plays well down on the block and near the rim. He also has a nice mid-range jumper that he has been working on. Benson has good footwork in the paint and makes a strong contribution on the glass. Once he develops more strength, he has the ability to become one of the all-time great post players in Big Ten history.
Benson attended the 2015 Pangos All-American Camp in California May 29-31.
Big Ten, Big Offers, Big Names, Big News
6/24/2015: 2016 SF Jeriah Horne receives offer from Minnesota. Horne is a classic borderline player between high-major/mid-major fence. He's undersized for power forward, but he possesses a nifty turnaround jumper. He is listed at 6' 7" and 210 lbs and has received five offers, among them Pepperdine and Richmond. The Kansas City native plays AAU ball for KC Run GMC on the Under Armour circuit.
6/24/2015: 2017 SG Aljami Durham receives offer from Indiana.
6/24/2015: 2017 SG Jordan Usher receives offer from Nebraska.
6/24/2015: 2017 SG Andrew Platek receives offer from Penn State.
6/24/2015: 2017 PF Sidney Wilson, PG Isaiah Washington receive offers from Rutgers.
6/23/2015: 2017 PF Derek Culver receives offer from Purdue. Culver is a 4-Star from Warren G. Harding HS (OH). He is listed at 6' 8" and 205 lbs. He is the top Ohio recruit and ranks No. 66 nationally. He has received seven offers, including Purdue, W. Virginia, Marquette, and Cincinnati.
6/22/2015: 2017 SF Jaren Jackson receives offer from Michigan State.
6/22/2015: 2016 SG Josh Langford commits to Michigan State. The 5-Star from Madison, AL, is the 13th ranked player in the country and No. 2 at his position. He received 22 offers, including Michigan, Indiana, Duke, and Kentucky. The "6' 6" and 200 lbs" posts career stats of 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists per game at Madison Academy. The Spartans have two verbal commits and two spots left on 2016 roster. The Spartans jumped from No. 18 to No. 2 in the Team Rankings. If Izzo can land Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, talk about a kick-ass recruiting class.
6/22/2015: 2016 SG Jarron Cumberland visits Michigan. The 4-Star from Wilmington (OH) averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game his junior season. He is ranked No. 78 nationally and No. 13 at his position. He also has received an offer from Purdue. Read more...
6/21/2015: 2016 PG Jamal Murray re-classifies from 2016 to 2015 Class. Since the switch, the 6' 5" 5-Star has narrowed down his choices between Kentucky and Oregon. That throws a wrench in the plans of six Big Ten schools; Illinois, Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Michigan State. Murray committed to Kentucky June 24.
6/20/2015: 2017 SG Tevin Florent receives offer from Rutgers.
6/20/2015: 2016 SG Isaiah Richardson receives offer from Rutgers. Both Richardson and Florent are from Orlando, FL, and play on the same AAU team, the Showtime Ballers. Richardson is a 6' 7" 2-Star prospect and a great perimeter scorer. Rutgers is his first big time offer. Eddie Jordan is establishing quite a Florida pipeline. Read more...
6/20/2015: 2017 SG Lonnie Walker receives offer from Ohio State. The Buckeyes have one spot available among five offerees, including three at the shooting guard position. The 6' 4" Walker from Reading HS (PA) has received seven offers, among them are Indiana, Villanova, UCLA, and Oregon.
6/19/2015: 2017 SG Matt Beachler receives calls from Michigan and Michigan State. Beachler is listed at "6' 2" and 170 lbs" and has received four offers. He averaged 19.4 PPG. last season at Lowell (MI). He dropped 44 points against Hastings and pasted 37 points on Cedar Springs.
6/19/2015: 2016 SG Tyus Battle decommitts from Michigan (Syracuse Trending). It's not surprising. Jim Boeheim is a snake in the grass. The NCAA proved that by suspending Boeheim the first nine ACC contests of the 2015-2016 season and took away 12 scholarships over the next four years for "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance." Meanwhile, Battle's father says, "We are still trying to figure things out."
Next Friday BT Powerhouse will break down the incoming 2015 Class.
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