Welcome to another weekly edition of Recruiting Round-Up. This week we will concentrate on the incoming Class of 2015, featuring the Top Five immediate impact players, a preview of Ohio State, other player profiles, interviews, and video mixtapes. And of course, tons of recruiting updates as the NCAA Evaluation Period starts heating up July 8.
The Big Ten Conference welcomes 53 new players. The three 5-Stars are Diamond Stone (Maryland), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), and Thomas Bryant (Indiana). There are 20 players who made 4-Star status and 25 kids earned 3-Star recognition per 247Sports Player Rankings Composite.
The Big Ten landed 11 schools in the Top 50 Team Rankings, headed by Ohio State with a No. 11 rating. Illinois finished second in the conference with a No. 17 ranking and Michigan State stands third with a hold on the No. 18 spot.
In all, 471 prospects stuffed the 2015 Class Sheet. Out of those, 32 are still undecided with time running out. 4-Star Maverick Rowan de-classified from the 2016 to the 2015 class, but is favoring St. John's. And heavily recruited 4-Star big man Georgios Papagiannis (Maryland, Penn State, and Rutgers), decided to sign with a Greek Pro team June 25.
FYI: After the May 20 deadline, if a school has one or two scholarships still left, they carry over to the 2016 class. Purdue, Iowa, and Illinois were the only three schools that used up their full complement of scholarships. Each Division I school is allowed 13 scholarships. Here is the complete breakdown.
2015 Big Ten Team Rankings
|Ohio State||11||JaQuan Lyle, AJ Harris, Austin Grandstaff, Mickey Mitchell, Daniel Giddens|
|Illinois||17||Jalen Coleman, Aaron Jordan, DJ Williams, Darius Paul|
|Michigan State||18||Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens, Deyonta Davis|
|Indiana||26||Ogugua Anunoby, Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan, Harrison Niego|
|Nebraska||34||Glynn Watson, Bakari Evelyn, Jack McVeigh, Edward Morrow, Michael Jacobson|
|Purdue||36||Grant Weatherford, Ryan Cline, Caleb Swanigan|
|Maryland||39||Diamond Stone, Jaylen Brantley|
|Penn State||42||Josh Reaves, Mike Watkins, Deividas Zemgulis|
|Rutgers||47||Corey Sanders, Justin Goode, Jonathan Laurent, Deshawn Freeman|
|Wisconsin||48||Brevin Pritzl, Khalil Iverson, Charlie Thomas, Andy VanViet, Alex Illikainen|
|Minnesota||50||Kevin Dorsey, Dupree McBrayer, Ahmad Gilbert, Jordan Murphy, Jarvis Johnson (IR)|
|Northwestern||60||Jordan Ash, Aaron Falzon, Dererk Pardon|
|Iowa||82||Isaiah Moss, Andrew Fleming, Christian Williams, Brandon Hutton, Dale Jones, Ahmad Wagner|
The Top 5 Big Ten Impact Players
These youngsters have the skill-set to provide an immediate impact on their respective teams, meaning they are capable of starting and/or contributing at a high level. Don't be surprised if one or more of these kids jump to the NBA after freshman season.
5-Star Diamond Stone (Maryland) 6-10/250 Center
A McDonald's All-American, Stone signed with the Terrapins May 17, 2015. He is ranked No. 6 in the country and No. 2 at his position. He received 18 offers, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan State. He averaged 16.9 points and 11.6 rebounds at Dominican HS (WI).
There's a strong possibility he plays one year and then jumps to the NBA. He is projected to be the No. 4 overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft according to Draft Express.com.
Maryland has a solid core to contend for a national championship. Stone and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr along with Jake Layman, should provide a monster front court. Stone is going to be a defensive powerhouse and a sure bet to score and rebound in double figures.
He definitely will give Maryland much-needed rebounding strength. In addition, he will be a huge presence out top on the pick-n-roll with Melo Trimble. Damonte Dodd may lose his starting position, but will make an excellent rotation off the bench with Michael Cekovsky.
Check out this BIG! He can serve it up one-handed or both hands with authority.
5-Star Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) 6-9/265 Center
A McDonald's All-American, Swanigan received a lot of attention this Spring. He committed to Michigan State April 10 and then decommitted May 7, before signing with the Boilers May 19. The 18-year-old is ranked No. 18 in the nation and the top player in Indiana.
Swanigan posted 13 points and six rebounds to lead Team USA to a 92-50 win over Egypt Tuesday. He played 17 minutes and converted 5-of-6 from the field with two assists. Team USA is 3-0.
Homestead won the Indiana Class 4A State Championship and Swanigan led the way with 20 points and 14 rebounds. He received 18 offers, including Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, and Georgetown.
He is the presumptive starting power forward and will join forces with 7-footer AJ Hammonds and 7' 2" Isaac Haas. Talk about an NBA-type front court. His new role at forward means that he can exploit his powerful frame and provide rebounding prowess and scoring ability in the paint area.
He is an excellent passer from the post so expect the inside-outside game to improve with perimeter players Kendall Stevens, Dakota Mathias, and PJ Thompson. He shows good vision and versatility and could help make Purdue a match-up nightmare for many opponents.
Purdue coach Matt Painter talks about the addition of Caleb Swanigan.
5-Star Thomas Bryant (Indiana) 6-10/225 Power Forward
A McDonald's All-American, Bryant is another big ranked No. 20 nationally, No. 5 at power forward, and No. 2 in the State of New York. He received 11 offers, among them Syracuse, Kansas, Kentucky, and Oregon. He signed with Indiana April 22.
He won a state title with Bishop Kearney his sophomore year and then transferred to Huntington Prep (WVA) his final two seasons. Last season he averaged 17.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game.
A real grinder, the 18-year-old can bang down low for rebounds and blocks, as well as run the floor in transition for dunks. The Hoosiers desperately needed a big physical presence. He unfurls a 7' 6" wing span and his frame is begging for more muscle.
He will be surrounded by a host of perimeter players in Troy Williams, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr, and incoming freshman Juwan Morgan. The Big Ten will feature several incoming bigs in Stone, Bryant, Swanigan, and Daniel Giddens. Talk about some great match-ups this season.
4-Star Deyonta Davis (Michigan State) 6-9/230 Power Forward
A McDonald's All-American and Michigan's Mr. Basketball, Davis is ranked No. 26 in the country and the top dog in the state. Muskegon HS advanced to the Class A state quarterfinals, losing 75-52 to Everett. He scored 12 points with eight rebounds and five blocks.
Despite low numbers in the quarterfinals, the 18-year-old finished his senior season with double-double credentials. He averaged 18.3 points and a whopping 15.2 rebounds per game. But more impressive, he blocked 169 shots. He set a state record with 199 blocks his junior season.
He signed early on December 11, 2013. He does a nice job of patrolling the paint and plays with an even-keel demeanor. His high school coach Keith Guy calls Davis "a quick learner and quiet leader with unlimited potential."
Davis teamed up with Swanigan on the AAU circuit in 2014 for Spiece Indy Heat. He averaged 16.1 points and 8.7 rebounds. He shot 55 percent from the floor. He kind of fits the mold of a Chris Bosh.
4-Star Jalen Coleman (Illinois) 6-4/185 Shooting Guard
The Indianapolis native hails from prestigious La Lumiere HS. He signed Letter of Intent November 12, 2014. Some of the schools that offered were Michigan, Notre Dame, and UNLV. He is ranked No. 36 nationally, No. 9 at shooting guard, and No. 2 in Indiana.
He is a natural at the two guard position. He is one of the top shooters in the 2015 class. Coleman can knock down jump shots from all over the court. He has a nice smooth stroke, a quick first step, and the hops to finish in traffic. He is long and athletic and should fit nicely with newcomers DJ Williams, Aaron Jordan, and Darius Paul. By far, one of John Groce's best recruiting classes.
Coleman shows supreme athleticism, a nifty jumper, and the ability to create for himself in senior year mixtape.
Breaking Down Ohio State's 2015 Class
Over the next several weeks, BT Powerhouse will break down each Big Ten school in order of their rankings. Ohio State is this week and Illinois will be next Friday.
The future looks bright for the Buckeyes. Back in early May I dubbed this class as the next "Fab Five." That's a bold statement considering none of them have played a single game. And I'm sure the five sophomores on the current roster will have something to prove. Regardless, youth is being served.
Pairing this loaded class with the 2014 group, there is a lot of optimism for years to come. Marc Loving is the lone junior on this team and he averaged 9.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in a reserve role of about 24 minutes per game. Sophomore Jae'Sean Tate saw 21.6 minutes per game, while averaging 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per outing.
The other four sophomores totaled only 25.6 minutes per game combined. And David Bell didn't even play because Thad Matta decided to red-shirt him. He is still considered a "project" player. It will be interesting to see which five players will earn starting berths.
Ohio State lost seven players, including four starters. That's 49.8 points per game that has been vacated. That means at least three to four players need to provide the point production on a consistent basis for the 2015-2016 season.
These five incoming freshmen, all 4-Stars, are the ideal complement to each other. JaQuan Lyle can play point guard or shooting guard, AJ Harris is always looking to set up other teammates, Austin Grandstaff can light it up from the 3-point line, Mickey Mitchell can shoot outside and slash to the rim, and Daniel Giddens is capable of anchoring a defense down low with his strength, rebounding, and shot-blocking.
JaQuan Lyle is a 6' 5" combo guard rated No. 40 in the country and No. 9 at shooting guard. Lyle will be looked upon as D'Angelo Russell's replacement. He was the latest addition to the Buckeyes, committing in January. He'll likely be in the starting lineup this season, it's just a matter of which guard spot. He has vision to play point guard and the big body to get to the basket.
The 19-year-old first signed with Oregon April 8, 2014, then decommitted October 9,2014, before signing with the Buckeyes April 23, 2015. Watch him do it all - shoot outside, penetrate and finish, post inside, and dish.
Austin Grandstaff is a 6' 5" shooting guard rated No. 47 nationally and No. 11 at his position. He is a sharpshooter who can fill it up. Grandstaff could step in and fill the scoring void. He's a candidate to start at shooting guard, but could get a challenge from Kam Williams.
Daniel Giddens is a 6' 10" center ranked No. 44 in the nation and No. 7 at center. There is plenty of depth as Giddens and transfer Trevor Thompson and red-shirt freshman Bell will compete for minutes. Thompson probably has the slight edge to start, but Giddens has the physical tools to challenge. He is considered a versatile post player who will be an asset on the defensive side immediately.
AJ Harris is a 5' 9" point guard ranked No. 81 in the country and No. 13 at his position. Harris can contribute right away with his ball-handling skills and quick explosion. And he has terrific floor vision. The problem is that he has players in front of him. If Lyle and Grandstaff are on the floor together, then Harris will be coming off the bench. However, if Matta wants to go "small" ball at times, then all three could play together.
Mickey Mitchell is an interesting story. The 6' 7" combo forward committed to Ohio State August 22, 2013. He decommitted August 21, 2014, and then re-committed September 11, 2014. Once again, it depends what kind of lineup Matta is looking at because Jae'Sean Tate is guaranteed one of the forward spots. That means Mitchell will have to fight it out with Loving. Another scenario could have Mitchell coming off the bench first as a versatile reserve who can play every position from point guard to power forward.
In a nut shell, this 2015 class is versatile enough for Thad Matta to experiment with different lineups before the ruggers of conference action. Check out these three amigos and their contrasting styles.
Looking ahead, the 2016 class will add two players in power forward Micah Potter and post player Derek Funderburk. Marc Loving will be a senior and hopefully these two can help provide minutes in the front court. Ohio State has five offers for one spot from the 2017 group.
In the final analysis, the future holds optimism, the prospects are intriguing, the competition fierce, and the downside of abundant youth is unpredictable.
Big Ten, Big Offers, Big Names, Big News
7/1/2015: 2016 PF Jalen McDaniels receives offer from Nebraska.
He plays for Federal Way (WA) and measures 6-8/190. He scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the Class 4A Washington regional semifinals. He plays AAU ball for Rotary Select and has received other offers from Boise State and Montana State.
7/1/2015: 2018 SF Isaiah Kelly receives offer from Wisconsin.
6/30/2015: UCONN transfer Terrence Samuel commits to Penn State.
6/30/2015: 2017 SG BJ Duling receives offer from Iowa.
Duling plays for New Albany HS (OH) and is noted for his reverse dunk against Olentangy in the fourth quarter of a game back in February. Check it out.
6/29/2015: 2016 PG Carsen Edwards visits Purdue.
6/28/2015: Penn State 2013 PG Geno Thorpe will be transferring to South Florida.
6/28/2015: 2017 SF Justin Smith receives offer from Purdue.
Smith hails from Lincolnshire Stevenson (IL). His stock continues to rise. He helped Stevenson win the state as a sophomore by scoring 12 points with seven rebounds. His first college offer was Rice followed by Wake Forest.
6/28/2015: 2017 SF Jaren Jackson receives offer from Michigan State.
Jackson Jr is the son of Jackson Sr who played for Georgetown and in the NBA for several seasons. He attends Park Tudor (IN) and is listed at 6-8 and growing. He averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds his sophomore season. He is ranked No. 56 by 247Sports. Jaren has received offers from Indiana, Butler, Purdue, and Illinois.
6/28/2015: 2017 4-Star C Daniel Mading visits Nebraska.
6/27/2015: 2018 PG Tre Jones receives offer from Minnesota.
Tre is the younger brother of former Duke guard Tyus Jones. He plays for Apple Valley HS (MN) and AAU team Howard Pulley. He helped lead Apple Valley to the Minnesota Class 4A state title, averaging 10 points, three rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Talk about a prolific backcourt, he and Gary Trent Jr are running mates. Also, he holds an offer from Texas Tech.
6/26/2015: 2017 PG Markus Howard receives offer from Nebraska.
6/26/2015: 2016 SG Zach Norvell receives offer from Purdue.
6/26/2015: Rutgers 2013 PG Khalil Batie will be transferring to Delaware State.
It was another week of wall-to-wall activity. There were 16 offers and counting, two visits, and one commit. Penn State was wheeling and dealing as they made four offers, received a transfer, and lost a transfer. Next Friday BT Powerhouse will break down Illinois' incoming 2015 class plus more goodies.
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