With the early signing period squarely in the rear-view, and the conference season in the front of everyone’s mind, let’s take a look at the state of Big-Ten recruiting for the class of 2017.
The start of next season is still a way’s away and a lot can change, but as things currently stand, the Big-Ten is without a top-10 team in its composite rankings. Ohio State, Michigan State and Indiana have been mainstays in those rankings over the past few years–below we’ll look at the current state of Big-Ten recruiting for 2017.
-A look at the Class Rankings
Sitting right outside the top-10 of 247Sports’ composite class rankings, you’ll find the Illinois Fighting Illini at #11. For a program on a 3-year tourney drought, a big haul like the one they’re poised to reel in is just what the doctor ordered.
The Illini’s 4-man class currently holds 3 of the top 10 players in the state of Illinois–including 5-star big Jeremiah Tilmon–as well as the composite #9 player in the state of Florida in 4-star point guard Trent Frazier. With a solid 11-4 record so far this season, coach Groce would love to keep their momentum going and sign more classes like the one they’re about to bring in, in the future.
Not too far behind them, Wisconsin also has a nice class of its own. 2 of the top 3 from the state of Wisconsin are set to become Badgers, as well as 4-star Minnesotan Brad Davidson, who figures to be their point guard of the future.
That about does it for the Big-Ten in the top-20, let alone the top 10.
-Who has the Big-Ten Missed on?
-Michigan State Spartans
Understandably, Michigan State was looking to bring in back-to-back top-5 classes after losing the likes of Denzel Valentine, Deyonta Davis and Bryn Forbes after the 2016 season, and possibly losing some of the talent they collected in their 2016 class to the NBA after this season.
While it does look like the Spartans can still reach that mark, there were a couple announcements that did not go their way which would have helped them get there. The two targets they appeared close to getting, but couldn’t close on where 5-star wing Gary Trent Jr. (Duke) and 4-star forward Isaiah Livers (Michigan).
With some big fish still out there, though, Michigan State should be fine.
The Wolverines hadn’t offered very many athletes in the class of 2017, but were actually able to hit on a couple of key targets they were after. While they were once listed amongst the leaders for 5-star forward Brian Bowen’s services, they were never a serious threat to land him.
Looking at the their targets from this class, however, there was one that appeared to be trending Blue, that ended up elsewhere. That would be 4-star forward Jamal Cain. Michigan looked to be in great shape for him, even making a top-4 list for his services. They could not, however, close the deal, and they’ll likely regret that one as he would have given Beilein another lanky forward to work with and develop.
With Indiana’s predominantly veteran cast of guards, the Hoosiers were absolutely looking for some youth in their backcourt. According to 247Sports, the Hoosiers offered 9 point guards, 5 shooting guards and one combo guard in the class of 2017. Indiana was hoping to land 4-star point guard Tremont Waters making a solid 2-man haul at the position along with 3-star Georgian Aljami Durham. They eventually missed out on him when he chose Georgetown in late October.
-Who’s Left For The Conference?
A few Big-Ten schools appear to be the favorites for a number of elite talents in the 2017 class.
-Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State is presently locked into a heated battle with Arizona for 5-star forward Brian Bowen out of Indiana. The Spartans are also currently battling a few teams for 5-star forward Brandon McCoy who comes from California. The trio of Bowen, McCoy and the already committed Jaren Jackson–a top 30 talent in his own right–would form an absolutely lethal three-headed front court monster in East Lansing.
Believe it or not, Michigan is a top option for 5-star big Mohamed Bamba. For Wolverine fans, he is the ultimate “don’t watch his highlights because you’ll get your hopes up” prospect. He’s pretty incredible. He does not have a decision date locked in, but whenever he comes around to picking, the Wolverines know that he’s a potentially program-revitalizing talent, and they’d love to be his pick.
Maryland’s 2-man class is looking like a safe bet to add another elite member before all is said and done. They’re currently one of small number of schools on top for 5-star wing M.J Walker out of Georgia. The competition for Walker, according to 247Sports, includes conference rival Ohio State. The good news for the Terrapins, however, is that they have a commanding lead on his 247Sports Crystal Ball, and he has long been considered a Terp lean.
Recently, Indiana has seen a long run of 247Sports Crystal Ball picks in their favor for high 4-star forward Jordan Tucker after he named them his outright leader in late December. According to Jerry Meyer of 247Sports, Tucker is down to the Hoosiers and the defending national champion Wildcats of Villanova. Whenever he does end up making his decision, expect it to the for Indiana.
All rankings are based on the 247Sports.com Composite rankings.