Big East Basketball Recruiting: Report Card for Every Team's 2013 Class
The 2013 Big East championship chase is now in its final stretch. The race for future titles has been underway from a while, with recruiting departments throughout the conference contending for the country's premier talent.
The nation's top players are perennially drawn to Big East squads, and the class of 2013 is no exception. No team landed every target on its recruiting board, but many made out with strong groups of incoming newcomers.
Time will tell how many of these lauded recruits ultimately rise to prominence, but it's never to early to pick apart the process for each program. Here's an assessment of each Big East team's latest recruiting haul.
Grades are assigned based on level of talent and how coaches cashed in on their programs' current levels of prowess.
The Bearcats bring in a ton of backcourt talent. Keeping Cincinnati guard Kevin Johnson in his hometown was huge.
Johnson led his high school squad to a 2012 Ohio state title. He could play at the point and is a dangerous shooter.
Troy Caupain, a 6'3" playmaker out of Virginia, is best suited for the shooting guard position. Florida native Deshaun Morman brings a large frame to Cincinnati's backcourt and should vie for playing time right away.
The Bearcats hit a bulls-eye by signing Jermaine Lawrence, a 6'9" power forward from New Jersey. Lawrence figures to contend for a starting spot as a freshman.
Kentan Facey is the featured member of UConn's latest class of recruits. The 6'9" forward is a versatile offensive playmaker and provides Kevin Ollie with a rangy post defender who can also handle himself on the perimeter.
Guard Terrence Samuel is a prolific passer and developing shooter. The Brooklyn standout could be yet another Huskies star to come from one of New York's boroughs.
Amida Brimah, a 6'10" center from Miami, is a compelling project for Ollie. The Huskies are one of the few teams still committed to the Big East beyond the next season or two, and this class should help UConn make strides in the post-Calhoun Era.
DePaul: B -
The Blue Demons have been disappointing in three seasons under head coach Oliver Purnell.
This recruiting class may be his final chance to convince the DePaul administration that he's worth keeping around for long-term plans.
Sequele, a 6'8" power forward, comes from Citrus Community College in California. Oak Hill Academy guard R.J. Curington rounds out Purnell's potential make-or-break freshman class.
Georgetown, a young squad led by sophomore Otto Porter Jr., pulls in just one player for now. Fortunately for the Hoya faithful, Reggie Cameron is a special player.
The New Jersey native and Hudson Catholic standout is a dynamic 6'7" swingman who could fill a number of positions on John Thompson's team. Cameron has an evolving post game and possesses impressive range from beyond the three-point arc.
If Porter pursues a professional hoops career after the Hoyas' season, as many expect, Cameron should take on a major role in the Hoyas' 2013-'14 game plan.
Rick Pitino rarely fails to pull in a prized recruiting class. His 2013 haul is no exception.
Anton Gill and Chris Jones provide firepower to what will be a rebuilt Louisville backcourt. Point guard Terry Rozier, who plays with Jones at Hargrave Military Academy in Va., must replace reliable leader Peyton Siva in the Cardinals' lineup.
Akoy Agau should make an immediate impact on both ends of the court. The 6'9" Nebraska product plays like a seven-footer inside and adds toughness in the paint.
Marquette: A -
Marquette convinced Milwaukee star Duane Wilson to remain in town for a few more years. That move went a long way toward building a solid group of Golden Eagles.
Burton, another Milwaukee kid, could become Marquette's go-to big man in the coming years. McKay can excel on the perimeter and potentially thrive at the shooting guard position.
Coach Buzz Williams convinced two impressive homegrown talents to stick around. That's a good sign for the state of the program, particularly when battling against Wisconsin for recruits.
Notre Dame: A
The Fighting Irish signed four players with the capabilities to crack the lineup early in their careers. Notre Dame landed a trio of Indiana hoopsters, highlighted by point guard Demetrius Jackson.
Steve Vasturia is among Philadelphia's most feared scorers. He's an under-the-radar shooting guard prospect who could pair up with Jackson for years to come.
Pittsburgh: B -
St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) produces college players at an alarming rate. Mike Young is the latest promising power forward prospect to field offers from programs across the country.
Pittsburgh picks up an immediate impact player. Depending on how he handles training camp, Young could be in line to start for the Panthers in his first game as a freshman.
North Carolina native Josh Newkirk is a relatively raw point guard. He committed last September.
Dynamic playmaker Brandon Austin has the makings of an offensive catalyst. The Philadelphia forward should see plenty of time on the court when he arrives on campus.
The Friars also picked up 6'6" forward Rodney Bullock, who is more of a post presence than Austin. If Providence can preach defense to this duo, it could develop into a dangerous tandem.
Rutgers: C -
Shane Rector emerged as one of New York's rising stars during his junior season. Rutgers made sure that he didn't stray too far away from the metropolitan area.
Despite Mike Rice's moderate success in the recruiting department, the Scarlet Knights have yet to see true improvement under the head coach. He will rely on Rector right away.
Craig Brown, a Fort Lauderdale guard, is relatively unknown but has been praised for his "upside." Of course, that's a dangerous intangible to rely on.
Seton Hall: D+
Seton Hall has struggled to keep up with conference opponents largely because of an ineffective offensive attack. Incoming freshman Aquille Carr could be the man to remedy the situation.
Carr, a 5'8" Baltimore product, is short in stature but is a big-time ball distributor. If the Pirates have truly found their new point guard, things are looking up at Seton Hall.
Seton Hall could certainly afford to add a few more outside shooters to its current roster.
South Florida: B -
South Florida failed miserably to duplicate the success of a 2012 March Madness run, so all eyes will be on the Bulls and head coach Stan Heath to turn things around in a hurry.
Detroit's Byron Zeigler is a 6'6" swingman who could pick up the Bulls' underwhelming perimeter play.
St. John's: Incomplete
The team has yet to lock up a recruit but remains in the mix with Philadelphia star Rysheed Jordan. He would be huge pickup, but the team is competing with UCLA and Temple.
Jordan scored 45 points in a league final matchup on Feb. 24 and expects to make a decision very soon.
Tyler Ennis, another St. Benedict's (N.J.) baller, could move right into Syracuse's starting point guard position if Big East assist leader Michael Carter-Williams decides to bolt after his sophomore season. The tenacious 6'2" talent is ranked the 24th best player in the nation by Rivals.com.
New Hampshire guard Ron Patterson is probably the most underrated member of this bunch.
Jay Wright just landed a pair of high-quality forwards. Although his Wildcats still lack a true post presence—something that has always plagued the program—Villanova can expect more offensive versatility if its new additions live up to expectations.
Josh Hart ranks among Maryland's top prospects. The 6'5" swingman can knock down shots from beyond the three-point arc and uses his length to disrupt things on defense.
Kris Jenkins is a gritty 6'6" Washington D.C. product. He lacks superior size but still could be considered the Wildcats' best rebounder a few years from now.