College Basketball: Power Ranking 10 East Coast Schools by Recruiting Power

Ethan BackCorrespondent IJune 7, 2011

College Basketball: Power Ranking 10 East Coast Schools by Recruiting Power

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    DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 09:  Cameron Crazies celebrate after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 79-73 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 9, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    College basketball teams, unlike the pros, can only have players for a maximum of four seasons. Thus, college programs rely on a constant influx of high school recruits.

    In today's college hoops scene, there are many underclassmen that declare for the NBA, so top-tier programs lose a lot of talent early. Coaches need to keep promising high-schoolers coming in, which can be a difficult task.

    For these 10 schools, however, recruiting is wonderful. Coaches at these East Coast institutions do not really need to try all that hard to sell their programs, for the name of their schools themselves can do the trick.

    Mid-major coaches can try all they want, but recruits usually won't pass up on a chance to play at Cameron Indoor for Coach K.

    With that being said, these 10 East Coast schools have the most recruiting power, which is why so many elite prospects end up playing there, whether it be for one or four years.

Pittsburgh Panthers

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    WASHINGTON - MARCH 19:  The Pittsburgh Panther mascot celebrates during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against Butler University at Verizon Center on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Conference: Big East

    The Pitt Panthers have a lot to brag about when talking to high school prospects.

    Amongst Pitt's accomplishments are two NCAA Championships (pre-tournament), 23 NCAA tournament appearances and a multitude of All-Americans.

    Jamie Dixon is quickly becoming one of the top coaches in all of college basketball and has won a National Coach of the Year award in each of the past three seasons. Using the school's history and awesome student section (the Oakland Zoo), Dixon has signed four elite recruits for next season, including the top-ranked center in Khem Birch.

    The only knock on Pitt's résumé is its failure in the NCAA tournament: The Panthers have only reached one Final Four. Other than that, Pitt has a ton of recruiting pull.

Maryland Terrapins

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    COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 20: Former Maryland Terrapins player and a current member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Greivis Vasquez, right, and his father Gregorio, left, before the start of the Terrapins game against the NC State Wolfpack at the Comcast Cent
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Location: College Park, Maryland

    Conference: ACC

    The University of Maryland is home to the original Midnight Madness, started by Lefty Driesell in the 70s. Using that as a starting point, Gary Williams has been able to get very talented recruits to play for the Terps.

    Although Williams is gone and Mark Turgeon is in, Maryland should not see a significant decrease in recruiting ability. The program offers a top-quality stadium in the Comcast Center, a winning tradition filled with great players, television exposure and recent winning (NCAA champions in 2002).

    And this could just be my personal taste, but the Terrapins always have awesome jerseys.

Syracuse Orange

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    BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 21:  Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange greets DaShonte Riley #33 as he comes out of the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on M
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Location: Syracuse, New York

    Conference: Big East

    The Syracuse Orange has one of the game's most legendary coaches in Jim Boeheim, who has been coaching the program since 1976. He has proven to be adept in recruiting, as the school has had an NCAA-record 40 straight winning seasons.

    Boeheim has led the school to four Final Fours, winning it all with Carmelo Anthony in 2003.

    Along with the winning, Boeheim can use the huge Carrier Dome as a selling point: The stadium, which is also used by the football team, can seat up to 34,616 for basketball games. Playing in front of such a large crowd can wow high-schoolers who have played in front of crowds of just hundreds.

    'Cuse's uniforms are classic as well, and playing in the orange and blue can be a dream for many elite New York high school basketball players.

Florida Gators

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 24:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators yells to his team during their game against the Brigham Young Cougars in the Southeast regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 24, 2011
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Location: Gainesville, Florida

    Conference: SEC

    Although Billy Donovan let Austin Rivers slip away, Florida's long-time head basketball coach has had success in recruiting.

    Donovan has the combination of experience (15 years as Florida's head coach) and youth (46 years old) that makes recruits want to play ball for the Gators. The nice weather doesn't hurt his cause, either.

    A testament to his recruiting ability is the fact that he won back-to-back national championships with the same starting lineup of Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Lee Humphrey and Joakim Noah. While the team has yet to replicate such great success, Donovan has kept Florida competitive in recent times and is bringing in solid recruits for the class of 2011 and 2012.

    Highlighting the class of 2011 is Bradley Beal, the fourth-ranked recruit overall, according to ESPN.

Connecticut Huskies

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    Location: Storrs, Connecticut

    Conference: Big East

    The UConn Huskies won the NCAA Championship this season, but the program hardly needs another selling point.

    Ever since the Jim Calhoun era began in the 1986-87 season, the Huskies have reached four Final Fours and won three NCAA Championships. He has had recruiting success with an array of talent, big and small, including Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor and Kemba Walker.

    Recently, however, UConn has been accused of some recruiting violations. We will see how this unfolds, but I find it hard to imagine that the Huskies lose their appeal to recruits any time soon.

North Carolina Tar Heels

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  A North Carolina Tar Heels reacts while the Tar Heels take on the Washington Huskies during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Conference: ACC

    The school that dons uniforms in a color named for, well, itself, has a ton of recruiting power, both regionally and nationally.

    Amongst the selling points that Roy Williams has for the getting recruits to play for the Tar Heels are location and weather, state of the art facilities, an illustrious history that includes five NCAA championships and Michael Jordan as an alumnus.

    Interestingly enough, three Southern California recruits in the Wear twins and Larry Drew II have transferred from North Carolina to UCLA, although this seems to be relatively anomalous in UNC's long history of national recruiting.

    An intense rivalry with Duke can entice some recruits to come down to Chapel Hill, although as this ESPN commercial will show you, if a recruit chooses Duke over UNC, things won't end up too pretty.

Georgetown Hoyas

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    billy donovan
    billy donovanJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Location: Washington, D.C.

    Conference: Big East

    When it comes to basketball, Georgetown is known mainly for two things: John Thompson's coaching lineage and a history of decorated big men.

    John Thompson III, the Hoyas' current head coach, has been a great recruiter for all seven of his years at Georgetown. In his past two recruiting classes, he has pulled in seven recruits rated 90 or higher, according to ESPN.

    As for the talented big men, Georgetown has had many elite centers for many years. Amongst them are Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutumbo, Alonzo Mourning, Othella Harrington, Roy Hibbert and Greg Monroe.

    If I were a big man on the East Coast, I would look no further than Georgetown to play my college ball.

    But then again, I'm 5'11" and live in the suburbs of Long Island, so I shouldn't have to worry about such a scenario unfolding. I guess I'll just have to settle for being the next Allen Iverson.

Villanova Wildcats

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 26:  (L-R) Randy Foye #2, Kyle Lowry #1, Mike Nardi #12, Jason Fraser #20 and Will Sheridan #50 of the Villanova Wildcats huddle up against the Florida Gators during their Minneapolis Regional Final of the 2006 NCAA Divison I Men's
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania

    Conference: Big East

    I know that there are plenty of legendary coaches around the country (Coach K, Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, etc.) and a bunch of up-and-coming coaches (Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart), but if I had to choose one coach to play for, it'd be Jay Wright.

    Wright played the game himself at the collegiate level and has been a proven head coach for a decent amount of years. He has coached many elite guards, including Speedy Claxton at Hofstra, Randy Foye, Kyle Lowry and Allan Ray.

    His recent squads have included the likes of Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Maalik Wayns. All guards on the East Coast should highly consider playing under Wright for the Villanova Wildcats, for he has proven that he can develop them into the best players they can be.

    It is no surprise that Ryan Arcidiacono, an elite point guard from the state of Pennsylvania, is signed on to play next year for 'Nova.

Duke Blue Devils

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    DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 23:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski congratulates players Nolan Smith #2 and Tyler Thornton #3 of the Duke Blue Devils after their 78-61 victory over the Temple Owls at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 23, 2011 in Durham, North Carolin
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Location: Durham North Carolina

    Conference: ACC

    Duke has had the best coach in all of college hoops running the helms of its program for the past 31 years, so it should expect nothing but the best in recruiting. Mike Krzyzewski has made the most of his talent, winning four NCAA championships during his tenure as head coach.

    Coach K's winning ways and the appeal of the magnificent Duke campus lures recruits into playing for the Blue Devils. Hardly ever does a recruit regret playing his college basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    That should come as no surprise, as ESPN rated Duke as the most prestigious college basketball program in 2008.

St. John's Red Storm

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    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Head coach Steve Lavin coaches his player Justin Brownlee #32  of the St.Johns Red Storm against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second round of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outf
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Location: New York City, New York

    Conference: Big East

    I guess playing your home games in the world's most famous arena in the world's most famous city isn't enough to bring in top recruits. That is, of course, if your name is Norm Roberts.

    At St. John's, Roberts only had two winning seasons and was fired in March of 2010.

    Steve Lavin replaced him and immediately made a huge impact on recruiting. The talent that he is bringing in next year is frightening. Just frightening.

    No more words I type can do a recruiting class like this enough justice, so just kindly have a look and know that the Red Storm are back on the map.