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November 22, 2011
Hoosier State provides Big Ten with talent
Led by Tom Crean, the Indiana Hoosiers have the top recruiting class in the Big Ten and the No. 2 class nationally. Crean and his coaches did a good job of locking up in-state talent and the guys that they didn't get all looked to stay in the conference as Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan each raided the state for Rivals150 prospects.
Speaking of Michigan, what John Beilein has been able to do on the recruiting trail may be the conference's biggest recruiting storyline. He outfoxed the likes of Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland and many others to land the conference's top recruit in Mitch McGary. Beilein was also way ahead of the pack when it came to identifying high four-star Glenn Robinson III as a potentially elite talent. Finally, Canadian Nick Stauskas is a versatile performer and dangerous scorer.
Conference schools really loaded up on top-notch wing talent. The battle between Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State for five-star Gary Harris was maybe the single hardest-fought recruiting battle in the country and for good reason. Harris looks to be an impact wing but he isn't the only one.
Wisconsin signee Sam Dekker isn't the highest rated prospect headed to the Big Ten, but he may be the most important for any team. The Badgers will be losing lots of talent and leadership after this season and each of those are things that the tough, 6-foot-7 five-star wing has plenty of.
Up in Ann Arbor, Glen Robinson III looks like the kind of guy who could eventually lead the Wolverines in scoring. He's gotten stronger, is a big-time athlete and is very efficient with his performance from the field. His future teammate Nick Stauskas is no slouch either.
Purdue and Northwestern should each see immediate results from incoming wings as well. Rapheal Davis is a physical and tough scorer who fits in well with the Boilermakers while Kale Abrahamson has touch from long range and size that the Wildcats need on the wing.
Ohio State 0-fer
It wasn't for lack of effort, but the biggest surprise of the early signing period has to be Thad Matta and his staff taking the collar in November. The Buckeyes were involved with several high level prospects like DaJuan Coleman, but didn't get anybody to pull the trigger. The encouraging thing, though, is the Buckeyes are still very much in the mix for high four-star big man Tony Parker.