If you want to turn around a program in a hurry, land a good recruiting class. If you want to remain relevant year-after-year, continue to land good recruits. It sounds simple, but obviously isn’t easy. Every team and coach does it their own way, and it’s about finding the right players to fit your system. Here are the top 10 recruits in the Big East that will have the biggest impact this season season.
1. Brandon Austin, Providence
Austin, who I picked for Big East Rookie of the Year, is a top 50 recruit by most publications and will likely be in the Friars’ starting lineup from day one. At 6-foot-6, Austin has been labeled as a ‘point forward’ given his size and ability to handle the ball. And his long frame and quickness will create matchup problems for almost every opponent. Oh, and check out this dunk he threw down at Midnight Madness this past Friday.
2. Rysheed Jordan, St. John’s
Jordan is actually the top ranked incoming recruit into the Big East this year and is seen as a top 25 prospect by many publications. The Big East is filled with a plethora of really good point guards, and Jordan should join that group from day one. Expectations are rising for St. John’s this season, and Jordan will be a key contributor if those successes are realized.
3. JaJuan Johnson, Marquette
Johnson was seen at the third best shooting guard in the class of 2013 and will contribute immediately for the Golden Eagles. Standing at 6-foot-5 and with range out to the 3-point line, Johnson will be looked upon to fill part of the void left by the departure of Vander Blue.
4. Deonte Burton, Marquette
Burton is a bit undersized for a forward standing at 6-foot-4, but he has been described as already having a basketball ready body for the college level. He can play multiple positions, and will be one of the most aggressive players on the court.
5. Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Jenkins, standing at 6-foot-6, is an impressive interior player whose rebounding capabilities have drawn comparisons to the great Charles Barkley. He has a versatile offensive game with range out to 3, but works best in the paint where his intelligence and footwork allow him to gain the advantage.
6. Reggie Cameron, Georgetown
With the departure of Otto Porter to the NBA and the loss of Greg Whittington likely for the year with a knee injury, Cameron, a 6-foot-7 top 100 recruit, could be thrust into plenty of playing time on the wing. He was seen as one of the top shooters in the class of 2013, and the Hoyas will definitely welcome those services along with his length on the defensive end.
7. Jalen Reynolds, Xavier
Reynolds was forced to sit out last year per a NCAA ruling, but should make an immediate impact this year on the inside with his 6-foot-9, 222 pound body. He can handle the ball well for a big man, is skilled at finishing around the rim, can step out and knock down mid-range jumpers, and is aggressive on the offensive and defensive glass.
8. Myles Davis, Xavier
Davis also had to sit out last year for the Musketeers per a ruling from the NCAA, and will also make an immediate impact with Reynolds. The 6-foot-2 guard is a lights-out shooter with a high basketball IQ.
9. Jaren Sina, Seton Hall
Sina, a top 100 recruit from New Jersey, should give the Pirates a much needed upgrade at point guard. He has good handles and speed, and is seen as a great teammate. Sina may not be the starter for the first game of the season, but there’s a good chance he assumes the role at some point during the year.
10. Rene Castro, Butler
Castro should see meaningful minutes for the Bulldogs and could become the team’s starting point guard on a regular basis. He is a talented combo-guard who has great scoring instincts, has range out to 3, and has the handles and strong body to be an effective slasher. He is very quick in the open court and is noted for being able to finish on both sides of the basket. He’s got good length that makes him a menace of a defender and his aggressive mindset on the offensive end keeps defenders off-balance.
Josh Hart, Villanova
Billy Garrett, Jr., DePaul
Topics: Basketball, Big East, Brandon Austin, Butler Bulldogs, Deonte Burton, Georgetown Hoyas, JaJuan Johnson, Jalen Reynolds, Jaren Sina, Kris Jenkins, Marquette Golden Eagles, Myles Davis, Providence Friars, Reggie Cameron, Rene Castro, Rysheed Jordan, Seton Hall Pirates, Villanova Wildcats, Xavier Musketeers