A look at where IU’s 2018 recruiting class stacks up nationally and in the Big Ten

  • 05/10/2018 8:28 am in

Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class appears to be complete as the Hoosiers inked five-star guard Romeo Langford to a National Letter of Intent in the spring signing period.

While there are still a few more dominoes to fall nationally that could shake up the team recruiting rankings – five-star Jordan Brown has yet to pick a school – we now have a pretty clear view of where Indiana’s class stacks up nationally.

Here’s a detailed look at where the Hoosiers stack up in the three major recruiting services as well in the Big Ten.

RIVALS.COM

Rivals is the most bullish on the IU class of the three services. Indiana is No. 7 nationally in the Rivals team rankings and also claims the top spot among Big Ten teams.

Here’s where each Big Ten program ranks, according to Rivals (national ranking in parenthesis):

1. Indiana (7)
2. Michigan (10)
3. Maryland (12)
4. Michigan State (13)
5. Illinois (17)
6. Northwestern (25)
7. Ohio State (28)
8. Rutgers (41)
9. Minnesota (46)
10. Purdue (50)
11. Iowa (52)
12. Penn State (61)
13. Wisconsin (69)
14. Nebraska (80)

With half of the league in the top 30 nationally, the Big Ten has produced a strong recruiting cycle according to the Rivals rankings. Given the dearth of talent in the league in recent seasons, this is good news for a league seeking its first national championship since 2000. Still, there is work to do. Only two McDonald’s All-Americans (Romeo Langford, Jalen Smith) signed with Big Ten programs.

247Sports

247Sports, which also includes the staff formerly of Scout.com, also has the Hoosiers in the top ten nationally. But 247Sports gives Maryland the slight nod over Indiana. The Terps are No. 7 nationally in the 247Sports rankings and Indiana comes in at No. 9.

Here’s where each Big Ten program ranks, according to 247Sports (national ranking in parenthesis):

1. Maryland (7)
2. Indiana (9)
3. Michigan (11)
4. Michigan State (17)
5. Illinois (23)
6. Ohio State (24)
7. Northwestern (25)
8. Minnesota (38)
9. Purdue (41)
10. Rutgers (44)
11. Penn State (47)
12. Iowa (56)
13. Wisconsin (68)
14. Nebraska (102)

The overall numbers are even more impressive here. The Big Ten boasts two classes in the top 10 nationally according to 247Sports and seven in the top 25. In the final 247Sports team rankings for the class of 2017, Ohio State was the highest ranked Big Ten team at No. 24 nationally.

ESPN.com

Indiana owns the top spot in the ESPN.com team rankings among Big Ten programs, but the World Wide Leader isn’t as bullish on the league as Rivals or 247Sports. The Hoosiers are No. 11 in the ESPN.com recruiting team rankings. ESPN only ranks a top 40, which includes nine Big Ten teams.

Here’s where each Big Ten program ranks, according to ESPN.com (national ranking in parenthesis):

1. Indiana (11)
2. Maryland (13)
3. Michigan State (14)
4. Michigan (16)
5. Ohio State (20)
6. Illinois (25)
7. Northwestern (33)
8. Purdue (35)
9. Minnesota (36)

Not ranked: Rutgers, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska

For a point of comparison here, the Big Ten had just five teams in the final ESPN.com top 40 rankings for the class of 2017. None of the teams finished higher than 15th.

(Photo credit: Eric Crawford, WDRB)

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  • coachv

    even though you haven’t seen any of them play

  • inCMitrust

    Logic will get you no where. Haha. Of the 40 minutes to be played at point the split between Devonte, Al and Rob might change thru the year but I think all of them will be on the floor at least 10 minutes. At the beginning of the year I think Devonte will be getting the most which still might only be 20 minutes a game. He could also get SG minutes behind Romeo. You may be selling Phinisee’s talents a little short. Al doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, plays good d, but needs to improve his shot I believe if he is ever going to be more than a reliable back up. Nothing wrong with being a good back up.

  • Tyler D

    Nick’s, it feels like, and has felt like since he committed, you’re pushing for the homegrown boy to be the starting point guard all four years, consistently improve, key cog and team leader from day one on campus and then BAM…Cinderella story, he hits the Keith Smart shot to win it all.

    Allow your expectations to let him be a freshman. He seems more to like a natural progression than a one done, that’s why we always sayhe’s a four year player. Play 10-12 minutes as a frosh, carve out a 14-16 minute role as a sophomore, move into the starting back court as a Junior and play 20-25. Senior year be the most experienced guard on the floor and know how to play and BAM…he hits the Keith Smart shot to hang that 6th banner baby! Unless he gets recruited over.

    Players with similar talents and physical tools to Phinisee, more often than not, gradually increase their role like I laid out up top. Bball, take your favorite four year player(s) career stats, check the MPG column and tell me I’m wrong.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Don’t be surprised if Phinny shows signs of Yogi.

  • Tyler D

    Yogi Ferrell shot 30% from 3 as a freshman for reference(with much better teammates surrounding him, giving him better looks). Not saying Al will be the shooter Yogi was, but if you say Al’s stroke looks broken, I question if you know much about shooting form. There’s always a huge adjustment for freshman, particularly shooting over longer quicker guards and longer wings/big men hedging/closing out on them. Al had moments where he shot the 3 very well and they were falling, few and far between no doubt, but I think his form looked fine for the most part., Sadly, they don’t all go in when young players adjust to playing against BIG level competition. Pretty brutal non conference slate as well.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Tyler, first off I’m not “pushing” for Phinisee. I’m expressing an educated “hunch” based on video of his game, what others who follow Indiana basketball have said, and what the Langfords have said. I am allowing my “expectations to let him be a freshman,” a Yogi-type freshman. We have finite options for the PG spot. I don’t think Al will be the centerpiece. If it’s Devonte (and I would like nothing more than him being a star PG), then it would be my best-case scenario for him, and I think tops he will be splitting minutes with Phinisee. Just my feeling. I repeat, I am not “pushing” for Phinny; I am not THAT important. This is Archie’s team!

  • for whom the balls roll

    Of course Juwan was a huge factor (btw, I was maybe the only one singing the praises of Juwan very early last season and saying he will be the star of our team), but I was talking about the PG role, so it is significant that Phinisee was the first and only name to come to Tim Langford’s mind.

    Phinny in small doses? Nope, we can’t afford that. If he is playing in small doses, we are in trouble. Again, just an educated hunch.

  • VOXAC30

    Your right DeRon has the body to bang down low and it is uncertain how healthy he will be. I was thinking more of playing three three 4’s and two guards and not necessarily a true 5 position. That would mean we would have to be able to stop interior passing because a true Big would run over the smaller forwards. IDK Race Thompson, Juan Morgan and J Smith should be able to handle there own against true big men but Jerome Hunter, Clifton Moore (he was wants to play post), and Jake Forrester, are undersized from a bulk perspective. The good news is we have these problems where there is a lot of talent.

    I’m just a hack with a keyboard so I am probably wrong.

  • sarge

    ^This^

  • sarge

    Love NZ! Guy is tough as nails

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, Race has a good CBB body type and moderate athleticism (definitely better than DD). I cautiously optimistic about his career though he still may be a year away from contributing much past garbage minutes.

    I think Clifton is the wildcard. Here’s a kid that NBA scouts are already looking at due to his unique skill set and late growth but he barely could touch the floor last season. Is he going to make the typical Frosh-Soph leap due to gained strength and experience or will he be a dud. Hanner Perea was a “late bloomer” that was highly ranked and we all remember what that was worth.

  • inLinE6

    Hanner Perea was not a late bloomer. He ranked in top 10 early in HS, but slipped all the way to 50’s. He was a typical freak athlete that has limited potential in basketball. Clifton Moore would be different because his shooting touch looks a lot better. He grew a few inches late in HS which may have messed up his footwork a bit, and he needs major adjustment in conditioning for college games, but he’s a better basketball player than Hanner was. I honestly don’t see NBA potential unless he averages 20+ mins and 13-15ppg this season.

  • Koko

    Don’t forget the Culligan Man.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Are you saying you think Clifton is capable of 20+ min and 13-15ppg next year or just setting a high bar for what would show his NBA potential? It is hard to imagine a kid who barely cracked the rotation in his first year and averaged less than 1 ppg in limited games exploding to 13-15ppg next year.

  • inLinE6

    No I don’t think he’s capable. I said I don’t see his NBA potential unless he can do that this season. But I don’t think he can, so he doesn’t have much NBA potential as one analyst suggested. He only has 1 or 2 more years of window to be considered to have “potential”. I hope he can improve drastically but honestly speaking, he disappointed me in the first season.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Gotcha, and totally agree. I can’t say I’m disappointed in his performance since he didn’t have much time on the court, but the fact he didn’t crack the rotation is disappointing in itself. I think some analysts will say a guy has “potential” if he has size. But you’re right, the term potential can only be used for so long and then you either have made it or you haven’t.

  • coachv

    tyler must be old. no one has used smitty as a nickname for smith in 50 years

  • coachv

    coach miller or mister miller to you

  • coachv

    nothing wrong with getting starter’s minutes by playing great defense and doing all the other little things right, without scoring a lot. just ask mcroberts

  • for whom the balls roll

    suits your agenda too, lol.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Ha, you betta not touch that one.

  • Dave Uncapher

    I tend to agree about Al. He has a way to go before I’d trust him on the floor for too many minutes.

  • coachv

    despite crean’s guarantee perea would play in the nba. has there ever been a head coach worse at evaluating big men than crean?

  • for whom the balls roll

    Wow, I love that, didn’t even know. I’ll consider it the beginning of practice season.

  • Tyler D

    Well the last part goes without saying. I’ve never once said Al is the centerpiece. Regarding Al, I’ve said he’ll play more minutes and contribute more than Rob. Nothing more, nothing less.
    I’ve seen it happen too often and have been guilty of it in the past. We have a down year, but the influx of talent will take care of all our team blemishes, beat out the ‘flawed’ upper classmen. Case and point, the Movement.
    I know rankings ‘mean nothing’, well at least when it comes to a home grown Indiana PG they don’t, but I’ll invite you to prove me wrong. Use the recruiting service of your choice on this. Find me a 2017 (power 5 or even a team that finished top 50 in KENPOM) PG ranked outside the top 100 that came in and started more than half of his team’s games.

  • Tyler D

    27 going on 67, coachV

  • John D Murphy

    They had 6 guys who were redshirts on last years roster. I think that is a lot.

  • Koko

    The only way to really know where RP and other players stand is to wait till the B1G season starts. Not really anything the prognosticators can predict until they start playing.

  • Koko

    Be sure to watch the All Star games on 8 & 9 June.
    I think we can get a tad bit of information on how RP
    RL and DA work together. How they play together might help fuel
    the debate on who starts and how many minutes players
    will play…..just a thought. Remember Romeo’s HS coach is coaching
    the All Star team. I’m sure he will have those three playing together.
    Who will be the sleeper on this season’s team? Isn’t there usually one
    player that rises to the top unexpectedly?
    Not much talk about Fitzner….I think he will play a large roll on the team this
    season….I really don’t see DD coming back full tilt till mid or towards the end of the
    season. Now if Clif Moore found his mojo on the court, that would be a very nice addition to a stacked and talented rotation.

  • for whom the balls roll

    What you are asking of me requires too much work and research. Here’s how I’ll put it back to you. Do you think the #230 PG (Al) will do better as a sophomore than the #127 PG (Phinisee) as a freshman? I don’t think it’s a clear-cut yes. Yes there is a big jump from high school to college bball; it does not mean Al made that jump. Next: Do you think the #197 PG (Devonte) will do better as a junior than the #127 PG (Phinisee) will do as a freshman? In the abstract, perhaps. You would have to argue that Devonte has been on a upward steady curve. He really did not improve much from his freshman year, did he? We’ll see if Archie can turn him around for his junior year, but I feel the odds are against it. I think Phinisee will have a more rounded game. Having said that, I would like nothing more than for Devonte to turn into a star PG; perhaps Archie can turn on that switch.

  • inCMitrust

    I’ve been praising McRoberts contributions forever and find it a little amusing that some think he won’t see the floor next year. Durham has limitations for his position that he has to improve upon because the talent level is going up on the roster. He will be a good contributor next year, but Romeo, Phinisee, Anderson and whoever comes next are just big jumps in talent.

  • Tyler D

    Al may have had his struggles offensively, but you can’t completely leave him like McBob. Al drives it well, has solid handles and if you leave him on an island he’s knocking down that 3. I love McBob and he makes plenty of winning plays, but he and Al are light years apart on the offensive end.

  • Tyler D

    I’ll agree 100% with Romeo being a big jump in talent and a focal point of the team as a freshman. He’ll be a 30 MPG 18-20 PGG game guy, but the drop off from Rome to Hunter is significant. I’m not saying Damezi, Rob, Jake and especially Jerome won’t be better 4 year players than Al or Devonte, but there’s a learning curve those two have been through already.