St. John's big class tops Big East
Here's a team-by-team breakdown of the Big East's 2011 recruiting classes after the early signing period.
D'Angelo Harrison (Missouri City, Texas/Dulles), athleticism with Jakarr Sampson (Akron, Ohio/SVSM) and swagger in Maurice Harkless (South Kent, Conn./South Kent). Mix in late-blooming Andre Iguodala-clone Dom Pointer (Winston Salem, N.C./Quality Education), and this group is built for transition and the running game.
Wayne Blackshear (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park) and Chane Behanan (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green) are the big prizes. Mix in crafty lefty center Zach Price (Jeffersontown, Ky./Jeffersontown), and you've got five signees, three in the ESPNU 100.
Rakeem Christmas (Philadelphia, Pa./Academy of New Church) enlists to share the paint with freshman Fab Melo. Michael Carter-Williams (Barrington, R.I./St. Andrews) and Trevor Cooney (Hockessin, Del./Sanford School) make it quite the trio for Jim Boeheim. Mike Krzyzewski isn't the only coach feeling energized after sitting on the Team USA bench since 2008.
Kadeem Jack (Queens, N.Y./CJEOTO Academy) and PG Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J./St. Anthony) are consensus ESPNU 100 talents. The single most important aspect of this class is that it answered just about every question posed to Rice the day he got the job, including the most important one: Will in-state talent stay home?
Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and space-eater Tyler Adams (Brandon, Miss./Brandon). The underrated recruit of the trio is Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends). If we're correct about Trawick, he'll be a rugged wing who won't back down in the rough and tumble Big East.
Shaquille Thomas (Montclair, N.J./Nia Prep), the cousin of Tim Thomas, is an adept slasher. The last time Cronin went into Rice High School in New York, he snagged Kenny Satterfield. While Jermaine Sanders is no Satterfield, he is a guy who can score. Cronin also beat the buzzer with Jeremiah Davis (Huntington, W.Va./Huntington Prep) and plucked a tough guy who is an Indiana native.
Tyrone Johnson (Rockville, Md./Montrose Christian) made his bones at last year's NBPA Camp and was Jay Wright's top choice of lead guards inside Villanova's geographical recruiting comfort zone. Johnson has the tools to be both a scorer and defender for Wright. However, this class hinges on the play of center Markus Kennedy (Philadelphia, Pa./Brewster Academy).
Jabarie Hinds (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon). The rest of the class is diverse, and there's even a sleeper. Can Pat Forsythe (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick Senior) sneak up and be the surprise of the league in terms of big men additions? Stay tuned.
Jaylen Bond (Plymouth Meeting, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh) is explosive. Guard John Johnson (Burlington, N.J./Life Center) plays with a chip on his shoulder and is wired exactly the way Dixon prefers his guards. Durrand Johnson (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster) thinks big and scores the same way.
Jamie Crockett (Crete, Ill./Crete Monee) and guard Macari Brooks (University Park, Ill./Rich South). The two best players in the class should be Shane Larkin (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), the son of Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin, and Braeden Anderson (Calgary, Canada/Wilbraham & Monson).
Derrick Wilson (Anchorage, Ark./Hotchkiss School) is cut from the Truck Bryant school of point guards. Forward Juan Anderson (Castro Valley, Calif./Castro Valley) is a slender athlete with plenty of upside and an innate ability to share the basketball.
Pat Connaughton (Arlington, Mass./St. John's Prep) snuck into the ESPNU 100 on the strength of a strong closing month of the summer.
Kyan Anderson (Crowley, Texas/North Crowley), a point guard who trades size for intangibles. Markus Crider (Wayne, Ohio/Wayne) gives the Friars another small forward option.
Aaron Cosby (Northfield, Mass./Mount Hermon) and Freddie Wilson (New Haven, Conn./Hillhouse). The mystery man of the class is Haralds Karlis, a 6-5 wing out of Latvia whom we've yet to see.
Jordan Omogbehin (Cheasapeake, Va./Shores Christian) and Andre Jackson (Baytown, Texas/Lee JC), the coach signed nearly 600 pounds worth of center prospects. Jackson is the smaller of the pair at 6-10, and Omogbehin is 7-2.
Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.