Big East Basketball: Analyzing conference recruiting trends

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The new Big East has been an unmitigated success on the court since 2013, but it’s not as competitive with flashy recruits.

Now that the 2018 recruiting cycle is slowly wrapping up, I thought it would be interesting to dive into recent Big East recruiting classes. While certainly on par with the other major conferences on the court, the Big East generally does not compete for the same high-level recruits that the ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, and Big 12 all attract.

Before the Big East reformed around the ‘Catholic 7’ prior to the 2013-14 season, the conference was snatching up elite recruits right and left. In 2012, the Big East landed 15 ESPN Top 100 recruits. This year, the conference only has seven such players. Of course, the Big East also downsized to 10 schools in the process, but there are also fewer elite programs remaining that are consistently able to bring in big names.

So, how has each team fared recruiting in the new conference?

I’m glad you asked. Here is a chart that breaks down each program’s recruits from 2014-18 (many of the 2013 players had already committed to their respective schools before the Big East officially split off before the 2013-14 campaign, so 2014 is the first class that was being recruited by the conference as it’s currently situated).

All recruiting ranks are via 247Sports.com. Also, the average rating of each recruit only measures prospects who have been officially rated.

5-star4-star3-starNRAvg.
Butler011203.08
Creighton06703.46
DePaul001723.00
Georgetown18703.63
Marquette17603.64
Providence091013.47
Seton Hall131303.29
St. John’s07913.44
Villanova38204.08
Xavier08903.47

What do these numbers mean?

While not many five-star players have signed with Big East schools over the last five recruiting cycles, plenty of other talent is still being infused into the conference each year. Here is how 247Sports defines four-star and three-star talents:

Four-star prospect:

“One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.”

Three-star prospect:

“One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.”

In the last 5 years, 57 four-star players and 92 three-star players have entered the Big East. That is a ton of quality talent for a 10-team league. They may not always be top-shelf prospects out of high school, but they are certainly skilled players who can (and will) develop over time into stars.

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