While there’s still plenty of basketball to be played this season, it’s never too early to start thinking about next season.
Thus is the challenge of a college coach, who must be fully invested in their current team but simultaneously planning for the program’s future.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of where all ten Big East schools stand with their current recruiting classes.
Jay Wright seems to raise the bar with each passing year when it comes to his recruiting classes and so it should come as no surprise that the 2019 group is, once again, the best class in his tenure.
Bryan Antoine is a scoring guard with all the tools – size, skill, and athleticism – and the Wildcats beat out Duke for the McDonald’s All-American.
If that weren’t enough, IMG Academy’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is one of the most productive big men in the country. He’s from Kansas, but Villanova was able to beat out the Jayhawks.
Justin Moore and Eric Dixon are two products from the Mid-Atlantic region who are both consensus top 100 national prospects and important additions in their own right.
Add all of that to Wright’s 2018 class and it makes seven straight Wildcat recruits who are ranked in the ESPN 100.
If Xavier head coach Travis Steele were a baseball player, he might not hit a ton of home runs but he’d have a very high batting average. Such is the best way to describe his first recruiting class at the hub of the Xavier program.
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He landed five recruits, all of whom are capable of contending for rotation minutes next year, and likely to be four-year products for the Musketeers.
Dekeyvan Tandy, a powerful lead guard from Kentucky, is the only top 100 of the group but several others were right on the cusp.
Four-Star 2019 PG Dekeyvan “KyKy” Tandy (KY) has committed to Xavier! @TandyDekeyvan ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/lDeCA9QBjn
— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) October 23, 2018
Dahmir Bishop is an athletic guard with good size and evolving shot-making.
Zach Freemantle is an undersized, but uber-productive, big man from New Jersey.
Dave Leitao has a couple of immediate impact players coming to Chicago next year.
In the case of Markese Jacobs, a top 100 national prospect, it’s actually a matter of staying in Chicago as Leitao kept the playmaker close to home.
NEW‼️ Markese Jacobs INSANE ATHLETE Official 2018 AAU Mixtape!! Too tough!! @TheShowJacobs
— EGB 🚀📈 (@EricGetsBuckets) October 11, 2018
Romeo Weems is an athletic combo-forward with a high-motor who can play multiple positions and impact the game on both ends of the floor.
Oscar Lopez isn’t quite as heralded as those two but provides perimeter size and the ability to play on or off the ball.
Add St. Louis transfer Carte’Are Gordon, who was another top 100 national prospect a year ago, and this is likely Leitao’s best class ever.
Khalif Battle, the younger brother of Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, is headed to Butler next year and could end up emerging into a star under LaVall Jordan.
— BallerTV (@BallerTV) February 11, 2019
Battle is one of those guys who has immense, and versatile, tools at the high school level and just hasn’t put them all together yet. The smart money is on him figuring it all out in the coming years as he has size, shot-making, and athleticism alike.
John-Michael Mulloy gives them a local big man to solidify their frontcourt rotation.
The Pirates continue to mine the greater northeast region for talent and have a scrappy NYC guard coming to town in Dashawn Davis.
The real gem of the class though is Canadian native Tyrese Samuel, who possess both skill and power up front, and should be one of the conference’s more impactful freshmen next season.
— Orangeville Prep (@OrangevillePrep) November 27, 2018
The Pirates remain in the hunt for additional pieces this spring.
Ed Cooley thrives with versatile combo-forwards (see: Henton, LaDontae) and he’s got his latest one for his Providence College Friars in Greg Gantt, an athletic 6-foot-7 late-bloomer from Trinity Christian in North Carolina.
Gantt is a consensus top 100 national recruit but just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential according to all reports. The Friars are also expected to be very active this spring, not just in the high school market but also with transfers.
— Greg Gantt Jr. (@juuune__) July 27, 2018
This should come as no surprise, but Patrick Ewing covets size in his version of the Hoya program and he’s getting exactly that this year.
— Qudus abolaji wahab (@bola_dee_baller) January 30, 2019
Qudus Wahab, an athletic 6-foot-11 big man, should help soften the blow of Jessie Govan’s graduation while Malcolm Wilson and Timothy Ighoefe provide two more big bodies capable of fighting for time at the front of the line-up.
The Johnnies went all in on a strong local class in the northeast region but have thus far come up empty handed, with the exception of Cameron Mack, a scoring guard out of the junior college ranks.
— CAM OBAMA (@Camiscute2) November 21, 2018
With N.C. State transfer Ian Steere, a broad and powerful big man, sitting out this year and the vast majority of their rotation expected to return, Chris Mullin and his staff have the luxury of not facing any critical need this spring.
The Bluejays are also expected to return the vast majority of their line-up and so the only real need heading into the class was to solidify their depth at the point guard position behind Marcus Zegarowski.
— Reef (@MitchellShereef) July 13, 2018
A local product who is currently doing a post-graduate year at Sunrise Christian, Mitchell had a reputation as a distributor playing local high school basketball in Nebraska but has shown his scoring and shot-making pop in recent months.
Dexter Akanno is a California native currently doing a post-graduate year at Blair Academy in New Jersey. He may not end up being a big-time scorer at Marquette but he’s bound to be one of their better defenders and most competitive players.
Today Valencia High School alumni, Dexter Akanno, signed his letter of intent with Marquette University. Congratulations Dexter and good luck with your college career!!! pic.twitter.com/sBDKA4mkI8
— Valencia Basketball (@ValenciaHoops) November 14, 2018
The Golden Eagles also hold a commitment from Vermont Academy combo-guard Symir Torrence, who is currently in the class of 2020 but could opt to head to college next year after previously reclassifying.