Today is the the last signing day for the 2012 basketball recruiting class and the last "Look At ME!!!!" celebrations for guys that could be forgotten in 12 months it means the final class of 2012 rankings are beginning to come through. As expected, Purdue seems to be doing quite well:
- ESPN has Purdue with the No. 16 class overall - Three of the four guys (Davis, Hammons, and Johnson) rate a 92 on their scale and Jay Simpson comes in as a three-star at 89. Davis, Hammons, and Johnson finish as top 100 recruits.
- According to ESPN, the class is No. 4 in the Big Ten, behind Michigan State (No. 7), Indiana (No. 9) and Michigan (No. 11). not bad for "mediocre" recruits as they were called on a certain message board.
- Rivals has three of four guys in the top 100 as well - Their final class rankings are not posted yet, but A.J. Hammons moves to our No. 1 spot at No. 77 overall and gets his fourth star. Ronnie Johnson (No. 94) and Rapheal Davis (No. 96) are also four-stars. Simpson (#112) just misses out on a fourth star (#103 was the cutoff).
Scout has Purdue at No. 18 overall - According to Scout, all four guys are top 100 players and have four stars. Hammons is again the highest rated player at No. 70, followed by Johnson at 80, Davis at 99, at No. 100.
- Indiana (No. 3), Michigan (No. 7), and Michigan State (No. 10) are ahead of us in the Big Ten according to Scout.
As you can see, this is a solid class and it has players that should mesh well together. Assuming all four stay four years, it is a safe bet they may all be starting by the time their tenure is done. Three of them are unanimous four-star recruits, while Simpson measures out to about a 3.3333333-Star because of his slightly lower ESPN and Rivals rankings. As we expected, Johnson and Hammons are supposed to be the two best (and thus instant impact) guys.
While it is disappointing that we missed out on the three Indiana Five-stars this year (Kevin Ferrell, Gary Harris, and Glenn Robinson III), we still have a class that is more than solid. When you consider there are almost 350 schools out there in Division I and over 70 in a "major" conference, hauling in a top 20 recruiting class is quite good. If this is mediocre I'll gladly take anyone we can get better.
In terms of how this class tacks up tot he "Baby boilers" of 2007, that class was rated No. 5 by Scout, No. 7 by Rivals, and ESPN was likely a solid top 10 (it's protected by Insider). On paper, this class is slightly worse than that, but I think the overall foundation that these four guys are coming into is light years better.
Remember, the 2007 class entered with basically Keaton Grant, Marcus Green,and Chris Kramer as established players. Tarrance Crump was the lone senior, and the No. 5 returning guy on the roster was former walk-on Bobby Riddell. Our forwards were JJ, Nemanja Calasan as a JuCo transfer, and that's about it since Dan Vandervieren and Jonathan Uchendu left. Crump was the only four-star on the roster.
Next year's four enter with three four star players (D.J. Byrd, Terone Johnson, and Anthony Johnson) already here.There is some actual size on the roster in Jacob Lawson, Sandi Marcius, Donnie Hale, and Travis Carroll to compliment Hammons and Simpson. That means six forwards instead of two (I don't count Chris Reid, who scored three total points in his career). Byrd brings in three years of experience along with John Hart, while TJ has two years and AJ a year. Grant and Kramer were only sophomores during the 2007-08 season, Calasan was a JuCo in his first of two years, and Crump was only in his second year.
Next year's team has a lot more experience and talent already on the roster before another top 20 recruiting class comes in, so things could be interesting if everyone mixes together.
Recruiting rankings mean very little if the work doesn't continue once they get here. It's time for these young men to earn it.