Signing Analysis: The Big Ten

Signing Analysis: The Big Ten
Destiny Slocum

The Big Ten Conference had a strong 2016 recruiting haul, in part due to Maryland landing the No. 1 overall class in the early signing period.

Grading The Conference Curve

Whether it’s having more historically ranked teams or having more campuses near fertile recruiting grounds it’s easy to just add up which conference has the most ranked recruiting classes.  But more telling is the progress each conference is having against its own established average.  Call it the Conference curve.

We have averaged out the last five recruiting classes and graded each year against that curve.

 

2016 ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  5 4 4 5 1 1
Top Class #3 Notre Dame #1 Maryland #2 Texas #6 Stanford #9 Vanderbilt #10 Connecticut
% of AVG 76% 154% 154% 167% 31% 50%
Grading Curve C A+ A+ A+ F F
             
             
2015 ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  5 5 3 3 3 1
Top Class #1 Louisville #8 Nebraska #5 Baylor #13 Cal #9 Kentucky #2 Connecticut
% of AVG 76% 192% 115% 100% 94% 50%
Grading Curve C A+ A+ A A F
             
             
2014 ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  8 2 1 2 5 2
Top Class #5 Louisville #2 Ohio State #3 Texas #1 UCLA #10 Vanderbilt #18 St. Johns
% of AVG 121% 77% 38% 67% 156% 100%
Grading Curve A+ C+ F D+ A+ A
             
             
2013 ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  8 2 1 3 4 2
Top Class #1 UNC #18 Penn State #11 Baylor #6 Stanford #3 Tennessee #19 Rutgers
% of AVG 121% 77% 38% 100% 125% 100%
Grading Curve A+ C+ F A A+ A
             
             
2012 ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  7 0 4 2 3 4
Top Class #4 Notre Dame N/A #2 Texas A&M #12 UCLA #5 Tennessee #1 Connecticut
% of AVG 106% 0% 154% 67% 94% 200%
Grading Curve A+ F A+ D+ A A+
             
             
5-Year AVG ACC BIG TEN BIG XII PAC-12 SEC OTHERS
Top 20  6.6 2.6 2.6 3 3.2 2
             

Conference realignment has lead to an up-tick in elite signing classes in the league.  Maryland pulled the No. 1 class in the country and Ohio State had an impressive class as well, ranking fifth nationally.  In addition both Michigan and Michigan State landed top 20 classes at 15th and 17th, respectively. 

Against the league’s five-year average, the 2016 class an A+ grade.  It’s the second highest number of top 20 classes in the last five years, with 2015 being the best with five top-20 classes.
 

Best Class

Maryland finished 2016 with the No. 1 overall recruiting class in the country. The Terps six-player class will bring depth and balance to an already very talented Maryland roster. This group is headlined by an impact point guard in Destiny Slocum and flanked by three of the best wings in the class in Kaila Charles, Stephanie Jones, and Blair Watson.  On the inside, Jenna Staiti will add size to the front line while Sarah Myers has the potential to be a high-level perimeter shooter.
 

Biggest Impact As A Frosh

One of the key factors in judging potential impact as a freshman is early playing time. When taking that into consideration, future Michigan State wing Nia Hollie would be a strong choice to make a loud, first-year impact.  Hollie is an high level recruit for Michigan State and given the void left by a departing senior class, there should be a chance at early playing time.
 

Other Winners

Ohio State had the biggest signing week win in the country when No. 8 Tori McCoy decided to sign in the early signing period and pledge to the Big Ten school.  The Buckeyes three-player class has the potential make an immediate impact for coach Kevin McGuff and his staff. 

Michigan coach Kim Barnes-Arico and her staff have added four of the top 150 players in the country with their 2016 class. Guard Kysre Gondrezick headlines the class and should be able to bring a scoring punch to Michigan’s roster.

One of the sleepers of the 2016 class might be Purdue guard Dominique Oden. Oden is a talented offensive guard who can create her own scoring opportunities. Her combination of size and playmaking ability will be welcomed in West Lafayette.
 

The Strength Of The League

The Big Ten has 10 of the top 50 classes in the country this year. With Maryland holding the No. 1 spot, there is no shortage of talent headed to the conference.  One could argue that along with the ACC, the Big Ten has had the best year in recruiting of any of the power conferences.

 

Keil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and international scouting report. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and has been a member of the women's basketball community for more than eight years as a trainer and evaluator. He can be reached at keil@prospectsnation.com.

 

Chris Hansen is managing editor of ProspectsNation.com and serves on the McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Trophy selection committees.  He was the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012 and is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase.  He can be reached at chris@prospectsnation.com.

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