It takes (at least) two years to properly evaluate a recruiting class*, which is why I thought it might be fun to take a look back at 2010, and rank the recruiting classes from 1-9. Based on my research, this is who was in each team's class (unfortunately there was no Big Sky basketball blog to lay it all out!)... let me know if I have missed anyone.
I tried to balance quality/quantity... for example, Northern Colorado hit on 2/2 recruits, where Idaho State was more like 4/8... ISU scored more rotational players, but I ranked UNC ahead based on their hit rate (and the quality of guys they got). Anyway, feel free to debate.
Recruits: Kareem Jamar, Vaughn Autry, Billy Reader, Michael Weisner, Art Steward, Jordan Wood
Analysis: Looking at this listing of recruits, it is no surprise that Montana won the Big Sky last season with one of their best seasons in school history. Kareem Jamar is the headliner, as he is a potential Big Sky POY player. Art Steward was a two year starter, and added good defense and toughness to the team that was critical last year. Mike Weisner gave them some solid minutes last year as a redshirt freshman, and should have a solid career. Jordan Wood was a contributor, and was never expected to have a big role. Of the misses, Vaughn Autry transferred after one year, and Billy Reader transferred this past season after struggling academically (though he looked like he would have made an impact on the court). That's a good ratio, especially when Jamar is in the class.
2. Weber State
Recruits: Scott Bamforth, Kyle Tresnak, Jordan Richardson, James Hajek
Analysis: The Wildcats were 4/4 and arguably have a claim to the top spot on the list. Scott Bamforth was an all-conference player his first year, and should be a huge part of the offense as a senior, as well as being the best shooter in the Big Sky. Kyle Tresnak is developing, but already he may be the best low-post offensive player in the Big Sky. Jordan Richardson is a good rotation guard who may have a chance to start, and James Hajek is a tough big man, though he will be battling back from injury. It's no surprise that WSU and Montana are the two best teams in the conference.
3. Portland State
Recruits: Chehales Tapscott, Charles Odum, Brandon Cataldo, Terry Coleman
Analysis: Can't really argue with this class. Chehales Tapscott and Charles Odum gave the Vikings two stellar seasons, and they are two of the top three players leaving the Big Sky this year. Brandon Cataldo has battled injuries throughout his career, but he has a chance to be a solid contributor for them. All in all though, any class with Odum and Tapscott in it gets praise here, as they helped make PSU a league contender again.
4. Northern Colorado
Recruits: Paul Garnica, Tevin Svihovec
Analysis: This class is light on quantity, but scored two quality players for the Bears. Tevin Svihovec was one of the top three freshman in the conference last year (after a redshirt year), and has become the go-to guy on the roster for UNC. Look for him to potentially be an all-conference performer this season. Paul Garnica has been a bit of an up-and-down player during his career, but he is a playmaker offensively who had a much improved jumpshot as a sophomore. If he can get a little stronger defensively, he can be a good starter.
Recruits: Chase Grabau, Kenny McGowen, Brandon Glanz, Andre Hatchett, Justin Brunswick, Nick Mason, Kami Gawrzydek, Abner Moreira
Analysis: They hit on a bunch of guys, and this class might be judged a little higher if other classes around it were better, as these guys made up the bulk of ISU's production last year. Chase Grabau was a stud for them last season, and had a nice two-year career. Kenny McGowen hit tons of big shots for them last year, but was a bit of a gunner last season. Abner Moreira was a solid rebounder for them. Andre Hatchett played a ton of minutes for them last year, but that might say more about the ISU talent level than his talent level, though he will still be a big part of the program with two years of eligibility left. Beyond that, with the transfer of Brandon Glanz, Nick Mason is the only other member of the class still around, but he doesn't really project to have much of an impact. This class had some solid performers, but had a poor overall record thanks in part to poor recruiting in classes around it.
6. Sacramento State
Recruits: Jackson Carbajal, Kendall Groom, Heath Hoffman, Josh McCarver, Zach Nelson, Antoine Proctor, Konner Veteto
Analysis: Konner Veteto is the cream of the crop here, after turning in a solid junior season for the Hornets. He has some room to improve, but is making strides to be one of the best bigs in the conference. Heath Hoffman was a solid role player for the them last year, and will have to be replaced. Jackson Carbajal made a nice leap from his freshman to sophomore year, and could be a solid scorer for them (though his 48% FT shooting is a bit puzzling). Kendell Groom had a promising freshman year, but did not seem to progress a ton in his second season, and I am not sure where he fits in the backcourt rotation. Nelson, and Proctor went the way of so many other Brian Katz recruits over the last few years - out of the program.
EDIT: In my original post, I wrote that Josh McCarver left the program similar to Nelson and Proctor. I am not really sure why I had that in my brain because he was a solid rotational big man for them last year, starting 16 games. My mistake, and my apologies to Mr. McCarver and Sac State for the error!
7. Montana State
Recruits: Tre Johnson, Shawn Reid, Jordan Salley, Chris McCall, Casey Trujeque, Blake Brumwell, Jordain Allou, Rod Singleton
Analysis: Like ISU, this class had some impact players, but also a lot of misses. Rod Singleton was a two-year starter, though maligned at times by the fans. Still, two years of starting is good to get from a recruit. Jordain Allou was a nice rotational big man for them, and has to be considered a success. Shawn Reid was developing into a good player, but unfortunately his best years will be played somewhere else. Tre Johnson was solid last year and would have likely been a starter for them, but of course he was kicked off the team. Blake Brumwell is still on the roster, but gets limited run. Chris McCall and Casey Trujeque transferred before last year, while Jordan Salley never made it to MSU, and is part of Sacramento State's recruiting class this year. Overall, not the impact you want to see from an eight man recruiting class.
8. Northern Arizona
Recruits: Gaellen Bewernick, Rafail Tsourakis, Danny Redmon
Analysis: Gaellen Bewernick is the jewel of the class... after a good redshirt freshman season last year, he should be a solid player for them. He started 16 games and had 5.1 rebounds per game, posting very nice rebounding rates for a 6'6'' frosh. He is also efficient offensively, and should be a building block for new coach Jack Murphy. The other two guys are no longer with the program.
9. Eastern Washington
Recruits: Jaylen Henry, Geoffrey Allen, Carter Warnock, Rakim Brown
(UPDATE: I made a large error on Eastern Washington's class, as I omitted four players - Cliff Colimon, Cliff Ederaine, Willie Hankins, and Rashano McRae. An explanation for this can be found here.
Obviously this would make a huge difference in where EWU would be ranked, as I would likely put them at least third or fourth. Cliff Colimon was one of the best PGs in the conference last year, and Cliff Ederaine was one of the best multi-dimensional forwards. You can read more of my thoughts on Colimon here, and my thoughts on Ederaine here. Hankins is also a very talented player with a bright future, but it unfortunately will not be with the Eagles, as he has transferred out. It seems possible (if not likely) that he would have stayed with the program had there not been a coaching change, but alas, his impact at EWU was minimal.
I regret the mistake, which was a large one.)
Editor's Note: I corrected a misstatement, when I said that Kendell Groom had transferred away from Sacramento State. I have fixed the error now. Much thanks to SD Hornet for catching that.
*This fact likely won't stop me from trying to rank this year's classes at some point of this offseason
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