Ryan Arcidiacono

Talent Distribution: the Big East

This is day three of evaluating the upper-end talent in major conferences. Day one was the ACC, and yesterday was the AAC. Go to the first link (the ACC) to read up on methods and where the data comes from. There's also a graphic there that shows in very simple terms why landing top 100 recruits is probably more important than you think. If you're a Georgetown fan you should find a lot of confidence in that graphic, despite seeing Otto Porter scoot off to the NBA.

Now, on to the task at hand. The Big East is radically different now that several teams have left for the ACC. This, of course, caused the split (forming the American Conference). Now the Big East is smaller, and it features Xavier, Butler, and Creighton.

Regardless, it's a familiar program that is atop the talent pool. Here are the number of consensus top 100 recruits in each program.

Georgetown is the clear leader here, and they've reached that magic bar of depth (8+ top 100 players) which separate most of the dominant teams from the others. The second tier consists of Villanova, Marquette, and St. John's. It's not until Xavier that we pick up one of the new teams, and then Seton Hall and Creighton are at the bottom.

One of my favorite stats from the ACC piece is that there were 18 teams last year with zero or one top 100 recruits in the major conferences. Of those 18 teams, one had a winning conference record. Could Creighton be that team this year? Butler?

Drilling down to the higher-end talent, here are the top 50 recruits.

I'm surprised at how few (13) top 50 recruits these schools have. For reference, the ACC has 38.

Georgetown again leads the way, but St. John's has some top end kids as well.

For the top 25 recruits, I won't even put up a chart. The Big East has two, total.

It will be interesting to see how the Big East competes with the likes of the Big Ten and the ACC. It appears pretty likely that the Big East is about to take a major step down, but that could be cleaned up with some success on the recruiting trail. Georgetown has pulled in some top recruits already for the 2014 cycle, but the rest of the league needs to step it up.

Talent distribution: the Big East

Now on to the 6th part of our look at how talent is distributed in the major conferences. For definitions, sources, or other potentially meaningless bric-a-brac take a look at one of our earlier pieces. So far we've covered the Big Ten, the ACC, the SEC, the Pac-12, and the Big-12.

Today it is the Big East. Since we're assuming that you've either a) read the earlier stuff, or b) clicked the link, let's just jump right in.

The Big East currently has 56 players who were consensus top-100 recruits. This is nearly identical to the ACC (57) – though the Big East has three more teams – and more than the SEC (50), the Big Ten (40), the Pac-12 (35) and the Big-12 (31).

Here is how that talent is distributed:

Syracuse and Louisville show why they're being picked so highly in the preseason top-25s, and Georgetwon, Pitt, Villanova and Marquette all have enough top-100 talent to run out an entire lineup of elite guys. UConn and St. John's each have four, and then there's a drop to the rest. Seton Hall and South Florida are shut out.

But the majority of the 2012 NBA 1st rounders were consensus top-40 recruits. We'll back that out to top-50 and see how it looks:

Syrcacuse is still flexing its muscles with talent. Six of their eight consensus top-100 guys are also ranked at No. 50 or better. Georgetown, who lost a ton of production last season, show up next with four. Then there are nine teams behind them with anywhere from one to three.

But what about the elite of the elite – the consensus 5* players? That looks like this:

Again, Syracuse leads the way, this time with three. Pitt has two, and then a smattering of programs have one. Of course the one for Providence (Ricardo Ledo) has yet to qualify, but that's a story for later.

Keep this in mind when you're predicting the national top-25. It's probably not wise to bet against the Orange, like this guy.

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