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Posted On: 11/19/18 6:49 PM
With six teams finishing in the national top 100 for team recruiting rankings the talent level in the Missouri Valley continues to improve. We rank the class of talent in the Missouri Valley now!
One. Loyola Chicago. How did the Final Four pay off when it comes to recruiting? Extremely well! Coach Porter Moser and his staff signed top Prep Hoops top 200 level talents including the 130th ranked player in the country Marquise Kennedy out of Chicago. Kennedy had offers from Florida State, Wichita State, and others but decided to stay local. The Rambler staff also convinced Thomas Welch to join their program in stead of going to Ole Miss, Florida Atlantic, or several other Missouri Valley teams. Add in shooting guard Paxson Wojcik (the 344th ranked 2019 player) and you have the best class in the league.
Two. Drake. Fans of Drake Basketball quickly erased frustration of Niko Medved leaving with joy because of the way new Head Coach Darian DeVries and assistant Larry Blunt hit the recruiting scene with big effort. Nate Ferguson of Illinois is headed to Des Moines. The 6-foot-7 Ferguson had a strong mid-major offer list but joins Joseph Yesufu (ranked 278th nationally) and Issa Smake (top 500 forward) in being future Bulldogs.
Three. Missouri State. The Bears are third in the league and top 75 not just because they signed four guys, but because they signed four quality guys. Gaige Priem is a top 50 junior college player and local combo Tyem Freeman and Dajuan Harris are both ranked within the top 325 in the recent Prep Hoops 2019 rankings. Feeman is a 6-foot-6 small forward while Harris is a 6-foot-1 combo guard.
Four. Northern Iowa. UNI hit the local schools for three of their four signed players and it earned them the fourth spot in the league and the 85th spot overall nationally. After grabbing 4-star AJ Green last year plus grabbing a top transfer in Trae Berhow, the Panthers pulled in Noah Carter, a 6-foot-5 wing that ranks 232rd in the country. Carter is from Dubuque while shooting guard Cole Henry is from Oskaloosa and James Betz is from Garner, Iowa. All are Prep Hoops top 500 players and all will be Panthers looking forward to playing with Ben Jacobson and Kyle Green.
Five. Southern Illinois. The Salukis out-battled UAB, Loyola, Milwaukee, and others to get 3-star top 225 small forward Evan Taylor. Taylor pushes Souther Illinois up the rankings but is helped by Lance Jones, the 385 ranked player in the Prep Hoops top 500.
Six. Bradley. The Braves are the 6th and final program earning a top 100 spot in the national team rankings. It’s a four man class for Bradley led by top 250 recruit Stephan Gabriel. The 6-foot-5 small forward out of Hillcrest Prep in Arizona was the big name but point guard Antonio Thomas out of Memphis is also a Prep Hoops top 500 kid headed to Bradley.
Seven. Indiana State. The program Larry Bird made famous signed the 105th ranked class in the country which included three players ranked in the Prep Hoops Top 500: wing Cobie Barnes who is ranked 349th in the country, Treauhn Williams who is a top 400 talent who plays forward, and Jared Hankins, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard.
Eight. Illinois State. PG D.J. Horne was a hot name at the end of the summer earning himself six division one offers but it was Illinois State that he liked the best leading to their lone commitment.
Nine. Evansville. North Carolina guard Marcus Henderson inked with the Aces picking Evansville over a pair of other D1 programs that offered.
Ten. Valpo. Valpo has only one scholarship to give right now and at the moment they haven’t signed a player or have one committed.
Where do each of the Missouri Valley teams rank nationally in the Prep Hoops Top 150 Team Rankings? Hit the link below and locate your team!