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Early Signing Period: Breaking down the Big East

Stephon Castle
Stephon Castle (Rivals.com)

With most of the Early Signing Period action over and in the books, Rivals.com continues its conference-by conference look at how things on the recruiting trail are shaping up.

Today, we take a look at the Big East, where UConn has a top-five class nationally, Providence has a sneaky good class but a storyline to watch, and Villanova still has a lot of work to do.

RELATED: Winners and losers of the Early Signing Period

THIS SERIES: Breaking down the ACC | Big 12 | SEC | Big Ten

2023 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2024 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team

2025 Rankings: Top 40

Transfer Portal: Latest news

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TOP CLASS: UConn

The Connecticut Huskies recruiting class currently ranks fifth nationally in the Rivals Team Recruiting Rankings. Dan Hurley and his staff have done a great job of compiling this class, which is made up of four three-stars and a three-star.

The Huskies’ class is headlined by four-star guard Stephon Castle, who is a bigger guard that can play both the 1 and the 2 spots. Four-star guards Solomon Ball and Jayden Ross join Castle in the backcourt. Ball is an efficient scorer that has an all-around impact on the game while Ross is an intriguing prospect that has had a major growth spurt during his high school career.

In the front court, Jaylin Stewart is a versatile forward that will be receiving a rankings bump in the next Rivals150 update. Alongside him is the Huskies latest commitment, Youssouf Singare, a mobile defensive presence with good length.

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TOP PROSPECT: Stephon Castle

Four-star guard Stephon Castle is a bigger guard with a good frame. He can play either guard spot and have an impact due to his size and creation ability. The biggest question mark in Castle’s game is his jump shot, which is very inconsistent at times, but he makes up for it by knowing who he is as a player and where he’s at his best. He excels in getting downhill and navigating ball screens, plays at a very good pace, and has a knack for getting into the lane by using his size and strength.

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SLEEPER CLASS: Providence

The Friars recruiting class ranks No. 32 in the country at this current time, and for good reason. Ed Cooley has really hit the recruiting trail hard in this cycle and has come up with his best recruiting class in quite awhile. The Friars' 2023 recruiting class features four-star Garwey Dual, a big two-way guard that excels at playing with pace and getting paint touches on the offensive end, while playing solid defense and being able to guard multiple positions. Dual is one of the best prospects to commit to Providence in recent years. He’s joined by three-star forwards Drew Fielder and Donovan Santoro, with Fielder having a chance to appear in the Rivals150 and Santoro providing immediate depth and length.

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STORYLINE TO FOLLOW: Garwey Dual not signing with Providence 

Garwey Dual is one of the more interesting prospects in the 2023 class. He’s committed to Providence but has elected to not sign until the spring. While this happens often among the recruiting landscape, it’s always cause for concern within the committed team’s program. Dual is the crown jewel of the Friars class and Ed Cooley and his staff need to make sure that they do whatever they can to ink his signature.

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WORK LEFT TO DO: Villanova

As it stands today, the Villanova Wildcats only have one commitment in Kyle Neptune’s first recruiting class, which is three-star wing Jordann Dumont. Dumont committed to Villanova on Tuesday and, while he’s underrated as a prospect, the Wildcats will need to add much more to this class to keep the program momentum going into next season.

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