Ranking the 10 best mid-major classes of the 2018 early period
A number of mid-major programs have put together classes that should only enhance their chances of postseason success. We combine our mathematical rankings here at Rivals.com with how each prospect fits and create our mid-major power rankings for the early signing period.
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1. RHODE ISLAND
Signings: Jermaine Harris, Dana Tate, Brendan Adams, Tyrese Martin
The Rams are the only Atlantic 10 program to boast more than one Rivals150 pledge this fall thanks to the commitments of Harris and Adams. Harris should solidify Rhode Island’s frontcourt while Adams, who is the younger brother of St. Bonaventure star Jaylen Adams, is oozing with talent and upside. Toss in hard-nosed power forward Tate and high flying wing Martin and URI boasts the top mid-major recruiting class this fall.
Signings: Spencer Freedman, Noah Kirkwood, Kale Catchings, Mason Forbes
Harvard is no longer just known for its academic pedigree as Tommy Amaker has created an astounding culture of excellence on the hardwood in Cambridge. The Crimson will welcome two more Rivals150 prospects to campus next fall in the mold of playmaking guard Freedman and do-it-all forward Kirkwood. Supremely active forward Forbes and a potentially lock-down wing defender Catchings will join the duo.
Signings: Bryce Hamilton, Trey Woodbury
Marvin Menzies made a statement last spring with the commitment of five-star big man Brandon McCoy and the momentum has continued into 2018. Top-75 off guard Hamilton has all of the talent to turn into a top scoring weapon within the league. He will be joined by another Rivals150 pledge, Woodbury.
4. ST. LOUIS
Signings: Carte’Are Gordon, Fred Thatch, Mickey Pearson
In any other year, St. Louis would sit at the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference class rankings. Rhode Island hit it out of the park but that shouldn’t undersell how good of a group this is for the Billikens. The gem of it all is top-60 center Gordon, a prospect that declined scholarship invitations from Kansas, Missouri and a slew of others. Blue-collar guard Thatch and an under-the-radar wing in Pearson gives Travis Ford a top-five mid-major recruiting class this fall.
5. SAN DIEGO STATE
Signings: Jordan Campbell, Joel Mensah, Nathan Mensah
Brian Dutcher's San Diego State program has not found much difficulty on the recruiting front this fall. Campbell, a blue-collar off guard that can be leaned upon for his defensive prowess, should be welcomed immediately. Where the Aztecs really struck was in the frontcourt with the tandem of Mensah and Mensah. Together, the three-man class could be catalysts for San Diego State’s long-awaited return to the NCAA Tournament.
6. OLD DOMINION
Signings: Jason Wade, Jarvis Vaughn, Joe Reece, Kalu Ezipke
The Monarchs inked arguably the best class in program history. While Old Dominion didn't ink any Rivals150 prospects, each signee should bring immediate value and further upside to the 757. Wade is the headliner of the group as the 6-foot-4 playmaker can evolve into a well-rounded defensive force within CUSA. Jeff Jones found major success in the frontcourt adding in-state forward Vaughn, small ball power forward Ezipke and stretch big Joe Reece.
Signings: Eze Dike-Nwagbara, Michael Feinberg, Isaiah Kelly, Jake Lanford, Matthue Cotton
Yale began its class early with a few solid additions in the mold of Dike-Nwagbara and Feinberg but the way that the Bulldogs have added to it is commendable. Lanford should bolster the Ivy bunch’s frontcourt, as Kelly could earn early minutes in New Haven. The wildcard of the bunch is Cotton, a good sized off guard that is more of an athlete than a finished product, though he still boasts the talent that originally landed him a number of Big East offers.
Signings: Jude Akabueze, Tamell Pearson, Ryan Boyce
Head coach Rob Ehsan addressed the frontcourt in a big way this fall. Akabueze brings tremendous size down low and can be leaned upon for his rim protecting skills. The Blazers then went to Chicago for bouncy and active power forward Pearson, before then securing the commitment of high upside wing Boyce.
Signings: Gavin Baxter, Connor Harding, Hunter Erickson
BYU continues to strike with versatile and talented prospects that fit the team's playing style in Provo. The Cougars have waited two years for the eligibility to kick in from Baxter, a top-75 prospect in the 2016 class that has now completed his LDS mission. Long and rangy, Baxter should excel in Dave Rose's up-tempo system. Harding brings more length and upside and Erickson displays shot making value off of the ball. Together, the three solidify BYU’s spot as a top-10 mid-major class.
10. SANTA CLARA
Signings: Trey Wertz, Keshawn Justice, Omar Silverio, Juan Ducasse
No one finished the month of October better than Santa Clara. Led by former Arizona State and NC State head coach Herb Sendek, the WCC program rattled off four commitments within a matter of a week. Wertz is the headliner of the bunch as he heard overtures from a variety of power conference schools. Justice brings Midwest toughness and perimeter shot making to Santa Clara, a program that will be aided by Silverio and Ducasse.
Next 10: VCU, Buffalo, Gonzaga, Loyola (Illinois), Princeton, Samford, UMass, George Washington, William & Mary, Duquesne