Lofty recruiting rankings do not always correlate to on-court success. An abundance of talent, however, usually does.
With a strong closing kick, Indiana coach Tom Crean landed a strong six-player 2013 recruiting class highlighted by the signing of consensus top-10 national prospect Noah Vonleh. The signing of the 6-8 Vonleh, who attends The New Hampton School (N.H.), vaulted Indiana to No. 2 (behind Kentucky) in Scout.com's recruiting rankings.
"(Vonleh) took it from a very good class to a great class," said Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow. "You take the class that they had and add Vonleh, a potential one-and-done NBA guy, that's pretty special."
Indiana also signed Cathedral's Collin Hartman, Warren Central's Devin Davis, Findlay Academy (Nev.) guard Stanford Robinson and 6-10 Wisconsin forward Luke Fischer. Oak Hill Academy wing Troy Williams is expected to sign Monday.
"(Indiana) closed strong," Snow said. "They are bringing in quality players who can help immediately."
The addition of recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson, who has valuable recruiting ties to the East Coast, has helped the Hoosiers gain a foothold with players like Williams and Vonleh. Indiana also has other factors working for it as well, namely a No. 1 ranking in the country.
"Indiana is one of the best jobs in the country," Snow said. "It's easy to recruit to because of the fan base and facilities. Then you add Kenny Johnson, who is very tied in and a grinder, and you can bring in a lot of highly-touted players."
Snow said Purdue and Butler also addressed needs with their classes. Scout.com ranked Purdue's class of three -- Fort Wayne Northrop's Bryson Scott, Lawrence North's Basil Smotherman and Kendall Stephens of St. Charles, Ill. -- No. 4 in the Big Ten behind Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Scout ranked the 6-5 Stephens as the best shooter of any Big Ten recruit.
"Last year Purdue really focused on the interior and this year looked more to the perimeter and did a good job with it," Snow said. "Bryson is a scorer, Stephens is a shooter and Basil has all the talent in the world. Purdue accomplished what it wanted by adding scoring."
Butler also signed a three-player class, with 6-8 Nolan Berry of St. Louis, 6-8 Andrew Chrabascz of Cushing Academy (Mass.) and 6-2 point guard Rene Castro of Worsester Academy (Mass.).
"Butler needed athleticism in the backcourt and got it in Castro," Snow said. "He's not a really highly-ranked guy but he's athletic and can create his own shot. Berry is really, really skilled and Chrabascz is just tough and angry type player. People hate playing against him."
More signing day
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey signed a four-player class that included three Indiana prep players and was ranked No. 10 nationally by Scout and No. 11 by Rivals. Mishawaka Marian's Demetrius Jackson was the headliner and joined by New Haven's V.J. Beachem, Penn's Austin Torres and Steve Vasturia of Medford, N.J. Brey said Jackson has "Derrick Rose's kind of ability."
Former Indiana recruit Ron Patterson of Broad Ripple signed with Syracuse on Thursday. Patterson is attending Brewster Academy (N.H.) this year. . . . Ball State officially announced the signing of Pike guard Zavier Turner and Concord forward Franko House on Thursday. . . . IUPUI signed 6-8 West Lafayette senior Justus Stanback. . . . Fort Wayne Northrop guard Brenton Scott, twin brother of Purdue recruit Bryson, signed with Indiana State.