- Adam Finkelstein
Here's a breakdown of the top recruiting classes from teams in non-BCS conferences.
Dave Rice pulled off a last-minute coup when he landed a commitment from Anthony Bennett (Brampton, Ontario/Findlay Prep), No. 7 overall. The power forward joins a class that was already loaded with talent, including ESPN 100 prospect Katin Reinhardt (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Mater Dei) and local product Demetris Morant (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) and DaQuan Cook (Baltimore/St. Frances Academy). Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch didn't figure into class rankings but will become a member of the 2012 class when he becomes eligible at mid-year. In total, the group has star power, depth and balance throughout the frontcourt and backcourt.
The Cougars were the mid-major darlings of the early signing period when they delivered two ESPN 100 products in Danuel House (Sugar Land, Texas/Hightower) and Danrad "Chicken" Knowles (Houston/HCYA). Both are capable of being stars sooner rather than later, while Valentine Izundu (Katy, Texas/Lamar Consolidated) should be capable of making an immediate impact of his own. The talented trio won't have to do all the heavy lifting though, since Brandon Morris (Alexandria, La./Kansas City, Kan., CC) and Tione Womack (Randallstown, Md./Hagerstown CC) will provide two junior college guards who will both be able to steady the ship from the point, while also teaming up to give head coach James Dickey a two-guard front.