- Adam Finkelstein
With the new ESPN 100 player rankings out and as the 2014 basketball recruiting cycle picks up heading into the July evaluation periods, here's a look at how each team in the new-look Big East is shaping up in the 2014 recruiting class. Team-by-team recruiting capsules for the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC, SEC and AAC are already out, while the best of the rest will be coming on Wednesday to complete our series of 2014 recruiting primers.
Note: Teams are as of conference alignment for the 2013-14 season.
Who they have: No 2014 recruits so far.
Who they want: With Erik Fromm and Khyle Marshall both set to graduate after next season, the priority for Brad Stevens is to land some reinforcements along the front line. The Bulldogs are locked in on a couple of highly talented local ESPN 100 prospects in power forward Trey Lyles and small forward Trevon Bluiett. The competition is stiff, but Stevens and company appear poised to go the distance for both recruits. Meanwhile, power forward Shane Hall would likely become more of a priority if they miss out on either. The Bulldogs are also one of seven left in the mix for ESPN 100 point guard Lance Tejada.
Storyline to watch: Lyles has the potential to be the most significant recruit in program history. The nation's No. 4-ranked player in the 2014 class is also considering Louisville, Kentucky, Florida, Duke and UCLA. For everything Butler has accomplished in recent years, out-recruiting that type of competition would be unprecedented.
Bold prediction: While their recent success allows them to go the distance with Lyles and Bluiett, the reason for that success has been finding the right fit. One way or another, Stevens is going to find guys who can help him win basketball games, even if they don't win recruiting rankings.
Overall recruiting trend: Up. Not only are the Bulldogs proving they can hold their own with the most prestigious college basketball programs in the country as they move from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East, they're doing so while maintaining the commitment to their process and values, which has been the basis for their success under Stevens.