Thursday, November 12, 2009
The A-10, more than probably any other conference in the country, struggles to shed the "mid-major" label. Not that there is anything inherently bad with the label, but with it comes certain limitations. With it also comes the assumption that the level of talent is significantly lower than the Big 6- the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, and Big East. Nobody is going to confuse the A10 with the ACC or Big East, but there is plenty of talent to go around in the A10. That talent level is also on the rise as we continue in the early signing period.
The Hawks have officially signed 6'3 shooting guard Langston Galloway. He checks in at 120 on the Rivals top 150. Scout has him ranked as the #36 shooting guard in his class. ESPN also ranks Galloway highly.
Scout has also reported that 6'6 small forward Daryus Quarles has signed his Letter of Intent. Quarles received a nice little bit of publicity from the website today when Evan Daniels had this to say about him when asked which mid-major signing had the best chance of becoming a league player of the year:
"I’m going to go off the map a little with this pick, but I’m going with Darius Quarles. The 6-foot-7 long, athletic hybrid forward can do a variety of things on both ends of the court. When we saw him this past summer his jump shot seemed to look better every time out and he was a key member of the super talented Team Final squad."
Scout ranks Quarles as #30 small forward in the class of 2010 and Rivals recently had him in their top 150.
The final expected signing for the Hawks during the early signing period is 6'9 bigman CJ Aiken from Pennsylvania's Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School. Aiken is ranked by Rivals as the overall number 73 player in his class. Scout has him as the #30 power forward in his class.
Again, once official word comes in on Aiken it will be posted here. And once another source reports on Quarles, we will inform you of that here.
As impressive as the Hawks 2010 recruiting haul appears, two other A10 programs have cracked many top 25 lists nationally. Those programs are Dayton and Xavier, which should not come as a surprise to anyone that follows the A10.
The biggest signing in the A10 so far belongs to the Dayton Flyers, who locked up top 50 guard Juwan Staten (pictured above) in February of 2008 and managed to hold off other suitors along the way. Staten is a guard that, without question, could have played nearly anywhere in the country. Dayton fans are thrilled that he chose to stay close to home and play for the Flyers. Joining Staten are Rivals top 150 shooting guard Brandon Spearman, guard Jesse Berry, and small forward Ralph Hill. The Dayton class is currently ranked in the top 25 nationally by Rivals.com.
Not to be outdone by the Flyers, the Xavier Musketeers also bring in a recruiting class that most schools, regardless of conference affiliation, would love to have. All four of Xavier's signed recruits are ranked nationally by Rivals in their top 150. While Dayton's class is guard-heavy, Xavier has loaded up in the frontcourt. Xavier's two biggest signings are forwards Jordan Latham and Justin Martin. Martin had interest and offers from Louisville, Michigan State, Cincinatti, and others when he chose the X men. Jordan Latham wasn't without his share of Big 10 and Pac 10 interest either. Joining these two are power forward Griffin McKenzie and wing Jay Canty. Both Scout and Rivals give Xavier a mention in their top 25 lists.
Xavier, Dayton, and the Hawks are all bringing significant talent into the conference next year. Temple has two impact players signed as well in guard Aaron Brown and power forward Anthony Lee. While the A10 is likely to maintain the hard-to-shed mid-major moniker, the level of talent in the conference moving forward is unquestionable.
Juwan Staten picture from Rivals