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5 mid-major signees featured in latest ESPN Top 100

A pair of unlikely programs are raking in some monster recruits

NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at UAB Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has released its latest top-100 recruiting list for 2017.

While it’s certainly littered with players headed to blue-blood programs , there are also a few top prospects taking their talents outside of the major conferences. Currently, five top-100 prospects are committed to mid-major schools, a significant drop from the nine mid-major signees in the class of 2016.

The five top-100 prospects who signed letters of intent with mid-major schools are:

9. C - Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky)

55. SG - Jordan Goodwin (Saint Louis)

72. SF - Josh Anderson (Western Kentucky)

95. PF - Mayan Kiir (VCU)

96. PG - Lavar Batts (VCU)

Hasahn French, another SLU signee, was listed as “on the cusp” of the top-100.

I have several takeaways from this list.

First, how in the world did Rick Stansbury convince two of the top-72 players in the country to join a program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2013 and is currently holding a 9-11 record? Stansbury was expected to elevate WKU’s program, but I don’t think anybody expected him to score a top-ten recruit in his first season.

Speaking of surprises, SLU now has as many top-55 recruits as it does conference wins. Travis Ford built a reputation as a great recruiter at Oklahoma State, but convincing a pair of four-star recruits to sign with a team that currently sits dead-last in the A-10 may be his greatest accomplishment yet. Ford has also locked down a commitment from Carte’Are Gordon, the #9 overall recruit in the class of 2018.

It’ll be interesting to see how SLU and WKU do the next few seasons with these monster recruiting classes. If the programs can develop talent and ultimately send a few players to the NBA, this could open the door for more top prospects to consider spending their college careers outside of the power conferences.