By now, I’m sure all you die-hard readers who read during the dry summer months have seen TRN’s DIII recruiting rankings. As many of you may not know, we here at the blog helped out with TRN’s decision making process. For the sake of argument, here, I present my contribution to the recruiting rankings.
The DIII recruiting climate continues to get more and more ridiculous, which makes it even more difficult to distinguish between recruiting classes. This past year, 22 4-stars and 42 3-stars decided to attend DIII institutions, so how does one compare the recruits? Well, unless I wanted to travel around the country and watch all of them play, there’s really no fair way. (Even that wouldn’t be fair, since it would then be up to my judgement, which has been demonstrated to be questionable, and I would only see each player in one match, which is hardly indicative on any individual player’s potential. I digress.) The best I could do was to take each player’s highest TRN ranking from their senior year (or junior year if it was obvious that the player stopped playing tournaments during their final year), rank each DIII recruit from 1-100, and do the recruiting rankings accordingly.
I cannot stress this enough, this is only a ranking of how the recruiting classes seem with the very little information I have, not how they actually are. For example, Mr. Skyler Butts probably would have been ranked in the 30’s or 40’s among DIII recruits last year, but he was easily one of the top 10 freshmen in the country this past year. Meanwhile, there was a myriad of 4-stars that didn’t even end up starting. TRN is good, but not omniscient.
Ohbytheway, I compiled this list a while ago, and haven’t updated the numbers recently, so the rankings will be a little out of date. Without further ado, here are my rankings…
Recruits: Maxwell Macey (#4 in DIII, 4-star), Daniel Morkovine (#5 in DIII, 4-star), Glenn Hull (#18, 4-star) in DIII), Rohan Shankar (#59, 3-star)
Thoughts: The Stags are already going to be stacked next year with juniors Wood, Marino, and Dorn returning to the top of the lineup. They will also have great senior leadership from Kotrappa. Nevertheless, with this crop of recruits coming in, Butts and Kotrappa might have to fight for their spots in the lineup. Hull has made a huge jump in the rankings this spring and might just be the best recruit in this class.
Recruits: Myles Tang (#2, 4-star), Anton Zykov (#7, 4-star), Andrew Arnaboldi (#49, 3-star), Sam Silver (#69, 2-star)
Thoughts: The Jeffs put together another top-heavy recruiting class. With the plethora of depth returning, what they needed was someone to replace the consistency at the top of the lineup from Kahan. Neither Fife nor Yaraghi were able to be as consistent as the Amherst senior this year. Perhaps one of these guys can fill the void.
Recruits: Jeremy Bush (#3, 4-star), John Carswell (#6, 4-star), Collier Bouchillon (#28, 3-star)
Thoughts: Wash U is getting hit hard by graduation, and they needed a strong recruiting class this year to reload. Personally, I don’t trust R. Putt to take up the mantle in the #1 spot. Bush might just have the goods to jump right in there.
Recruits: Conrad Harron (#1, 5-star), Rohan Shastri (#10, 4-star)
Thoughts: Have we emphasized enough that Williams had a lot of seniors in their lineup this season? Those guys will be irreplaceable, and I think Williams could have done better with a deeper recruiting class like CMU’s, but both of these players have the potential to be stars in DIII, and Williams always has enough depth to put a great team on the court.
Recruits: Kril Kirkov (#11, 4-star), Kenny Zheng (#14, 4-star), Kunal Wadwani (#19, 4-star), Jack Kasbeer (#30, 3-star)
Thoughts: First off, Kasbeer is apparently underrated at 228, so this might be an even better class than I’m giving them credit for. That being said, CMU is already heavy on talent. This group of guys has the potential to bring CMU back to prominence, but they’ll have to instill some heart into the Tartan.
Recruits: Jacob Roberts (#9, 4-star), Gregory Lyon (#20, 4-star), Michael Liu (#31, 3-star), Cameron Hicks (#58, 3-star)
Thoughts: This is by far the most surprising class of the year. Wesleyan already started to make a little noise at the end of this past season. Will these guys bring their team into the top 20? Or will they be more like Sewanee’s monster 2012 recruiting class and fizzle in their freshman campaign?
Recruits: Max Hawkins (#8, 4-star), Sven Kranz (#13, 4-star), Brian Sun (#63, 3-star), Peter Muncey (#80, 2-star)
Thoughts: Yawn. Same old, same old for Chicago. Sun is better than his ranking, but I’ll believe in these guys when they actually start producing on the court.
Recruits: Joshua Goodman (#12, 4-star), Cam Chapman (#25, 3-star), Andrew Lo (#40, 3-star), Aman Manji (#57, 3-star)
Thoughts: Until they bagged a 4-star in early June, this was a pretty pedestrian recruiting class for Emory. Goodman gives some punching power to an otherwise incredibly deep class. With the stupendous 2011 class now entering their junior years, and Mosetik and Adams offering a youthful push at the bottom of the lineup, all of these guys will be hard-pressed to make the lineup, but you can bet that at least one of these guys will be making significant contributions this coming season.
Recruits: Graham Maassen (#20, 4-star), Jake Yasgoor (#33, 3-star), Anthony Bello (#43, 3-star), Joshua Kim (#53, 3-star), Spencer Simonides (#79, 2-star)
Thoughts: Belletto finally gets the recruiting class he had been working towards, and now he’ll never get a chance to see what he could’ve done with them. Nevertheless, these guys have some big shoes to fill with Sabel and Allinson leaving, but P-P is finally becoming one of the more talented teams in DIII. Wonder if the new coach can continue the incredible development…
Recruits: Christopher Ellis (#16, 4-star), Adam Schwartz (#27, 3-star), Patrick Ordway (#38, 3-star), Brent Feldman (#82, 2-star)
Thoughts: This recruiting class came one year too late for Bates. The Bobcats will be hit hard by graduation, but they are typically one of the best-developing teams in the country. By the time these guys are seniors, they will be competing for the NESCAC championship.
Recruits: Parker Wilson (#21, 4-star), Thomas Suchodolski (#26, 4-star), Joshua Lieberman (#61, 3-star)
Thoughts: If annonymous comments are to believed, this recruiting class will be even more ridiculous than it is on paper. The Dawgs may have finally graduated the last of their notorious underachievers. The junior class will be leading the way for them next year, but these guys could provide some much-needed youthful energy.
12. Johns Hopkins
Recruits: Jeremy Dubin (#24, 3-star), Emerson Walsh (#36, 3-star), Jeffery Mackenzie (#50, 3-star), Michael Buxbaum (4-star)
Thoughts: The Jays should be higher on this list, but they didn’t add Buxbaum until after the deadline. Regardless, it’s another strong recruiting class for a team with no dearth of talent. More talented players aren’t going to solve the problem for the Jays. They need guys that want to work hard in the off season and can play doubles. Perhaps these freshies fit the bill.
13. Case Western
Recruits: James Fojtasek (#22, 4-star), Kevin Dong (#68, 2-star), Phillip Gruber (#78, 2-star), Freddy Daum (#85, 2-star), Joshua Dughi (#96, 2-star), Wesley Maddox (#98, 2-star)
Thoughts: This is a dangerous recruiting class for the Spartans. You never know which of these 2-stars will thrive in the Case system like a Klawitter or a Gerber. They also add a 4-star who should be ready to come in and produce right away. If two of those depth guys come in and rocket up like some previous Case players, we could be looking at a future UAA championship team.
Recruits: Brad Wong (#15, 4-star), W. Kai Skallerud (#66, 3-star), Benjamin Battle (#86, 2-star)
Thoughts: It’s getting awfully, awfully crowded in the NESCAC. Amherst, Midd, Williams, and Bowdoin are going to continue being top-notch, but Bates, Wesleyan, and Tufts don’t seem to be satisfied with the status quo. Unfortunately, these guys are years away from an NCAA appearance, but the next few years will be telling as far as which of the new guard (if any) will actually disrupt the established hierarchy.
15. Mary Washington
Recruits: Zhuopo Li (#23, 3-star), Scott Buie (#52, 3-star), Brandon Griffin (#84, 2-star), Andrew Curtis (#92, 2-star)
Thoughts: Mary Wash has kinda a less-severe case of whatever Chicago has going on. The continue to recruit well, but between injuries and other issues, they haven’t been able to live up to their own high expectations. I’ll believe in these guys when they start producing on the court. Nevertheless, Coach Helbling continues to do a fine job on the recruiting trail.
Recruits: Jake Hoeger (#39, 3-star), Petar Jivkov (#42, 3-star), Joseph Diaz (#100, 2-star)
Thoughts: Star-wise, this is the best recruiting class Whitman has had. I guess we’ll just have to see if the Squirrels can develop these guys the same way they’ve developed their 2-stars. With a senior-heavy team next year, the freshies will be hard-pressed to make the starting lineup.
Recruits: Brian Granoff (#30, 3-star), Michael Arguello (#65, 3-star), Ryan Bunis (#81, 2-star)
Thoughts: The Judges fell off the map a little bit, and this will be a much-needed boost to their program. Unfortunately, they’re gonna have a hard time competing with their UAA (Case, CMU, Chicago) and Northeast (Wesleyan, MIT, Tufts, Bates) counterparts for even a position in the second tier of their most natural contemporaries.
Recruits: Nicholas Fiaschetti (#48, 3-star), Michael Robers (#55, 3-star), Peter Dakich (#75, 3-star), Constantinos Alevisopoulos (INT)
Thoughts: That Greek kid’s name just sounds like a prank to me. For most programs, this would be a very good recruiting class, but this is not the recruiting class of a national championship team. If Kenyon is going to climb the mountain next year or the year after, they will have to build from within and hope these guys develop for a couple years. Depending on Kaye and Turlington, Kenyon’s lineup next year might just be all juniors, which would really be something.
Recruits: Avery Schober (#37, 3-star), Scott Gallimore (#67, 2-star)
Thoughts: Sewanee has been recruiting well for three years now, but they haven’t even sniffed the top 30. They have a challenging location to contend with when it comes to being successful in DIII, but who perhaps they’ve finally brought together enough players to make a full team.
Recruits: Carl Reid (#32, 3-star)
Thoughts: Here is where we get to the one-player recruiting classes. Colby is and probably will continue to be the NESCAC’s whipping boy for at least another half-decade. One good player isn’t going to make a difference. The best Colby can hope for is that Reid can draw other good players to the school.
Recruits: Kenny Gae (#34, 3-star)
Thoughts: This is a pretty typical MIT recruiting class. Gae doesn’t really have the potential to change the direction of the program. Without a few more players, the Engineers will stay in the 20-35 range.
Recruits: Charlie Drake (#46, 3-star), Michael Feldman (#71, 2-star)
Thoughts: The Ducks will have a hard time replacing Rosensteel, but this recruiting class represents the solid program-momentum Stevens has going right now. I’m guessing these guys will struggle to remain in the top 30 next year, but with another good recruiting class and continued doubles prowess, this is a team that could be climbing in the top 20 in no time.
23. Birmingham Southern
Recruits: Andrew Makarenko (#41, 3-star)
Thoughts: Here’s another guy who could potentially attract more good players to this unknown school, but don’t expect Birmingham Southern to appear in the national rankings any time soon.
Recruits: Nicholas Litsky (#44, 3-star)
Thoughts: Bringing in one 3-star isn’t enough to replace the Guzicks.
25. Trinity (TX)
Recruits: Clayton Niess (#45, 3-star)
Thoughts: Trinity didn’t lose much to graduation, but they didn’t get much either. Niess will probably be a solid player in a couple of years, but the Tigers will be looking to their current roster to make up for the loss of DelaFuente.
Close But No Cigar: Swarthmore, Kalamazoo, Bowdoin, Lewis and Clark, Skidmore, Denison, Rose-Hulman Tech
Editor’s Note: Kalamazoo got their strongest recruit after I had already made the rankings, so they should probably be in there around 20
Notable Absences: Cal Lu, Middlebury, UC Santa Cruz, UT-Tyler, GAC, NCW, Whittier, Wash & Lee, Whitewater
Cal Lu always has a hard time competing with CMS, Redlands, and P-P in Southern Cal, so it’s not too surprising to see them off this list. I am stunned, however, that Middlebury doesn’t have a single recruit listed on their TRN page. My gut tells me that Hansen is probably just playing things close to the vest, but that’s not what he did last year. Meanwhile, Bowdoin is bringing in just one solid player next year. Will their recruiting feel the aftereffects of the Goldfish Gate Bridge, or is this just a small blip on their radar screen?
Speaking of Hansen, UC Santa Cruz failed to get a significant recruit for the third year in a row. They simply haven’t been able to recruit without the draw of a great coach. UC Santa Cruz can certainly develop their three new guys, but with Bettwy at #1, I don’t see the Slugs in the top 20 this coming year.
On the transfer front, UT-Tyler isn’t on the list either, but after Coach Bizot brought in three transfers to play at #1, 2, and 3 this past year, there’s no telling what he might have up his sleeve for next year. Meanwhile, GAC doesn’t appear to have brought in anyone to replace Donkena, so they’ll either have to develop or bring back another home-sick Minnesotan from a sub-par DI school to remain competitive next year. NCW hasn’t listed anyone for the past two years, but new players keep appearing on their roster. They might have brought in the next Kjellberg, or they might fall off the map after this next season.
Whittier, Washington and Lee, and Wisconsin-Whitewater are three teams on the fringes of the national rankings. Neither team appeared to have brought in big-time recruits, and all three are suffering significant losses to graduation. Perhaps these are the teams who will be moving out of the national rankings to make way for the likes of Wesleyan and Tufts.
That’s it for the speculatron. As UT-Tyler demonstrated this past year, you don’t need to appear strong on tennis recruiting to be strong on the court. Nevertheless, you can feel pretty confident that the guys Wash U, CMS, Amherst, etc. are bringing in could be the big names in DIII tennis a year from now. Yaraghi won the Northeast regional a month into his college career. Who’s next?