I took a stab at ranking the recruiting classes that were recently pulled in by the human-controlled teams in the DIII Heartland conference in Naismith. Please don't take my comments seriously, all just for fun. Your opinions are welcome!
1. Mt. St. Joesph (dallstell) - 2 scholarships: PG 446, C 467; Just two spots to fill on a veteran roster and nailed it with Zach Flinn, a high-work-ethic PG to join the lone Sr. at that spot (Ulloa), as well as a big time low post threat prospect, though a tad undersized, in Arthur Harris. Flinn will be ready to take the reins of the offense starting next season. The top spot this season rewards quality over quantity.
2. Defiance (tracye) - 4 scholarships: SG 433, SG 447, SF 466 (Soph), PF 393; A good sized class that addressed needs well, with two athletic wings joining the roster and both already seeing good minutes. I may have been tempted to redshirt Tamez to give the big man a little more time to develop, has the look of a project at this point. The Soph transfer Wood is intriguing, but there are concerns about his low WE (24), as reports have surfaced he and Jamie Pope (WE=1) have already been seen playing video games into late hours and attending the all you can eat buffet at the local Pizza Hut.
3. Franklin (hoosierhoops) - 4 scholarships: PG 388 (reshirted), PG 433, SF 417, C 439; Franklin sorely needed help at the point (zero returning PG on roster) and scored two, but only one that is really ready to play in his first year. There is some upside but a higher end PG prospect would have helped. Big man John Webb was a solid score and has big shoes to fill in the paint once William Patel moves on after this season with his dual degree in Astrophysics and Art Appreciation. Soph SG Wesley Banks is forced to play some minutes out of position at the point in the short term.
4. Anderson (sheath) - 4 scholarships: SG 403 (reshirted), SF 414, PF 401, C 426; Another solid 4 man class with guys that all look serviceable but no clear standouts just yet. Giving Gibson a redshirt to develop his jumper and defense will likely pay off. Blumstein is definitely a glass cleaner on the inside, but needs to develop some more of the low post game and defense to be ready to step in to the starting 5 spot when Richard Vallee moves on next season to return to his native Bloomington, IN and take the job as Graduate Assistant with family friend Tom Crean and the Hoosiers.
5. Westminster (crex649) - 1 scholarship: PF 511 (Junior), 1 walk-on: C 303; The upperclassman Lewis provides some needed help inside in the short term but once this upperclassman-heavy team experiences some turnover they'll need a lot more help inside than the walk-on can give them. Westminster is clearly playing more for this season than the future. Even so, they are ranked best of the groups that had to settle for a walk-on due to the score of Lewis who steps right in to a starting role.
6. Waynesburg (therick9921) - 1 scholarship: SG 444 (Soph), 1 walk-on: PF 323; The SG Harrison is a total gym rat, just like his head coach back in the day, with a 99 work ethic (down 1 from a starting 100!), but the talent just isn't there to get a lot of minutes from a crowded backcourt this season. Having to take the walk-on Watkins was a major bummer and they'll hope to get more help inside before next season as every other big on the roster moves into their final year. Word is that Watkins can't chew bubble gum and walk/dribble at the same time (BH=1), he also broke two backboards practicing 15 foot jumpers (PE=1) and got beat in a foot race by the coach (SPD=6).
7. Hanover (markadkins) - 1 walk-on: C 288; Rumors abound about potential IT outages at Hanover leading to inability to contact recruits, and the IT director's resume has been seen floating around job search websites. There are also ongoing investigations of other schools in the confernece for potential foul play and emails containing malware links. Regardless, there is zero help on the way for the team this season, with the only addition being the walk-on C who will likely be cemented to the end of the bench. Reyes is known for his coordination of elaborate pre-game handshake routines though, so that will be a plus for the morale of the team before tip-off. In pre-season workouts he did routinely give up double digit points to the 68 year old assistant coach (DE=6)