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April 16, 2013
Five-star prospects in the Big Ten
The Wolverines are in charting new recruiting territory, signing two five-star recruits in the last two classes.
Incoming guard Zak Irvin, the winner of Indian's Mr. Basketball award, was garnered with a fifth star in the latest update of Rivals.com's recruiting rankings. Irvin is now the No. 24 overall prospect in the class.
Last season, freshman forward Glenn Robinson III saw a similar bump after a stellar high school senior campaign, eventually being ranked the No. 11 recruit in the class.
Before Irvin and Robinson, the Wolverines had never had a five-star recruit, according to the Rivals.com rankings, which began with the 2003 class.
In the Rivals.com era, 26 five-star prospects - including the Irvin and Vonleh, who will be on their respective campuses next season - went on to play at Big Ten schools (see chart below). The Big Ten has had at least one five-star prospect in each class, since the rankings began in 2003.
The 26 five-stars have signed with six Big Ten schools. Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue have yet to sign one.
Of the 16 who have moved on from the college ranks, 11 were taken in the first round of the NBA Draft, including three who became top 10 picks: Ohio State's Greg Oden (first pick in the 2007 Draft), Ohio State's Mike Conley (fourth pick in the 2007 Draft) and Indiana's Eric Gordon (seventh pick in the 2008 Draft). Five players were not drafted.
Five former five-star prospects are either coming back to school next season or have yet to announce a jump to the NBA: Michigan's Glenn Robinson III, Michigan State's Branden Dawson, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, Indiana's Yogi Ferrell and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker. Two, Indiana's Cody Zeller and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, have entered themselves in the 2013 NBA Draft.