Big Ten coaching changes put renewed focus on Midwest recruiting

Ohio State's Chris Holtmann was recruiting some Ohio prospects while at Butler. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Barring a Tom Izzo departure, the state of recruiting in the Midwest -- more specifically, the Big Ten -- couldn’t have undergone bigger changes than it did the past three months.

The three biggest schools in three basketball states -- Indiana, Illinois and Ohio -- changed head coaches, and with that comes a renewed focus on recruiting in the region.

Whenever there is a coaching change in a state with a heavy basketball presence, there is talk about keeping the best players home. When Josh Pastner took over at Georgia Tech, he had to focus on the Atlanta area. Ditto for Shaka Smart at Texas and Mike Hopkins at Washington.

But to have three huge coaching changes in a 300-mile radius in the Big Ten doesn’t happen every spring. Adding to that, all three outgoing coaches were on the hot seat due, in part, to recruiting.