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Big weekend for little guys in the Northeast

Recruiting headlines are typically reserved for high-major programs but that wasn’t necessarily the case this weekend in the Northeast as both Wagner and Yale landed potentially-huge commitments.

In just their second season in the college ranks, the Hurley brothers (head coach Danny Hurley and assistant coach Bobby Hurley) continue to build a rising power at Wagner in the Northeast Conference. Both their 2011 and 2012 classes to date included surpluses of upper-echelon mid-major talent, for what is generally considered to be a low-major league, but this weekend’s addition of Dwaun Anderson (Suttons Bay, Mich./Suttons Bay) is by far his biggest commitment to date.

Anderson won Mr. Basketball honors in the state of Michigan before committing to, and enrolling at, Michigan State. The 6-foot-4 swingman withdrew from school last spring after his mother passed away and was subsequently recruited by a host of mid- to high-major programs including Villanova, Missouri, Georgetown, and others.

In addition to the appeal of playing for the Hurleys, Anderson also had additional connections to Wagner, namely 2012 recruit Eric Fanning (Trenton, N.J./Perkiomen). Fanning spent last summer starring for the same Team NJABC squad that Anderson suited up for a year earlier. Together the duo has the potential to be a dynamic combination in the NEC.

However, Wagner wasn’t the only program in the Northeast to land a major commitment this weekend. Yale scored an equally important pledge from Justin Sears (Plainfield, N.J./Plainfield), a highly athletic 6-7 forward who took an official visit to Stanford earlier this month.

Sears was widely recruited by the vast majority of the Ivy League throughout the summer and saw his recruitment continue to escalate as he proved himself to be a dynamic two-way player. At Yale, his biggest impact may be on the defensive end of the floor where he’ll not only be able to defend multiple positions but also be able to serve as a dominant weak-side shot-blocker.

Sears joins another mid-major prospect in point guard Jack Montague (Brentwood, Tenn/Brentwood) in Yale’s 2012 class as the Bulldogs fall in line with other Ivy League programs like Harvard and Penn who are pushing the league’s talent levels to all-time highs.