Not really directly on topic, but Loyola very recently won the national title (2012) before the early recruiting kicked in,so the hounds playing even with and beating JHU should not be a shocker when Hopkins hasn't won it all since 2007.
So it wasn't really working all that great before early recruiting either.
Early recruiting has been around for a very long time. Most of the top players knew where they were going even back in the day by 11th grade. It's the publicity of early recruiting that's the phenomenon that we are seeing. This is all due to the Internet, social media, and coverage of the game. The 9th and 10th grade recruiting is new, this is changing the game but not really hurting it.