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February 1, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Miller vs. Barnes

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Jan 23: Another top class for UK?
Jan 15: Top teams chasing Ross
Jan 7: Big men in high demand

Got a question? Click here to send it to Meyer's Mailbag

How do elite prospects Quincy Miller and Harrison Barnes compare to each other?

How about a comparison for 2011 five-star prospect Adonis Thomas?

Which Villanova recruits will have an impact next year?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer addresses these questions and more in his mailbag.


Elite prospects

Please compare Quincy Miller to Harrison Barnes. Is it too early to consider Miller's recruitment a two-horse race between Kentucky and Duke?

- Jim from Westchester

Barnes and Miller are both elite players, but quite different prospects. Let's start with their physiques: Barnes is 6 feet 7, and weighs 210 pounds; Miller is 6 feet 8 and weighs 193 pounds. With his superior strength, Barnes is more effective in traffic and has always possesed a powerful game around the rim. Miller is a finesse player in the mold of a Kevin Durant. Barnes reminds me more of a Jamal Mashburn-type.

Barnes is primarily a wing scorer who can also get buckets posting up and off offensive rebounds. Miller is a classic face-up four man who is best facing the basket in the high post area.

Both players are highly skilled and shoot the ball well from the outside.

As for Miller's recruitment, Kentucky and Duke are in strong positions. However, it's probably too early to say it is a two-horse race. Miller is still wide open in his recruitment. He has schools from all over the country - like Baylor, Oregon, UCLA and Illinois - recruiting him.


Where would they rank?

How would you rank a potential Arizona recruiting class of Josh Selby, Doron Lamb, Daniel Bejarano and Kadeem Jack? Top five?

- Brody from Mesa

Let's go with a top-four class in the country if Arizona is able to pull off this foursome. I'd slide this group ahead of Tennessee's class.

But since the original writing of this article, Arizona received a commitment from three-star ranked combo guard Jordin Mayes. His commitment all but eliminates the possibility of guards Selby and Lamb both choosing Arizona.


Biggest impact?

Out of Tyler Thornton, Markel Starks, Kendall Marshall and Quinn Cook, which player will contribute more at the college level and why? What will each bring to their respective teams?

- Doug from Silver Spring

Cook, who is the No. 20 ranked prospect in the class of 2011, gets my nod as the guard out of this group who will have the biggest impact in college. I love Cook's scoring ability and court presence. In fact, Cook reminds me a lot of Villanova star Scottie Reynolds. Cook is a sharp ballhandler and proficient shot-maker. He also has some moxy - similar to Reynolds.

It will be interesting to see what impact Marshall has for North Carolina. They have struggled this year, and part of the problem is the drop-off in the point guard play with the departure of Ty Lawson. Marshall is renowned for his court vision and passing ability, but he has average foot speed and is often an unwilling shooter from 3-point range. The great North Carolina teams of recent years have had a speedy point guard who excelled at penetrating the defense. It will be interesting to see how Marshall's skill set meshes with Roy Williams' style of play.

Starks and Thornton should be solid players for Georgetown and Duke. Both will likely come off the bench as freshman, though.


Fair comparison

Is it fair to compare Adonis Thomas to former Memphis State great Penny Hardaway? If not then who would you compare his game to?

- Terry in Atlanta

Probably not a good comparison. For his size, Penny was freakishly skilled with the ball. Hardaway was also more of a finesse player than Thomas is at this point. Thomas is a skilled wing, but he is not the type of player you would envision running the point like Penny did.

Thomas reminds me a great deal of North Carolina signee Harrison Barnes when he was an underclassmen. They are similar in size and athleticism, and Thomas has a developing skill game - as did Barnes at the same point. Barnes has made significant strides as a ballhandler and long-range shooter, and I expect Thomas to do the same.


Added depth

Jerry, Nova's 2010 class looks decent on paper. Who of the group (James Bell, Jayvaughn Pinkston or Markus Kennedy) will make the most impact for what should be the deepest (and arguably the best) team in the Big East? Also, do you expect Nova to land Cory Joseph?

- Matt from Los Angeles

Villanova certainly will have one of the deepest squads in the country next year. It won't be easy for any of the freshmen to come up with major minutes early, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bell and Pinkston work their way into meaningful roles as freshmen.

Pinkston has a college-ready body, which will help him in the physical Big East. He is a scorer and rebounder, and those attributes should translate well at the next level.

Bell is a super athlete who has been shooting the ball at a high level this year. He is also an excellent multi-positional defender. Expect his defensive abilities to gain him playing time.

It is tough to say who will land Joseph, but Villanova seems to be more at the top of his list than towards the bottom.

Jerry Meyer is a national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag.




 

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