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September 2, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Can the Cards catch UK?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Aug 27: Breaking down Beal
Aug 12: Who's the best in Texas?
Aug 6: Can a PG top Teague in 2011?

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

Is Rick Pitino on the verge of challenging John Calipari for recruiting supremacy in the Bluegrass State?

What are the options for Kentucky's fifth recruit in 2011?

And what is the breakdown on the three best guards out of Houston in the 2012 class?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer answers these questions and more in this week's mailbag.


Cards climbing

Is Rick Pitino going to pull off a top 5 class for 2011?

- Ken from Louisville

It is looking like a strong possibility. In fact if everything fell into place the Cards could find a spot right behind Kentucky in the recruiting rankings.

Presently Kentucky has the No. 1 spot on lockdown with its four five-star recruits, three of which are in the top 10 and were candidates for a No. 1 ranking. Louisville, however, already has three four-star prospects committed in Wayne Blackshear, Zach Price and Ryan Taylor, and perhaps more importantly is hosting four prominent prospects this weekend.

Quincy Miller, the No. 5-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is a primary scoring threat and potential game-changing type talent.

Josiah Turner, the No. 10-ranked prospect, is a do-everything type point guard who has the talent to run a team from day one.

Chane Behanan, the No. 23-ranked prospect, is a physical beast who can dominate the paint and also make plays facing the basket.

And Deuce Bello, the No. 43-ranked prospect, has the type of athletic explosiveness and skill development potential that might have us regretting not having him ranked higher.

Miller and Bello are teammates, and the prevalent thought is that they are leaning towards Louisville.

Behanan just recently unofficially visited Louisville, and the Cards appear to be in great shape with him.

Turner will be the toughest one to land out of the bunch. Kansas has been high on his list for some time. Along with a visit to Kansas for the opening practice of the year, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA are slated to host Turner on official visits.


Who's next?

With Kyle Wiltjer's commitment to play for Kentucky, head coach John Calipari will likely look for another guard. Should UK fans expect a guy like Anthony Wroten to be next or could it be another 'surprise' recruit?

- Andrew from Chicago

Wroten, the No. 30-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, talks a lot about Kentucky but it is tough to get a gage on how hard Kentucky is pursuing Wroten. In fact, the only head coach who was tracking Wroten late in July was Lorenzo Romar of Washington. Most believe that at the end of the day, the opportunity to stay home and play for his father's alma mater in a fast-paced system will make Wroten a Husky.

Kentucky, however, will likely have room for another recruit. After the success of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe playing together in the backcourt, Calipari might put on the full court press to put together a backcourt of Wroten and Marquis Teague.

Another possibility for Kentucky at the shooting guard position is four-star prospect Trevor Lacey. Along with Kentucky, Memphis and Auburn are at the top of Lacey's list.


Myck vs. Marquis

Mr. Meyer, I was wondering if you could compare Myck Kabongo with Marquis Teague. In your personal opinion, is there a significant difference in their upside? Who does Myck remind you of?

- Eli from Newark

I do think there is a significant difference between the upside of Kabongo and Teague, and hence, the difference in their rankings. Teague, who is the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Rivals150 is a powerful and explosive athlete who finishes above the rim. Kabongo, who registers at No. 24 in the rankings, is close to Teague in speed and quickness but is not nearly as physical or explosive off the floor. Kabongo just doesn't squeeze through traffic and then get above the rim like Teague does. Teague is also a better shooter.

Now don't get me wrong, Kabongo is obviously a good prospect as his five-star ranking indicates. He has great intangibles and leadership skills which surpass Teague's, but he isn't nearly the talent that Teague is.

As for comparisons, it is somewhat ironic that Teague reminds me of Chris Paul and Kabongo is a Darren Collison type player.


Houston's talented trio

I was hoping that you could do a quick comparison among the big three for Houston Hoops: Rasheed Sulaimon, L.J. Rose, and J-Mychal Reese. Will Sulaimon, who I thought played the best for them over the AAU season, be a combo guard at the next level?

- David from Plano

Houston does have quite the trio of talented guards. Sulaimon, the No. 21-ranked prospect in the class of 2012, is the best prospect of the three in Rivals.com's estimation because of his athleticism and explosive scoring capability. Also, I do think he has the capability to play a combo role at the next level, but what makes him special is his ability to score and no coach will want to stifle that ability.

Rose comes after Sulaimon in the rankings at No. 28. Rose is a point guard with size who has an advanced feel for the game. He just doesn't have the greatest foot speed, which is why he is not higher in the rankings.

At No. 42 in the rankings Reese is a sharpshooting scorer who is more of a shooting guard than point guard at this stage. He is ranked below Sulaimon because he doesn't have the same level of athletic explosiveness as Sulaimon.


Top 10 class?

If Arizona is able to land five-star PG Josiah Turner, what would you foresee their 2011 class including Nick Johnson and Sidiki Johnson being ranked?

- Brandon from Tucson

Rankings are always relative to each year, but in looking back at the 2010 team recruiting rankings, this hypothetical recruiting class would be right at the back end of the top 10.

Tennessee at No. 9 is a great comparison. The Volunteers landed two perimeter prospects and a power forward with rankings of No. 7, No. 47 and No. 63.

This potential Arizona class would consist of a No. 10, a No. 40 and a No. 71 ranked prospect.

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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