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December 24, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Will Lacey land five stars?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Dec 16: Big finish for Kansas?
Nov 12: Indiana could be back
Nov 4: Kansas not done

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

Trevor Lacey is having another tremendous high school season. What are the chances of him ending up a five-star prospect in the final Rivals150?

Is Kansas the team to beat for 2012 five-star forward Perry Ellis?

And how would Cory Joseph and Myck Kabongo work together next year at Texas?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.


Five-star move?

I know that the updated 2011 rankings will come out in April and you mentioned that Khem Birch would be the biggest adjustment. But I wondered if by the way he has been playing could Trevor Lacey find himself in the 5-star rankings?

- Chris from Cincinnati

Lacey is having another tremendous high school season and is currently ranked No. 34 in the Rivals150. The physical combo guard shoots the ball well, is a smart player and is a tough competitor. If he were a little quicker and more explosive athlete he would definitely be a five-star prospect.

I have a feeling he is going to move up some in the rankings, but it is tough to say whether or not he will be a five-star. He was a candidate coming out of the summer, and probably more of one now, but the problem is determining who would drop out of the five-star range to make room for him.

Regardless, Lacey is going to be a tremendous college player and is a potential NBA player. Whether it is at Alabama, Auburn, Connecticut, Kansas or Kentucky, he is going to be an impact player.


Key recruit

Since Perry Ellis has cut his list down to six schools, what are the chances that he plays for Kansas?

- Mark from Hays

They are certainly better than the mathematical 16.7 percent chance of being one of the last six schools in the hunt. Coach Bill Self, who is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country, has had Ellis at the top of his wish list since Ellis entered high school at Wichita (Kan.) Heights. In fact Coach Self attended Ellis' first high school basketball game.

Certainly, the other schools on Ellis' list are recruiting him extremely hard, but Kansas is considered the unofficial favorite to land him. It certainly isn't a lock that Ellis will be a Jayhawk, but it will be a devastating recruiting loss if Self fails to land him.


Fitting in

Cory Joseph has been a steady influence for Texas as a point guard this year. How does five-star point guard recruit Myck Kabongo fit in next year?

- Joseph from Austin

Texas is playing well, and Joseph's talent and mature feel for the game at the point guard position has a lot to do with Texas' success. Assuming Joseph stays in Austin for his sophomore season, Coach Rick Barnes will have the fortunate task of figuring out how to delegate playing time at the point guard position.

The likely solution is for Joseph and Kabongo to share time at the point. Even though Kabongo is a five-star prospect, there is no guarantee that he will start. J'Covan Brown is a talented two guard and could very well start alongside Joseph.

Regardless of who starts, Joseph can easily slide over to the shooting guard position when on the court with Kabongo. Joseph actually played this role with Kabongo on the Grassroots Canada travel team. A very good shooter, Joseph is shooting over 40 percent from three as a freshman point guard, and he has the size and strength to defend a shooting guard.

With both Kabongo and Joseph on the court together, Texas would have as good a ball handling backcourt as any team in the country.


Parker preview

I heard Dai-Jon Parker played impressive defense against Austin Rivers at the City of Palms. What can fans expect from Parker at Vanderbilt?

- Jonathan from Cookeville

Parker did do an exceptional job guarding Rivers at the City of Palms. Parker didn't guard Rivers in the first half of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton's matchup with Winter Park (Fla.) High, but in the second half Parker pretty much locked him up, holding Rivers to 3-of-11 shooting from the field.

Parker is one of the top athletes in the 2011 class and should develop into one of the best perimeter defenders, if not the best perimeter defender, in the SEC. Coach Kevin Stallings is a great man-to-man defensive coach, and Parker will benefit greatly from his coaching.

Offensively, Parker will be a secondary scoring option. He is a capable catch-and-shoot shooter from three and finishes well at the rim in transition. He also will be able to pick up points on the offensive glass. But he isn't the type of player you run the offense through or run off a lot of screens as a "go to" scorer.


Greatness for Gilchrist?

Mike Gilchrist is definitely a dominant player on the high school level, but does his style translate to being an elite player at the college and NBA level?

- David from Elizabethton

That is a question I thought about a lot as I watched Gilchrist play at the City of Palms Classic.

Gilchrist is capable of dominating a game at the high school level. His strength, athleticism and determination is difficult for most high school players to match.

At the college level more players will match Gilchrist's strength and athleticism, but few, if any, will match Gilchrist's determination. It is actually his determination, motor, competiveness, whatever you choose to call it that is his greatest asset.

So I expect Gilchrist to be a great college player, to dominate at times, but more than not, be a solid, high level performer in the mold of Patrick Patterson. They are not exactly the same players, but Gilchrist is best inside the arc and won't necessarily be a "go to" scorer at the college level.

At the NBA level it is a little harder to project Gilchrist because of the size of the players and the requisite skill level for a player at Gilchrist's 6-foot-6 height. There is little doubt that Gilchrist will improve and find his niche in the NBA, but it is becoming tougher to project him as a sure impact player at the highest level.

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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