Discussion

#BlueChipBattles -- Jan. 17

RecruitingNation ranks the top 10 recruiting battles for basketball's elite

Updated: January 17, 2013, 12:12 PM ET
By RecruitingNation | ESPN.com

Whether it's the pursuit to land the final piece to the incoming class or stockpiling elite recruits for the future, college basketball coaches are prepared to battle the nation's other top recruiters in order to lock up high school basketball's elite players come signing day.

At RecruitingNation, we enjoy watching a good ol' recruiting battle, and that's why we've created #BlueChipBattles. We've constructed a list of the 10 most intriguing recruiting battles currently going on for elite hoop prospects and will make changes to the list as new information (official/unofficial visits, exceptional performances, trimmed lists and commitments/decommitments) becomes available.

Here's a look at our panel of experts: Dave Telep (@DaveTelep), Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi), Reggie Rankin (@ReggieRankin), Adam Finkelstein (@FinkelsteinNERR), Joel Francisco (@JoelFranESPN), Michael LaPlante (@hoopsconnection).

Get your tweet on

Our scouts have their ears to the street and will update accordingly, but we also want to hear from you, the fans.

Use the hashtag #BlueChipBattles to comment on the list, make a prediction or if you disagree with anything we say. Your tweet could end up on that week's page.

You make the pick

Disagree with the order of our battles? Well, rank 'em yourself here: Rank the battles.

Jermaine Lawrence | @mainestory | Senior

Springfield Gardens (N.Y.) Pope John XXIII | PF | 6-9/190 | ESPN 60 Rank: No. 19

Last week's BlueChipBattles rank: Unranked

Who wants him? St. John's, Cincinnati and UNLV.

Front-runner: The smart money should be on St. John's as Steve Lavin has been hard to beat for recruits in his backyard recently.

Dark Horse: Cincinnati isn't the hometown choice nor does it have the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, but it's done a better job recruiting him than anyone in the country.

@FinkelsteinNERR with the buzz: Lawrence confirmed his final three schools while also weighing some of the biggest selling points of each option to ESPN recently. Meanwhile, he is hoping to make his season debut on the court after suffering an injury over the summer.

Best fit: He's a high-level athlete who could find a role in any system but what sets him apart, when healthy, is the improved skill set to score the ball from all three ranges. In order to be best utilized at the next level, he'll work mismatches by posting up, playing off the high post and shooting 3s.

Lawrence on his recruitment: "I'm going to take an official to St. John's soon. Then, after the visit, we'll take a little time to sit down and see what each school has to offer. We'll go from there."

RecruitingNation ranks Lawrence's recruitment as the No. 10 battle in the country. Tweet us your opinion using the hashtag #BlueChipBattles @RecruitingESPN.



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