Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Antonio Williams
Send your questions and join Williams in The Show Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Antonio Williams (4:01 PM)
Good afternoon hoop fans. I just got back from a the lalent-loaded Hoophall Classic so there should be tons to talk about. Let's get started.
Darius Berry: Arlington,TN
Where do you think John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins could end up?
Antonio Williams (4:03 PM)
Hi Darius. This is just based on a gut feeling but Memphis coach John Calipari has proven to be the Mariano Rivera of recruiting - he's a great closer. He closed the spring off with avengeance last season when he landed Tyreke Evans and I think he'll do the same thing this year by bringing in both Wall and Cousins to star with the nation's No. 1 player, Xavier Henry.
Chris (Philly, PA)
Any truth to the talk that Terrell Vinson plans to decommit from Loyola Marymount? If so, what schools would be in the lead for his services?
Antonio Williams (4:06 PM)
Chris, that is true, Vinson has requested his release from the letter of intent he signed with LMU. No word yet if the Lions will grant it. Definitely something worth keeping an eye on as he's a high-major talent who could help out a number of programs.
God bless america what 09 players are locks for mcdonalds aa game in miami?
Antonio Williams (4:10 PM)
Bookman, it is a great day to be an American! The guys I feel like are locks to end up in Miami are Derrick Favors, John Wall, Avery Bradley (even though he didn't start the season with much fanfare he has really played well so far), the top player in the Class andXavier Henry, will have to play very well in the second half of the season to cement his status. Also, DeMarcus Cousins appears to be a lock.
Anthony (Elmwood Pk NJ)
How is Syracuse's recruiting class shaping up for 2009? Is Brandon Triche a hidden gem?
Antonio Williams (4:15 PM)
Thanks, Anthony. It's clear that coach Jim Boeheim has made perimeter shooting a priority with Triche and James Southerland. In addition to Southerland's ability to stroke the 3, he also has very good athleticism, which gives him a fair amount of upside. With Triche, just like his uncle Howard who played at the 'Cuse in the 80's, he's an absolute knock down perimeter shooter. Our team at Scouts, Inc, has pegged him as one of the top 100 players in the country so the secret is now out.
Martijn (Atlanta, Georgia)
Richard Howell, Ari Stewart, and Tahj Tate. Wheeler Wildcat basketball stars. Richard going to NC State, Ari going to Wake, and Tahj undecided? have you seen them play before, because i think they got a ton of potential at the next level.
Antonio Williams (4:18 PM)
Thanks for the question Martijn. For the last few years Wheeler has been know to have a terrific program, producing NBA playes Shareef Abdur Rahim and J.J. Hickson. Howell, Stewart and Tate follow in this lineage of very talented Wheeler players. Howell with his strength and his ability to play inside and out has very good versatility to play in college. Stewart and Tate both possess off the charts athleticism and their best basketball is ahead of him.
Slim (Dunkirk, NY)
Where will Lance Stephenson play his colllege ball?
Antonio Williams (4:21 PM)
Hey Slim. I know that he has interest in both USC and UCLA but the hometown school St. John's have really put the full court press on him. He can be the signature recruit that can return the Johnnies to national prominence.
Good afternoon! Pitt picked up a commitment last week from Plainfield, NJ point guard Isiah Epps. What are your thoughts on this solid pick-up by Jamie Dixon and his staff???
Antonio Williams (4:24 PM)
Jason, Isaiah Epps is a great pick up for Jaime Dixon. Pitt plays a very physical style but they also always have a point guard that controls the tempo and orchestrates the game plan, going back to Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser and now with Levance Fields. These pg's have always set the tone for the Panthers and Epps with his quickness and shooting ability fits the same mold.
Will Peyton Siva be s great player at Louisville?
Antonio Williams (4:27 PM)
Hey Steiny, thanks for the question. Taking a look at Louisville's present roster the one thing they lack this year is a true floor general. Siva will more than fill this void next year and his quickness and athleticism makes him a perfect fit for coach Rick Pitino's up-tempo system. As long as he continues to involve his teammates with his good passing ability Siva should be a hit at Freedom Hall.
How good is Keith Clanton in terms of what UCF is getting for C-USA competition?
Antonio Williams (4:30 PM)
Coop, Keith Clanton is definitely good enough to play against C-USA competition. Though unheralded, Clanton garnered attention from some high major programs. Keith has a rather mature game with the ability to face-up and hit jumpers as well as score on the low block. He also does yeoman's work on the boards. He is a great get for Central Florida, especially since they were able to keep him home.
what do you think about derrick favors decition to go to gorgia tech?
Antonio Williams (4:36 PM)
Well Ian, I think it's a great decision for him to go to Ga. Tech. It gives him a chance to play in a system that best suits his strong points and allows him to form a strong inside duo with current center Gani Lawal. Paul Hewitt, with Favors' commitment, has rebounded from a few down years after the Jackets appearance in the national title game. Also, Derrick gets to play in his hometown where he feels most comfortable being so family-oriented.
David (LA, CA)
Antonio, Stanford has 6 spots to fill...and has only filled 1!!! What's going on? Is Dawkins just a poor recruiter, or will he fix this soon (i.e., for this class)?
Antonio Williams (4:39 PM)
David, you have to be patient. Coach Dawkins will definitley lure top talent out to Palo Alto. Having a great academic reputation, great location and very good facilities, coach Dawkins will re-stock the cupboards in due time. Keep a close eye on small forward Kyle Casey out of the Boston area. He could join the Cardinal in 2009 and have an early impact there if he decides to go there.
Hey Antonio, I'm a huge MD fan but there have been grumblings for a couple years now that Gary Williams can't recruit top players. Is MD involved with any prospects from the 2010 class and what are our chances of getting them?
Antonio Williams (4:46 PM)
Hi Steve. The ACC is a very tough conference to compete in with Duke and UNC and now add Clemson and Wake in the top 10. Having said that, UM coach Gary Williams usually finds a way to get it done. With his 2009 class he's made interior play and rebounding a point of emhasis. With rugged power forward's Jordan Williams and James Padgett, Gary has two interior players that can serve as the building blocks for future success. Look for Williams to add perimeter help, such as Erick Atkins (Columbia, Md.) and Victor Oladipo (DeMatha Catholic), in the 2010 class.
Antonio, for obvious reason some recruits will always go to europe, but in your opinion how much has the first trial of europe put a damper on kids going there?
Antonio Williams (4:53 PM)
Excellent question, John. I think the Brandon Jennings experience in Europe has shown future prospects that there is a major adjustment period involved in going to a foreign country to play basketball. The level of play in a top foreign league is higher than high-major Division I basketball. Jennings has had a few DNP-CD's this season. And future players should take note it takes a special talent and individual to make the jump from prep ball to pro ball seemlessly.
Derek Kellogg at UMass is picking up a lot of guys for 2009 and 2010. Are any of them any good? What do you think of their upcoming classes?
Antonio Williams (4:59 PM)
Brian, UMass has a very solid '09 class coming in which is a testament to Coach Kellog's recruiting ability. Freddie Riley and Sampson Carter will give the Minutemen a potent duo to stroke the 3. Putney is a slasher who needs to add strength but does have some upside. In the 2010 class, Maxie Esho is a very good athlete with great upside. He runs the floor well and finishes above the rim.
Jake (Frederick, MD)
How much will Indiana's team improve by the addition of Maurice Creek
Antonio Williams (5:04 PM)
Indiana coach Tom Crean is following the same formula for success he used at Marquette, doing through backcourt depth. Indiana already has Devon Dumes, Nick Williams and Verdell Jones along with Malik Story. With those guys already on the roster and then you throw Creek into the mix with his size and defensive ability gives the Hoosiers a very versatile selection of guards. And we all know how important guard play is to NCAA tournament success.
Antonio Williams (5:08 PM)
Thanks for all your great questions once again! With high school state tourney's right around the corner the action is really starting to heat up. Don't forget to check out ESPNU 100 #5 prospect Renardo Sidney when his Fairfax squad takes on Super 60 junior Jeremy Tyler and San Diego on Fri. night at 9:30pm EDT on ESPN2. Also we'll be back next Wednesday to take your questions during our live chat. Thanks!
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