Chat with Reggie Rankin
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Scouts Inc.'s basketball recruiting expert Reggie Rankin will stop by to talk about college basketball's future stars with the newest ESPNU100.
Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-1990 and was an all-MAC first teamer his senior season.
Send your questions now and join Rankin Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Reggie Rankin (2:01 PM)
Thanks for all your questions hoop fans and we are excited about the new rankings.
How did Rivers get to No. 1
Reggie Rankin (2:02 PM)
He was the most consistent and dominating player we saw this spring and summer. He also tied in a great performance with USA bball and a Super Showcase championship.
What was the toughest decision you had to make with these rankings?
Reggie Rankin (2:04 PM)
The toughest decision was to evaluate so many different players who played at different times. Trying to figure out how important it was if their team won.
It's about some time Davis got some love. Is he going to be a one and done.
Reggie Rankin (2:06 PM)
Not sure he will be a one and done, but he will definitely be an immediate impact player. However, he will have to address his strength and physical play to take his game to the next level.
Ted (Lincoln, Neb.)
Love the star system. Glad you guys did that. How hard was it to decide who the last five start player was?
Reggie Rankin (2:08 PM)
Based on the depth of the ESPNU 100, we knew who the elite players were and relied on our scouting to make the final call.
If you had to choose between this KY class and the Wall one, who would you choose and why? Which one will be better long term?
Reggie Rankin (2:11 PM)
The 2011 class definitely has an impact maker at every position. I'm not sure if the 2011 class will have five first-rounders. Both are great classes though.
How come Nick Johnson isn't a 5 star?
Reggie Rankin (2:14 PM)
He is right on the cusp of being a five star. He has to be more consistent shooter, especially 3-point range, and he has to continue to work on his pg skills to help out at the point because right now he is more of a sg. However, he is one of the most athletic players and best defenders in the 2011 class. He is a terrific athlete, defender and one of the nicest kids I have met.
What are your thoughts on Jereme Richmond?
Reggie Rankin (2:17 PM)
He is one of the 10 freshmen that I cant wait to see in Big 10. Love his ath. ability and versatility. He will fit in well Illinois' motion offense and as he adds strength, his production will increase as well.
What does Branden Dawson have to do to get in top 10.
Reggie Rankin (2:20 PM)
He must improve his shooting consistency and continue to work on his ballhandling under ball pressure and being able to beat his defender one-on-one. He is already a big-time rebounder, slasher and finisher. If he improves he could be in the top 10 when the next set of rankings comes out.
With the devastating news on Tony Mitchell for Mizzou are they in the running for any good players for next year and what are the odds Tony suits up in the 2nd semester?
Reggie Rankin (2:22 PM)
I think there is a chance he suits up in the second semester. he is definitely a difference maker. Mizzou is in the running for Ben McLemore, who is a 5-star recruit from St. Louis and Antoine Space from DeSoto, Texas. Signing one or both of these guys would really ease the pain for the Tigers.
What is the deepest position in this year's class?
Reggie Rankin (2:25 PM)
I would say SG and PF. This class presents a great deal of versatility. There are a lot of SG that can help at the point, there are some SF that can play SG and there are even some PGs that can play the two-guard.
First of all, great name! Who is Austin Rivers looking at for college ball? Any chance he comes here? Hook 'em!
Reggie Rankin (2:27 PM)
Right now we are hearing that he has visits set up for Duke and UNC. He is expected to visit Kan, Fla and possibly Ky. Haven't heard Texas yet, but don't be too sad Reggie, the 2012 and 2013 classes from Texas are looking really good. The Horns will hook their share.
Laurie (Winchester, Tenn.)
How on earth did Kentucky land four of the top 12? Are they going to get more players too?
Reggie Rankin (2:32 PM)
They are coming off of 5 first round NBA picks in their first recruiting class. John Calipari is one of the biggest recruiters at an incredible university with a lit of selling points. Bottom line is that coach Cal. is putting players into the NBA at a fast rate. Ky is still looking hard at Chane Behanan, Quincy Miller and LeBryan Nash have also mentioned KY, as well as Trevor Lacey, Michael Chandler, Tony Wroten. Don't be surprised if they sign another four or five-star player.
Which player do you think should have been ranked higher?
Reggie Rankin (2:34 PM)
No I think our staff did a great job compiling info. Based on what we saw as a staff and how guys played when we saw them, I am very comfortable with our rankings.
What does Wiltjer have to do to get in top five?
Reggie Rankin (2:37 PM)
He has to continue to play at the pace he finished the summer. He had an unbelievable summer and he has been rewarded by moving up to No. 12. To move up even more, he will have to have a dominating high school season and he could always work on his foot speed and expolosiveness. His size, skill and understanding of the game make him a top player.
Will Gilchrist regain No. 1 soon?
Reggie Rankin (2:40 PM)
It depends on what type of high school season he has. What's special about ESPN rankings is that they aren't set in stone and he could play up. it will come down to how he and Rivers plays this season. He has improved his shooting, but needs to continue to make it a priority. When he becomes a consistent shooter, he would put himself into that unguardable category.
How much improvement should we expect from the guys in terrific 25 to super 60 to 100 rankings? do they get noticeably better each year?
Reggie Rankin (2:42 PM)
Yes they get noticeably better each year in a few areas. Physically they continue to grow and improve their skills, which increases their production and consistency.
carl (North Dakota)
Is there a trend to more smaller, athletic guys now, vs. bigs? What are most programs looking for these days?
Reggie Rankin (2:45 PM)
I don't think there is a trend, programs recruiting based on need. They try to get the best player they can get in the position of need. For example if your losing a pg, you have to replace a pg. If your losing a post player, you have to replace him.
Is Austin Rivers as good as Harrison Barnes?
Reggie Rankin (2:47 PM)
Yes, but they are good in differnet ways. Rivers is an explosive scorer with off the charts confidence in his game. Barnes is an all-around, very complete SF that can take over games. They are both legit No. 1 players and will both be immediate impact players in college and possible one-and-done players.
Where is Quincy Miller going to end up?
Reggie Rankin (2:51 PM)
He is at Louisville this weekend, which has a tremendous shot and I have also heard Baylor. Louisville will be really attractive with its new facilities and coach Rick Pitino. Baylor has recruiting the state of Texas well and started to branch out. Don't rule out Kentucky, Duke or Texas either, but its still early.
Who impressed you the most this summer?
Reggie Rankin (2:54 PM)
The four guys that really impressed me were Rivers and his domination. Anthony Davis' climb to the top 3 with his ability to dominate games on both ends of the floor. Plus, Wiltjer won me over with his skill, bball IQ and production. The more you watch him, the more you like him. Bradley Beal also continued to build his game around his great ability to shoot.There are a number of others, but those four really stand out.
Reggie Rankin (2:55 PM)
Thanks for your questions. Follow me on Twitter as we look forward to a great early signing period.