Chat with Paul Biancardi
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Scouts Inc.'s basketball recruiting expert Paul Biancardi will stop by to talk about college basketball's future stars.
Biancardi, who spent 2007-08 as an assistant coach on Rick Majerus' staff at Saint Louis University, is the national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc. He has 18 years of coaching experience at the Division I level. He was an assistant at Boston University, Boston College and Ohio State before becoming the head coach at Wright State, where he earned Horizon League Coach of the Year honors in the 2003-04 season.
Send your questions now and join Biancardi Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Moderator (1:58 PM)
Thanks everyone for all your questions. I am just about to get Paul on the phone.
Paul Biancardi (2:00 PM)
Hello everyone. We are excited that next week opens the july evaluation period for college coaches. Lets get to the questions.
Sieka Siklo (Washington, DC)
In your opinion what's the top hot bed for recruits in other words what state has the best players
Paul Biancardi (2:02 PM)
Because of their size, Calif and Texas have quantity and quality, However, Illinois has a wealth of D1 prospects as well. Plus, outskirts of Detroit, Atlanta and New York are perennial hotbeds.
Paul, Do you think Trevor Lacey will be one and done?
Paul Biancardi (2:03 PM)
No. Good player and good kid. But he's a four-year guy.
chris (new york)
do you see st johns getting either kyle anderson or ricardo gathers and what would anderson bring if he were to commit there
Paul Biancardi (2:06 PM)
Anderson is a versatile point forward type with the vision of a PG and size of a PF. Gathers is a very wide-bodied rebounder and one of the best in the country at grabbing boards. Anderson has the Johnnies in the top 5 and Gathers recently went there for a visit. St. john's is in the mix for both.
ktuck911 (Bridgeport, CT)
Hi Coach... How do you think UCONN will do this upcoming season?
Paul Biancardi (2:08 PM)
I think UConn has reloaded and have Oriakhi and Lamb and Napier coming back. They added Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels, which was a big late pickup. Boatright is a quick little PG and Daniels is a wing who could score the ball. It's amazing that a team that just won the national title can come back this strong. But with Kemba gone, they have to find a new leader.
Any chance Arizona gets Muhammed, Ashley, and York to go along with Jerrett? or is that a pipe dream?
Paul Biancardi (2:10 PM)
No that's a real dream. Ashley's made it known the Cats are in his top 5. Muhammad has them on their list, as well as York. Arizona is going to try real hard to duplicate its stellar class from last year. Sean Miller has made it a big-time program again.
Who do you think Maryland lands in the class of 2012?
Paul Biancardi (2:12 PM)
First, they have an outstanding staff with Delonte Hill from K-State, keeping Dino Ranson and SCott Spinelli. That's an all-star recruiting staff. Amile Jefferson, Arnaud Moto, Jerami Grant Mitch McGary, a top five prospect and Shaq Cleare are in their sights. Plus in the 2013 class they are all over Nate Britt and BeeJay Anya.
Tom (Malvern, PA)
Paul...with Archadiacono, Goodman, and Ochefu, how good can 'Nova's 2012 class be? Also, do you think they land Amile Jefferson?
Paul Biancardi (2:15 PM)
I love this class by Jay Wright. Arcidiacono is an outstanding PG, skillwise and IQ. Goodman is a physical specimen who can drive and rebound. Ochefu does a lot of work inside. This class complements each other well and they are right there in the mix for Jefferson who also lists Maryland, NC State, West Va., Stanford, Conn., Maryland, Ohio State and Temple among others. However, right now Nova is one of the favorites.
It seems as if Shabazz Muhammad and Brandon Ashley have almost cut Kentucky from their lists. Who do you see committing to Kentucky in the class of 2012?
Paul Biancardi (2:19 PM)
They have a good chance with Andre Drummond, Shaq Goodwin, Kaleb Tarczewski, Perry Ellis, Brandon Ashley, Devonta Pollard. Kentucky isn't looking for a PG because they have NC State transfer Ryan Harrow.
Stu (Oakland, CA)
Even though Ashely and Artis are heading to Findlay, could you see them both returning to their hometown to play for Cal?
Paul Biancardi (2:21 PM)
I see them as West Coast guys. But by going to Findlay Prep they will get exposed to the entire country and will have a lot more suitors. All the Pac-12 schools will be at the top of their lists.
who is the most versatile player in the 2012 class?
Paul Biancardi (2:22 PM)
Kyle Anderson. Nobody is as versatile and that productive with his versatility.
Joel Canner (State College, PA)
North Carolina is targeting a lot of big men in 2012. Who do you think they have the best chance at getting a commitment from?
Paul Biancardi (2:25 PM)
Kaleb Tarczewski is going to announce in August and he's UNC's No. 1 target. DaJuan Coleman, Andre Drummond is interested in UNC. The Tar Heels have also taken a lot of interest in Adam Woodbury and Joel James recently.
Braxton (North Carolina)
Is Andre Drummond leaning toward anyone, or is his recruitment (like he says) totally up in the air?
Paul Biancardi (2:28 PM)
No it's totally up in the air. He knows he can go anywhere he wants and he's going to keep an eye on the collective bargaining agreement and possibly enter NBA if its allowed. But right now Ky, Conn, Duke, GTown, Kansas are all in the mix and the current favorites.
Brett, louisville [via mobile]
Hey Paul, What are the chances Louisville can land Devauntes smith rivera, Alex poythress, and or Jay michael-reese? Thanks
Paul Biancardi (2:31 PM)
I coached Smith-Rivera at the NBPA camp and he's made it known Louisville is one of his top schools, along with Texas, Xavier, Gtown and UCLA. The SEC is on Poythress hard, but L-Ville has an outside shot. Jay Michael-Reese has Texas and Texas Tech, Baylor and Memphis are his favorites right now. Louisville does have a really good shot at landing Gary Harris from Indiana.
Bob (New York)
With Shabazz Muhammed appearing to lean toward UCLA, which recruits will duke focus on and get, and how much of a chance is there that Muhammed or Drummond go down to Durham?
Paul Biancardi (2:34 PM)
Muhammad has been there on a couple unofficial visits and Duke has made him a priority as well as UNC. I could see Duke, UCLA, UNC, Kentucky and Arizona fighting it out for him. Drummond is completely up in the air but he's interested in Duke.
Of IU's 2012 class so far, who should Hoosier fans be most excited about?
Paul Biancardi (2:36 PM)
Yogi Ferrell. He has emerged as more than just a scoring PG. He can take over for his team, he creates for others, can score the ball from 3 and drive in a moments notice. He was very good in June and one of the better in the NBPA Camp. He could help the Hoosiers this year. Very impressed by him.
Paul, which players outside of the current ESPNU Top 100 do you really look forward to scouting this July to see if they can make a move up to the Top 100?
Paul Biancardi (2:40 PM)
That's a great question Greg. Zach Auguste from New Hampton comes to mind. Prince Ibeh showed some potential at the Nike Skills Academy. Keep your eye on Alex Caruso. He has had a great spring. Plus Sim Bhullar who is 7-4. Aaron Roundtree, Danrad "Chicken" Knowles and Dominic Artis. Plus we will find more prospects on top of that.
Mike (North Carolina)
where do you see rodney purvis leaning towards now that he decommitted. is there any chance he goes back to louisville
Paul Biancardi (2:42 PM)
Slim to none he goes back. Missouri is in the driver's seat with his relationship with Tim Fuller. But NC State has made up a lot of ground since Mark Gottfried got the job.
Ezra (Saint Louis)
Who is the top recruiter in the Pac-12 right now?
Paul Biancardi (2:43 PM)
It's a tie between Raphael Chileas at Washington and Book Richardson at Arizona.
What is your July schedule looking like in terms of which events you will be at?
Paul Biancardi (2:45 PM)
LBJ Skills Academy, adidas invitational, big shots, peach jam, and orlando for super showcase and the nationals. But our entire staff is going to 21 events in July. Check it out.
Ted (New York)
Where do you see Nerlens Noel committing too?
Paul Biancardi (2:46 PM)
Hey Ted, I just talked to him last week. He is a 2013 prospect, so he has a lot of time but he's leaning heavily towards Kentucky, UConn, Syracuse, Florida and GTown.
What do you think about Omar Calhoun, who I feel is very underrated?
Paul Biancardi (2:48 PM)
Hey Cere, I love Calhoun. I absolutely love his game. He's a scoring guard who puts up efficient numbers with a 3 point shot and a drive to the hoop. Its impressive how he goes with the flow of the game and doesn't take a lot of bad shots. Equally impressive, is that he defends.
Speaking of Coleman, and indication on which way he is leaning?
Paul Biancardi (2:50 PM)
Hey Mitch, I think Syracuse is in there real strong. They have been on him since his first day of high school -- literrally. Conn is in there and he has an interest in UNC, LVille and Ky. Favorites right now are Cuse and UConn.
have you seen improvement in jevon thomas lately and could he be a major contributor in college? and who are some up and coming stars in your opinion coming out of NYC in the next few years
Paul Biancardi (2:54 PM)
Hey Brian, I'd like to see more. Thomas is a scoring PG who has excellent one-on-one skills. He has the ability to creat his own shot and creat for others. With that said, he needs to play with more urgency on both ends of the floor and continue to learn the game as a PG. To get the improvement needed. I love Isaiah Lewis. Daniel Dingle has a great pedigree, his father played at UMass and Chris Obekpa is one of the better shot-blockers in the country.
Mr. Biancardi, thank you for your time first of all! Do you feel that Northwestern has a shot to make the NCAA tournament this year and how do you see their recruiting efforts?
Paul Biancardi (2:59 PM)
Hey Matt. Glad to see the passion for Northwestern basketball. It's been a slow and steady climb for Bill Carmody and Northwestern. they have got some talented recruits but they need to be developed over time, so their greatest contributions happen in their junior or senior seasons. Their recruiting efforts have been good Tre Demps was good get. As far as the tourney, they are on the cusp. They have been knocking on the door for so long, it has to open sometime, but the Big Ten isn't kind to teams trying to get into the NCAA tourney.
Hey Coach, Who is the best recruit in Indiana right now?
Paul Biancardi (3:00 PM)
I'm going to go with Gary Harris. He has size, skill and he's relentless on the court.
Chris Kalpin (Arizona)
All I hear about is Kentucky's big three recruits in Davis, Gilchrist and Teague. What about Kyle Wiltjer he has a great 3 pt shot. When it's all said and done he may be that unsung hero recruit do you agree?
Paul Biancardi (3:02 PM)
In most other recruiting classes, Wiltjer would be the top prospect. He just happens to be part of an elite class. Wiltjer wants to be part of the competitive environment of Kentucky. He thrives on the competition, which will help him do very well.
Paul Biancardi (3:05 PM)
Thanks for all your questions. We are excited to go on the road and cover events across the country. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.