Chat with Dave Telep
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep stops by to chat as the regular signing period is underway, including some signings among the ESPNU 100. Also Telep will give his thoughts on Saturday's Jordan Brand Classic (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET).
Telep's college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams and he helps with ESPN.com's class rankings, as well as the ESPNU 100. He can be found on Twitter: @DaveTelep.
Send your questions now and join Telep Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Moderator (1:59 PM)
Thanks for all your questions. I am about to get Dave on the line.
Dave Telep (2:03 PM)
About to have some fun with the chat today. Only thing missing is a touchscreen! Wednesday was wild but we aren't done. There are a few heavy swingers yet to take their licks.
PC Fan (Chicago)
Any update on Obekpa? I heard he is heading to Oregon this weekend, but who do you feel he is leadding towards and when will he decide? Do the Friars have a chance?
Dave Telep (2:05 PM)
Imagine my surprise when Obekpa surfaced on an AAU roster last weekend at the Spring Fling. Where's he going? Can't tell you. Cincinatti, DePaul, Johnnies, not sure anyone feels good. You brought up Oregon. Who knows. Obekpa is a big-time shot-blocker but there will be a transition period to the college game so it's not like he's coming in and changing a team's entire roster.
Big Mike (Grain Valley, Missouri)
What's up Dave--MU's Frank Haith hasn't landed any 'Top 100' recruits in this year's class, however he has 3 highly touted transfers coming in from other programs and a 'solid' recruiting class of 3-star level guys. They are hot and heavy after Devonta Pollard and Oriakhi to add some much needed size in the paint--who is more valuable to land, Oriakhi for his senior season, or Pollard for potentially a 2-3 year stay at MU (both would be nice!!). Bonus question: if they land either of these guys can they compete with UK next season?
Dave Telep (2:07 PM)
Can Mizzou compete with UK next year? Why would you even ask that? Baby steps, baby steps. I think landing Oriakhi, provided he can play next year, would be bigger for the simple reason being that they have to replace Ratliffe. He would be more ready to come in and play a significant role and there's one that exists for him. Having said that, if I was Frank Haith i wouldn't be satisfied until I got them both.
Topher (College Park, MD)
How good is Jake Layman? He dominated in high school but he played against sub-par competition.
Dave Telep (2:08 PM)
Topher, to answer your question I bring up Pat Connaughton. This time last year everyone said the same thing about him. He dominated poor competition in Massachusetts. So what! Connaughton can play and so can Jake Layman. It's not the size of the pond, it's the fight in the fish. Layman was one of the EYBL's steals leaders and I think he has a chance to be Chandler Parsons with a defensive mindset. Give him time but he's got some stuff to his game.
John (North Carolina)
Can you breakdown the 3 NC ACC point guards coming in? What makes Paige > Lewis, and Lewis > Miller-McIntyre?
Dave Telep (2:10 PM)
I've maintained that Marcus Paige is the best HS point guard this year. He's got a mixture of scoring/passing and has enough quickness and speed to be deceptive. Tyler Lewis will be on NC State's all-time assist list somewhere. C.M.M. already seems to have forced the transfer of one guard from Wake. Codi is a long range ace; if he develops his playmaking skills, look out. Like 'em all; love Paige.
Hi Dave. Kendrick Nunn recently made a visit to Illinois and met with John Groce. After the meeting it seems like he has Illinois near or at the top. Would you agree with that? Can you also tell me about Gavin Schilling who is probably the best big man in the Class of 2013 in the state of Illinois? If Illinois signs both, to go along with Jalen James and Malcolm Hill, would you consider their 2013 class to be in the Top 10? Possibly Top 5 in the nation?
Dave Telep (2:12 PM)
I haven't transitioned to 2013 yet. I want to but there are a few fellas who still have to button up their deals. Regarding Illinois, John Groce is searching up and down for a big man right now in 2012. Need one: maybe he goes after Montrose Christian's Michael Carrera as a rebounder? Don't know why Nunn wouldn't consider Illinois. They'll have the PT and Groce landed DJ Cooper to play PG for Ohio out of the Windy City. Stay tuned.
aaron (north kakalakin)
whens amile jefferson gonna decide
Dave Telep (2:15 PM)
When is Amile going to decide? I can't tell you. If you happen to have seen the interview I did with him from McDonald's, you'd notice the consternation regarding his decision. I think the kid is of the highest character and morals. He's torn with the decision and has consistently had a problem saying "no." Duke coming back into the picture messed him up because he was ready to pick and then Duke re-entered. NC State, Villanova and I heard late last week that UK was coming a bit harder. Amile's gone silent. No communication. No insight.
Topher (College Park, MD)
What do you think Maryland's chances are of landing the Harrison Twins?
Dave Telep (2:17 PM)
Maryland and the Harrison twins, a courtship born out of the signing of AAU teammate Shaq Cleare. Word on the streets is that Kentucky is team to beat. I'll play the percentages and instill UK as the leader until further notice. So there you have it: all Maryland has to do is beat Kentucky to get them. Shouldn't be a problem.
James Kim (Seattle)
Washington so far has only signed one person for the 12' class, but are looking to bounce back in 2013. Do you think they end up landing Aaron Gordon and Jabari Bird or Jabari Parker?
Dave Telep (2:18 PM)
Washington is in there with Aaron Gordon and he's got himself a list denoting serious Pac-12 interest. They'll be a factor. They've already had Jabari Parker on campus a few times. I've always said that until we know Jabari's father who doesn't fly, is cool with him going away, keep distance in mind.
Corey Pegram (Winston-Salem, NC)
I have heard from a few people that they think Devin Thomas could become an impact player next year for Wake Forest. He definitely will play a lot from the beginning simply due to lack of bodies. Is there any specific reason why you don't have him ranked any higher than he is?
Dave Telep (2:22 PM)
Impact player is a term reserved for guys like Nerlens Noel, Anthony Davis, Cody Zeller, Austin Rivers ... see where I'm going here? Devin Thomas was a good pickup. If he's an impact guy, then we (meaning me in particular) misread him. I'm thinking along the lines of former USC PF Anthony Gill. That would be a nice freshman year!
What happened to Nova? They seemed to have hit a wall recruiting.
Dave Telep (2:24 PM)
Villanova isn't going anywhere. They had a dip. My guess is that Jay Wright is about to toss out recruiting rankings and get back to bringing in the guys that completely "fit" for Nova. Forget the numbers, the rankings and bring in the hard-nosed, dual-position threats. People forget quickly how good Scottie Reynolds was.
Michael Messinese (Kentucky)
I know it's a long ways away. But what do you think of andrew wiggins? And where do you think he signs? Both of his parents went to fsu but it's hard to turn away coach cal
Dave Telep (2:25 PM)
Andrew Wiggins is always fun to talk about. Florida State will be in the mix but cue the big dogs like Kansas, Kentucky, etc. because he's going to have his pick of the pack. He's got a Tracy McGray-like game to me. This guy seems to get a little better each time you see him and that's saying something. He's our No. 1 prospect in 2014.
Gumby (Las Vegas)
Dave, which of the three Arizona Bigs (Jerrett, Ashley & Tarczewski), who are playing in tomorrow's Jordan Brand game, do you think will have the biggest statistical impact in Tucson next year? Which of the three do you see averaging the most points/rebounds/blocks as a freshman in college?
Dave Telep (2:27 PM)
Gumby (love it!). All three of Zona's bigs are in the Jordan Game (ESPN, 7pmET on Saturday w/a sideline reporter that resembles George Clooney). Kaleb Tarczewski is ready. He should have the biggest impact. I LOVE Jerrett long-term. Ashley is going to work for his. The great thing about this class is that there is true competition for minutes and that raises the level of play of all involved. Sean Miller will be like a mad scientist working through the best combinations.
Will (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Where do you see Devonta Pollard going? I hope he comes to Alabama.
Dave Telep (2:28 PM)
Devonta Pollard begins his final official visit on Sunday with Georgetown. Alabama, Missouri and Texas are in the mix. Couldn't tell you who gets him. He's a reserved young man by nature and he has yet to tip his hand.
dave , where do you see anthony bennett attending college ?
Dave Telep (2:30 PM)
Anthony Bennett's favorite, for as long as I can remember, has been Florida. Had Shabazz gone to UK that would have eliminated them w/Bennett IMO. Washington and Oregon don't receive much fanfare so maybe they have something saved for a last second push. UNLV is sitting right there. Until told otherwise, I'm rolling with Billy D. Bennett is so unique. Guy hasn't taken an official visit yet. AB, it's time!
ryan (san diego)
Can you update Norvelle Pelle? Rumor was to SDSU but they don't have any scholarships. What's the deal?
Dave Telep (2:31 PM)
Norvell Pelle is radio silent. We overuse the word "impact" and Pelle is more talent than impactful. However, I think guys who show signs of instability and risk (moving around, in decision) tend to have bigger adjustments to college. To me, Pelle needs tutelage, training and a lower degree of expectations.
Pablo (San Juan)
Which recruits headed to "mid-majors" do you see having the biggest impact next year?
Dave Telep (2:33 PM)
Two guys: Mo Watson at Boston U. and Fred Van Vleet at Wichita State. Mo because he's the best guard coming into the league and they need him. Fred because Wichita State was gutted by graduation and they stole this dude from under the Big Ten's noses. I'd be SHOCKED if those guys didn't have serious freshman seasons.
What was the reason for Gabe York dropping 30 spots in the final top 100?
Dave Telep (2:35 PM)
I'll be happy to answer the Gabe York restructuring of his rating. I thought last year we had him too high. We adjusted then after the summer we moved him up again. He has big talent but he's got to assimilate into the college game and I think that's going to be a big step for him. Those bigs are going to be the focal point of the offense and he's not a PG but a volume scorer. That means he's going to need time to adjust.
How legit will UCLA be with Anderson and Shabazz not to mention the Wear Twins?
Dave Telep (2:36 PM)
UCLA now has basically a pair of top five players in Muhammad and Slo Mo Kyle Anderson. Mix in Jordan Adams and they've got some offense coming in. Tony Parker would be the topper. They've got Josh Smith and depth up front. Howland isn't afraid to toss freshmen out there and he'll want to play these cats max minutes. Anderson, Adams and Muhammad are offensive guys not defensive players like Howland covets. How those forces mesh together could determine the ultimate fate of their win/loss record.
Dave Telep (2:37 PM)
Who is the most important Purdue recruit? Tough question. There isn't a huge separator of talent there. I'll go Ronnie Johnson. Matt Painter needs to trust his guards and if Ronnie can come in and win over his coach, he could be the guy. Having said that, Rapheal Davis will have the best FR year. PS ... don't take this as gospel.
Glenn Robinson III seemed to have a growth spurt junior/senior year. do you think he could hold up playing PF in college ball, if used similarly to Deshaun Thomas @ OSU? Mich fans are hoping to see more sets with two traditional bigs, but Beilein's O seems to be best with a wing type getting minutes at the four ...
Dave Telep (2:38 PM)
G-Rob III; he won me over. He's bigger, faster, more athletic and in turn is less of strictly a jump shooter. I don't know what Beilein has in store for him but John, play the guy until his batteries run down!
Where do you think BJ Anya ends up?
Dave Telep (2:41 PM)
In the back of my mind I've always seen James Robinson and BJ Anya as a matched set. That would mean Anya to Pittsburgh and I'm not ready to call it but I bet the Panthers hang around in there and rep the Big East/ACC.
Tyler (McPherson, KS)
Just wanted to hear your overall thoughts on KU's class including McLemore and Traylor, who had to sit out last year. Also, what is up with Tony Parker?
Dave Telep (2:42 PM)
I like what Kansas has done. In my mind, the class is missing the typical Bill Self Dave Kingman-sized recruit BUT it has diversity and depth. You mentioned McLemore whom they raved about all year and Traylor. Perry Ellis is a good college player. Someone will step up and surprise from this group. Just not sure who.
Ez 28 (Davis, CA)
Where is Pollard leaning? Please say Texas
Dave Telep (2:43 PM)
Texas, but only because you asked me to say it. He's visiting the Hoyas this weekend. Alabama missed Devon Walker today so they need a wing. Missouri is right there. No leader I know of.
Neil J (Columbus OH)
So what is Coach Matta going to do in this late signing period? Is there anyone he's looking at other than the italian SG from Findlay Prep? Any juco guys? Maybe Tony Parker will do a 180?
Dave Telep (2:45 PM)
I think Amedeo Della Valle winds up at Ohio State. Michigan moved on. Ohio State has room. I spent time talking to him at NHSI and he's a grounded kid. He knows the highest level may take time for him to carve out a role. My friends Jonathan Givony and Mike Procopio who knew him in Italy, laude his work ethic. I'll say Buckeyes for the moment. Tony Parker swore up and down to me that Ohio State was his favorite but a long time has passed and he's had ample chances to make the move. When your inner circle is on the outer page with each other, indecision sets in and that's where Tony is.
Chris (St. Louis)
Who was left out of the game that you wish you could have seen?
Dave Telep (2:45 PM)
If I could bring one person to Charlotte and insert him into the Jordan Brand Game it would be Sam Dekker. When he's Big Ten player of the year one day, please revisit this comment. If he's not, please forget I brought it up.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
What exactly is the process of reclassifying? Is it done mainly for kids with academic issues?
Dave Telep (2:47 PM)
Reclassifying at reputable "schools" requires REAL transcripts, human beings looking at your grades and people deciding if its in your best interests to do it. Reclassifying at pop up institutions is much easier. It's like the Outback Steakhouse: No Rules, Just Right.
Im really impressed by Sam Dekker didnt know he was that athletic is he a future fitst rounder
Dave Telep (2:48 PM)
I have a pair of player crushes this year. Marcus Smartacus is one. Sam Dekker is the other. I think he's a first-rounder and yes, he's WAYYYY more athletic than I thought.
Dave Telep (2:49 PM)
Justin, I saw the jersey but was in another studio when that happened. I think there were some team jerseys that we had laying around for set props from a long time ago and that may have been one. Honestly, night was a blur, not sure the reasoning. That's my best guess.
Can you see Pat Chambers being the Billy Donovan East in a few years?
Dave Telep (2:50 PM)
I'm a Pat Chambers fan. Having said that, Billy Donovan owns two national championships and is headed to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Let's allow Pat to make the NCAA's before we go there. I do not believe anyone can win two titles at Penn State; no natural recruiting base.
Could Tony Parker and Jeff Withey coexist in the same lineup?
Dave Telep (2:51 PM)
Jeff Withey and (insert any 6-8 block player or lengthy PF) could occupy the same roster. You don't think Thomas Robinson loved being the complement to Withey's size and shot blocking?
Are we going to start to see commitments coming out of the 2013 following the AAU season or are the top recruits going to wait till the late period again to make their commitments known?
Dave Telep (2:53 PM)
This is a different year. In the past when coaches couldn't go out in April, fringe kids who knew they were borderline good enough for the schools on their list would commit and lock up their spots. This year, the schools can see them more and won't be fooled. Conversely, the schools will fall hard for the top tier guys and press them early. I failed to answer your question properly. Complain to management please.
Ted (New York)
Duke only has one commitment this year, so my question is do you think they will end up with Amile or Tony Parker. Also what are the chances either Julius Randle or Jabari Parker end up in Durham?
Dave Telep (2:54 PM)
I see Duke's best chance for another HS signee being Amile Jefferson. Tony Parker, to me, hasn't given them much positive feedback or reason to think he WANTS to be a Blue Devil.
Tyus Jones or Andrew Harrison whos the best pg in hs? and are both potential really good pros?
Dave Telep (2:55 PM)
Tyus Jones is the high school version of Chris Paul. He'd be the guy I would hand the ball to and run my team. Andrew Harrison is a hybrid, new era point guard. He's got everything on Jones physically and athletically. Jones is more advanced at captaining the ship. NBA guys would take Harrison; college guys might lean Jones. One game: give me Jones but I cringe and hope we wouldn't have to play against Harrison.
2012 class seems kind of average not to many standout players are the next few classes any better?
Dave Telep (2:57 PM)
2012 was average. Think about it. There were two BONAFIDE stars. 1-100, which is how I like to judge classes is average by most standards. Usually I'm sweating about having to leave someone out of the Top 100. This year it wasn't like that at all. Class isn't that deep. I love the bigs but few are alpha males at this stage.
Brandon (State College, PA)
As long as Cal is at UK is every other team fighting for the #2 class until further notice?
Dave Telep (2:59 PM)
Kentucky has four straight No. 1 recruiting classes, a No. 1 pick in Derrick Rose (I know, Memphis) and another one in Anthony Davis. He's in a once-in-a-lifetime groove. I assume they'll get a 5th until otherwise notified differently.
is it me or is Kasey Hill criminally underrated? dudes a beast
Dave Telep (3:01 PM)
Kasey Hill has worked his way up to the No. 2 overall PG and Top 10 player in the Class of 2013. I don't think he was underrated, I'd prefer to think he's taking to coaching and gotten better. He'll receive his attention the next time around, trust me. He had work to do as a PG and he's done it. He's at an extremely high level and in an elite group.
Dave Telep (3:02 PM)
Folks, they paid me for an hour and that's all I got right D-Wade? Just kidding but carpel tunnel just set in. I speak for our entire team in saying thanks for making ESPN RecruitingNation the place for you to spend time learning, reading and arguing about recruiting. We appreciate you! Be sure to check out the Jordan Brand Classic tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET on LIVE ON ESPN.