Chat with Dave Telep
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep stops by to chat about the news from the recruiting trail, as ESPN.com unveils the top 10 class rankings.
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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Moderator (2:58 PM)
Hello everyone. Thanks for all your questions. I am about to get Dave on the phone.
Dave Telep (3:02 PM)
Hello all, we are excited to release our first class rankings. Lets get to the questions.
what happened to a structured four year high school career at one school? It used to be easy to point out the type of kids who would bounce around school to school but now even kids like Nate britt are leaving great schools. It almost seems unncessary, in the 90s players did not transfer as much and it didn't hurt their transition to college. can we stop this transfer madness at Hs level?
Dave Telep (3:06 PM)
Greg, we are living in a different age. Our kids in college do what they've been conditioned to do in HS and right now, that includes a high transfer rate. To me, the state championship run and stability of a successful four-year career is recruiting utopia. Reality is that is not the climate today. I am a believer that too many transfer decisions are made with basketball as the motivator when the academic component should be taken into account. Most of these kids are not professional basketball players but they have a pro approach and it's the equivalent of HS free agency.
What are your thoughts on Washington landing a top 5 class in 2013, especially with Nigel William-Goss committed? Seems Udub is leading for Aaron Gordon, is Jabari Bird's top two and Jabari Parker is in the mix with his long time connections with Romar and his brother Chris part of the team. Not to mention Issac Hamilton & Marcus Lee.
Dave Telep (3:08 PM)
My man, you gave a strong rundown on the state of Washington recruiting. They're not getting all the guys you mentioned. Parker would be a reach but they're trying. All of those are major NATIONAL battles with the exception of Bird who seems destined to play in Pac-12.
TOM (MADISON, WI)
What is your thoughts on the usa basketball selections for u-18? mix of mcdonalds all americans i.e. rodney purvis, shaq goodwin and then some guys who were not selected but look to be on the rise i.e. sam dekker, jake layman.
Dave Telep (3:13 PM)
Tom, when USA is picking these teams it takes everything into account. From talent to specific needs for the international game. Hard decisions have to be made. Many times players are picked or not picked based on the specific team needs. In past, there have been big names left off for a multitude of reasons. This is a good, not great team anchored by Marcus Smart and Julius Randle. Don't read into guys moving up and down rankings for making or not making this team. Specific players were selected for specific needs and roles. It's truly the construction of a team, not an aggrregation of top players; there's a difference.
Hey Dave, who do you think the Tar Heels pick up next? Who have they been looking at lately?
Dave Telep (3:15 PM)
In the recruiting business, there's a tendency to look ahead to the next class and overvalue it because you begin thinking the current group is fished out. I'd rather not do that so I'll pick my words carefully. 2014 looks like it has 7 outstanding prospects. I can't wrap my mind around making statements about 2015 at this time because we're bumping into new kids weekly. 2013 is not flush with star power. It could use strong summers from some of the fringe stars to prop it up.
Dennis P (evansville, IN)
Who do you feel is the front runner for Beejay Anya? IU's chances are??
Dave Telep (3:19 PM)
I can't say who the front-runner is for BeeJay Anya just yet. He's constructed an enormous list. Pittsburgh has his pal James Robinson; IU has a tie with his former travel team assistant coach. The list is double-digits and he's going to be gone for some of the summer events with USA Basketball so information might tough to come by to begin the summer.
Since dropping in the last rankings by ESPN, will Conner Frankamp climb again after his great performance a couple of weeks ago?
Dave Telep (3:21 PM)
Big Frankamp fan. My concern to begin the spring was how much of a natural point guard as opposed to shooter will he become? Through his recent play, he's answered the question and is most certainly a viable option at the PG. Other recruits, like 2014 Clay Custer, know that Frankamp is trending toward playing PG which tells me many had similar questions to mine. Frankamp answered the questions, raised his game and his ranking will go up. It may not rise to where KU fans want it to be because after all, there's a ceiling we'd feel comfortable going with on Conner but I think it's closer to 50 than it is 75, where he's currently rated.
Louisville recruit had a big spring. Could his stock rise much further over the next year even become an all MAA? Also, who do you see joining Gill at Louisville? Could it become a top 10 class?
Dave Telep (3:25 PM)
Alan, Louisville the last time I checked was in the running for Dorian Finney-Smith. C Moses Kingsley, PF Jordan Mickey and C BeeJay Anya are on the board. JaJuan Johnson snuck up there for a visit. The Cardinals don't have a ton of scholarships but they're involved with good players, this days after adding PF Montrezl Harrell.
What's the chances of UNC ending up with the #1 class by adding Randle, Meeks and Williams/King to their already talented 2013 class?
Dave Telep (3:28 PM)
I think if UNC were to add a commitment, I'd watch for Kennedy Meeks. You're always in tune with the in-state guys. In my opinion, there's a window between now and beginning of July where you'll see commits and then it'll slow until the end of July and many kids will wait for official visits at that point. Meeks, Austin Nichols and Julius Randle along with Jabari Parker are targets as is Jonathan Williams. Personally, I think Parker and Randle are eliminators for each other and no one is getting them both. That's my opinion.
What are you thoughts on Bama at number eight?
Dave Telep (3:29 PM)
Really like what Alabama has done. It has length in Jimmie Taylor and a skilled strong man in Shannon Hale. Anthony Grant's reconstructed the backcourt the past two classes and this frontcourt action was needed.
Do you think Michigan can rise up to #1 in the class rankings?
Dave Telep (3:32 PM)
Connor, the reality is Michigan is going to have a hard time staying at No. 2. Here's the deal: 2 of the Top 10 players have committed and only 5 of the Top 25 total. There are some big recruits out there that will inevitably cluster and give a few schools home run efforts. Michigan likely stays Top 10 but I don't see a scenario where they move that far up. This list was constructed very early.
Damonte Dodd is Maryland's only 2012 recruit not in summer school, so the thought is he will be 2013. Where does he fall in the crop of bigs in 2013?
Dave Telep (3:34 PM)
Had a chance to see Dodd a few weeks ago and was impressed. Talked with some of our guys including Chris Wilson (editor) and Brendan Nolan (Czar of the Database) and told them I'd feel great if Dodd was No. 100. He's still more prospect than player but the odds are trending in his favor that the story has a happy ending. He'd be closer to Top 75 if he were a true senior in the 2013 group but remember, he can't take his foot off the gas. It's a shame he has to go prep instead of redshirt. Young players need to realize how valuable the first two years of HS are in the classroom.
Rob (Fort Wayne IN)
Dave, We Cat fans need your expert opinion: Who is MOST likely to follow the Harrison twins to Lexington? Parker, Randle, or C.Walker?
Dave Telep (3:35 PM)
If I had one guess (actually my guess requires two) I'd take the Harrison Twins as the most likely recruits to wind up at Kentucky. If the Twins got to UK, I think it would then be tough for the Wildcats to land Randle and would then ramp up interest in their next big man target.
What puts Dakari Johnson and Jahlil Okafor above Cliff Alexander? From what I've seen, Alexander is a much better athlete and shot blocker.Also, Beejay Anya had pretty poor statistical outings in EYBL. Any explanation, or is he due for a drop?Lastly, could you gauge Alexander's and Anya's interest in IU? You're the consummate recruiting analyst Dave, keep it up.
Dave Telep (3:38 PM)
Awesome question. Right now I'd go Johnson, Okafor and then Alexander but old Cliff has the most upward mobility. Alexander looks motivated right now and he's an awesome player in the lane. He's vanilla -- power and rebounding. Okafor is rock solid and the best low-post scorer of the trio but he's got company. Dakari's game is heading in the right direction. His body is trim and he's getting comfortable with multiple moves. I'm not dodging your question I honestly believe any of those three could finish as the best big in the class. Okafor's been a bit banged up. Anya is good. The others each have one thing that elevates them past him. For Anya to join that group he's got to consistently put it on people. If Alexander does the same he rises quickly because of the size, strength, power and perceived explosion as a finisher.
What can we expect out of new VTECH coach James Johnson recruiting wise? Seth was a great recruiter can he really keep it going or should we expect a slight drop in caliber of recruit
Dave Telep (3:40 PM)
I think James Johnson's first year will be used to establish his recruiting identity. You'll see him hit up Florida and get back into DC. The best thing that can happen for him is the games start and recruits, and their parents, start seeing him on TV and begin connecting the face with the program.
Robbie (Memphis, TN)
Do you think Pastner can get a good combo of King, Williams III, Nichols and Johnson for the 2013 class?
Dave Telep (3:42 PM)
Robbie, Josh Pastner is going to get one of those guys. History tells us as much. He's not getting them all. The question is which player wants to stay home the most? Don't rule out Austin Nichols. He's got a lot of national schools on him but I'd never rule out him staying local. Pastner's done a lot of homework on these kids early. July is a moving month on their lists.
Hey Dave, What are the chances Duke gets both Jabari Parker and Julius Randle? With all the open positions they'll have next year, they have to be very attractive!
Dave Telep (3:45 PM)
Matt, I don't think Parker and Randle go to the same school. That's just my opinion. Those guys have been "competing" against each other for headlines and the top spot. Unless I'm missing something, I don't see the desire to play together. If I had to bet, I'd handicap Duke's chances with Parker slightly higher than its with Randle. I know Matt Jones, Randle's AAU teammate, is already there. I get that. Opinion is subject to change but that's my own read going into July.
Dave, It appears that Syracuse has their hands in on many talented recruits for 2014, but how are things looking for 2013?
Dave Telep (3:49 PM)
Sean, I think Cuse wants to get this thing with Tyler Ennis to a conclusion and try to make him the next PG under Jim Boeheim. Jermaine Lawrence is another key target, and he's a big. If Cuse doesn't land Ennis they may miss out on a chance for a premium lead guard.
I know it's early stages in the game but who are Sean Miller and co. after? Do you think Arizona ends up with a top 5 class again?
Dave Telep (3:51 PM)
This is one of the first times in a long time the head coach at Arizona has had to make tough decisions regarding in-state talent. Sean Miller has a few in-state guys he needs to decide on in 2013 before doing the same in 2014 and beyond. There are good players the next few years in the state. Will they go HARD after Jaron Hopkins this year? Personally I think they make a push after July. Do they take a defender like Dakarai Allen or go for the offense in Keith Frazier? Aaron Gordon is definitely a priority.
Do you think that how Josh Selby performed at kansas has scared potential one and dones away from Kansas?
Dave Telep (3:53 PM)
No, I don't. Maybe Kansas is nervous though. Here's the thing about one and dones. Your team has to be able to mesh with this type of player. If the player comes in and immediately thinks he's above the older and talented guys who have been there, the problem trumps the talent. It's a delicate tightrope to walk. Some situations or programs are more apt to deal with these guys. I think Kansas will deal with one and dones and will get their share over the years but I also feel like Bill Self will be selective about the personalities.
How useful are eybl box scores in evaluating a player because now you have access to all game information wherreas before you only knew about the game you personally viewed.
Dave Telep (3:55 PM)
The EYBL box scores serve a purpose. They are a snapshot over 24 games. To me, if the guy can't shoot, this is the best predictor we have because 3s are kept. If a guy has turnover problems, that's helpful too. You can't rely solely on them but they show trends/tendencies of players. If you don't use that data you're not using all the information you have at your disposal to decide. Scoring numbers, I could care less about. Some of the activity numbers are key for me though.
Will (Des Moines, Iowa)
Can we get your reaction on the new rules coming into play: Unlimted texts and calls starting this week. Can this do a small part to help clean the recruiting game up that most know is shady at high major level
Dave Telep (3:57 PM)
I'm beginning to get worried that the kids are going to be overwhelmed. I don't think the new rule benefits them much. It sounds nice but at the end of the day, these are kids who are going to have to tell adults to leave them alone. There's going to be a lot of unanswered texts just as there is unopened mail. I think we're making it more invasive for the kids. Let me know the first time a kid commits because he liked the text relationship he formed with the coach. I think we'll hear more horror stories than success stories.
So far Syracuse doesn't have a 2013 recruit. I don't think it is going to stay like that. If you had to pick someone that they are recruiting, who do you think ends up here?
Dave Telep (3:59 PM)
I think the Cuse would like to start their class with Tyler Ennis.
Will (Des Moines, Iowa)
I looked at the list of ncaa certified events for this summer and there are just so many events almost too many. this leads to watered down tournaments but how does that affect your evaluations as a scout? Much harder than years past or the same
Dave Telep (4:02 PM)
I'm worried about July. We don't have charter planes here on the recruiting budget and getting around is going to be difficult given the events and our insatiable appetite to see as much as possible. Frankly, I'm scared. If I was at a low to mid-major program I'd be upset. These rules seem like they are geared to the BCS teams. Smaller programs need more days, events spread out more so they can see more. Analysts, I think, will feel the same way. Got a plane?
Dave Telep (4:05 PM)
Okay folks, thanks for all your questions. Keep checking back to ESPN RecruitingNation for all your basketball recruiting needs.
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