Good afternoon hoop fans! With the high school season about to begin, the ESPN family of networks kicks off its broadcast schedule of the top high school teams around the country next week. But more on that later! Let's get to the questions.
Paul, Where does Brandon Knight end up? He's the cream of the crop for 2010 point guards. Is he another in state player for Donovan or does he buck the trend and head to Duke or UConn? Thanks!
Hi Josh. Brandon Knight is still trying to figure out who his top schools are. Florida is right in the thick of it and would be an excellent decision for him. There are other elite programs working as well. Duke, Texas and UConn are right there. It's too early to tell and I feel he will take his time with it.
Hey Paul - Will Josh Smith stay home, head to the PAC 10 power UCLA or actually go east and play for a Duke or Carolina?
Thanks Johnny. Josh will probably stay west of the Mississippi, with Washington, USC and Texas in the thick of it. If he goes east, watch out for UNC.
Paul, Can you break down the Harrison Barnes recruitment? Who would you call the leader if you had to pick a school?
Thanks Mike. Harrison Barnes has the nation's elite programs knocking at his door including Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan State, Duke, UCLA and Kentucky. It's hard to pick a leader but you must think in-state programs Iowa and Iowa State are right there as well. Everyone is jockeying for position right now.
Hi Paul, I believe I saw you at the Nat'l Prep Showcase at Bryant a couple of weeks ago. What are your thoughts on Providence signee Johnny Lacy from Notre Dame Prep?
Dave, you are correct, I was at the Prep Showcase and then spent Thanksgiving in Boston with my family. Great time! The more I watch Lacy the more I like him. He's a point guard who really initiates the fast break and can score and find others from his penetration. He has the ability to make open shots out to three. He plays fast which fits right into coach Davis' scheme at Providence but he is under control at all times. He will help the Friars control the tempo on offense and defense throughout the game.
Duke's Andre Dawkins and John Hairston look to be huge prospects for Duke. Who do they compare to? Is Josh Hairston really a 3 or a 4 at the college level?
Matt, what a great pair for Duke in 2010 with Dawkins and Hairston. Hairston reminds me of a Kyle Singler and Dawkins is reminiscent of a J.J. Reddick. Hairston can play at the 4 spot offensively in college but he may struggle defensively there. He's a developing 3-man right now. He has some perimeter skills but he needs guard the ball better out by the three-point line. In Coach K's offense it's all about skilled players and spacing the floor. Both of these guys have high skill levels and will keep the defense stretched out.
Hey Paul! Is it possible that John Wall will team up with Xavier Henry next year for Memphis' backcourt? If so, what are the chances of that happening?
Hi John. It is possible that John Wall could end up with Henry at Memphis. The Tigers graduate Antonio Anderson and will be in need of a point guard. That would be one of the best backcourts in all of college basketball. If Tyreke Evans ever stayed, wow! What a perimeter!
what's new with the domanic what'going on the domenic cheekrecuriting
Hey Chcuk, how are you? Nothing new on the Dom Cheek front. Looks like he's gonna play out the season and make a decision in the spring. Villanova, Kansas and Memphis are out in front at the moment, with Pitt and Rutgers also in it. Whoever gets Cheek are getting an outstanding player and person.
Paul, How do you feel about the 2009 Indiana class? Will Crean have them back at the top of the Big 10 in a couple of years?
Mark, I love that class Indiana put together in 2009. It's remarkable based on all the distractions. I recently saw Maurice Creek at the Prep Showcase. Not only is he gonna play right away, he's going to be a go to player when the Hoosiers need a hoop. he can shoot three's or take it to the rim and finish. Christian Watford will be an immediate impact player as well. You must remember, however, that these kids haven't stepped on campus and will need time to develop through individual work and game situations over the course of time. But Indiana will be vastly improved on the court next year.
Paul, do you think Michael Moser has a chance to start right away at UCLA? Was that the best choice for him (AZ, UO, OSU, UW) were also in the mix.
Will, offensively there's no question Mike Moser can play right away. The question is how quickly can he adapt to playing Ben Howland's defense because that comes first at UCLA. I believe that it was a very good choice because he'll have a chance to play right away and compete for a Pac 10 title. But it would've been interesting to watch him play with Abdul Gaddy at Arizona.
Paul, With already a stellar class of Xavier Henry, Nolan Dennis, Will Coleman, and Darnell Dodson, who do you see Memphis targeting to complete this very impressive recruiting class? John Wall, Latavious Williams, or Derrick Favors?
Thanks Jon. I look at them trying to get all three as well as Dom Cheek. If they land even one of those kids, it will be John Calipari's best recruiting class. Those two Junior College kids, Coleman and Dodson, can really play.
Hey Paul, do you think with the players the Gophers added for next year, that they can make a deep tourny run in just a year or two? Especially adding White and Williams, to the good class from last year, Iverson looked great last night!
Hi Randy, thanks for the question. I absolutely think so because Tubby Smith knows how to build, shape and sustain a winning program. As in most cases, it will take a few years to see the results of all the hard work. Coach Smith is one of the best in the business and will have the Gophers in the NCAA tournament consistently, where they haven't been for a long time. Next year's team, with the incoming class, should be very exciting for Gopher fans.
Michigan seems to be coming around this year. How is their recruiting class looking?
Chris, they're recruiting class is coming along very well for coach Beilein. Darius Morris is a promising point guard. He plays with intensity on both ends of the floor and will be an extension of the coach on the floor. And watch out for Matt Vogrich. He can really shoot the three. As with most freshman, he'll need to get stronger physically and mentally he'll need to increase his basketball I.Q. Coach Beilien already has a big win against UCLA and has proven in the past to be able to build winning programs such as Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia. Not the easiest places in the world to win at.
Your thoughts on Marquette's 2009 class: Maymon, Cadougan, Buycks, Roseboro...top 10 worthy?
Good afternoon, Matt. I love the job that Buzz Williams and his staff have done at Marquette, transitioning from an assistant to a head man. He hasn't missed a beat. Junior Cadougan could be the next standout perimeter players at Marquette. And watch out for Erik Williams from Cypress, Texas who is very good but missed most of the summer with an injury. Buzz himself thinks Roseboro can be a real player in time. So this class, while not quite top 10, is Top 15, sitting at No. 11 right now.
Paul, What do you think of Nova's 09 recruiting class? Would the spring addition of Cheek move it to the top?
Matt, if Villanova can land Dom Cheek, this would be the best class that Jay Wright has ever recruited in his tenure as a head coach. It would certainly push into the Top 5 maybe Top 3.
What are your thoughts on NC State's recruiting class thus far? Howell, Brown and Wood seem like a solid haul for Sid Lowe. Also, what would be the percentage you think of John Wall staying in Raleigh and running the Pack?
Hi Ryan. I really like this class Lowe and his staff has put together. Brown has great skill and a great frame. He has the innate ability while driving to the basket to finding his teammates for open looks. He is a do-it-all guard. Howell has superior quickness and strength that he uses in the paint area to score and rebound. He doesn't have great skill but has good skill and is extremely productive. Wood is the sleeper. He is one of the most prolific shooters in the country. With his size and length he can shoot over defenders and will be a threat every time he comes off a screen. N.C. State has a chance at Wall because he's in their backyard but I think that if he was gonna go there he would've already made his decision.
Does Mick Cronin have any good recruits coming in next year for Cincinnati??
Mick Cronin is a proven head coach who did a tremendous job at Murray St. Let's not forget, when he took the Cincy job the program was a complete and utter mess. He has done an excellent job recruiting and coaching. They got a high level power forward Yancey Gates last year who was a Top 30 player. Sean Kilpatrick is a big time shooter who's especially effective in a catch and shoot situation. Year by year, Cronin and his staff keep adding weapons. In the next year or so it should all come to fruition. I see Cincinnati climbing up the charts in the best conference in the country.
How inspired were you by Jimmy V?
Steiny, that is a very relevant question with this being Jimmy V week on ESPN. When I was a young coach I always looked at Jimmy as someone I wanted to be like. When I was at Boston U. as an assistant we had a chance to play N.C. State when they had Corchiani and Monroe, aka Fire and Ice, I remember how excited I was shaking his hand after the game and talking to him for a bit. Albeit I was just 27 at the time it made a lasting impression on me.
Thanks for tuning in today! I want to remind everyone about the upcoming high school games on the family of ESPN networks. We start off with a double-header Thursday, Dec. 11 at 7:30pm ET with Bishop McGuiness vs. No. 25 Putnam City followed by No. 8 Lincoln (NYC) with undecided Lance Stephenson and future Maryland Terp James Padgett against No. 6 Duncanville ((Texas) and Texas-bound Shawn Williams along with future Okla. St. star Roger Franklin. at 9:30pm ET. Don't miss all the action!