Good afternoon hoop fans! We got a lot to talk to talk about with the just updated ESPNU 100, Super 60 and Terrific 25. We also have some terrific games coming up on the ESPN family of networks, plus the huge announcement by Derrick Favors tonight on ESPNU. Let's get started!
How impressed are you with Myck Kabongo?
Thanks, Steiny. I'm very impressed with Myck. He's a point guard with great size and speed. He can go coast to coast or set it up in the halfcourt offense. He's also a terrific on-ball defender because of his athleticism. He needs to be a more consistent 3-point shooter and he needs to add a mid-range pull up to avoid charges. Great fit for Texas, because he fits their pressure man to man schemes and he's great at coming of on-ball screens which Rick Barnes loves to use.
From what I have seen Mouphatou Yarou has dominated and gotten better each game will he jump up into the top 20 anytime soon?
Chrisk, we will always looks at kids that have played at a high level consistently and we'll be watching him moving forward. Yarou could be a guy that we'd move up based on how he plays in the next few months. Expect an updated ESPNU 100 following the state tournaments in March.
Hey Reggie I was wondering what your thoughts were on Shawn Williams from Duncanville and his upside at Texas and if you thought he has a legit chance to make the McDonald's team. Thanks in advance.
Kevin, I've seen Shawn play five or six times this season. He has not shot the ball well or played with great energy. He's a good athlete with lots of upside but he must pick up his production. Duncanville as a team must also play up to their lofty pre-season status and that way he may pick up his game.
How is Syracuse's recruiting class shaping up for 2009? Anybody worth mentioning besides Triche?
Anthony, James Southerland is a 6'7 wing who is a great shooter. He will stretch defenses in the halfcourt and can also hit three's in transition. He's very athletic but must add some moves of the dribble to his scoring repertoire. Once he gets to college, teams will take away his 3-point shot. Stay tuned, as Jim Boeheim and his staff may be assessing their needs for the spring.
If north carolina misses on harrison barnes who would be top priority plan b. I am a guru also
If the Tar Heels miss on Barnes they may wind up with Tashawn Mabry, a small forward from Rocky Mount (NC) Sr. High. He's an attacking, lefty slasher with a scorer's mentality. He could be Roy Williams' next target at the small forward position.
Handicap Derrick Favors' announcement tonight, who's he gonna pick?
Well Jason, you'll just have to watch ESPNU's SportsCenterU tonight at 6:30 EDT to find out!
Reggie, I am a former Bobcat in Dayton. Are you going to cover Flyin' to the Hoop?
Thanks Branden. I won't be there but someone from ESPN Scouts will certainly be on hand to take in this terrific tournament. Log on to our website next week to check out the recap from Flyin' to the Hoop.
After WVU's strong 08 recruiting class, how is Huggins doing with his 09 recruiting class?
Thanks for the question, Lemmer. After getting two ESPNU 100 kids in 2008, Bob Huggins is following it up with two more ESPNU100's this year. They've added great size, rebounding ability and skill with Kilicli, Jennings and Davis plus a versatile forward in Pepper. Huggins and chief recruiter Billy Hahn have done a great job bringing top talent to Morgantown in the little time they've been there. With there ties in the midwest and the east coast you can expect great classes year in and year out.
Reggie, what's going on with Stanford's recruiting class, only filling 1 of 6 spots? How will Dawkins solve this? Is he not a good recruiter?
David, I think Dawkins is a good recruiter. With Stanford's stringent academic policies they have to identify the right prospects. Johnny is still establishing recruiting ties and may need some more time. I anticipate by next spring, the Cardinal will have a good class in place. In recruiting, it's not how you start but how you finish. Keep an eye on Kyle Casey and SG Donte Foster.
Does UCLA have a good shot at '10 Center Josh Smith? Thanks!
Thanks, Eric. I would say that UCLA has a legitimate shot at Josh Smith. With the recent success of Kevin Love and the tradition of the Bruins centers, plus three final fours in a row and I'd say that they have a great shot. But you can't rule to Lorenzo Romar and Washington. He's a heck of a recruiter.
how good is memphis' recruting class coming in? will they be able to get them back to the national championship game?
Bob, Memphis is bringing in a terrific class next season. They have two really good JUCO players coming in. Not to mention ESPNU's top-ranked player, Xavier Henry who is an immediate impact player. Nolan Dennis is an athletic slasher. They are also heavily involved in Wall's recruitment. Wall would take them to another level. Add Tyreke Evans to the mix and you have an unbelievable perimeter for the Tigers. That would spell a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Anything less would be disappointing.
Last year I was worried that Bruce Weber at U of Illinois was not going to make it but this year it appears that he has straightened the team out and that U of I has some top prospects on the way. What is your take on U of I?
Thanks Scrapper. Illinois has some really good kids coming in. I really like D.J. Richardson. He's an athletic guard that excels in transition. He will be a great fit for their motion offense. Tyler Griffey is a pick n pop forward who will also be a great fit with his ability to stretch defenses. Brandon Paul is an athletic guard with thee-point range. Joseph Bertrand has good size and can shoot it from the perimeter. It looks like Bruce Weber has went out and signed some scorers in this class. Clearly, that was need they wanted to address.
How good is Tubby Smith doing with his 2009 class?
Brandon, Tubby is doing very well so far. He's landed two ESPNU 100 kids. Royce White is a strong, power forward who scores around the basket. He's developing into a small forward but he's not there yet. Rodney Williams is an elite athlete who is a highlight reel in transition. He's got great upside. Trever Mbakwe will bring them rebounding and experience. Look for the Gophers to take another step forward next year. Tubby has done a great job keeping talented players in state and away from other schools, like Wisconsin.
What type of impact will Alex Oriahki have at UConn as a freshman? Any immediate impact freshman in the Big East next year?
Kevin, I think Alex is a heck of an athlete who is really strong and physical. He's a tremendous rebounder and finisher on both ends. He runs well and competes all the time. He should have an immediate impact at UConn because of his physicality and passion. As far the rest of the Big East is concerned, watch for Peyton Siva at Louisville, Jeronne Maymon at Marquette, Dante Taylor at Pitt, Dom Cheek, Maalik Wayns and Mouph Yarou at Villanova and finally Deniz Kilicli at West Virginia to all have impacts as rookies.
Wisconsin has some good recruits, as a state. Not a program. How do you see them playing out in the NCAA?
Thanks Trevor. I think the state of Wisconsin has some terrific prospects. Jeronne Maymon is a high major combor forward who I really like. Vander Blue is an athletic wing who is really quick. He can slash to the hoop or shoot the three off the catch. Jamil Wilson is a versatile wing player who is a high-major talent and is ranked in our ESPNU 100. Also watch out for Junior Lomomba from Madison Memorial. He's a freshman who I think can be really special.
Thanks for all your great questions! Don't forget to check out Derrick Favors' announcement tonight on ESPNU at 6:30 EDT. Then watch Favors' South Atlanta squad take on DeMarcus Cousins and LeFlore on Thursday at 9 EDT on ESPN2. Check back here next week for more recruiting talk!