Good afternoon hoop fans! It's cold and crummy here on the East Coast but the hoop action is really starting to heat up. Let's get right to it.
I live in New Jersey and cover high school basketball part time. The best player I've see thus far, by far is Malik Wayans. I've seen practically ever single Jersey powerhouse at least several times (except for St. Pats) and can say in my mind no one compares to him. What are your thoughts on Wayans? Bob Gibbons compares him to Ty Lawson now, and Chris Paul potentially in the future.
Thanks, Joe. Maalik Wayns ranks as one of the top Point Guards in the Class of 2009. He leads his team as one would expect a point guard to serve as a floor general. He uses his good strength and quickness to get to the basket, almost at will, in addition to playing great pressure defense. At the next level he will benefit from adding a change of pace dribble to his game as well as improving his jumpshot accuracy and range. Wayns' leadership ability is off the chart. He always makes winning plays down the stretch.
Do you think DeMarcus Cousins will choose Memphis?
Nice chatting with you again Steiny. With Mike Gottfried leaving Alabama earlier this week, the DeMarcus Cousins plot now thickens. Does Mike Davis now end up in Tuscaloosa and will Cousins follow him if that happens? At the end of the day my gut tells me that Cousins ends up at Memphis.
What are Memphis' chances of signing John Wall? Demarcus Cousins?
Hi Sam. I know John Wall's recruitment warrants a ton of attention, and rightfully so. He is a top ten prospect who is yet to select a home for next season. Right now the competition between Duke, N.C. State, Kansas, Baylor, and Memphis for Wall's services remains fierce. But in the end it will not surprise me to see Wall and Cousins join the nations top player, Xavier Henry, at Memphis.
Antonio, Kyrie Irving played his first game for St. Patrick's last weekend. Can you talk about his game and who is after him? I've heard Memphis and Duke are very interested. Thanks.
Thanks for the question, Jack. I saw Kyrie in September and he absolutely put on a show. He has very good quickness but also does a fabulous job of staying under control, a rare trait for quicker guards. He has the ability to hit jumpers from 3-point land and also easily finds open teammates with his passing ability. While Memphis does have interest they face stiff competition for Irving from a host of top programs, including Notre Dame, Villanova, Florida and Indiana, just to name a few.
Do you think Penn State has a realistic chance to get Taran Buie, the younger brother of Talor Battle, in 2010?
Thanks, Eric. Buie has the versatility to play as a combo guard, manning the one or the two at any given time during the game. He handles the ball very well and deftly finds the open man with his vision and passing skills. He has very good quickness and athleticism which allows him to score almost at will from the perimeter or driving to the bucket. As we saw with Xavier Henry at Memphis, the chance to play with your brother may be to difficult to pass up, therefore Penn State has just as good a chance as any of the other top programs that have shown interest in Buie.
Hey Antonio, Harrison Barnes looks to be the top wing in the 2010 class. Does he end up at Kansas, like many are saying, or head to another top program like Duke?
Good question, Mark. Barnes has the athleticism, leaping ability and frame that coaches covet from wing prospects. He does practically everything very well; scoring from deep, getting his mid-range shot off, using his leaping ability to finish at the rim. Barnes has interest from all of the major programs in the country in addition to the two home state programs: Iowa and Iowa State. While Kansas coach Bill Self has attracted some of the top players in the country to Lawrence, Duke success this year has not gone unnoticed. Expect this one to go down to the buzzer with programs such as Duke, Kansas, Texas and North Carolina among the early frontrunners.
Antonio - I know it's early, but who are your top 5 prospects in the 2011 class? Thanks.
Hey Scott, it's never too early to talk about high ranking prospects. Check out ESPNU's Terrific 25 for breakdowns on the top sophomores. Right now it's a 3 horse race between Michael Gilchrist, Tony Wroten, Jr. LaQuinton Ross with Austin Rivers and James McAdoo nipping at their heels.
Antonio, Does either Josh Smith or Tony Wroten make it off the west coast or will these both be U Dub/UCLA battles? Thanks.
Hi Art. The Seattle area has produced a number of very talented high school prospects in recent years. With Smith and Wroten following in this long line of gifted players. While both of these youngsters continue to get attention from the top national programs it may be tough for other high majors to beat out Washington, especially with the Huskies recent resurgence and UCLA, another top Pac-10 program.
How quick of an impact can Wally Judge and Rodney McGruder have for Kansas State next year?
Caleb, of the two, I think Judge may have more of an immediate impact, though McGruder will contribute rather early. Both have the athleticism needed to compete in the Big 12 and Judge brings and incredible motor to go with his good strength. McGruder has to continue to improve his accuracy from the perimeter at the next level.
The article about Gary Williams recruiting is interesting. What does maryland have to do to get back on track?
Scott, Gary Williams has had very good success competing in one of the three top leagues in the country. As of late he's had some unfortunate circumstances hinder his recruiting but he has a solid 2009 group coming in. Jordan Williams and James Padgett are two rugged interior prospects that could provide the backbone for Maryland's defense. The Maryland-Washington D.C. area has an extraordinary amount of talent and if he can convince some of those top players to stay home like has in the past, the Terps will become prominent once again.
Is Jeremy Tyler as good as advertised? Also, can Peyton Siva be an actual floor leader or will he be another Edgar Sosa?
Hope your enjoying the weather in Florida! Jeremy Tyler has the frame and the strength of a prototypical post player. When engaged, he absolutely dominates on both ends of the floor. He has solid moves with his back to the basket and enough coordination to connect on turn around jumpers. He rebounds on both ends and takes ownership of the lane by blocking and contesting shots. Regarding Siva, as good as Louisville is playing now they would be even better if they had a true point guard and Peyton should fill that need for coach Pitino next year. His quickness and passing ability makes him a perfect fit for the Cardinals up tempo offensive attack.
The last I checked, BC has ZERO recruits right now. Has anything changed?
Well, Nick the Eagles are really only losing Tyrese Rice next season and they just landed a point guard (Danny Lawhorn) for the 2010 class. They're also eyeing Gerard Coleman, Rod Odom, Carson Desrosiers and Melvin Ejim in that class so clearly they are targeting juniors and haven't gone after 2009 kids.
Do you think Tevin Baskin is an underrated prospect?
Thanks Drew. Baskin has very good athleticism and relies on that heavily for effectiveness throughout his games. As he prepares for the next level he has a great deal of upside but he needs to improve his shooting and decision making in order to play on the wing. He uses his length and athleticism to play a very active brand of basketball on the defensive end. Tevin has immense room for development and his best basketball lies ahead of him.
Do you think Missouri has a good chance of getting into/progressing in the tournament? Carrol and Coach Anderson have us all really excited about basketball again here at Mizzou. Will the Tigers prevail over Baylor this weekend?
Hi, what can you tell me about Jamil Wilson? Any idea what direction he's leaning?
Thanks Jeff. Wilson has very good length and athleticism which makes a very versatile player. While he has the ability to play on the wing, he needs to continue to improve his jump shot and ballhandling skills. He also has a very quick first step which allows him to drive past defenders and finish above the rim. While he's an adequate rebounder at this point, he could become an even better rebounder and defensive player with added strength and muscle. As far as his recruiting, Michigan State and Marquette are in the race but I see him ending up in the Big 10.
Thanks for all your great questions. Keep them coming next week and we'll try and get to as many as we can. Have a great week everyone!