Good afternoon hoop fans, thanks for joining me today. Looks like we have a lot of good questions coming so let's get right down to it!
What are the chances that Lorenzo Romar can haul Cousins to Seattle?
Thanks Nick. Although coach Romar is having a great season so far and he has a terrific class, headed by Abdul Gaddy, coming in, at this point I would say the Huskies are on the outside looking in for Cousins' services. If I were a betting man, I would think he'd end up at Memphis.
Hey Antonio, big friar fan here. How do you like the Friars incoming class?
Hi John. I like the Friars class a lot. They have a ton of talent coming in that should be able to execute coach Keno Davis' wide open offensive system. One player to keep an eye in is PG Vincent Council. He has the ability to run a team and score points when he needs to.
Hi Antonio...what do you think of 2010 Badger recruits Evan Anderson & Vander Blue? Will they see playing time as freshmen?
Good question, Bob. The Badgers 2010 class has a lot of talent and upside and both players should fit Bo Ryan's basketball philosophy. The Badgers have had recent success with big guys in the middle like Brian Butch. Anderson should be able to step in and help Wisconsin very soon. Vander Blue has a tremendous amount of athleticism and leaping ability that he uses for scoring and especially for defense. He's a tenacious defender. His intense pressure D should fit right in with what the Badgers already do on that end of the floor.
I saw Joey Brroks of Strake Jesuit play in person last night vs. Houston Stratford. His abilty to both dominate the paint and knock down long-range jumpers really impressed me. What kind of impact could he have his freshman year?
Michael, Joey Brooks already has a college ready body which his gives him the strength to compete on the perimeter rather early for Notre Dame. His strength and athleticism also makes him a solid scoring option and he should see playing time early in his career for the Irish.
What do you think about John Belein's 09' incoming class, with the likes of Darius Miller and a few other unknowns?
Well, Brett, Coach Beilein has a very unique offensive system that requires players to have not only natural talent but also a high basketball IQ to execute. With this class he's addressed both areas. In Matt Vogrich and Blake McLimans, Beilien has two incredible shooters with unlimited range. Power forward Jordan Morgan gives the Wolverines an inside presence who will crash the boards. When you add Darius Morgan to play pressure defense and run the show you have a group that can continue to bring success to Ann Arbor.
Do you think Elijah Johnson is going to come up big for Kansas?
Steiny, nice to hear from you again. Elijah has the athleticism and physical gifts to become a dominant backcourt player at Kansas. At this point, he has to continue to work on shooting and decision making especially if he wants to play the point in college. Having said that, Johnson has a lot of tools that you simply cannot teach and should have no problems learning the things that can be taught, which would make him a premier player for the Jayhawks.
Just how good will North Carolina's class be next year led by John Henson?
Thanks, Jason. Although we never can truly tell until players actually play for their college teams, the Tar Heels '09 class has the chance to be truly great. A couple of players in this class, John Henson and Dexter Strickland, have an enormous amount of upside, while the other three, Leslie McDonald and the Wear twins, have the polished, mature games that make them ready for college. As good as Henson is at this point, he has just beginning to tap into his seemingly limitless potential.
What is Duke's chances in landing one of next years uncommited ??? And how do you rank the incoming class?
Danny, with an outstanding leader like Coach K and the history and tradition of Duke, I would think that the Blue Devils have a very good chance at landing one of the top players on the class of 2010. As far as their 2009 class goes, Duke has taken a big step in addressing their glaring weakness of not getting a lot of production up front. Both Plumlee and Kelly provide them with two big men that have the ability to score from virtually anywhere on the court.
After watching Kyrie Irving this past weekend, what would you say are his biggest weakness in his game? Who do you think is a early leader for him?
Thanks C.J. Kyrie is an extremely talented point guard that has the quickness to get into the lane almost at will. Once in the lane he does a great job of finding open teammates and also knowing when to score. He has good range on his jumper, he just needs to continue to improve his consistency from the perimeter. Kyrie has a number of top programs interested, especially those in the Big East. It's too early to handicap that race.
Dexter Strickland was projected as a PG last year, and earlier this year, I noticed that "scouts" had listed him as a SG. He has committed to North Carolina, but what is his position in your eyes?
Tee, given Dexter's athleticism and ability to score in addition to his scorer's mentality he seems a little more comfortable at the 2-guard spot. However, he has the ability to slide over to the point in a pinch. That being the case, I would classify him as a combo guard.
Does Oklahoma have one of the most impressive classes in Big 12 history coming in? To me it really looks like they cleaned up in all phases. Can you talk a little about their incoming class?
Mike, Sooners coach Jeff Capel maybe faced with the prospect of losing the nation's best player in PF Blake Griffin. Therefore, instead of replacing his production with one interior prospect, Capel will do it with three very talented frontcourt players. 'Tiny' Gallon, if he continues to improve his conditioning, will someday play in the NBA. Andrew Fitzgerald gives the Sooners a rebounding machine who never stops working. Kyle Hardrick is a power forward that does all the dirty work and doesn't mind not having the spotlight shine on him. SG Steve Pledger gives OU a backcourt player that can stick the 3. PG Tommy Mason-Griffin will run the show and bring all of these moving parts together.
Antonio, what are thoughts on Villanova's class? With Wayns, Cheeks, Yarou, and Armwood, have they vaulted ahead of North Carolina for the top class this year?
Chuck, the Wildcats have a very good class coming in. While coach Jay Wright has always had success with heralded backcourt players he has struck gold with with the very physical and very talented Yarou. He has improved so much over the past year. Armwood has a ton of potential. Having said that, this group still does not eclipse UNC's 2009 recruiting haul.
Please, please, please tell me some good news about our incoming class. This has been a rough year for Hoosier nation.
Disco, have no fear, Tom Crean is here. Indiana's class has a great deal of depth in addition to talent and will provide some relief when they arrive in Bloomington in September. Christian Watford gives them a small forward who has the ability to score at will. Maurice Creek also has the versatility to play a couple of positions on the perimeter and that should add to their depth. IU also has Bloomington native Jordan Hulls to run the show and find open teammates for scoring chances. Crean continues to address thier inside toughness with Elston, Muniru and Capobianco.
Any thoughts on Victor Rudd out of Findlay Prep? Him as a player and where he might end up? Thanks
Good question Matt. Rudd has the ability to connect on jump shots consistently in the 17-18 foot range but will shoot 3's if left unguarded on the perimeter. He also has very good quickness and athleticism and a decent amount of strength which allows him to sometimes score inside as well. As long as he continues to use his athleticism to attack the basket and rely on more than just his jumper, Rudd could develop into a very solid small forward at the next level. As far his recruiting, he plans on staying out west with UNLV, Arizona and Gonzaga the leaders. He's indicated he'll hold off on his decision until after the season is over.
Thanks for all your great questions today. We'll be changing our chat day from Wednesday to Monday which falls in nicely with our college basketball chats and coverage. Check us out next Monday, Feb. 23 at a TBD time. Also, don't forget to tune in to the McDonald's All-American selection show tonight at 6 pm EDT on ESPNU!