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February 18, 2011
Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Feb 11: Illini's future
Feb 4: Chol and the Pac-10
Jan 28: Skinny on Davis
Got a question? Click here to send it to Meyer's Mailbag
Will Maryland ever attract the five-star talent that like some of its competitors in the ACC attract?
How many of the prospects in Kentucky's No. 1 ranked recruiting class will leave for the NBA after their freshman year?
And how does a player as good as Arizona's Derrick Williams get overlooked in the rankings?
These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.
I love Gary Williams (would give him a lifetime contract) however, why can't the Terps obtain any 5 star talent? Year after year they are at the bottom of the college heap in securing top flight high school players. Can't understand why a school with excellent academics, one of the best locations in the country, one of the finest facilities, can't ever be in the top 25 recruiting classes.
- Pat from Jackson
Over the years Maryland fans have been frustrated with Coach Williams' approach to recruiting. Coach Williams is not one to chase after highly ranked prospects, and he hasn't been afraid to call out an opponent for recruiting violations. Simply put, he doesn't want to play the recruiting "game."
Williams has had success at Maryland, and one of his top characteristics is his stubbornness. He sticks to his style and his approach and it rubs off on his team on the court. I wouldn't expect anything about the way he runs his program to change any time soon.
Now Maryland does get ranked prospects, but they are usually in the mid to lower four-star range. Jordan Williams is a great example of an undervalued four-star prospect. Greivis Vasquez also fits into this category.
So when the pieces come together and players develop over time in the Maryland program, the Terrapins can compete at a very high level. Coach Williams does have a national championship under his belt.
It is just difficult to do that year after year when some of your top competitors are landing five-star talent year in and year out.
Another one-and-done class?
How many of UK's 2011 Class do you see as being one and done guys?
- Aaron of Monticello
This is a question that Kentucky fans will be asking every year as long as Coach John Calipari continues to bring in stellar recruiting classes.
Forward Kyle Wiltjer is highly skilled but his lack of athleticism makes him a borderline NBA prospect who will likely be in school for multiple years.
Mike Gilchrist is highly respected for his overall ability and intangibles, but it is questionable how well his game will translate to the highest level. Unless he answers questions about his ability to play the wing in the NBA during his freshman season, he will likely be at Kentucky for more than one year.
Anthony Davis might need more than a year to be strong enough to make an impact in the NBA. But his potential is so high, he will likely be a high first round pick even if there are questions about his readiness. I doubt he will be in a Kentucky uniform for more than one year.
Marquis Teague is a rare talent playing the most important position in today's game. There just aren't that many point guards who have the potential to be difference makers like Teague has the potential to be. As talented a point guard as Teague is, I would be surprised if he played more than one year at Kentucky.
If things actually play out this way, Kentucky fans would have to be happy about retaining half of a No. 1-ranked class for more than one year.
How can a player like Derrick Williams be so underrated coming into college?
- Garry from Doylestown
It happens more than we would like it to. Basketball is such a fluid and dynamic sport, players develop along different curves and it is just impossible to know enough about every prospect to nail the rankings. In fact, we just recently ran a piece looking at the top overlooked prospects in college basketball.
NBA general managers spend tons of money and time deciding who to draft and there are still multiple mistakes in each draft. Coaches at the college level are constantly wishing they had recruited a certain player or not have recruited a certain player. And scouts make mistakes in the rankings every year.
Sometimes a prospect is under exposed, sometimes he blossoms late and sometimes his abilities just aren't properly recognized.
In Williams' case he did play on the travel team circuit prior to his senior year. He was good and was always in the ranking discussion, but he wasn't great and was viewed as a tweener between the forward positions.
During his senior high school season, Williams' game took off and has continued to get better while at Arizona. He hit his stride after the travel team circuit and developed into a stronger, more powerful forward. We also miscalculated how much his game would develop.
Williams also taught us that it doesn't matter if it is tough categorize a prospect by position. If a player can play, a good coach will find a way to utilize his talents on the court.
It is so evident the Hoosiers need a man in the middle. What do you think Tom Crean will do?
- Kevin from Warren
He is going to make sure that 6-foot-11 signee Cody Zeller makes it to campus next year. Zeller, the No. 20-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, has the potential to be a difference maker for Indiana. He is skilled, has a versatile game, is athletic and aggressive. He might not have the strength to translate all his abilities to the court right away in college, but he is getting stronger and should eventually be a dominant player for Indiana.
The Indiana program is on the right track, but there are no magical solutions for instant success for a program that has fallen off like Indiana's.
How does Angelo Chol's commitment impact Arizona's recruiting class and its ranking?
- Steven from Flagstaff
Chol, the No. 76-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is a great addition to the class. I like how his game compliments Sidiki Johnson's game. Johnson is a scorer and rebounder whose game is built upon skill and strength. Chol is a defender and rebounder whose game is built on athleticism.
With Nick Johnson moving up in the rankings and the addition of Chol, Arizona's class could very well move up from its No. 9 spot into the top five at No. 5.
Jerry Meyer is a national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag.
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