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March 15, 2011

Ask the experts: Will snub hurt Hokies?

MORE EXPERTS: March impact | Comparing McD's talent | Top overachievers | Moving up?

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi weigh in on four current topics.

Does Virginia Tech getting snubbed yet again by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee have a negative impact on its recruiting, simply because it seems to happen annually to the Hokies?

Bossi: That's an answer that remains to be seen, but judging by the recruiting they've had in the past and this year's class, the Hokies wouldn't seem to be negatively affected. However, the concern will be whether or not opposing coaches start whispering in the ears of recruits about whether or not the Virginia Tech staff is still safe in its position after missing the tournament again.

Meyer: I don't think not making the tournament will change the mind of a prospect wanting to go to Virginia Tech. It could, in fact, increase loyalty in Virginia Tech recruits, creating an us-against-the-world mentality and inspiring these recruits to want to be the players who get Virginia Tech over the hump. On the other hand, for those prospects who aren't committed or leaning toward Virginia Tech, it does create a perception that Virginia Tech is snake bitten and could certainly damper the allure of playing there. It is a polarizing issue that only seems to be negative, but it is also an opportunity for the Virginia Tech coaching staff to build unity among the greater program as a whole.

How does Cezar Guerrero's commitment to Oklahoma State improve the roster?

Bossi: Coach Travis Ford has to see some of himself in Guerrero. While Guerrero isn't the shooter that Ford was, he's a small guy who plays with heart, is a scorer and competes on each play. The Cowboys' current point guards, Reger Dowell and Fred Gulley, aren't exactly scorers, so throwing a scorer who can play on or off the ball into the mix should be beneficial in the long run.

Meyer: You can never have enough ballhandlers and scorers, and Guerrero excels in both these areas. He is, however, very similar to Oklahoma State's second leading scorer, Keiton Page, who will be a senior next year. With both Page and Guerrero being undersized guards, Ford will have to be creative on the defensive end to play them both at the same time. Even if Guerrero has to share time with Page this year, he will be a great replacement for Page after the 2011-2012 season.

What does the firing of Keno Davis at Providence mean to the recruiting there?

Bossi: That's something that can't really be answered until a new coach is found. Obviously, it's going to take some time to rebuild the program and build up credibility with the kids.

Meyer: Losing Davis alone shouldn't hurt recruiting. The key to Providence's recruiting going forward is assistant Chris Driscoll. Still on staff during the interim, Driscoll came to Providence from the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, where he has invaluable connections with some very talented prospects, most notably a 2013 top 10 prospect, Nerlens Noel. There is a strong possibility Driscoll will be retained by the new coach. If not, Providence's recruiting will go in a new direction that the new coach has already established.

Will the 2012 class be stronger inside or out?

Bossi: As it stands right now, the class of 2012 is looking to be heavy on big men and very, very thin on point guards. For the past few years, schools have complained about the lack of quality big guys but the class of 2012 should be able to keep coaches at all levels happy because of the depth in the paint. However, unless some guys start stepping up, things are looking potentially bleak for those who don't lock up point guard targets at an early juncture.

Meyer: Inside is definitely the strength of the 2012 class. The class is weak at the point guard position, solid on the wings, and loaded with interior players. Forty percent of the top 100 is comprised of power forwards and centers. An amazing total of 13 power forwards and centers comprise the top 20. These numbers do include Pittsburgh recruit Khem Birch, who plans to move up into the 2011 class. Regardless, rarely do you see a class with so many quality big men as the 2012 class.

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