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April 5, 2011

Ask the experts: The move to Mizzou

MORE EXPERTS: McDonald's thoughts | Coaching fires | Hokie snub | March impact

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

What does Frank Haith's move from Miami to Missouri mean on the recruiting front?

Bossi: That's something that remains to be seen. Although there were some struggles in terms of wins and losses at Miami, Haith is a proven recruiter there and at previous assistant stops. A lot of how he recruits will depend on the makeup of his staff and how quickly he can develop strong relationships with some of the area's stronger summer programs such as the Saint Louis Eagles, MoKan Elite, KC 76'ers and KC Pump 'N Run, which have loads of kids that he will want to recruit.

Meyer: Honestly, I don't know that it means that much. Haith did a solid job recruiting at Miami, but I don't think it is a significant recruiting loss for Miami with him leaving. He does have Big 12 connections from his days as an assistant at Texas.

The strength of his connections in Missouri, specifically Kansas City and St. Louis, however, are questionable and will have to be developed. I'd expect him to target Texas as recruiting territory, but his move from Miami to Missouri just doesn't shake things up that much on the recruiting front.

We know NCAA champ Connecticut is loaded with young talent right now, but how does the future look for the Huskies?

Bossi: As long as Jim Calhoun is at the helm of the Huskies' program, the future is bright. The man has now won three championships, has proven that he can recruit high-level talent, places guys in the NBA and continues to be outstanding in finding somewhat lesser heralded guys - for instance Jeremy Lamb - that develop into reliable players.

Meyer: The future is fine but there will always be a question about how long Jim Calhoun will continue to coach. Ryan Boatright is a talented prospect coming in next year. And UConn has a great shot at landing the No. 1-ranked 2012 prospect Andre Drummond. But the bottom line is that as long as Calhoun is coaching, Connecticut is going to be good. When Calhoun finally leaves, then things become uncertain.

From a recruiting standpoint, what college has made the best hire so far this offseason?

Bossi: This certainly isn't a question that can be answered for a while but my gut instinct is that Texas Tech may be the winner here. I can't think of any team that found a coach who knows the landscape they'll need to know better than Billy Gillispie in the Lone Star State.

I don't think that means that Tech is suddenly going to start bringing on four- and five-star players by the wheelbarrow load, but Gillispie will recruit Texas, find jucos who can help him and has the best understanding of what it will take to get it done at his new job.

Meyer: It is a hire that came out of left field, but N.C. State's new coach Mark Gottfried is one of the best recruiters in the business. He consistently recruited some of the top-ranked prospects in the country to Alabama. None of the other new hires blow me away as far as recruiting goes, but Gottfried can likely tap into his connections in the deep South and convince some top prospects to play for him in the ACC.

Do you think the consecutive title game appearances could push Butler ahead of Purdue, Notre Dame and Indiana in landing some of the state's future top talent?

Bossi: If it's going to happen, it won't be for a little bit as the majority of the state's top talent is locked up over the next few years. Butler will become a much more attractive program, but there will still be concerns about the conference and television exposure. Certainly, though, to any kid who is open to evaluate based on results and development of players in the program, Butler is going to gain some serious steam.

Meyer: I don't think it really makes a difference in recruiting the top prospects in Indiana. The consecutive appearances solidify any advantage Butler already has with a recruit. But the bottom line is that in recruiting the desire of playing in the Big Ten or Big East over the Horizon League is typically going to trump whatever success the Butler program has on the court.

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