September 9, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Kentucky schools reload

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Sep 2: Can the Cards catch UK?
Aug 27: Breaking down Beal
Aug 12: Who's the best in Texas?

Got a question? Click here to send it to Meyer's Mailbag

Kentucky and Louisville are loading up on 2011 recruits. Who is the better player out of their most recent commitments - Kyle Wiltjer or Chane Behanan?

Can Kansas land both LeBryan Nash and Ben McLemore?

And what is the difference between Jabari Brown and the top-ranked shooting guards in the 2011 class?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.


Recruiting ripples

I feel that Kyle Wiltjer's commitment to UK caused Chane Behanan to choose Louisville. Who is the better overall player in your opinion?

- Mike from Lexington

Wiltjer's commitment certainly affected Behanan's decision making, but I wouldn't say it caused him to choose Louisville. The Cardinals were already strong with Behanan, and it was the cumulative affect of all the forwards committed to Kentucky that hurt the Wildcats' cause with Behanan.

Behanan gets a slight edge over Wiltjer in the Rivals150, but it is difficult to say which player is the better overall player because they have such contrasting styles.

Behanan, who is the No. 23-ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is a wide-bodied power player with strong athleticism. He loves to attack the basket off the dribble and is a strong finisher and rebounder. Opponents often back down to his aggressive and physical style of play.

A finesse player as opposed to a power player, Wiltjer is longer than Behanan but not nearly as strong or athletic. Wiltjer's game is built upon a vast array of low post moves and his ability to drain shots from deep.

More than likely Wiltjer will play the five for Kentucky as a post player who can also step out and stretch the defense. Behanan will play the four for Louisville as a physical enforcer who can also make plays off the dribble.


KU class

What are Kansas's chances at landing both LeBryan Nash and Ben McLemore in there 2011 recruiting and where would that rank their class?

- Chris from Memphis

Ever since McLemore burst onto the national scene at the end of last year's high school basketball season, Kansas has been considered a strong favorite. I don't think anything has happened to change that sentiment.

The Kansas coaching staff is actually visiting McLemore today at Oak Hill Academy and then traveling to his hometown of St. Louis to meet with his mother. McLemore hasn't set up any official visits yet, but don't be surprised if he is in Lawrence, Kansas for its opening practice.

With McLemore being a top priority for Kansas, it would be surprising at the least if he ended up anywhere else.

Another five-star wing prospect like McLemore, Nash will visit Kansas for "Late Night in the Phog." Unlike the recruitment of McLemore, however, Kansas is playing catch-up for Nash.

Baylor and Oklahoma State are thought to be ahead of Kansas in the running for Nash. He has spent time on both campuses, most recently Oklahoma State.

It is way too early to accurately project where any 2011 recruiting class will end up being ranked. But when looking at the 2010 team recruiting rankings. A two-man class of Nash and McLemore would compare with Texas' class of Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson. This Texas class is ranked No. 8 in the 2010 team recruiting rankings.


Razorback recruits

What do you think about the recruiting class Arkansas is bringing in with the recent addition of B.J. Young, to go along with the possibility of Antwan Space and Ky Madden?

- Cole from Fayetteville

Arkansas is working on an impressive 2011 recruiting class. Three ranked prospects are already in the fold with Young being the jewel of the class. A five-star prospect, Young is a game-changing point guard with blazing speed from baseline to baseline.

Joining Young are in-state prospects Hunter Mickelson and Aaron Ross. Mickelson is long and athletic with a solid skill set. Once he gains enough physical strength, Mickelson should be a major contributor for the Razorbacks. Ross, who has a contrasting style to Mickelson, is an undersized but physically strong power forward. Grinding out plays in traffic is his forte, but Ross can also make plays facing the basket.

Odds look promising for Arkansas to land Space, who visited the school on Labor Day weekend along with Young. A hybrid forward, Space is known for his ability to create shots off the dribble and to shoot with range.

Arkansas is certainly in the hunt for Madden, who is an in-state prospect who plays travel ball with Mickelson and Ross. The issue for Arkansas, though, is that Madden wants to play the point in college and it looks like Young will be filling that position for the Razorbacks.

Madden will visit Arkansas this month to go along with official visits to Baylor, Ole Miss and UConn.


Best of the best

I keep hearing and reading about Austin Rivers and Bradley Beal as the clear cut top two shooting guards. Are they that much better than the rest? How does Jabari Brown stack up against them?

- Dee from Oakland

Yes, Rivers and Beal are head and shoulders above the other shooting guards in the class. They both have complete skill sets offensively, are strong and athletic and have an advanced feel for the game.

Brown shoots as well, if not better, than both Rivers and Beal, and is as physically as strong as both prospects, but Brown is not nearly as quick and athletic as they are.


PG search is on at UCLA

When will UCLA recruit a point guard to play for them?

- Ben from Los Angeles

UCLA is in hot pursuit of five-star point guard prospect Josiah Turner out of Sacramento (Calif.) High School. In fact, the Bruins will host Turner on an official visit this weekend.

Kansas has been considered the favorite to land Turner, but Louisville made a favorable impression on Turner when he visited last weekend and UCLA is apparently gaining ground as well.

Arizona and Oregon will also host Turner on official visits, so UCLA has plenty of competition for Turner.

UCLA is also in the hunt for Quinn Cook, but it might be a long shot at best for UCLA to lure him off the East Coast.

Local prospect Spencer Dinwiddie is a viable backup plan for the Bruins at the point guard position.

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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