January 23, 2011

Meyer's Mailbag: Rivers safe at No. 1?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Jan 13: Does Paige fit?
Jan 6: Look back at 2007
Dec 24: Will Lacey land five stars

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

Is Austin Rivers secure at No. 1 in the Rivals150 or will there be a shakeup at the top?

How does Kentucky signee Marquis Teague compare to Duke's Kyrie Irving?

And which Rivals150 prospect most deserves a bump up in the rankings?

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


Competition for No. 1

Will Austin Rivers stay at the top of the Rivals150 or will Mike Gilchrist or even Marquis Teague pass him up with the monster senior seasons they are both having?

- Joel from Lexington

Gilchrist and Teague are having great senior seasons as is Rivers and LeBryan Nash and Anthony Davis for that matter. Quincy Miller is the other candidate for No. 1, but unfortunately he is out with an ACL injury. Arguments can be made for all of the top six prospects in the Rivals150 to be the No. 1 prospect.

As of now, we are pretty happy with the order of these top six prospects in the Rivals150. Rivers' game is progressing along the lines we expected. Teague has solidified himself as the most dynamic point guard in the country. Gilchrist is a reliable, high-production guy. Nash is oozing with athleticism and talent. And Davis looks better and better each night out.

The main ranking question in our minds is whether or not Davis needs to move up in the rankings. The answer is likely yes, so the next question is how much? I still like Rivers and Teague as No. 1 and No. 2, but Davis might just slide in right behind them at No. 3 in the final Rivals150.


Teague vs. Irving

What are some similarities and differences between Kentucky-bound Marquis Teague compare and Duke's Kyrie Irving?

- Mark from Bangor

Both players are elite point guard prospects. They are similar in that they are high-level ball handlers who are extremely elusive with the basketball. They are both adept at making plays off the dribble. They are dangerous defenders with their anticipatory skills and quick hands and feet.

There are slight differences between the two. I'd give Irving the edge as a scorer off the dribble. Teague has an edge as being a little more of an explosive athlete. Irving has an edge in terms of intangibles and leadership skills. Teague is a little quicker. In fact, Teague might be the quickest player side to side with the basketball that I've ever scouted.

In general, Irving is the more polished and refined of the two players. Teague, however, is the more explosively athletic player.


Stock up

Which players do you see improving their stock the most in the 2011 Rivals top 150 after they have finished their senior seasons?

- Grayson from Columbus

Grayson, some how I knew you would be an Ohio State fan after I read your question. No ranked prospect has created more of a buzz in regards to improving his stock this high school season than Ohio State commitment Shannon Scott.

A point guard out of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High School, Scott has had a tremendous senior season, leading Milton to some major wins against top national competition.

Scott has played with another level of athleticism and shot-making ability than he showed over the summer on the travel circuit. His defense has been solid as well, and you can always trust him with the ball.

He is due a bump towards the top 10 point guards in the country.


Added dimension?

I was wondering your thoughts on Justin Anderson. His shot looks like it is finally catching up to his freakish athleticism. Do you see him as a three at the next level or could he get spot minutes at the two as well? Thanks.

- Antoine from Baltimore

Anderson does have freaky athleticism, but I'm still waiting to see him put it together into productive play. You can pretty much count on one jaw-dropping highlight play, but at the same time you can count on several plays where you wonder what he is thinking and then a lot of plays where he sort of disappears.

Now part of the reason why he might disappear or make a negative play is that Anderson's skill level hasn't caught up with his athleticism. I haven't seen him play this high school season, but that would be wonderful if his jump shot is truly catching up to his tremendous athleticism.

Projecting Anderson as a two is way too far a stretch for me. His niche at the next level will be as a combo forward with a power game that goes towards the rim. He should dominate his position as a defender and rebounder, be a lethal finisher on the break and be a half-court player who finishes off plays and keeps his decision making simple.


Royal's impact

Do you think Julian Royal can make an impact next year at Ga. Tech? Does he move up in the rankings?

- Dan from Atlanta

Royal, a 6-foot-8 power forward at Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High School, has developed his game to where he should be an important contributor for Georgia Tech. Over the summer I had my doubts because I didn't feel Royal played a physical enough game. Although he had the skill package, I feared he played too finesse of a game for it to successfully translate in the ACC.

After watching Royal play during this high school season, I've changed my mind. He has played with an aggressive edge, taking his offensive game to the rim and battling on defense and on the boards. There is room for him on the front line of Georgia Tech's lineup, and he should log significant minutes as a freshman.

Ranked No. 90 in the Rivals150 coming out of the summer, Royal has made a statement to move up in the rankings.

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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