January 30, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Five-star possibilities

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Jan 23: Rankings climb for Tech
Jan 16: Buckner is one to watch
Jan 8: Has Duke found its big man?
Is it possible Memphis could add five-star prospects John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Latavious Williams to an already existing four-man class that is ranked No. 5 in the country?

What is the latest on four-star prospect Terrell Vinson?

Is it too late for Ohio State to add a quality point guard to its roster?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer addresses these questions and more in this week's mailbag.

Jerry's Mailbag
Dream class

What are the odds of Memphis landing DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall AND Latavious Williams?

-- Sam from Germantown, Tenn.
Scarily enough, the odds aren't that bad.

With four prospects already signed, Memphis would have to do some serious juggling with the roster and the scholarship situation to add three more players. But I have a strong feeling that coach John Calipari can figure out a way to fit in three five-star prospect, two of which are elite prospects.

There are also some concrete contingencies for each of these three to end up at Memphis.

For Williams, the No. 1 hurdle is qualifying academically. Memphis is his favorite at the present time, so if he qualifies the odds are strong that he ends up in Memphis. Baylor is the other school high on Williams' list.

For Cousins, the key is that Mike Davis doesn't land another college coaching job. If Davis lands another job, Cousins will follow. If Davis stays at UAB, Memphis needs to hold off North Carolina State and Kansas State in particular to land Cousins.

For Wall, the prerequisite for Memphis is that Tyreke Evans enters the 2009 NBA draft. If Evans sticks around for another year, it is highly doubtful that Wall would go to Memphis. Both prospects need the ball in their hands, and with the other options available to Wall it is hard to see him choosing Memphis if Evans is still there. And even if Evans does enter the draft, Wall to Memphis is certainly no sure thing.

So a lot would have to happen or not happen for Memphis to land a monster seven-man class, but it is certainly a possibility. The addition of one or two more players, however, is a lot stronger possibility.

Sidney's status

Can you give me an update on the recruiting status of Renardo Sidney? Is Europe still an option?

-- Cole from Champaign, Ill.
I only see Europe as an option for Sidney if he doesn't qualify. He is presently working hard in the classroom to raise his GPA and is prepping for the ACT/SAT, which he will take for the first time in March. If Sidney doesn't qualify, look for Sonny Vaccaro to broker a deal in Europe and for Sidney's family to follow as with Brandon Jennings.

As for college, it is basically a two-horse race between USC and UCLA. By all accounts the Sidneys are happy in Los Angeles and have developed ties with both local schools during the recruiting process.

Of the non-Los Angeles schools, Virginia appears to be the school working the hardest to recruit Sidney. Both LSU and Mississippi State have been involved with Sidney during this season on a limited basis, but Virginia is the one non-Los Angeles school to make a trip west to recruit Sidney after Christmas. Nonetheless, consider Virginia a major long shot.

On the move

What's going on with Terrell Vinson right now? Is he officially going to de-commit from Loyola Marymount? If so, what schools do you think he'll be looking at early?

-- Chris from Philadelphia
Vinson has officially de-committed. He is just waiting to be officially released from his letter of intent before he can be recruited again. This week Vinson communicated to me that he expects to receive his release this weekend.

Once he is released, he will have a ton of recruiting attention heaped on him as an available four-star prospect. Look for Wake Forest to make a strong push with the possibility of losing forwards James Johnson and Al-Farouq Aminu to the NBA. Georgetown is another program that will likely make a run for Vinson with the strong possibility of losing both DaJuan Summers and Greg Monroe. Georgetown was strongly involved with Vinson the first go-around, as were Maryland and Villanova.

Instant impact?

With the good guard play at Florida this year, do you think Kenny Boynton will make an immediate impact next season?

-- Alexander from Gainesville, Fla.
Boynton will definitely be an impact player next season. He projects as the SEC's next Jodie Meeks. And if Nick Calathes comes back for another college season, Florida will have one of the best backcourts in the country. With Calathes' court vision and unselfish style of play, Boynton would find scoring the ball a lot easier than he ever has.

If Calathes enters the 2009 NBA draft, then it will be a whole different story for the Gators. Coach Billy Donovan will be only have two legitimate guards in Boynton and Erving Walker. Ray Shipman is more of a small forward than a shooting guard right now. Boynton and Walker are both score-first type guards who would have to adjust their games to create a semblance of the chemistry that the Gators have on the court with Calathes running the show.

Point guard help

Is it too late for Ohio State to invest in a true point guard, and who would you believe would fit into coach Thad Matta's style?

-- H. Womack from Columbus, Ohio
Without a senior on its roster, Ohio State isn't recruiting in the 2009 class. There are a couple point guards in the 2009 class still available, but it is too late for Ohio State to get involved with them.

Ohio State is looking to add a point guard to its already No. 1-ranked 2010 recruiting class. Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep point guard Cory Joseph and Chicago Foreman High School point guard Lavonte Dority are both being recruited by the Ohio State coaching staff.

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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