March 27, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: PG transition at Memphis?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Mar 20: GU's recruiting hurt by offense?
Mar 12: 2009 big men ready for impact
Mar 6: Tyler in contention for No. 1?
With so many quality questions flooding his inbox, National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer takes a rapid-fire approach to questions such as Tyreke Evans' future and its implication on John Wall in this week's mailbag.

What's the percentage that Tyreke Evans goes pro? Will John Wall commit the day after Evans leaves?

- Sammy from Dallas

I'd put it at 100 percent that Evans enters the draft. Although his Memphis team was overwhelmed by a relentlessly tenacious Missouri team, Evans demonstrated his immense talent repeatedly getting to the basket on his way to 33 points. The Memphis program is built on upon fast-track aspirations to the NBA, and Evans will follow in the footsteps of his point guard predecessor, Derrick Rose.

At times looking like Manu Ginobili with his scissor-step finishes in the lane, and at times conjuring up memories of Magic Johnson, Evans is an NBA-ready talent. Sure, he doesn't shoot the ball well from the outside, but just like Johnson developed a serviceable outside shot, Evans will do the same. There is just too much talent, desire and worth ethic in him not to be successful.

Weather Evans enters the draft is really not that big of a question for Wall, since he has expected Evans to take that step and has approached his recruitment under the assumption that Evans will not be with Memphis next year.

What position do you see Latavious Williams playing in college, SF or PF?

- David from Birmingham, Ala.

Williams, who is being recruited by Georgetown, Baylor, Memphis, Florida State and Kansas, is in the process of developing his perimeter skills and has spent a lot of time on the wing this high school season. His college position, however, will be power forward.

A great athlete, Williams will cause numerous match-up problems at the 4. His improving perimeter skills will be much more effective against a 4 man than if he is defended by a 3.

Who would you compare Duke recruit Mason Plumlee to? I think he reminds me a little of Cole Aldrich. What are your thoughts?

- David from Chicago

I don't really like the Aldrich comparison for Plumlee because I've never seen him exhibit the killer instinct that I see in Aldrich. A sizeable defender with a dose of athleticism, Plumlee is a pass-first offensive player. In this regard, he reminds me of Josh McRoberts.

Indiana has a great class coming in next year, but it lacks height. Is there a big-time center in the JUCO ranks that they are looking at?

- Daniel from Ft. Wayne, Ind.

There are no big-time centers available in the JUCO ranks to my knowledge, but Indiana does have an athletic 7-footer in Bawa Muniru on the way next year. Although he is raw offensively, Muniru will give Indiana an athletic presence defensively and on the boards that it sorely missed this year.

Judging from the Siena loss in the NCAA tournament, there is a glaring weakness at point guard for Ohio State. Are there any prospects in the 2009 or 2010 class for the Buckeyes, because in 2010 there only seems to be one player on the roster who can remotely play point?

- Vincent from New Albany, Ohio

You are correct that the lack of point guard play is a major issue for the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, there is no remedy on the way. Without a recruit in the 2009 class and no point guard in the five-man 2010 recruiting class, it looks like Ohio State is hoping a point guard falls in its lap via a transfer due to a coaching change or some other unusual circumstance.

With few recruits left in the '09 class, one of the best seems to be Eric Bledsoe. When the new rankings come out will he be around? And if he came to Kentucky, what could he offer as far as production?

- Casey from Louisville, Ky.

The bottom line is that Bledsoe is under-ranked. He is a candidate for a top-five position in the point guard rankings and is knocking on the door of five-star status. And if he were to land at Kentucky, he would give the Wildcats the legitimate point guard they have been missing in recent years.

If Lance Stephenson should commit to Kansas next week, how far would its recruiting class move up the ranks? Also, any insight on how KU would clear up two scholarships to make room for all the new players?

- Jack from Lawrence, Kan.

Presently ranked at No. 7, Kansas' recruiting class would get a major boost from a potential Stephenson commitment. But it would only move one or two spots in the rankings. Derrick Favors, who will move into the top three in the final rankings, is one of the three prospects in the 2009 class who are on a significantly higher level than any of the other prospects in the class. He is joined by three four-star prospects and one three-star prospect in Georgia Tech's No. 5-ranked class. Right now, I'm just not sure if Kansas' hypothetical three-man class including Stephenson can take that fifth spot from Georgia Tech.

The Class of 2009 seems loaded with talent. Do you expect any of the McDonald's All Americans to move up in the next class ranking or will John Wall hold on to the top spot?

- Malcolm from Chicago

I don't see anyone taking over Wall's No. 1 spot, but Derrick Favors will move up at least one spot. Lance Stephenson might sneak up a few spots. Keith Gallon has looked like a five-star this season. And David Wear and Travis Wear might get a bump in the rankings.

Are there any legitimate big men on Louisville's radar? They are a big man a true big man away from being dominant.

- Michael from York, Ky.

The Cardinals have perhaps the most dominant big man in the Class of 2010 committed in Jeremy Tyler. He will be a huge addition to Louisville, but the need for a dominant big man is way overemphasized by fans. The game is getting quicker and stronger but not taller. Thursday night's dominant performances by Missouri and Villanova are proof of this.

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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