With the fall recruiting period in full swing, Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi handles your questions.
… and twins?
"If you had to handicap the race to land twin brothers Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, how do you see it?"
-- John, Houston (email)
The recruitment of the 6-foot-5 twins who rank No. 3 (Aaron) and No. 4 (Andrew) nationally has been quite interesting to watch. Neither of the twins has really given much to go with, either on or off the record, and there hasn't been a ton of credible info in the background.
Early on, it looked like Maryland would be the spot. The twins have a long standing relationship with Mark Turgeon, have family in the area and other ties to the program. Then, during the summer, it seemed as if the tide turned more toward Kentucky. And given the success that they've had in Lexington of late, it was pretty easy to believe that the seniors might be leaning towards the Wildcats. Technically, SMU is still involved, but the Mustangs are running third at this point. At the end of the day, this one is still too close to handicap. Those who support Big Blue and the Terps are feeling confident right now.
-- Mason, San Diego (email)
Given that both Isaac (a five-star senior shooting guard) and Daniel (a four-star junior small forward) have said in the past that they will be heading to school together, Isaac's recent naming of a top five of San Diego State Washington, UNLV, Baylor and UTEP means that they are basically both down to those schools. The feel on both Hamiltons has been that they will stay West. And while there's still time for things to change, the Aztecs and Huskies look to be getting a little bit of separation at this point.
"What's the deal with a junior always being "the best player in high school basketball, regardless of class"? Last year it was Jabari Parker, and this year it's Andrew Wiggins."
-- Hank, Durham (email)
Before that it was Harrison Barnes, and so on and so on. This is actually something I railed against during the spring and summer because I thought that we were all being too quick to call the next player the next big thing. But, that's just today's world, where the flavor of the month is constantly changing. So, I do think we need to be more judicious in labeling the next "best player regardless of class." However, after putting up a fight on Wiggins and holding off as long as I could, he is truly the best player in high school, regardless of class. He's easily the No. 1 player in 2014, he would be No. 1 in 2013, and quite honestly I think would rank him No. 1 in 2012's class if he were able to be granted college eligibility right now. Only time will tell if the 6-foot-7 Canadian wing is as special as we all think he might be.
"Over the past few years, college coaches have moved to more pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop. Have you talked to them about why they're doing this?"
-- Matt, Jacksonville (email)
I don't know that I've ever sat down and said to a coach, "so why exactly do you run so much more pick-and-pop." In fact, I probably wouldn't say it's as much a focus on pick-and-pop as it is a change in theory. It used to be that a lot of coaches preferred a regimented system that eventually broke down the defense or specific plays with defined options on them. Now, I think we are seeing a move away from set positions and structured styles to a more free-flowing, reactive game of basketball that is focused on creating isolation situations for playmakers. Pick-and-pop, pick-and-roll, high-ball screen or 1-4 flat (high or low) offenses allow for a little more creativity and put more emphasis on the playmakers reading each other and making things happen. Fact is, this style is more appealing to today's players and lets teams play more four small, one big, or three-guard type offenses than the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center lineups of old.
"USA Basketball just released their list for the 2012 Developmental minicamp for their next 16 and under team. Who are some names that stand out to you?"
-- Carter, Chicago (email)
Earlier this week, USA Basketball announced the roster for its annual high school minicamp and the names can all be found at this link.
The idea of these camps is to find players for the next national teams.
This time around, they are looking for guys that will complete their next 16 an under team so the players receiving invites are current high school freshman and sophomores. So, we are talking about young players from 2015 and 2016 that we aren't as familiar with. From that regard, the camp is great because it gives a structured, competitive look at some of the nation's top talent. Personally, I know what to expect from some more known players such as big men Ivan Rabb and Diamond Stone. So, some that jump out to me as players I'd like to see include 2016 guard Tyus Battle from New Jersey. The early reports on him from people who should know have been outstanding.
Others I'm looking forward to seeing include Elijah Thomas, Bryant Crawford, Stephen Zimmerman, Henry Ellenson and Daniel Giddens from the class of 2015. Some of the 2016 guys I'm looking forward to seeing include DeRon Davis, Thomas Bryant, Harry Giles and Seventh Woods.
Bottom line, the event looks to be loaded with potential four and five-star prospects.
"What can Buckeye fans expect from Kameron Williams?"
-- Steve, Cleveland (email)
The No. 80 overall player in the class of 2013, Williams is a high-scoring, 6-foot-1, maybe 6-foot-2, combo guard from Baltimore (Md.) Mount St. Joseph. In fact, he was one of the most electric scorers in Nike's highly competitive EYBL.
Williams is quick, a dangerous deep shooter and can also run an offense for a bit. From a size standpoint, he's a bit of a 'tweener, but the bigger concern when looking ahead is that he has to get much stronger -- something the Buckeyes' other commitment Marc Loving must do as well.
But Williams is an intense competitor, works hard in the gym and we're betting he'll dedicate himself to bulking up. Provided he adds the bulk, the most important thing for his future playing time will be how quickly he adapts to playing in a role that isn't as reliant on him scoring a ton and taking any shot he sees fit.
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