National basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi opens up the mailbag and answers a couple of your questions.
Andrew Wiggins just finished his official visit to Florida State. Has there been any feedback and what type of impact could them getting beat by Florida have on his recruitment?
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-- Kenneth, Orlando (via email)
The nation's top player was indeed in Tallahassee on Tuesday and Wednesday. While Leonard Hamilton would have surely preferred that his Seminoles put forth a better effort against their in-state foes from Gainesville, FSU's stomping at the hands of the Gators isn't likely to have much of an impact on Wiggins' decision process.
What will matter to Wiggins is how comfortable he feels on campus, how much he wants to follow in his parents' footsteps (they were athletes at FSU) and whether he sees an offense that will suit him for the eight months or so he'll need to be on campus.
So far, not much word has leaked from Wiggins' visit and he's not made any public comments. However, we will see Wiggins on Saturday at the National Hoops Festival at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha and getting the 6-foot-7 star's thoughts on his mid-week visit will be a priority.
Will Karl Towns hurt Kentucky's chances of getting Jahlil Okafor or Tyus Jones, who are said to be a package deal?
-- @BigPoppaHunt (via Twitter)
The answer is that it's probably too early to tell. However, let's look at things. Towns, who recently reclassified to 2014 from 2015, is a talented five-star big man who prefers to face the hoop and shoot jumpers.
He can score some with his back to the basket, but his specialty is facing up. On the other hand, 2014's No. 1 player, Okafor, is a back-to-the-basket specialist. So, they would complement each other. However, neither of the two is the is an extreme run/jump athlete, and in order to play them together John Calipari would really have to slow things down.
Not to mention there could be some issues on the defensive end with one or the other having to guard a smaller, quicker player when they match up. So, in theory they can play together and it's a little early to know how much one impacts the other.
But if Okafor is sincere about his desire to play with the five-star point guard Jones (and he indicated this week that it was sincere), then Kentucky may not be the best option.
What to watch
I saw on your Twitter that you will be in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia this weekend. Who are you planning to watch?
-- Markel, Washington, D.C. (via email)
I'll actually be hitting three events in three days this weekend.
I'll start off at the Gonzaga DC Classic at Gonzaga High School on Friday. On Saturday, I'll head over to DeMatha High for the National Hoops Festival before driving up to Philly on Sunday for the Kyle Lowry FamJuice Kickoff Classic at Philly.
The weekend's headliner is Andrew Wiggins and other 2013 four-stars we'll see include Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dominic Woodson, Troy Williams, Sindarius Thornwell, Rysheed Jordan, Brandon Austin, Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart, Kennedy Meeks, BeeJay Anya, Ikenna Iroegbu, Kameron Williams and Nate Britt. From 2014, we'll see Ben Bentil, Phil Booth and Dion Wiley, while Bryant Crawford and Marcus Derrickson will be among those representing the class of 2015.
So how do I find you at these events if I'm going to be there and want to pick your brain?
-- @JoshDeCane (via Twitter)
Hah. One of the best parts of events is when we get a chance to spend some time with readers, talking ball. Of course, as a media member I tend to be seated in a separate area from general admission tickets and a lot of the time I'm working. But, if you do a little asking near the media section I'm not that tough to find and always happy to chat for a bit.
Not so hot
-- James, Los Angeles, (via email)
Great question and one that we'll have to watch closely throughout the course of the season.
For now, at least, it's a little too early to start writing off Kevin O'Neill and the Trojans or Ben Howland and the Bruins. But, USC is coming off of a bad year and the Trojans' slow start could eventually start fueling hot seat rumors for the coaching staff (if it hasn't already). That could give some kids pause.
Over in Westwood, they've got a refurbished Pauley Pavilion that has been getting rave reviews while the Bruins have sputtered a bit out of the gate. There were high expectations with the 2012 recruiting class, but the recent transfers of Josh Smith and Tyler Lamb have combined with early losses to put the Bruins in a less than desirable light.
Bottom line, there is still time for each program to turn its season around and make people feel silly for worrying early. But, if things don't get headed in a more positive direction soon, then there will start to be negative repercussions on the recruiting trail.
Will a healthy Peter Jok get into the top 150? He's averaging 28 PPG this season.
-- @Silent_EAS (via Twitter)
A lot of that depends on what we see from Jok during his senior season. Which parts of his game translate? Has he become more flexible and less rigid? Will he be physically ready for the Big Ten?
However, Jok was not much of a factor in putting together the current Rivals150 and will have to show pretty considerable improvement to warrant consideration for the final 2013 rankings.
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