In his latest mailbag, Rivals.com's national basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi handles questions about BeeJay Anya, Larry Brown and SMU and Buzz Williams.
Packing it in?
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What exactly is the status of BeeJay Anya. Why hasn't he committed yet?
-- Tim, Raleigh (via email)
Good question. The 6-foot-8 center from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha announced that he was down to just Indiana and N.C. State and then the Hoosiers backed off of his recruitment.
Coincidentally, the No. 48 player in the country just completed a visit to Raleigh and there's been a lot of talk that he was starting to lean there. The thing is, Anya won't be announcing his college decision until at an event at his high school in a couple of weeks.
Assuming nothing happens between now and then to significantly change his recruitment it's looking like Anya will end up with Mark Gottfried and the Pack. If that happens he joins a recruiting class that already includes five-star point guard Anthony Barber and four-star big man Kyle Washington.
Depending how other schools finish their classes, the addition of Anya could move N.C. State up into the national top 10 for team rankings from its current spot of No. 13.
When Larry Brown took the job at SMU there was some skepticism about how he would be able to recruit. What's your impression so far?
-- Ryan, Dallas (via email)
The hire of Brown was met with some mixed reviews and many of the negative reviews centered around whether he'd be willing to put in time on the recruiting circuit.
Well, we saw Brown and his assistants all over the place during the summer and they've been quite active during the fall and should sign a nice trio on signing day.
This week, they hauled in the big man they needed when four-star junior college big man Yanick Moreira made the call. The 6-foot-10 forward is considered the top juco player in the country by jucojunction.com and should be an impact scorer and rebounder for the Mustangs.
In addition to Moreira, they've landed Rivals150 shooting guard and solid three-star forward Ben Moore. That class would move into the national top 30 right now but it could get even better. There is still a need for an impact scorer and the Mustangs are heavily targeting five-star shooting guard Keith Frazier from Dallas as well as four-star Detrick Mostella and three-star Daxter Miles, among others.
A Nichols for your thoughts
Have you heard anything new on Austin Nichols?
-- John, Memphis (via email)
On Monday night, Rivals spoke with Mark Nichols, the father of the five-star power forward, and he indicated that they hoped to have a decision within the week and possibly within 72 hours.
On top of that, the family was cutting off contact with college coaches as of Tuesday morning so that they could focus. Since then, there's not been a peep out of Nichols or anybody close to him.
Word for a while had been that Tennessee would be the team to beat, but we aren't sure if that's still the case. That a decision hasn't been made yet suggests that this has become a much tougher choice than anticipated.
Memphis, Duke and Vanderbilt have picked up steam on the rumor mill of late and there was talk about Auburn after he finished his visit.
Bottom line, his recruitment has become extremely tough to read and with no leaks coming out of the family it appears to be a tossup.
When will Nigel Hayes make up his mind?
-- Ryan, Canton (via email)
The 6-foot-6, three-star forward from Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer has taken all of his visits and now he just needs to decide.
During the summer, Hayes indicated to Rivals.com that the home state Buckeyes were a dream school for him, so it's a surprise to see him not commit after getting a scholarship offer.
Stanford has done a good job recruiting him but it remains to be seen if they can get Hayes to go across the country. Wisconsin is still very strong and making things tough.
With signing day approaching, we'd expect a decision from Hayes within the next week or so.
How come Noah Blackwell isn't ranked by Rivals?
-- Jason, Sacramento (via email)
Assuming you are asking about the class of 2015 point guard from Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek, the answer is that class of 2015 hasn't been ranked at this point. Rivals.com has gone through and selected a preliminary list of five and four-stars from that class and the 6-footer received heavy consideration.
Blackwell held his own at the Reebok Breakout Challenge and was in the discussion for early four-star status. He's quick off the dribble, a creative playmaker and can also score the ball a bit.
Playing against mostly older competition at the Breakout Challenge, he struggled some early and we'd simply like to get a bit more time to evaluate him and the rest of his class.
However, it would be fair to say that he's a very strong candidate for four-star status.
What's the Buzz?
-- Evan, Milwaukee (via email)
That's not tough to do. When Williams was hired to take over as the head coach back in April of 2008, there were some who questioned the decision to give the former assistant a crack at the head coaching job. Coming off of back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances and after having a pair of players selected in last summer's NBA Draft, there aren't many left questioning Williams.
In fact, Marquette fans can expect his name to start coming up in just about every high-profile coaching search because he's very good.
Williams and his staff have been outstanding when it comes to recruiting the class of 2013. They already had the No. 7 class in the country with four-stars Duane Wilson, Jameel McKay, Deonte Burton and three-star John Dawson.
Then on Friday, they added another four-star shooting guard in JaJuan Johnson. The rangy scorer from Memphis gives them a very good looking class and one that could push for the national top five depending on how things finish out between now and signing day.
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