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April 15, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Miller in UK's future?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
April 9: Change at top of Rivals150?
April 2: How high can 'Nova climb?
Mar 25: UK class to get a boost?

Got a question? Click here to send it to Meyer's Mailbag

How will the heavy turnover at Kentucky affect the program's scholarship numbers? How does Mike Gilchrist's commitment impact fellow elite forward Quincy Miller?

How far up the rankings does Missouri's recruiting class move with the addition of top junior college prospect Ricardo Ratliffe?

How will a recent NCAA rule change affect recruiting - if at all?

These topics and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.


Future at UK

Does Mike Gilchrist committing to Kentucky mean that Quincy Miller is less likely or more likely to go to Kentucky? Do they compete for the three spot, or are they both so good they could just alternate at the 3 and 4. Wouldn't Miller rather play with Irving and Rivers at Duke, and take over Singler's role?

- Cory from California

If Gilchrist's commitment affects Miller at all it will be in a positive way. Most people who follow basketball recruiting have assumed Gilchrist would end up at Kentucky; I'm sure Miller's camp was savvy enough to assume the same.

The fact is that UK coach John Calipari is likely to load up with talent every year. Just like Eric Bledsoe understood, the attraction of going to Kentucky right now is the opportunity to compete on a daily basis against other top talent. John Wall didn't scare away Bledsoe. Instead, he attracted Bledsoe because of the opportunity to compete in practice and then team up in game action.

Brian Clifton, the director of the D-One Sports travel team Miller plays with, told Rivals.com that Gilchrist and Miller are too versatile for there to be a conflict. There is plenty of room on the court for both of those prospects to flourish.

Calipari is carefully crafting a message to sell to his recruits. His mantra goes something like this: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, come together."

It will be interesting to see if enough elite prospects buy into this message. If the current freshmen at Kentucky are an indicator, it looks like the reality of the situation is that UK recruits will also be going fast together.


Top-10 class?

With Missouri's additions of Ricardo Ratliffe and Matt Pressey, are they back in the top 10 of the 2010 team rankings?

- Michael from Columbia

Led by five-star forward Tony Mitchell, the Missouri 2010 recruiting class is definitely a top-10 class. In fact, it is possibly a top-five class. Ratliffe is considered the top post player coming out of the junior college ranks. The class also includes Pressey's younger brother Phil Pressey, who is a four-star prospect. Phil Pressey is the quintessential playmaker at the point guard position. Three-star shooter Ricky Kreklow and promising combo forward Kadeem Green round out the class.


New rules

There is a new rule that now allows college basketball coaches to have recruiting conversations during summer camps and clinics on campus. What do you think the ramifications are surrounding this new ruling? Will it open the door to more "unscrupulous" behavior, or will the new access possibly lessen some of the "cheating" that goes on in hoops recruiting?

-Connor from Cincinnati

I don't really see any significant ramifications with this adjustment to the rules. Basically, it is just legalizing something that has already been going on.

Let's not fool ourselves and think that when programs bring in top recruits to attend their elite camps, that recruiting those prospects is not the top priority. Conversations of a recruiting nature are bound to happen.

Anyway, how would you differentiate between a routine conversation and a recruiting conversation? If a prospect is a recruiting target, then all dialog that takes place between the recruit and the coaching staff is of a recruiting nature.


Tech talent

Let's say Seth Greenberg and staff reel in Dai-Jon Parker and a quality big man. Is this a top-10 class for 2011?

- Jeff from Blacksburg

Virginia Tech is definitely in a position to land a top-10 recruiting class in 2011. Greenberg already has four-star point guard Marquis Rankin and four-star post player C.J. Barksdale committed.

Rankin, who is on the cusp of being a five-star prospect with his No. 26 ranking in the Rivals150, is a speedster with the basketball and will provide Virginia Tech with another gear to its offense.

Barksdale is the No. 78 prospect in the Rivals150, but certainly has the upside to move higher in the rankings. He has been a double-double performer in high school and will likely carry that production to the college level.

Joining Rankin and Barksdale in Virginia Tech's 2011 recruiting class is Robert Brown. The No. 104 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, Brown is an athletic wing scorer at 6 feet 4.

Parker, a five-star prospect, does have Virginia Tech on the top of his list and plans to visit the school this spring. A high-level athlete, Parker is a combo guard with a dynamic game on both ends of the court.

Add Parker and a quality big man to an already impressive three-man class, and the Hokies would hold down a spot in the top 10 of the national recruiting rankings.


APR problems?

Going back to a previous question on Kentucky recruiting, isn't there an NCAA rule that decreases scholarships if certain graduation rates aren't achieved? Obviously if half of your team is leaving every year, the school's graduation rate is not going to be very high. How does a school like Kentucky avoid such penalties?

- Mike from St. Petersburg

If a player leaves early for the NBA but is in good academic standing, there is not a penalty. If a player leaves early for the NBA and is not in good academic standing, there is a penalty.

So theoretically, a program could have heavy turnover year after year and not be penalized. The reality of the situation, however, is that often an early entry to the draft is going to let his academics slide.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out at Kentucky if it becomes the norm for so many Wildcats to declare early for the draft.

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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