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October 6, 2010

Ask the Experts: Give 2011 the edge

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi weigh in on four current topics.

If you pitted the top 10 players from 2011 against the top 10 from 2012, could the 2012 team win?

Meyer: Certainly any team with top 10 talent across the roster is capable of winning, but the 2011 top 10 would be a significant favorite over the 2012 top 10. The 2012 class matches up well on the frontline and might even have an advantage over the 2011 frontline. The quickness, overall athleticism and scoring ability, however, of the guards and forwards on the 2011 team would just be too much for the 2012 team, which is overloaded with post players.

Bossi: While I think that the class of 2012 may end up being the better overall class - particularly because of the depth of bigs and the lack of them in 2011 - the 2011 class probably wins this one. While 2012's top 10 can throw plenty of size at 2011, it just doesn't have the perimeter firepower to compete with Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal and Marquis Teague.

Now that Austin Rivers has committed, whose recruitment will be most widely followed?

Meyer: The recruitment of Quincy Miller and his teammate Deuce Bello will have the attention of the recruiting world the next couple weeks. Miller, the No. 5 prospect in the Rivals150, is the prize recruit, while his potential college teammate Bello is a top sleeper prospect in 2011 with his high level athleticism. Miller has a final four of Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma and Duke. A Duke visit is scheduled for Oct. 15, but Baylor appears now to be in the driver's seat after a successful visit for the pair in Waco last weekend.

Bossi: I think that one is a tossup between Quincy Miller and LeBryan Nash. Miller and his buddy, Deuce Bello, looked to be leaning toward Louisville but the Cardinals' recent commitment from Angel Nunez could create a scholarship crunch for Rick Pitino and Baylor is coming on strong for Miller and Bello. Nash looks to be leaning heavily toward Oklahoma State but Baylor is in there and Kansas will get a chance to make a final push next weekend when it hosts him for Late Night festivities.

Personally, I'm most interested to see where Jabari Brown ends up. There was a time when the physical, sharp-shooting wing was a heavy Washington lean but Arizona State, Oregon, Connecticut and Georgia Tech are making things difficult for him.

Fill in the blanks in this sentence: If I am _, I'm not feeling confident about the commitment of _.

Meyer: Florida. Bradley Beal.

Bossi: Don't know that I can really fill in that sentence, but in terms of available recruits and their importance to the schools recruiting them, I don't think there are many more important than Ben McLemore is to Kansas. The 6-foot-5 Saint Louis native has mentioned Kansas as his leader for a while, but there are some close to him who are pushing rival Missouri and that's a battle that Bill Self doesn't want to lose for several obvious reasons.

What school's Midnight Madness festivities seem to wow recruits the most?

Meyer: Three stand out in my mind. Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas seem to have the most pop out of all the Midnight Madness.

Bossi: Maybe I'm out of touch here, but it seems to me that Midnight Madness/Late Night festivities have lost a bit of their luster. Now everybody is doing them and many of them have turned into spectacles that feature lots of dead and sometimes awkward time. Honestly, I think they are more important for a lot of schools from a community relationship/advertising standpoint. However, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina seem to have the biggest events on a yearly basis.



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