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November 6, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Barnes or bust for UNC?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Oct 23: Duke class could be great
Oct 16: Knight behind previous No. 1s
Oct 9: Competition for top 2010 class
Is it Harrison Barnes or bust for the North Carolina Tar Heels?

Speaking of busts, are there a couple at the top of the 2005 rankings?

Is Indiana on the verge of landing some intriguing talent out of the 2010 class?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer answers these questions and more in this week's mailbag.

Jerry's Mailbag
Barnes or bust

Who else is North Carolina looking to add to its upcoming recruiting class to go along with Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall if they don't land Harrison Barnes?

-- Lamar from Auburn
No one in the 2010 class. North Carolina is now solely focused on recruiting Barnes.

They only lose two seniors of note next year - Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson, and Ed Davis is a lock for entering the draft. The frontcourt has enough depth to absorb these losses. Plus, North Carolina has a commitment from 2011 elite post player James McAdoo.

If the Tar Heels fail to land Barnes, Roy Williams might very well offer 2011 elite small forward Adonis Thomas. North Carolina will likely lose John Henson after his sophomore year, if not sooner, and William Graves is the only junior on the roster.

So, if North Carolina only signs Bullock and Marshall this year, they will have a scholarship to add to the 2011 class of McAdoo and P.J. Hairston.

Falling short

How do you feel about Gerald Green and Josh McRoberts? I'm not questioning their rankings coming out of college, but has it been long enough to label them busts? I can see both of these guys being nice NBA players with the right coaching, but they have struggled. Too much potential not enough production?

-- Joe from West Lafayette
"Bust" is a heavy word, but it just might apply to Green and McRoberts based on how highly they were ranked coming out of high school.

Green was a potential guy with some great physical tools. It just doesn't look like he has the physical toughness and competitive edge to maximize those tools.

McRoberts just isn't a scorer, good enough shooter or explosive enough in traffic to make much of an impact in the NBA.

The 2005 class just wasn't a strong class and lacked a standout No. 1 player. Those type of classes are the most difficult to rank, and mistakes in the rankings could show after time.

Hoosier targets

Will Indiana end up with Jelan Kendrick or Will Sheehey in 2010? Is Sheehey a good recruit if they do not get Kendrick ?

-- Larry from New Albany
I'd say the odds are very strong that Indiana lands Sheehey. He is visiting this weekend, and if the visit goes well I expect a commitment.

Indiana also has a great chance at landing Kendrick, and Josh Selby for that matter. But it will be later rather than sooner before we know what these two elite prospects are going to do.

Indiana is right in the mix with Georgetown, Memphis and Alabama for Kendrick. Selby is down to Indiana, who he will visit on Nov. 14, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami and Syracuse.

Concerning Sheehey's ability, he is an attractive prospect. He has a live body that is still developing. He has high-major athletic ability, a solid skill set and is a competitor.

Wherever he goes to college, Sheehey will be a wing player who can guard different positions and brings overall versatility to the court. Right now he is a ranked as a three-star prospect, but I could easily see him performing at a four-star level in college.

Down to two

What is the deal with Josh Smith of 2010? I haven't heard anything from him. Is he close with a team, or is it still in the open?

-- Matthew from Durham
Smith, one of the top centers in the country, is down to his local school - Washington - and his perceived leader throughout his recruitment, UCLA.

A decision is expected before the early signing period.

The lure of Washington is that it is local and Smith has natural ties to the program. UCLA, however, plays a more methodical style - which is more conducive to Smith's game.

Top-five class

With Adreian Payne added to the Michigan State recruiting class, where does that land the Spartans' 2010 class in the rankings? If with are able to land Trey Zeigler, where would that land are class?

-- J Hobbs from Memphis
The addition of Payne pushes Michigan State's 2010 class all the way to No. 5 in the country (Latest 2010 team rankings).

Payne and Keith Appling will form an inside/outside threat that could win a lot of games for Michigan State down the line.

A physically gifted player with major upside, Payne doesn't consistently produce and sometimes looks disinterested on the court. He could benefit from a lot of coaches in the country, but there is no question that Tom Izzo could very well be the perfect antidote for Payne's weaknesses as a player.

Add Zeigler, the No. 26 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, to the class, and Michigan State would sit at No. 2 in the country based on how the rankings stand at this moment.

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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