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March 25, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: UK class to get a boost?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Mar 19: What is Knight waiting on?
Mar 13: Jones moving up?
Mar 6: Vols back in with Selby?

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

If Brandon Knight signs with Kentucky as expected, where would this place the Wildcats' 2010 recruiting class in the national rankings?

Could Kansas State recruit Shane Southwell be the next Evan Turner?

Where does Florida stand in its search for some backcourt depth?

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


The next Kentucky class

If Brandon Knight commits to Kentucky - along with Stacey Poole and Enes Kanter - where does that rank them as a team?

- Chris from Eminence

It is appropriate to look at this hypothetical recruiting class because of the strong chance that Knight will join Poole and Kanter at Kentucky.

The projected UK class would jump ahead of Tennessee, which is currently No. 4. Whether the Wildcats would overtake North Carolina at No. 3 is a little tougher call.

If Kanter, who will play in the Nike Hoop Summit Game in April, proves to be the prospect we expect him to be, then this class will take the No. 3 spot. The rankings of the potential Kentucky class and the North Carolina class will likely be right in line with each other. Having the No. 1 point guard and a dominant big man in UK's class, compared to the three perimeter prospects in North Carolina's class, would give Kentucky the edge.


Comparing Southwell

How would you compare Shane Southwell and Evan Turner? Southwell is 6'6" and played point guard in high school. Could Southwell have the impact that Turner is having?

- Shane from Bazine

That is not a bad comparison at all. Southwell is not the talent that Turner was at a comparable time, but they do have similar games.

They are of comparable size and are advanced ballhandlers and passers. Turner has improved his shooting range in college, but coming out of high school he had limited shooting range - as does Southwell. Defensively, both players are versatile and solid.

Turner has always had an electric first step, and he was a finisher within his shooting range. Southwell just doesn't have the same athletic burst. He hasn't shown a consistent ability to finish plays as a scorer on the travel circuit.

Southwell should be a contributor at Kansas State and may very well work his way into a significant role for the Wildcats. It is unrealistic, however, to expect him to be the scorer and dominant player that Turner has become.


Guards for the Gators

Jerry, Florida would like to add a combo guard type this spring. If Brandon Knight goes to UK, are there any-off-the radar guys you know they are looking at? What about Chris Denson of Georgia? How good is he?

- Tom from Tallahassee

Florida is in a bind right now. The only quality guards returning are Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, and it appears that Knight is destined for Kentucky.

Florida is still in the hunt for four-star point guard Ray McCallum. There is growing sentiment, however, that McCallum will likely end up playing for his father at Detroit.

Denson, a quality under-the-radar prospect, has been scouted recently by a Florida assistant. Whether Denson receives an offer hinges at least partially on what McCallum does. To this point Denson doesn't have a high-major offer, although UCLA and UConn are also involved with him.

He is a left-handed scoring point guard with speed. Whether he is physical enough is the main question for the high-major programs.


Golden combo

I think Tennessee recruited Trae Golden as a point guard, but Rivals has him listed as a shooting guard. Can he handle the point guard roll at the next level if need be?

- Ronnie from Las Vegas

Golden is a true combo guard; he is a capable point guard and shooting guard. Scoring is more of his forte than passing, which is why we list him as a shooting guard.

Tennessee only returns one point guard in Melvin Goins, so Golden better be ready to handle the point guard position. All he will need to do is adjust his mindset to being more of a distributor than a scorer. He should be able to make that adjustment while also being a point guard who can manufacture tough points in a pinch.

Golden is physical with the basketball and can handle it against pressure. He also is capable of defending at a high level.

Tennessee will have a solid and reliable combo guard at its disposal next year in Golden.


Top 10 class?

Jerry, If by chance Georgetown were to land Moses Abraham, could a class of Markel Starks, Nate Lubick, Aaron Bowen, and Abraham be able to make your top 10?

- Sean from Newport News

As long as Georgetown can hold off Indiana, Abraham will end up a Hoya. Indiana, though, is making a strong charge and just hosted Abraham on an official visit.

The beauty of this potential Georgetown class is its balance. Although there isn't a five-star in the class, it does contain a four-star point guard, a four-star power forward, a ranked three-star wing and Abraham - who is a four-star center.

However, I don't see that Georgetown class passing Illinois, which is presently at No. 10. Meyers Leonard is a highly ranked four-star with a high ceiling as a near 7-footer. Jereme Richmon is also a highly ranked four-star who could be a major impact player on the wing if he brings his game into focus. Crandall Head is one of the more athletic guards in the four-star ranks.

This potential Georgetown class would more than likely fall somewhere in the No. 11 to No. 15 range.

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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