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November 3, 2010

Ask the experts: Early signing period

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

As the early signing period nears, what is the No. 1 topic of interest?

Meyer: I still can't get over what Steve Lavin has done with St. John's in recruiting. He has the No. 5 recruiting class at the moment and could possibly add the No. 19 prospect, Norvel Pelle, and No. 51 Amir Garrett.

Bossi: I think the most interesting story that has developed is the Myck Kabongo situation. Will he sign with Texas? Will he wait until spring? How deeply are North Carolina, Duke (unlikely with Quinn Cook expected to commit), Kentucky and Syracuse involved?

How much have you seen the importance of the early signing period decline over the years, or has it?

Meyer: The last couple of years there appeared to be a developing trend of elite/top recruits holding off until the spring to make decisions and sign. This 2011 class, however, seems eager to sign early. It is likely that only three or so prospects in the top 50 will wait until the spring.

Bossi: I don't think it's lost any importance. I think we've seen some kids realize that you can really get a lot of publicity out of waiting until the spring, but for the most part, I don't see any decline in the importance of the early signing period.

Which top prospect do you expect to push his signing to the last minute in the spring?

Meyer: Tough to predict which prospect will wait until the last minute in the spring, but it wouldn't surprise me if DeAndre Daniels and Trevor Lacey ended up two of the last prospects to decide in 2011.

Bossi:Well, if he doesn't go early, then I expect that Kabongo's recruitment would run fairly deep into the spring. Findlay plays a crazy, all-over-the-country schedule so it's not as if he's got a lot of time for visits. Plus, he committed to Texas so early that he never took any other visits. DeAndre Daniels, to me, seems to be another that could drag on. Although, there is some speculation that he may indeed sign early and that if he does, Florida is the team to beat.

How much should Texas be panicking right now?

Meyer: Texas doesn't need to panic. Yes, the Longhorns lost two five-star prospects and that does hurt, but they still have a top 20 recruiting class. They also still have a chance at landing Kabongo. Getting a point guard is their No. 1 issue. If they can't get Kabongo back, then they need to root for an NBA lockout to keep Cory Joseph around for his sophomore season.

Bossi:Depending on how you look at it, the Longhorns' current misfortunes could be the story of the early signing period. Not only did they lose -- at least for now -- two five-star guys in Kabongo and Daniels, but the timing of Kabongo's decommitment couldn't have been much worse. Rick Barnes and his staff really wanted a point guard and if they can't have Kabongo, their options are currently limited. To say the least.

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