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December 13, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Bruins search for a PG

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Dec 3: Mitchell's stock climbing?
Nov 28: UK waits on 2010 prospects
Nov 20: How good is the Memphis class?
UCLA has had subpar guard play this season. Is the Bruins' coaching staff trying to land a point guard in its 2010 class?

Does the addition of Jayvaughn Pinkston to the Villanova 2010 recruiting class place the Wildcats into the top 25 national team recruiting rankings?

Is there a quality prospect other than Roscoe Smith that Duke has a shot at landing?

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

Jerry's Mailbag
Talent shortage

Who is UCLA trying to land for their basketball team for next year????

-- Ed from Fallbrool
UCLA's No. 1 recruiting objective is to add a quality point guard to its 2010 class. The top choice for the Bruins is four-star prospect Ray McCallum. The heady point guard officially visited UCLA in the fall with fellow Michigan native Trey Zeigler, but UCLA is facing stiff competition from Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Detroit - where McCallum's father is the coach.

The most recent recruiting development for UCLA is its interest in physical combo guard Jelani Hewitt of Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast High School. UCLA checked him out on Dec. 10 when Hewitt went for 21 points and seven rebounds. The Bruins will return for a second viewing Dec. 19 when Hewitt faces top prospect Brandon Knight.

Potential jump

Now that Jayvaughn Pinkston has committed, where does Villanova's class rate in recruiting? If Cory Joseph commits to 'Nova can they again be top 5?

-- Art from Teteboro
Villanova's 2010 recruiting class of four-star prospects Jayvaughn Pinkston and James Bell and three-star prospect Markus Kennedy sits literally just outside the top 25.

Add Cory Joseph, the No. 7 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, and Villanova would move up to at least No. 7 - ahead of Duke - in the rankings.

The future at Arkansas

Jerry, can you talk a little bit about the top prospects in the state of Arkansas in 2011 and how good they may be. Also, what are the chances that, in addition to Aaron Ross, perhaps Ky Madden and Hunter Mickelson end up playing for the Hogs? John Pelphrey could sure use that kind of infusion of talent.

-- Jay from Charlotte
Arkansas would love to add these three in-state prospects to the roster. Ross, the No. 55 ranked prospect, is a 6-foot-7 combo forward who is already committed to the Razorbacks. He is a consistent player and reliable producer. When you watch him play, you don't think NBA, but you definitely see a college player who can help a team win.

Madden, the most talented of the three, is a 6-foot-4 combo guard who does make you think NBA when you watch him play. The No. 15 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, Madden has great instincts as a passer and can knock down shots. If his ballhandling ability improves to legitimate point guard level (I think it will), watch out.

Then 6-foot-10 Hunter Mickelson is long and athletic, and he is an intriguing prospect.

Arkansas is in as good a position as any school to land Madden and Mickelson. Improving its performance on the court will definitely help the cause.

What's left for Duke?

How is Duke's recruiting class going to turn out now that Harrison Barnes went to UNC? Do you think they have a good chance of landing Roscoe Smith or any other high profile recruits?

-- Jason from Lexington
It appears that Duke's chances of lading Smith, the No. 31 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, are fading and that Connecticut's chances are improving. Smith also has Georgetown on his list.

The prospect for Duke fans to keep their eyes on going into the spring is Trey Zeigler. Directly on the heels of losing Barnes, Duke began recruiting Zeigler - the No. 26 ranked prospect in the Rivals150.

Zeigler's recruitment is expected to stretch out until he knows where his father Ernie Zeigler will be coaching next year. Currently he is the head coach at Central Michigan, where he has failed to produce a winning record.

If Zeigler remains the head coach at Central Michigan, then the Chippewas have a shot to land the younger Zeigler. If Coach Zeigler ends up as an assistant coach at a high major school, then his son could likely end up there.

Of course, Zeigler could choose to play at a school where his father is not coaching. Duke, along with Arizona, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma and UCLA are all possibilities.

JUCO for Coleman?

What is Justin Coleman's choices of college? Is he going to head to JC somehow?

-- Cory from Orlando
Coleman, the No. 45 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, has a number of schools keeping tabs on him. The likes of Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky and Marquette and others are interested in the explosive wing prospect.

The No. 1 question right now is whether Coleman can qualify academically. Sentiment among coaches is that the prospects of Coleman qualifying are not good, and that he is likely headed to junior college. However, Coleman did recently transfer to Huntington (W.V.) Prep in hopes of improving his academic standing.

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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