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January 6, 2011

Meyer's mailbag: Look back at 2007

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Dec 24: Will Lacey land five stars?
Dec 16: Big finish for Kansas?
Nov 12: Indiana could be back

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

If we could go back in time, who would be the No. 1-ranked prospect in the Class of 2007?

How does Kentucky recruit Kyle Wiltjer compare to Ryan Kelly of Duke?

And if Kansas lands its top three recruiting targets, where would its 2011 recruiting class rank?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.


Griffin or Rose?

Jerry, if you were to do the 2007 rankings over again, would you put Blake Griffin in the No. 1 spot? Or Derrick Rose?

Kyle from Queens

That is a great question, and we are always studying the game and looking back at the rankings to re-evaluate our work. Along with Griffin and Rose, Kevin Love definitely belongs in the category of five-star prospects who were under-ranked.

The production and promise of all three prospects warrant an argument for being the top prospect in the 2007 class. But at the time our staff put the rankings together, Rose was the prospect I was most concerned should have been No. 1 over Michael Beasley.

I still feel that way, and Rose would be my No. 1 if we could redo the rankings. All three of these prospects can dominate at their respective positions, but it is my belief that there is no more valuable player than a dominant point guard.

With the game only getting quicker and faster and defenses getting more physical and precise, having a lead guard who can create offense off the dribble is vital for success.


Wiltjer or Kelly?

Who do you think was/is the better prospect going into their senior season: Kyle Wiltjer or Ryan Kelly of Duke?

Mike from New Jersey

Like Wiltjer, who is in the 2011 class, Kelly was a lower-end, five-star prospect out of the 2009 class. Both are highly skilled big men, with Kelly playing at Duke and Wiltjer heading to Kentucky.

Kelly is a little better athlete than Wiltjer, but Wiltjer is a better shooter and is going to be a more physical presence down low in college. Kelly has gotten stronger and is getting more minutes for Duke at the four, but I see Wiltjer developing into a legitimate five who is a nightmare to defend because of his ability to stretch the defense with his deep and reliable shooting range.

This special niche gives Wiltjer an edge over Kelly in my mind.


Is Gordon top-50 material?

Got a chance to watch Derrick Gordon play in the City of Palms tournament in Florida. He had a great showing in all three games. Is there a possibility he will be in the next top 100 or top 50 if he keeps playing the way he is? And what do you think his impact will be at WKU next year? I think this kid will be a star.

Tom from Mississippi

Gordon was outstanding at the City of Palms, especially in his first game of the event. He is elusive on the offensive end and has a special knack for scoring. He also does a nice job on the defensive end.

At Western Kentucky he should make an instant impact as a solid all-around guard and a dangerous scorer. He projects well as a mid-major scoring specialist.

In other words, come March, he is the type of player who could end a high-major team's season.

Top 50 is a little too aggressive for his ranking, but he is definitely a borderline top-100 prospect.


Pulling a fast one?

How can Deandre Daniels go to Kansas in January when they have no scholarship to give him (I checked)? And they can't have one guy give up his scholarship to him, it's in the rules.

John from Austin

You are correct that Kansas doesn't have any available scholarships this year. Daniels will attend Kansas this semester without an athletic scholarship and then will receive a scholarship when they open up for next year.

Part of the hang-up in his recruiting process has been the wait for certain non-athletic financial aid paperwork to go through.


Jayhawks' rockin' class

If KU lands SG Ben McLemore, SF DeAndre Daniels and C Angelo Chol in addition to PG Naadir Tharpe to its 2011 class, would it have a top-5 recruiting class in 2011? What would you say are KU's chances of landing all of the three players for 2011?

Lekey from Thimphu, Bhutan

This four-man class is a reasonable possibility for Kansas, and it would be a top-five recruiting class. Kansas would slide in between Duke and North Carolina at No. 4 if the Jayhawks were to land this hypothetical class.

As far as handicapping the chances of landing each prospect, Daniels is all but a done deal.

McLemore is likely to end up at Kansas, but the Jayhawks are in a battle with Missouri. In fact, we might not have a decision from McLemore this week. It is now looking like his recruitment will end later than sooner.

Chol is a tough read for me. He is down to Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Washington. He visited Alabama and Kansas in the fall. He just recently visited North Carolina. And he has visits scheduled for Arizona and Washington this winter.

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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