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May 10, 2010
With the late signing period winding down, we decided it was time to ask Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer some questions about, among other things, surprising classes, coaches making a splash and recruits who would've gone straight to the NBA from college.
Q. Which school surprised you the most -- good or bad -- with its class this recruiting cycle?
A. North Carolina State is the school that stands out to me. Coach Sidney Lowe is on the hot seat, but he still brought in a top-five class in the country. On top of that, he lands forward C.J. Leslie of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy, who previously had decommitted from N.C. State. It is always a surprise when a prospect ends up at a school from which he had decommitted.
Q. Has any new coach hired this offseason been able to make any kind of recruiting splash so far?
A. I like what Tony Barbee is doing at Auburn. Since arriving at Auburn after being hired away from UTEP, he has signed former Louisville commitment Josh Langford of Huntsville (Ala.) Lee and will sign top-50 prospect Luke Cothron of Red Springs (N.C.) Flora Macdonald Academy. Those are two great gets so late in the game. I expect Barbee to make some serious noise on the recruiting trail.
Q. Is there a class that may not be ranked high but has some players you think can make some major impacts?
A. I love the two wing scorers Providence is bringing in. Gerard Coleman, a 6-foot-4 guard from Tilton (N.H.) The Tilton School, and Joseph Young, a 6-2 guard from high-scoring Houston Yeats, put up impressive numbers this season. I expect their scoring to translate well at the college level.
Q. What has Butler's run to the national final meant on the recruiting trail?
A. It is probably too early to tell what impact, if any, that it will have for the Butler program. I expect the main difference the deep run in the tournament will make is that it will extend Butler's recruiting reach geographically. Now, whether Butler will want to take advantage of that extended reach is another thing. Butler now is an even more attractive option for prospects in Indiana and the surrounding region.
Q. What about two or three "sleeper" recruits you think can make an impact as freshmen?
A. Look out for Javarez Willis, who will be at Texas Tech next year. Wills, a 5-10 guard from Humble (Texas) Christian Life Center, just might be the best shooter coming into college basketball next season. In Pat Knight's motion offense at Tech, Willis could be lethal coming off all those screens.
Another player outside the top 50 who could make a big impact next year is J.T. Terrell at Wake Forest. I'm not sure what kind of fit he will be for new coach Jeff Bzdelik's system, but Terrell -- a 6-4 guard from Charlotte (N.C.) West Charlotte -- is one of the best scoring guards in the 2010 class. He is limited in other areas, but there is no denying his ability to score.
Q. In regard to the 2010 class (Selby, Knight, et. al.), how many recruits do you think would've gone straight to the NBA if not for the age limit?
A. Josh Selby, Harrison Barnes, Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Perry Jones and Tony Mitchell would have been candidates to skip college and go straight to the NBA. Selby signed with Kansas, Barnes with North Carolina, Kanter and Knight with Kentucky, Irving with Duke, Jones with Baylor and Mitchell with Missouri.