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December 3, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Mitchell's stock climbing?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Nov 28: UK waits on 2010 prospects
Nov 20: How good is the Memphis class?
Nov 13: Tigers could sign top class
Is it possible that five-star forward Tony Mitchell is undervalued?

How does Ohio State point guard commitment Shannon Scott compare to the No. 1-ranked point guard in his class, Marquis Teague?

Who are the best pure shooters in the 2010 class?

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

Jerry's Mailbag
Mitchell's potential

After having yet another great performance at the Texas Jamboree against one of the top players in this class, how good do you think Tony Mitchell can be? Can he ever work his way past Harrison Barnes and Jelan Kendrick?

-- Denis from Columbia, Mo.
At 6 feet 8 and 220 pounds, Mitchell is a high-level, NBA-type athlete who has the potential to be a go-to wing scorer.

Presently, Mitchell has a game that is rough around the edges. There are occasional mental lapses along with turnovers and bad shots. But when you cut through the mistakes, you have a prospect with incredible long-term potential.

Could Mitchell creep into the top 10 in the final Rivals150 in the spring and overtake fellow small forward Jelan Kendrick? Yes. It is a distinct possibility considering how fast Mitchell's game is progressing.

Does he catch the No. 1 wing prospect in the country, Harrison Barnes? No. Mitchell might have a dose of athleticism that Barnes doesn't possess, but other than that, Barnes' game is much more advanced. Nonetheless, if one day Mitchell is putting up better numbers than Barnes in the NBA, I wouldn't be surprised.

PG comparison

Just how do 2011 point guards Shannon Scott and Marquis Teague compare? Are they about the same, and do you believe that coach [Thad Matta] will invest in another point guard in 2012?

-- H. Womack from Columbus, Ohio
Teague and Scott are both great point guards. They are exceptional ballhandlers who can also defend their position.

Teague, who is the No. 1-ranked point guard in the 2011 class, has a gear of explosiveness that Scott doesn't have. In the mold of Chris Paul, Teague gets to the rim with regularity and has a knack for absorbing contact and finishing.

You can argue, however, that Scott - the No. 3-ranked point guard in the 2011 class - is more adept at running an offense and organizing a team. His play with the Southern Kings this summer was exceptional. He demonstrated a high-level understanding of involving his teammates through his ability to penetrate and find the open man.

Whether Thad Matta will target a 2012 point guard is not a question I can definitively answer at this point, but the odds are that Scott will be at Ohio State for more than one year.

Another ranked class?

If Cory Joseph signs with Minnesota, will that give the Gophers their third straight top-25 class?

-- Gordon from Minneapolis
Minnesota is in the midst of an intense recruiting battle for Joseph, the No. 7-ranked prospect in the Rivals150. Joseph is considering Connecticut, Texas, UNLV and Villanova along with Minnesota.

One advantage for Minnesota is that Joseph's brother, Devoe Joseph, is on the squad and averaging 24 minutes and slightly more than 10 points per game. Also, Joseph is from Canada - so the cold climate of Minnesota is not necessarily a deterrent.

Minnesota has had the No. 23- and No. 22-ranked recruiting classes in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Adding Joseph to signee's Elliott Eliason and Austin Hollins would put the 2010 Minnesota class in that same range.

Can UK land Jones?

Does Kentucky have a good shot to land Terrence Jones? Would he fit the dribble drive offense?

-- Edward from Louisville, Ky.
Kentucky does have a good shot at Jones. The No. 3-ranked power forward and No. 13 prospect overall is down to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and Washington.

The big question for Jones, who is from Portland, Ore., is whether he wants to leave the West Coast. This is Kentucky's main challenge to landing him.

He is a perfect candidate to play the four in the dribble drive offense. Think Robert Dozier, but on a higher level. Jones, a lefty, is a tremendous ballhandler and passer for his size. He can also stretch the defense because of his ability to make 3-pointers.


Whom would you rank as the top 10 pure shooters in the Class of 2010?

-- Ashley from Chicago
This is an interesting and tough question. There are some great scorers/shooters in the class who just miss out on my list. Prospects like Harrison Barnes, Josh Selby, Ryan Harrow, and Gary Franklin are some of the prospects who are known for their ability to make shots and make them in the clutch.

Out of the Rivals150 prospects, here are my top-10 pure shooters in order of their ranking:

Brandon Knight No. 1
Cory Joseph No. 7
Reggie Bullock No. 10
Terrence Ross No. 43
Chris Crawford No. 66
Jeremy Lamb No. 68
Matt Derenbecker No. 71
J.T. Terrell No. 78
Noah Cottrill No. 79
Andre Stringer No. 93

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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