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February 12, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Can the Wolfpack land Leslie?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Feb 6: Kabongo ranked too low?
Feb 1: Miller vs. Barnes
Jan 23: Another top class for UK?

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

Can North Carolina State convince five-star prospect C.J. Leslie to stay in Raleigh to play his college basketball?

Who are some of the top available big men in the 2010 class?

What kind of impact will Dundrecous Nelson have at Ole Miss?

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


Shot at C.J.?

Does NC State have a decent shot at C.J. Leslie?

- Danny from Fountain

North Carolina State has more than a decent shot at landing Leslie. A number of schools are pursuing the five-star forward. Leslie recently visited Kentucky, but there are some significant factors that bode well for North Carolina State.

First, Leslie is from Raleigh, N.C., and has spent a lot of time around the N.C. State program. Secondly, he is good friends with North Carolina State signee Ryan Harrow. Thirdly, he plays for Harrow's brother-in-law, Erasto Hatchett, at Word of God Christian Academy.

The most pivotal factor for the Wolfpack's chances at signing Leslie - and soft verbal commitment Luke Cothron - is whether Sidney Lowe returns as coach next season. If Lowe returns, it doesn't guarantee that either of these recruits sign with North Carolina State. But if Lowe doesn't return, it pretty much guarantees that neither prospect will sign with the Wolfpack.


Hubert vs. Hopkins

How would you compare two 2011 bigs, Desmond Hubert and Mikael Hopkins? How high are their respective upsides?

- Andrew from Stowe

Hubert and Hopkins are four-star post players who will be gunning for five-star status during the travel-team season. Hopkins (6-8, 220), of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha High School, is a little more polished offensively and stronger physically than Hubert. Hubert (6-8, 195), from Cream Ridge (N.J.) New Egypt High School, is a better athlete, defender and rebounder than Hopkins.

Hubert is in the process of polishing his game, but his athleticism gives him a chance to end up one of the better post players in the class.


Best of the rest

Who are the best remaining 2010 big men in the country? Is Kadeem Jack one of them? If so, then what schools seem to be major players with him?

- Mike from Providence

Jack, a 6-foot-8, 210-pounder out of New York Rice High School, is one of the top unsigned big men outside the Rivals150. Jack's emergence during his senior season has him poised to vault into the final Rivals150 this spring.

Jack has visited Arizona, and the Wildcats are in a strong position to land him. Other schools are in pursuit, but Jack has not taken any other visits. The other school that gets mentioned prominently with Jack is Florida.

From within the Rivals150, five-star prospects Terrence Jones and C.J. Leslie are the top available frontcourt players. Four-star big man Luke Cothron is only a soft verbal to North Carolina State and will likely take visits after his season. Ranked three-star post player Jonathan Graham of Baltimore Calvert Hall is another prospect that is still available.

Juvonte Reddic of Winston Salem (N.C.) Quality Education Academy is receiving high-major attention. Junior college standout Ricardo Ratliffe is a prized recruit. And if Gorgui Dieng of Huntington (W.V.) Prep qualifies academically, a plethora of schools will try to sign him.

The best unranked big man in the country is Moses Abraham of Temple Hills (Md.) Progressive Christian. Although he has only been in the United States a couple months, Abraham has high majors from across the country clamoring for his services.


Nelson steps up

How good will Dundrecous Nelson be for Ole Miss?

- Malcolm from Oxford

Since the departure of LaQuinton Ross from Jackson (Miss.) Murrah High School, Nelson has taken over the team and is averaging an impressive 33 points and seven assists per game. A high-level, attack-the-rim-type athlete, Nelson is refining his point guard skills and becoming a more reliable outside scorer.

He will continue this process as a freshman, playing behind Ole Miss star Chris Warren. But after Warren leaves, look for Nelson to take control of the backcourt as a sophomore and be an impact player in the SEC.


Forget Ross?

Should Duke fans just forget about Terrence Ross now?

- Jim from Richmond

That would be a good idea - at least as far as the 2010 class is concerned. Ross recently transferred back home to Portland (Ore.) Jefferson High School from Rockville (Md.) Montrose Academy. There are major questions about his ability to qualify academically this year, and it is expected that he will need a year of prep school.

His move westward and academic instability do not bode well for him becoming a Blue Devil.

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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