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October 21, 2010

Meyer's mailbag: July solution

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Oct 14: Who looks good in 2012?
Oct 7: St. John's revival
Oct 3: Breaking down Carson

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

Is there a better solution to cleaning up recruiting than the elimination of the July evaluation period?

Whom might put Memphis on the 2011 recruiting board?

And where does reclassified guard Rodney Purvis stand in the 2012 rankings?

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


July debate

What would your solution be to getting all of the top talent to one event at the end of the July recruiting period?

- Emory from Atlanta

Funny you ask an intriguing question about making July better when the conference commissioners are trying to eliminate the July evaluation period entirely.

I assume the theory is that eliminating the July evaluation period will somehow weaken the power of travel team coaches and somehow clean up the recruiting process. In fact the opposite is true.

Preventing coaches from evaluating prospects going head-to-head against other prospects only empowers the travel team coaches. Coaches have to lean on them more for evaluations on prospects and advice on whom to recruit.

Keeping the coaches from watching travel team tournaments will not eliminate these tournaments. The NCAA already tried this with the month of April, and it has not reduced the number of tournaments or the amount of prospect participation a bit.

All it has done is allow middle man/travel team coach/scout to be the evaluators for the coaches.

A rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer scenario will also occur with the reduction of coaches' access to travel team tournaments. Some programs can afford to travel around the country and evaluate one prospect at a time on a given day at his high school. A lot of schools don't have the budget for this.

Not allowing coaches to watch the prospects go head-to-head will also create more recruiting mistakes and potentially more transfers.

Cleaning up recruiting isn't a bad idea, but it looks as if the NCAA is lost on how to attack it. So how about a proactive response related to your question?

Why doesn't the NCAA somehow organize a travel team circuit with the help of the shoe companies? Cover expenses and no more for a designated number of prospects per team with coaches who qualify under some sort of certification program.

Then coaches and scouts alike could see the top prospects play against each other under the watchful eye of the NCAA. Better evaluations and less cheating could certainly be the result.


Memphis madness

With Midnight Madness over and all of his tours done, do you see Adonis Thomas going to Memphis or anywhere else? Speaking of Memphis, do you know if any other players are seriously considering it because as of right now, Memphis has nobody.

- Matt from Memphis

Thomas, the No. 15 prospect in the Rivals150, has Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and UCLA in hot pursuit, but there are strong connections between Thomas' travel team and the Memphis program. Thomas himself has former teammates Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Chris Crawford on the Memphis team.

Four-star prospects D.J. Gardner and Trevor Lacey are two recruits that Memphis is trying to get to team up with Thomas in its 2011 recruiting class.


Lavin chasing Pelle

Steve Lavin has been trying to get Norvel Pelle all summer. Do you consider Pelle an impact freshman or a limited offensive player with major shot-blocking ability? Do you think that the positive momentum with the program will benefit Lavin? Thanks.

- Vito from Yonkers

Pelle is an impact freshman because he is a phenomenal shot blocker and all-around athlete. Yes, he is limited offensively, but I don't know of a 2011 big man who can run the floor, rebound, block shots and play above the rim as a finisher like Pelle can.

St. John's has been a prominent player in Pelle's recruitment if not the outright leader. The string of commitments by forwards and guards can only help Lavin's chances of landing this post player and what would be his first 2011 West Coast recruit.


Cook the next Reynolds?

What are reasonable expectations for Quinn Cook as a freshman and over the course of his college career? Would you ever play him off the ball at the college level? In the distant past, you compared him to Scottie Reynolds. Is that still an apt comparison? Thanks very much for your thoughts.

- Alex from Riverside

Realistic expectations are for Cook to be good as a freshman but not dominant. A skilled playmaker with average athleticism, Cook is a heady player who will find his niche with a team and play a valuable role.

He is not necessarily the type of player you build a team around, but he is certainly the type of player who can play a role on a championship team.

And, yes, I still like the Scottie Reynolds comparison. Both are smart and tough with average athleticism and high-level, shot-making ability.


Duke in front

With Rodney Purvis moving up to the 2012 class, where would he rank in that class as of now? Also how does his recruitment stand as of now?

- Marticus from Memphis

It is pretty safe to say that Purvis is a top-five prospect in any class. Specifically in the 2012 class he is the best guard prospect along with Shabazz Muhammad.

Most everyone is going to recruit Purvis, but it looks as if they are all going to be playing catch up to Duke, where he visited for the opening of practice.

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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