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March 20, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: GU's recruiting hurt by offense?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Mar 12: 2009 big men ready for impact
Mar 6: Tyler in contention for No. 1?
Feb 27: KU, USC to feel five-star impact
Are any UCLA recruits going to move up in the final rankings?

Is the Ohio State 2010 recruiting class as talented as the Buckeyes' 2006 recruiting class?

Is Georgetown's Princeton-style offense hurting its recruiting efforts?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer answers these questions and more in this week's mailbag.

Jerry's Mailbag
Future Bruins

Which of the 2009 UCLA recruits will be moving up when the new rankings are released? Also, who do you think has the edge between the two wings, Honeycutt and Moser, to replace Josh Shipp next year? Can one be a starter out of the gate?

-- Cameron from Los Angeles
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Brendan Lane is the UCLA recruit poised for the biggest jump in the rankings. Unfortunately, Lane was injured for most of the travel-circuit season, and we weren't able to get a gauge on his development. But I got a good look at him over the holidays during the MaxPrep tournament in San Diego and was extremely impressed.

Lane still shoots the ball with range and has a bounce to his step, but he has also become a more physical player around the basket. He rebounded with strength and finished against contact. I expect him to contribute early for UCLA because of his inside/outside capabilities and his overall feel for the game.

I don't know if Tyler Honeycutt will start, but I definitely expect him to get significant minutes as a freshman. Jrue Holiday at the point, Malcolm Lee at shooting guard and Honeycutt at small forward is an intriguing backcourt with length and a high-skill level.

Mike Moser just isn't as skilled as Honeycutt as a wing player, and I would expect him to develop into more of a 4 man than a 3 at the college level.

Talented class

How talented is Oklahoma State recruiting class?

-- Antonio from Edmond, Okla.
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There is a good bit of talent in Oklahoma State's No. 13-ranked 2009 recruiting class. The two qualities that stand out about the class is that it is deep (seven recruits) and athletic. Coach Travis Ford is bringing in the type of athletes who can thrive in his up-and-down system.

Scoring point guard Raymond Penn will be an exciting player to watch in Stillwater. He is electric with the basketball and has deep range. Fellow four-star prospect Karron Johnson, with his explosive strength, has the ability to play like a man among boys around the basket. Forward Roger Franklin is undersized for his position, but his energy, physical strength and in-between game make him a unique player.

In the four prospects who fall outside the four-star range, Oklahoma State has two big men Torin Walker and Jarred Shaw who can get up and down the court and have upside. The two guards Reger Dowell and Fred Gulley bring athleticism and physicality to the backcourt.

Leslie looking

With C.J. Leslie decommitting and opening up his recruitment once again, what teams are in the running?

-- Mark from Raleigh, N.C.
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I don't have a gauge yet on Leslie's early school list since he opened up his recruitment last weekend. Chances are Leslie doesn't really have a good gauge on it either. But the team to keep an eye on is Memphis.

John Wall, Leslie's high school teammate, has been heavily recruited by Memphis this year and is leaning toward the Tigers. Leslie also has an athletically based game that would fit well with Memphis' open and aggressive style of play.

In fact, Leslie admitted to the TheWolfpacker.com that he does like Memphis and is intrigued by its style of play.

National championship nucleus?

Could the upcoming 2010 Ohio State recruiting class be better than the 2006 one that featured Oden, Conley and Cook?

-- David from Akron, Ohio
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Time will tell, but the Ohio State 2010 class does have the chance to be as good - if not better - as Ohio State's 2006 class depending on how you gauge it. I doubt that the 2010 class will have three one-and-done first-round picks like the 2006 class did, but I could see the 2010 class being the nucleus of a national championship team.

Here is a comparison of the 2006 class' final individual rankings and the current individual rankings of the 2010 class:

Greg Oden No. 1 vs. Jared Sullinger No. 3
Dequan Cook No. 13 vs. Deshaun Thomas No. 8
Mike Conley No. 18 vs. Jordan Sibert No. 18
David Lighty No. 36 vs. Lenzelle Smith Jr. No. 97
Othello Hunter Three-star vs. Cameron Wright Three-star

Unattractive offense?

Georgetown has a weak recruiting class in 2009. Is it because the Hoyas run the Princeton offense and scare a lot of kids away because there are more open offenses that can show their talent?

-- Richard from Florence
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I'm not saying that Georgetown's recruiting in 2009 is directly related to its offensive scheme, but I do think that Georgetown's offensive scheme is a concern in general when it comes to recruiting.

One of the standard desires of top prospects is to play in an up-tempo system. I couldn't tell you how many times I've been told in my interviews with prospects that playing in a fast-paced system is what they are looking for in a college.

Running a Princeton-style offense and finishing 11th in scoring offense in the Big East simply doesn't fit the description of an up-tempo system. Now, I'm not saying that running a deliberate offense kills recruiting, because Georgetown has certainly recruited well in the past. What I am saying, though, is that it doesn't help with recruiting.

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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