These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.
Knight not signing?
Jerry, I read an article concerning Brandon Knight and the fact that he has not signed a Letter of Intent but an aid agreement with Kentucky. What does that mean?
- Charlie from St. Louis
It means that Knight has signed scholarship papers with Kentucky and will utilize one of Kentucky's 13 scholarships. By not signing a Letter of Intent it means that Knight is not contractually bound to attend Kentucky and could go to another school without any consequences regarding eligibility.
I think Knight is fully committed to Kentucky. He is just protecting himself, more than likely, in case John Calipari were to take a coaching job in the NBA. If that were to happen, Knight would be free to attend another school.
Knight's decision makes complete sense to me. I don't know why any highly sought-after prospect would feel obligated to sign a Letter of Intent. The fact of the matter is, in a case like Knight's, the prospect has the leverage. There is no reason for him to restrict himself by signing a Letter of Intent.
Talent for Texas
Since Texas just picked up another 5-star prospect (PG Cory Joseph) to go along with 5-star PF Tristan Thompson, isn't it safe to say that Texas has a top-10 recruiting class this year?
- Greg from Austin
It is safe to say that Texas has a top-10 recruiting class. Although the class only has two prospects, they are elite prospects. The pair will push Texas into the top 10. The updated team rankings will be released next week.
Even though he is the No. 4 point guard in the country, Joseph is one of four truly elite point guards in the 2010 class. He is a very good shooter, terrific ball handler, timely passer, excellent defender and a quality athlete. On top of all that, he might just have the best feel for running the point as any player in his class.
Thompson is a solid five-star prospect whose game continues to improve. A tireless worker, Thompson is not just a low post scorer and rebounder. He can now take defenders off the dribble going left or right and finish with either hand. Also, his body is college-ready. He plays with as good a motor as any big man in the class.
It seems as though with C.J. Leslie committing AGAIN to N.C. State and dragging the process out this long, he may have just done it to get more exposure. Let's be honest. Even with Leslie, N.C. State will be several steps behind UNC and Duke when it comes to ACC talent and publicity. A lot of the blue-chip recruits seem to be doing this, i.e. John Wall - who admitted knowing he would sign with UK well before he actually did. What are your thoughts on the late signing process?
- Philip from Oklahoma City
Those of us that follow basketball recruiting need to be careful about judging the motives behind how prospects handle their recruiting. Sure, Leslie might have decommitted and stretched his recruitment out in order to garner more attention. He also might have been truly undecided.
Also, unless the recruiting process is burdensome to a prospect, why wouldn't he wait as long as possible to make a decision if he can afford to do so?
North Carolina State rarely, if ever, gets the attention that neighbors Duke and North Carolina receive. However, N.C. State's recruiting class is less than several steps behind Duke and North Carolina's recruiting classes.
With Leslie, Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State's recruiting class will join Duke and North Carolina in the top 10 of the national recruiting rankings.
McLemore moving up?
There has been a lot of talk about Ben McLemore recently. Do you see him moving up in the rankings? If so, how high?
- Austin from Lawrence
There has been a good bit of talk about McLemore this spring. There will be even more talk about him over the course of his career. Simply put, he is an exceptional talent.
A 6-foot-5 all-purpose perimeter player out of St. Louis, McLemore will likely move into the five-star ranks when the 2011 Rivals150 is updated this spring.
McLemore is a long, bouncy athlete with a complete skill set. He excels at attacking the basket off the dribble and is dangerous in transition - as a passer and finisher. On top of all this, he is a major talent who has an excellent feel for the game.
A number of schools have already offered him since he emerged during his high school season, but Kansas is in the front of the pack at this stage.
As the best point guards in their respective classes, Teague and Wall share many of the same traits.
Both are explosive athletes who thrive at getting to the rim. They handle the ball well with either hand and are creative and consistent finishers at the rim. They have a feel for passing the ball on the move and know how to create scoring opportunities for teammates. Both are speedsters with the ball in the half court, but it is tough to say that any player is as fast with the basketball as Wall.
The primary difference between the two is that Wall is longer. His length makes him a more dangerous defender and rebounder. On the other hand, Teague is a better outside shooter than Wall. I do expect, however, Wall to dramatically improve as an outside shooter. I think Wall's outside shot will get better, just as Derrick Rose improved his perimeter shooting.
In the end, Teague might not be as good as Wall was at Kentucky - but he won't be far behind. Basketball fans across the country will enjoy watching Teague - just like they enjoyed watching Wall.