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March 13, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Jones moving up?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Mar 6: Vols back in with Selby?
Feb 26: Gators make a run at No. 1
Feb 20: Will Duke turn to JUCO for help?

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

Does Terrence Jones deserve a top-10 ranking?

What type of player is Duke getting in 2011 prospect Michael Gbinije?

And if Tennessee were to land Josh Selby, how would a duo of Selby and Tobias Harris compare to Kentucky's present duo of John Wall and Demarcus Cousins?

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


Jump for Jones?

Terrence Jones had a great senior season. With that said, why isn't he ranked in the top ten? He seems to be the most versatile player in the 2010 class. Will he move up in the new rankings, and if not, why?

- Will from Portland

Jones definitely has had a tremendous senior season. He has continued to prove what he proved over the summer - that he is one the most versatile forwards in the 2010 class.

The 6-foot-8 lefty is a high-level ball handler and passer, scores in a variety of ways, defends multiple positions and is improving as an outside shooter. In short, he does have the look of a top 10 prospect.

The only problem is that there are some outstanding prospects in their own right ranked ahead of Jones, who is presently No. 13 in the Rivals150. The 2010 class doesn't have a superstar at the top like the 2009 class did in John Wall, but it is a very strong class in the five-star range with little separation between the prospects.

Nonetheless, I wouldn't be surprised if Jones does crack the top 10 when we produce the final Rivals150 after the postseason all-star games.


Breaking down Gbinije

Is Michael Gbinije a smooth shooting wing, capable of earning minutes at the two and the three? Does he have pro potential in the long-term? Thank you for your analysis.

- Drew from Bronxville

What stands out about Gbinije's game is his versatility and intelligence on the court. He has a well-rounded skill set at a fairly high level and actually has the capability of contributing at the one through the four positions.

At Duke his primary positions will be the two and the three. With his intelligence and the complete nature of his skill set, Gbinije should be able to contribute early on in his college career.

Right now, Gbinije is ranked in the top 30 in the 2011 class and is right on the verge of five-star status. With the reshuffling that will take place this spring and summer in 2011 rankings, Gbinije will have plenty of opportunities to raise his stock.

He does possess pro potential, but getting a handicap on the odds of him playing in the NBA will be a lot easier after watching him perform on the travel circuit this year.


Bowen's impact

Aaron Bowen is a good high school player who can turn out to be a great college player. With his recent signing with Georgetown what do you thing his chances are of seeing the floor in his first year and who else have they signed for their 2010 class?

- Marcus from Winston-Salem

Playing time will be tough to come by for Bowen as a Georgetown freshman. The Hoyas will likely lose their center Greg Monroe to the NBA, but there is not a senior on the roster. Every member of Georgetown's talented backcourt is expected to return next year.

The best case scenario for Bowen is to earn back up minutes at both the two and the three as a freshman.

Georgetown also has four-star point guard Markel Starks and four-star post player Nate Lubick in its 2010 recruiting class. Starks will likely be the backup point guard behind starting combo guards Chris Wright and Jason Clark. Lubick will have a good shot at significant minutes at the four and the five with the probable departure of Monroe.


Falling into place

So let's say that Brandon Knight commits to Kentucky. Then does Josh Selby go to Kansas and Doron Lamb go to Arizona?

- Justin from Tucson

There is nothing certain at this point with these three five-star guards. The scenario you draw up, however, is a strong possibility.

The primary feeling on the basketball recruiting front is that Kentucky is the leader for Knight and Kansas the leader for Selby. The word on Lamb is that he is still quite uncertain of where he wants to play his college ball.

Selby is set to announce his decision April 17 at the Jordan Brand All-Star game. Knight and Lamb have not set dates, but I wouldn't be surprised if Knight announces at the McDonald's All-American Game at the end of this month, if not before then.


Potent potential pair

Jerry, If Tennessee were to pull off the upset and land Josh Selby (again), how would the duo of Selby and Tobias Harris compare to Kentucky's great combo of John Wall and Demarcus Cousins last year? Would Selby and Harris have the same type of impact vaulting Tennessee into Final 4 favorite position heading into next season? Also, what would the potential impact of a Selby to Tennessee decision have on the team rankings?

- Franklin from Memphis

It is going to be difficult for any freshman duo to match the impact that Wall and Cousins have had as freshmen. They have been the two best freshmen in the country with Wall winning SEC Player of the Year and Cousins winning SEC Freshman of the Year.

Selby (ranked No. 4) and Harris (ranked No. 5) are certainly great talents and if playing together would be a formidable duo. There would be marked differences, although, between them and Wall and Cousins. Selby is a tremendous scorer and talent as a combo guard but whether or not he can lead a team at the point like Wall has remains to be seen. I'm not saying Selby can't do that, and I have great respect for his game. It is just a question as to whether he is best suited to run a team at point or be primarily a scoring guard playing along side a more traditional point guard.

And what makes Cousins so special is his enormous size and ability to dominate the paint to go along with his highly evolved skill set. Harris is tremendously skilled, but he is not a physically dominating player like Cousins is.

The Kentucky duo is made up of a uniquely talented point guard and a dominant low post player. A Selby/Harris duo would be a top-notch scoring combo guard and a multi-skilled four man who prefers to face up.

If Tennessee were to pull off the upset and land Selby, it would push its class ahead of North Carolina to No. 3, but I don't see it overcoming Ohio State and Memphis.

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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