It’s called a ripple effect, and when you it comes to recruiting this time of year, one must take it into account. Every movement an uncommitted ESPN 100 prospect makes creates movement from another and another until none are left standing.
Word has leaked that Indiana is no longer recruiting center BeeJay Anya (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and is now locked in on Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton School). This could only mean one of two things: 1) Indiana wants Vonleh badly. Bad enough that it would risk losing Anya for the chance at him. 2) Anya intimated, hinted or even told IU he was going somewhere else.
In Anya’s case, “somewhere else” means NC State, because that’s the only other school remaining on his list. In theory, Anya now has two choices: He can commit to NC State or add other schools to his list. Personally, I think he eventually makes it public and commits to NC State. That would seem to be the play, given the signs right now.
For argument's sake, we’ll say Anya eventually commits to NC State. That means the Wolfpack will unlikely be out on center Dominic Woodson (Round Rock, Texas/Huntington Prep). From what I’ve been told, the Pack could have gotten Woodson, but a commitment from Anya, presumably a higher-regarded target, is a win for the Pack. At that happens, they’re also likely out of the Kennedy Meeks (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte) race. They would be able to bow out without having to concede him to Georgetown or North Carolina. It’s all semantics, anyway, but you get the picture. No one gets to say, “So-and-so beat NC State for Meeks.” NC State can take itself out because it landed Anya (hypothetically) and is quite happy with the pickup.
All this action brings Baylor into the picture. If Woodson is down to Baylor and NC State, he has a decision to make. Woodson must either commit to Baylor or add more schools to his list (heard this on before, right?). Let's presume Woodson commits to Baylor. The Bears don’t have another big man target from the 100 so they get to stop recruiting bigs in 2013 and move forward to 2014.
Back to Meeks. Meeks told ESPN last week that he favors North Carolina, Georgetown and NC State. Let’s assume Anya knocks NC State off the list. Meeks now has a choice to make. He either commits to North Carolina or Georgetown or (take a guess at what’s coming next) invites more schools to his shortened list. Since we don’t see him adding more schools and NC State and Indiana have resolved their situations, it becomes a Hoyas versus Heels contest. Georgetown, which is also involved with Vonleh, has done a nice job with Meeks. However, there’s that little issue of Meeks being a resident of North Carolina, and how that ultimately affects him with the Heels is the crux of the decision.
Let’s summarize. Anya’s off the board and probably picks the Pack. Indiana is all-in with Vonleh. Woodson goes to Baylor. And North Carolina and Georgetown are in a head-to-head for Meeks. I think that just about covers all the bases.