NCB On The Trail: #askcoachb
Do you see a true point guard in the class of 2015 . If so who ? #AskCoachB @PaulBiancardi .— Daniel Arroyo . (@Roar_Simba) March 10, 2013
Yes, there is a really good one in Jalen Brunson, who is No. 32 in our 2015 rankings. The lefty is the Class of 2015's best pure point guard and loves to run a team. He also has demonstrated the ability to score. By being a natural point guard, he understands how to direct the offense and look for the right player in a tight spot. As a true point, he likes to keep the ball moving on offense. If you leave him open too long, you will get burned. His dad, Rick Brunson, was a great player at Temple who also played in the NBA. The younger Brunson has been offered by almost every major program in the Midwest.
@PaulBiancardi Chances on Turner going to KU? And how will he fit in if Embiid stays? #AskCoachBMyles Turner has taken official visits so far to Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Duke. He has been saying for a while his last visit will be to Texas.
— Nick O'Dwyer (@Nick_ODwyer23) March 8, 2014
I believe Kansas, with all of its prior success with big men under Bill Self, is being seriously considered. It's hard to imagine that Joel Embiid will stay in college with his progress and potential.
In terms of playing together, it would be easy as Turner can play in the high post, which is more of his natural position.
Embiid would stay more in the paint with his back to the basket. I will tell you this from witnessing Embiid in the past: He can shoot the ball better than the public knows, and that means if he goes to the high post, Turner can slide inside at anytime.
If Embiid stays at Kansas, the house will be a little more crowded with Cliff Alexander, Perry Ellis, Hunter Mickelson and Landen Lucas. It's a problem Self would certainly embrace.
@PaulBiancardi who would you take Okafor or Alexander out of Chicago? #askcoachb
— David Delgado (@desdelgado44) March 6, 2014
It's hard to separate these guys. Both are difference-makers in high school who will make a big impact in college.
Today, I would take Duke commit Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young), because he can score inside not only with size, but with moves and a soft touch. He also has learned how to pass out of the post, which is another skill that takes most big men years to learn.
It's rare to find his game with today's post players. Okafor's body has changed, as he runs the floor better and is much more mobile, which helps when defending.
Kansas-bound Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) is a physical specimen who is a great rebounder and finisher. He has won us over with his relentless approach.
I made a hard decision, but believe me, you win with either one of these prospects.
Louisville has the nation's No. 4 recruiting class, and it is loaded with size. Power forward Jaylen Johnson has all the tools and an active body. He just needs to learn how to play with a high motor all the time. The Cardinals just landed 7-foot-1 Anas Mahmoud, who has plenty of skills and upside, but his body needs work. Not much is known about Norwegian 7-2, 230-pound center Matz Stockman. I believe the most ready to play prospect is ESPN 100 C Chinanu Onuaku. He is physical and strong enough to contribute in the paint and on the glass. He is also really good at setting screens -- whether it's a ball screen or away from the ball to free up a teammate. You can't put a value on that. There will always be playing time available for a guy who gets his teammates open.
What a tough question to answer, as not only are Trey Lyles (Indianapolis/Arsenal Tech) and James Blackmon Jr. (Marion, Ind./Marion) the two best players in the state of Indiana, but two of the better players in the nation. Both have fathers who were great players in their time, and they are competitive players who have helped their high school teams win.
Blackmon or Lyles..best in Indiana? #AskCoachB— Michael (@michaelvilla_1) March 2, 2014
If I had to choose, I would take Lyles, with the reason being that his combination of size (6-foot-10, 255 pounds) and mobility with skill is rare. Along with that is his basketball IQ and desire to work at his craft, which are also rare in today's young prospects. His ability to score and pass against a set defense with outstanding hands and footwork is what separates him from his peers. He will thrive at Kentucky.
Blackmon is a great guard now and will only continue to improve in the future as he plays alongside other high-level players. Right now he is the focal point from an opponent's defense, but at Indiana that will change. He makes shots from anywhere on the floor with range and accuracy. He will have an outstanding career at Indiana.
From @BrotherQC on Twitter: @PaulBiancardi How high are you on the 2016 class of talent? Looks promising so far. #AskcoachB
I am extremely high on the Class of 2016. They are years away from maturity and development, but this group has some stars-in-the-making who are starting to blossom.
Thon Maker (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle School), ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 25 for the sophomore class, is a shot blocker who is unique as a 7-footer with tremendous skill-to-size ratio. No. 2 Josh Jackson (Southfield, Mich./Consortium College Prep) could be the best player in the state of Michigan already. No. 4 Jayson Tatum (St. Louis/Chaminade College Prep) is picking up traction as not only an elite player in his class, but in the high school game.
When No. 3 Harry Giles (Winston-Salem, N.C./Wesleyan Christian) returns from a knee injury, he will be in the conversation for the No. 1 spot, which he held at one time.
Another name to keep an eye on is No. 6 V.J. King (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), who has very good ball skills. No. 5 Dedric Lawson (Memphis, Tenn./Hamilton) has a smooth stroke and great size as a scorer.
At similar points, the Class of 2016 is stronger at the top than the 2014 and 2015 classes.
@PaulBiancardi @RecruitingESPN which 2015 Prospect has the highest Upside? #AskCoachBAt this point it is ESPN No. 1 Ivan Rabb (Oakland ,Calif /Bishop O'Dowd) because of his past performances, recent production and long-term upside. At 6-foot-9 with a long frame he combines size and athletic ability to be a standout in the paint at both ends of the floor.
— Ryan Deblois (@deblois_ryan) March 3, 2014
At one time he would just run up and down the floor finishing breaks or catching lobs at the rim while blocking shots on defense.
You could start to see the package come together as this past December he had a couple of breakout performances at the Tarkanian Classic. He made some great progress but also has a good distance to go to reach his full potential.
When you take a snapshot of Rabb right now his skills are developing plus he cares about defense. As he continues to utilize his physical tools in competition on both ends of the floor in my eyes he is the one with the highest upside.
@PaulBiancardi Do you expect Arkansas to get better with the players they are bringing in? How high are the recruits ceiling? #AskCoachB
— Matt Hart (@IAmMattHart) February 27, 2014
Good timing on this question as your Hogs beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena last night. Arkansas is now 4-1 in its last five SEC games.
Now to your question. The Hogs have three good players coming in next season: ESPN 100 PG Anton Beard (North Little Rock, Ark./Parkview) and a pair of three-star prospects in Trey Thompson (Madison, Ark./Forest City) and Nick Babb (Arlington, Texas/James Martin ).
Each brings a different set of skills. Beard, a top 20 point guard in the class, is capable of taking over games with his scoring or by spreading the ball around and making teammates better. This lefty is strong and competitive and understands his position.
Thompson is a big body with soft hands. If he can get in shape his ability to change ends of the floor and his rebounding, along with his scoring, will improve.
Babb has good size at the shooting guard spot with the IQ to pass and a shooting touch with range to make shots.
As far as upside goes, they all have room to grow and they all can make a contribution next year. I don't see a future pro in this group, but I do see three good SEC players. Of the trio I believe Beard is the most college ready and can have the most impact.
For Mike Anderson and his staff, recruiting has never been a problem here or when they were at Missouri. They do a very good job of evaluating the prospects who fit Anderson's values and style of play.
@PaulBiancardi how do you see Tyus Jones fitting in with Quin Cook next year? Start SR Cook, or FR Jones? #AskCoachB— Alexander Hines (@ahines23) February, 26 2013
This is not just a good question, it is a great question!
Currently, Duke sits at No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25, No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and third in the ACC standings. Quinn Cook is averaging 11.7 points and 4.5 assists per game, the latter of which ranks fifth in the ACC. He also makes 82 percent of his free throws and is a valuable piece to the Blue Devils' success.
Cook has really transformed under head coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff. They helped him become more efficient because, at times, he used to lose control and make immature plays. I really like Cook's competitiveness and how he has matured on the court. He was always talented and a great kid off the floor.
Incoming Duke recruit Tyus Jones is a pure point guard who can score, while Cook is more of a combination scorer and setup man. Cook scores best when he drives to the basket, but he is also capable, although not great, on his 3-point shot (34 percent this season).
I believe they will both start and could play off each other quite well. No team will be able to press them, and they will be hard to guard as they can go by defenders and operate with ball screens extremely well.
That ultimate decision will be made by Coach K and his trustworthy staff.
Curie High School and Cliff Alexander, who is No. 3 in the ESPN 100, recently won the Chicago Public League championship and will compete for a state championship in March.
@PaulBiancardi how do you think cliff Alexander will fit in if Embiid stays— Hunter Kerr (@kerr_hunter) February 26, 2014
Alexander is powerful and explosive in the paint both at scoring and rebounding. He is best utilized running the floor and then playing on the blocks. At times he can function at the foul line with a straight-line drive or a short jumper.
Joel Embiid is a paint player this year, but I can tell you, from watching him in high school, he could face up with an offseason of work. His jumper is accurate from the high post and even to the arc. If he were to come back, he could play up top in the high-low offense and be a good pick-and-pop big man.
Embiid and Alexander certainly could coexist and be hard to guard because they are extremely athletic with great size, length, power and mobility. Defensively, Kansas would protect the paint and control the defensive backboard as well as anyone in the nation.
Both would need to polish up and develop their face-up games while still staying dominant inside.
It would be a great problem for Kansas coach Bill Self, who has had tremendous success in developing his post players and winning Big 12 championships.
Myles Turner is the hot topic of conversation as the elite big man can name his final destination.
Texas is having an outstanding season under Rick Barnes, and he is one of the favorites for Big 12 coach of the year. The Longhorns (20-7) are ranked No. 24 in the AP poll and are in third place in the Big 12 after a down 2012-13 season. They now have won more games overall and in the league than last season.
This is an extremely young team, with no seniors, and the Longhorns have four players averaging double-figure points. It’s a well-balanced team with weapons everywhere. They have leadership, scoring and 3-point shooting from junior Jonathan Holmes, a true center in Cameron Ridley, who might be the most improved player in the league, and one of the conference’s best freshmen in PG Isaiah Taylor, who is averaging 12.8 points and 3.8 assists per game. Add in sophomore guard Javan Felix and you have a team of battle-tested, proven winners who keep improving.
If Turner picks Texas, with its entire roster returning, the Longhorns could easily be a preseason top-10 team next season. Don't forget that Turner has told the Texas staff that Austin will be his last official visit.
@PaulBiancardi @RecruitingESPN is Duke showing interest in Austin Grandstaff? #AskCoachBESPN 60 member Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) is having a breakout junior season. His shooting talent is at a high level, as he not only makes spot-up long-range jumpers but 3-point shots off the dribble. He is becoming hard to guard in ball screens because he can attack the big man, step behind the screen and nail the jumper or hit the open man. When the game goes at a fast tempo, he will spot up and make you pay for not finding him fast enough.
— Hunter Coleman (@hunterc30) February 24, 2014
Florida has inquired recently, and he will take a unofficial to Gainesville, Fla., in the next few weeks for either the LSU or Kentucky game.
Since he reopened his recruitment from Oklahoma State, schools such as Ohio State (offer), Oklahoma, Iowa State (offer), Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Alabama, SMU, Virginia, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, Creighton and Georgetown (offer) have inquired or offered.
Yes, Duke is showing interest, too, and has been in contact. Grandstaff’s dad, Wes, said the Blue Devils will be out to see the youth in the spring.
@PaulBiancardi @RecruitingESPN #AskCoachB Who do you think Thomas Bryant ends up with?Bryant is a big-bodied power forward who is an excellent rebounder because of his mobility, effort and secure hands. What really makes this junior such a talent is his special set of ball skills. His jumper is accurate to the arc, and he will score in the paint with ease.
— David Hart (@DHartGiants) February 21, 2014
Bryant holds offers from schools such as Florida, Ohio State, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia and many more. He is getting attention from most every major program.
He plays at Huntington Prep in West Virginia but hails from Rochester, N.Y.
I am going to give Syracuse the inside track for the No. 14 player in the Class of 2015.
@PaulBiancardi who is a better fit for Wisconsin stone or ellenson? Who is more likely to stay in state? #AskCoachB— Douglas (@billdouger3) February 19, 2014
The simple and best answer for the first question is: both. They are each outstanding big men in the Class of 2015.
Henry Ellenson is a strong and skilled post player with excellent shooting range and plenty of upside. The Badgers have been on him and are making him a priority. He was in attendance at the Kohl Center when Wisconsin recently beat Michigan State.
Diamond Stone is in the Badgers' back yard and his name has been on our boards since his freshman season. He is a legit 6-foot-10 post who has the skill to face the basket with post moves. That's rare at such a young age. He still needs to learn how to give maximum effort all the time, however.
Both fit extremely well in Bo Ryan's system because the Wisconsin coach has been successful utilizing big men who face the basket.
I believe Stone has the better chance of staying in state. He has two outstanding options in Marquette and Wisconsin.
Justin Jackson (Tomball, Texas/Homeschool Christan Youth Association) about this topic.
To become more than just a shooter, he invested quite a bit of time into his middle game. In his backyard, he has a sport court where he perfected the floater and pull-up jumper.
In fact, the 6-foot-7 Jackson has the best middle game and short game in the senior class.
Once he gets inside the arc, he elevates and rises up with long arms and good bounce, and he has a soft touch.
In time, I see coach Roy Williams running plays for him at North Carolina, and he should develop into a go-to guy. He will be a scoring threat both with the ball in his hands driving and operating in ball screens. Off the ball, watch him run off screens, which will make him hard to guard.
As of today, he is a capable 3-point shooter who will become a consistent long-range threat. His middle and short game is where he scores the bulk of his points.