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August 27, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Breaking down Beal

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Aug 12: Who's the best in Texas?
Aug 6: Can a PG top Teague in 2011?
July 17: Is Rivers Duke bound?

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

Which NBA player is the No. 2 ranked shooting guard Bradley Beal similar to?

Could Duke have the No. 1 recruiting class in 2011? And what about the recent flurry of commitments to Michigan State?

These topics and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this week's mailbag.


Beal comparison

Do you see Bradley Beal as a Kareem Rush kind of player or do you see him like a Jrue Holiday?

- Josh from Oceanside

I kind of like the Holiday comparison. Beal shares Holiday's serious and competitive approach to the game. Beal has a similar build and both can be tremendous defenders.

The comparison breaks down when analyzing their positions. Holiday, as Rivals.com felt all along, is going to be a physical point guard in the NBA. Beal will be a shooting guard in the NBA.

Perhaps a better comparison for Beal is Eric Gordon. I got this one from my colleague Eric Bossi. Beal has the chance to be as successful as Eric Gordon as a 6-foot-3 shooting guard. Beal doesn't attack the basket, however, with the same vigor as Gordon.


The newest Spartans

Hi Jerry, what are your thoughts on Michigan State's flurry of commitments for the Class of 2011 and 2012? How does the class of 2011 stack up so far?

- Paul from Alpena

I absolutely love the Branden Dawson pick-up by Michigan State. Dawson is the type of athletic, physical player with a grinder mentality who will thrive under Tom Izzo. The rest of the 2011 class is average to solid, however.

In 2012 Michigan State is ahead of the curve with three commitments. Both Matt Costello and Kenny Kaminski are intriguing as prospects who should both develop into highly skilled and physical college players.


No. 1 class?

Any chance Duke will be able to secure the No. 1 recruiting position for the 2011 class? With three solid recruits already on board, and the strong possibility of the new No. 1 Austin Rivers joining up. Do you like their chances of being top dog? You have to admit it would be a very well-rounded, athletic, large class.

- Justin from Boston

Duke would have a great class, and likely a top-five class, if it lands Rivers. But it looks like once again everyone will be playing catch up to Kentucky. Coach John Calipari has already landed the Nos. 2, 3 and 6 prospects in the class. Duke would have Rivers along with three good four-star prospects.


Progress in the Peach State

Will Georgia coach (Mark Fox) ever be able to land a top recruit with other strong recruiters in the South? How long will it take, if ever?

- Nicholson from Atlanta

Yes, Georgia will be able to do it and the Bulldogs, under Fox, have already done it. They have a commitment from the No. 11 prospect in the Rivals150 Kentavious Caldwell from Greenville, Ga.

Don't expect Caldwell to be the only top recruit headed to Georgia. Fox has the attention of the top prospects in the South. The development of Travis Leslie in particular is a huge feather in the coaching cap of Fox.


Two of everything

Coach Steve Lavin is trying to recruit the St John's Noah's Ark (two at each position). We are currently involved with several Top 100 players. Realistically, which of these players are most likely to join the Red Storm in 2011?

- Mark from Middle Island

Lavin has created a stir in the recruiting world concerning St. John's, but realistically I don't think it is likely that he makes much of a dent in the Top 100 this year. My estimation is that St. John's is now on the radar with top prospects, but St. John's is going to have to show something positive on the court before it consistently lands top prospects.

This is the vicious cycle that a new coach must reverse in order to rebuild a program. You can't win without talent and you can't get talent without winning.


Evaluation breakdown

When looking at a recruit, do you look at his potential at the college level or the pro level, and rank him based on which one?

- Mike from New York City

When evaluating the top talent in a class, the thought is always what type of NBA player that prospect will be. Others might do it differently, but we are projecting guys out four or five years into the future. The guiding thought is which prospects will have the best careers.

An NBA scout who is a friend of mine estimates that around 35 American prospects per class is the average number of prospects who make a NBA roster. So the five-star prospects and the upper echelon four-star prospects are viewed as potential NBA players. Below that threshold, prospects are view as college players and not potential NBA players.

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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