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February 20, 2010

Meyer's Mailbag: Will Duke turn to JUCO for help?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Feb 12: Can the Wolfpack land Leslie?
Feb 6: Kabongo ranked too low?
Feb 1: Miller vs. Barnes

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

Is Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski working outside the box in hopes of landing an athletic wing player?

Will North Carolina get the shot in the arm that it needs from its incoming recruiting class?

What would a revamped top 10 for the class of 2006 look based on NBA production?

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


JUCO route?

Duke looks to be in great shape at the point with Kyrie Irving coming in next year, but it could sure use the athletic wing-type player that Harrison Barnes would have been and Gerald Henderson was. Is there any chance they can get a wing in the late signing period?

- Jay from Charlotte

You must be on the same page as coach Mike Krzyzewski in regards to the need of adding an athletic wing to the roster. To this point, Coach K hasn't offered a junior college prospect since he's been at Duke until this year when he offered Felix a scholarship.

There is an extremely good chance that Duke will sign junior college wing Carrick Felix of the College of Southern Idaho, which is in Twin Falls.

At 6 feet 6 and 200 pounds, Felix is known for his athleticism. He is averaging 15 points and five rebounds per game for his talented team. He redshirted as a freshman and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Coach Steve Gosar of the College of Southern Idaho told Rivals.com, "Carrick is very interested in Duke." He also noted that Felix's recruitment is on hold until the end of the season.

Once his season is over, Felix will likely visit Duke. Other schools in the running for him are Arizona State, South Florida, Kent State and Idaho.


Help on the way

North Carolina is struggling to win games this year. It seems as if they don't have a go-to-guy. I know they are getting some big-time talent in next year. Can you explain what these kids are going to be able to do for this already-talented squad?

- Adam from High Point, N.C.

Both of the top-10 wing players - Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock - are exactly what UNC needs. They are high-caliber scores.

Barnes can score within a system, but - perhaps more importantly - can also manufacture points on his own. He has really developed over the last two years as a one-on-one scorer. He also has a knack for drawing fouls and getting points at the line.

Bullock isn't quite the scorer off the dribble that Barnes is, but Bullock is close to being a pure spot-up shooter. He can stretch the defense with deep range. He can also score off the bounce when defenders rush him. Additionally, Bullock is able to mix it up by posting up and scoring off turnaround jumpers.

The third signee, Kendall Marshall, is not the speedy point guard North Carolina fans were used to watching prior to this year. But he does have a sublime feel for passing the ball. I would expect North Carolina to play a lot of two-man basketball with Barnes and Bullock working with John Henson - or one of the other big men. Marshall will primarily look to push the ball up the court via the pass. When in the half-court offense, Marshall will initiate the two-man action with the wings and the bigs.


Tracking Mayo

Will Memphis land O.J.Mayo's younger brother Todd Mayo to put a lock on the No. 1 recruiting class for 2010?

- David from Memphis, Tenn.

Unless Kentucky coach John Calipari pulls off a spring recruiting miracle, Memphis already has a lock on the No. 1 recruiting class. Memphis would like to add another recruit to its class, and a low-post scorer would be the preference. At this stage of the game, however, there just aren't that many low-post scorers available. Memphis doesn't appear to be heavily involved with any of the top remaining post players, so I don't see them landing a big man unless coach Josh Pastner has something hidden up his sleeve.

Memphis has been diligently tracking Mayo, who is averaging 27 points per game for Germantown (Tenn.) High School as a combo guard. Mayo has not yet received an offer from Memphis, though. Tennessee and West Virginia have offered, and Louisville is expressing strong interest.

Mayo is waiting to see if he made a qualifying score on one of the college prep tests, so maybe Pastner is waiting on Mayo's academic situation to be settled. Or maybe he is waiting to offer until he is confident that he will get a commitment from Mayo. Pastner does not want to lose the perception that the Tigers own Memphis recruiting. He already has a guard-loaded recruiting class, so a Mayo commitment is no guarantee at this point.


Class of 2006

The class of 2006 was considered a good one. Players like, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Thaddeus Young, Wayne Ellington, and more. If you had to go back and rank them now based on NBA production, how would you rank them? I think Young would now rank behind Durant only.

- Henry from Memphis, Tenn.

Here is a revamped top 10 for the class of 2006 based on career averages at this point in their young careers:

1. Kevin Durant (No. 2 in Rivals150) 24.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.7 apg
2. Brook Lopez (No. 10 in Rivals150) 15.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.9 bpg
3. Mike Conley (No. 18 in Rivals150) 10.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.9 tpg
4. Thaddeus Young (No. 5 in Rivals150) 12.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg
5. Greg Oden (No. 1 in Rivals150) 9.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg
6. Taj Gibson (No. 32 in Rivals150) 8.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg
7. Ty Lawson (No. 9 in Rivals150) 9.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.3 tpg
8. Spencer Hawes (No. 6 in Rivals150) 8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
9. Chase Budinger (No. 3 in Rivals150) 8.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 apg
10. Daequan Cook (No. 13 in Rivals150) 8.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 apg


Cox comparison

Ole Miss coaches say Demarco Cox reminds them of Glen Davis. Is that a good comparison?

- Malcolm from Oxford, Miss.

I agree with the Ole Miss coaches. Cox, the No. 80 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, does remind me of Davis. Cox is 6 feet 8 and weighs 285 pounds. He has good hands and good feet. However, Cox isn't nearly as good as Davis - who was a five-star prospect coming out of high school.

Nonetheless, there is a pressing need for a player like Cox at Ole Miss. The Rebels' only power player, DeAundre Cranston, is a senior. The door is wide open for Cox to be a starter next season. Terrance Henry and Reginald Buckner are developing talents with length, but they do not have the girth to control the middle in a rugged game like Cox.

Davis has already made a name for himself as a reserve for an NBA champion after a stellar three-year college career at LSU. Cox, on the other hand, should be a quality college basketball player. However, he has a better shot at being an NFL lineman than a frontline NBA player.

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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