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March 1, 2011

Ask the experts: McDonald's talent

MORE EXPERTS: Top overachievers | Moving up? | Duke loaded | Look out for Villanova

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi weigh in on four current topics.

How does the talent in this year's McDonald's game compare with recent years?

Bossi: As always, the McDonald's All-American game will feature some tremendous talent and I think that at the top it will be just fine. Once you get past the first six or seven guys, though, I think that it's a relatively average group for the McDonald's All-American game.

Of course, the last one that I attended was the 2007 game and it would be hard to top that.

Meyer: I loved the talent that was in the 2007 game in Louisville. A number of successful NBA players were in that game including Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley, James Harden, J.J. Hickson, O.J. Mayo, Donte Greene and a handful of others.

Better than the game were the practices because of the extreme pride and competitiveness of these players. Compared with 2007, every year since has been a disappointment.


West Coast vs. East Coast - which are is boasting better players in the high school ranks right now?

Bossi: I've never really gotten much into the East Coast vs. West Coast thing. The East Coast overall has a greater talent base but I think there's more kids playing basketball and more programs. Not to mention, a ton of prep schools are on the East Coast, littered with players from the West, Midwest and South. Also, people are always busy talking East vs. West when there's a ton of players in between.

Meyer: Neither. I will take the talent in the middle of the country. Georgia, Texas, Illinois and Indiana could match up with the rest of the country in my opinion.

Asked this of the Rivals.com football analysts last week and the same goes for you in hoops: You need a bodyguard and must ask a current high school prospect, who is your choice?

Bossi: Give me Keith Coleman, a Philly native who is prepping at Lee Academy in Maine. He could easily pass for a grown man and I seriously doubt there is anybody who would want to try their luck with him.

Meyer: My short list would include LeBryan Nash, Chane Behanan and Adjehi Baru out of the 2011 class. Nash is downright intimidating and appears to have the mindset and skills to take care of business. Who wouldn't feel safe rolling with a guy who reminds of Charles Barkley as Behanan does? And there isn't a big man in the 2011 class who plays with a nastier streak than Baru. Out of the three, give me Nash.

If you could scout one high school state tournament, where would it be?

Bossi: This is a really tough question to answer. I love attending high school state tournaments and go to as many playoff games as I can here in the Kansas City area. Because of that, I've been limited to attending state playoff games in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa the past few years. Most likely, I'd want to go to the Indiana or Kentucky state tournaments. Both have pretty good talent given their populations and the fans are ravenous. Illinois would be a very close third and the Texas Final Four in Austin is a great time.

Meyer: It would have to be one of the four states out of my question No. 2 answer. Out of Georgia, Texas, Illinois and Indiana, I'd probably go with Texas. I don't think you can go wrong with the odds of a state so big and with so much athletic talent.



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