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November 4, 2011

Meyer's mail: Call it Mitch-again

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Oct. 26: UNC class complete?
Oct. 5: McGary likes Michigan
Sept. 15: Austin at Baylor

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

Will elite post prospect Mitch McGary take the Michigan program to the next level?

Is the North Carolina recruiting class solid, but lacking in star power?

And what is next for four-star forward Amile Jefferson?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer in this installment of Meyer's Mailbag.


Mitch-again

What will the future impact on Michigan be following the commitment of Mitch McGary both on the court and in recruiting? Thanks Jerry.

- Lamar from Ypsilanti

It would be tough to overestimate the impact of McGary's commitment. Michigan basically beat out every school in the country for the top post player in the 2012 class.

Just like in a game of basketball, momentum is a critical factor in recruiting. McGary's commitment and the highly ranked recruiting class he is a part of, coupled with the success it had on the court last year, gives Michigan great momentum moving forward.

There has been a perception that coach John Beilein doesn't necessarily care to coach athletic players and only wants skilled and intelligent players. Well, I feel certain that Beilein has nothing against athletic players although he might value skill level and intelligence more highly.

With the success of Darius Morris and the potential success of McGary and Glenn Robinson III, this perception about Beilein might drastically change. The thought of Michigan consistently landing athletic prospects who meet Beilein's criteria to be recruited is a scary thought for Michigan's competition.


No game changers?

I was wondering what your thoughts were on North Carolina's 2012 class. It strikes me as one of the weaker classes in the last 15 to 20 years. The depth maybe there but, not many players I would consider game changers.

- Kevin from Columbus

There are several angles to answering this question. For one, it is tough to say this is a bad North Carolina recruiting class. It is currently ranked the No. 6 class in the country.

Even though North Carolina traditionally has great recruiting classes, the 2012 class is far from the worst class the Tar Heels have had in the last 20 years.

At the same time, though, you make a good point. I'm not so sure this four-man class has a game changer in it.

The highest-ranked prospect Marcus Paige is a solid player with a great feel for the game, but I don't see him as being a game changer for North Carolina at the point.

Looking over the other three recruits, there is no doubt that they will all contribute to a winning effort by North Carolina, but none of them can be named game changers either.


Packing it in

Do you think Amile Jefferson has narrowed his college choices to the five schools he has visited? Or do you think Villanova still has a chance since it is in Philly?

- Jeremy from Greensboro

It is tough to get a read on what exactly Jefferson's school list is, but there is a strong feeling that N.C. State has the momentum in his recruitment.

Jefferson is visiting North Carolina State this weekend, and word has it that his entire immediate family and a couple of his coaches are making the trip with him. That is an indication that Jefferson is quite serious about the Wolfpack.

It wouldn't surprise me if coach Mark Gottfried's staff is able to secure a commitment before the end of the early signing period.


Sizing up Shepard

How good is Winston Shepard?

- Shawn from Las Vegas

Shepard is a talented and very intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-8, he is athletic and has a multidimensional game. He handles the ball well and is explosive to the basket. Off the dribble he sees the floor well. He's not a great shooter, but he is able to score in most any way. So his versatility as a scorer and ballhandling ability gives a coach some options on how to utilize him.

When he is focused, Shepard can be a great defender and defend multiple positions. And when the energy is there, he is a dangerous offensive rebounder and can control his rebounding area on the defensive end.

Now, he hasn't always been the most consistent performer, and he also is far from being considered a consistent shooter. But the consistency of his effort level has improved greatly, and he is improving as a shooter.

Presently, he is ranked No. 40 in the Rivals150, but he is certainly one of those players who, if the weaker parts of his game improve, he might very well prove to be underrated at that number.


Next move for KU

What's next for Kansas after losing out on Kaleb Tarczewski? I have been hearing a lot of rumors, a lot of them are encouraging. Have you heard anything?

- Jake from Wichita

There is no doubt that losing Tarczewski to Arizona was a painful recruiting loss for Kansas. But as the cliché goes, you win some and you lose some. So the Kansas staff will keep plugging along on the recruiting front.

The main thing I'm hearing about Kansas is that the Jayhawks are moving into a strong position in the recruitment of Andrew White. It is tough to get a gauge on exactly how White feels about his other schools such as North Carolina State, Louisville and Richmond, but there is growing confidence in the Kansas camp.

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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