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November 7, 2011

Plenty of drama exists in early signing period

MORE: 2012 Rivals150

The early signing period for high school basketball players begins Wednesday and runs through Nov. 16. Rivals.com analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi each offer five story lines to follow throughout the week.

Meyer's story lines to watch

What high-profile recruit won't sign a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period? Don't be surprised if a five-star commitment stays committed to his school but refrains from signing an LOI.

Will Kentucky coach John Calipari be able to come into Memphis late in the game and sign Jarnell Stokes? It's not as if Stokes was ever considered a Memphis lock, but it has been thought that it would take a monster recruiting effort to get him out of his hometown.

Mark Gottfried has put together a top five recruiting class in his first year at N.C. State. Still in pursuit of two four-star recruits, North Carolina State could actually move into the No. 1 spot in the rankings, a huge statement for Gottfried.

North Carolina State isn't the only big story in the top five of the recruiting rankings. Sean Miller has the top-ranked class at Arizona. Tom Crean is bringing a monster class to Indiana. Michigan has a star in Mitch McGary. And Providence has an elite backcourt combo with Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo.

What will Alex Poythress and Tony Parker do? Will they sign early or wait? Will it be Florida, Kentucky, Memphis or Vanderbilt for Poythress? Will it be Duke, Memphis, Ohio State or UCLA for Parker?



Bossi's story lines to watch

Five-star wing Gary Harris has completed all of his official visits. Now, fans and coaches from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State and Purdue await the 6-foot-5 wing's decision. It's been a tight race and information has been tough to come by. The Spartans have the most recent buzz, but that very well could be because he just visited. Look for a decision within the next week and it's too close to call a favorite.

Near 7-footer Robert Upshaw appears to be done with his visits now after a weekend trip to Kansas State. The Fresno, Calif., product had been looking as if he might stretch his recruitment into the spring but now the plan is most likely to decide early. Louisville has been considered a behind-the-scenes favorite, but the Wildcats, Georgetown and Fresno State are still making big pushes.

When will four-star wing Andrew White make a choice? The 6-foot-6 wing has long carried one of the biggest lists of suitors and has made as many visits to campuses as any player in the country. The long-range shooter just had a new school, Georgetown, jump into the mix and the Hoyas are getting some traction. However, it would be tough for White to visit the Hoyas previous to the start of the signing period. His final destination is anybody's guess at this point.

Five-star big man Jarnell Stokes caught the recruiting world by surprise last weekend when he scheduled an official visit to Kentucky. Now with his visit out of the way, Stokes could make an informed decision during the early signing period. Memphis and Arkansas have been considered the leaders, but the Wildcats' entrance into the race made things interesting.



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