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June 25, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Breaking down Miller

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
June 12: Top 2010 shooting guard?
June 5: Comparing Knight and Wall
May 29: 2010 prospects emerging
Prospects in the 2011 and '12 classes are beginning to emerge on the national scene.

In this week's mailbag, national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer breaks down some of the top prospects in the two classes, including Quincy Miller, who just received an offer from Duke.

Meyer also takes a quick look at Arizona's impressive 2009 recruiting effort this spring and Saint Joseph's impressive 2010 recruiting class.

Jerry's Mailbag
Shades of Durant?

Can you give a breakdown on Quincy Miller's game? Which current or former player does he remind you of?

-- Derrick from Miami
Miller measured 6 feet 8 barefoot, with a 7-1 wing span and 9-0 reach at the Nike Hoop Jamboree. He weighed in at 193 pounds.

As a combo forward Miller shoots the 3-pointer well but doesn't have deep range yet. He also handles the ball well and can break down a defender changing direction to both his left and right. He's not a physical player, but he has a plethora of moves that he uses to score inside.

The next step for him offensively is to learn how to find open teammates off his dribble-drives.

Defensively, he can get muscled around, but his length serves him well, he is quick off the floor and he has sure hands as a rebounder.

The main thing he needs to work on overall is improving his physical strength.

The more I watch and think about Miller's game, the more I think of a young Kevin Durant. Miller has a similar body and athleticism, and has the potential to have a Durant-type skill set.

Best in 2012?

I know it is too early to fully evaluate the class of 2012 but who has truly stood out to you as possibly the cream of the crop in that class?

-- Jerrod from Sacramento
Rivals.com doesn't have a bead on all the top 2012 prospects yet. But there are six prospects across the five positions who have stood out so far this spring.

The first is 6-3 shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Muhammad has all the physical tools of an elite prospect. Along with being tremendously athletic, he is a lefty who competes at a high level and plays with energy. He still is growing and has the chance to be the best player in his class.

Andre Drummond, a 6-9 center with a 7-5 wing span, is the best post prospect I've seen in the class since his decision to transfer to Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More and reclassify to the class of 2012. Drummond is mobile, uses both hands well and has a broad skill set.

Brandon Ashley out of Oakland Bishop O'Dowd is a 6-6 forward with a 7-foot-plus wing span who still is growing. Ashley is a skilled prospect with a ton of upside.

Two point guards with contrasting styles who are impressive '12 prospects are Jaylen Beckham (6-0/15) of Lexington (Ky.) Catholic and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (6-3/220) of Indianapolis North Central.

The difference between the two begins with the 70-pound weight difference. Beckham is a speedster with a great feel for setting up his teammates. Smith-Rivera is a power guard with a scorer's mentality.

At 6-6 and 215 pounds, Kyle Anderson of Paterson (N.J.) Cathlolic is a point guard at this stage of his career; he has a superb basketball IQ and feel for the game. He is a step slow, but he is expected to grow at least a couple more inches and ultimately projects as a super-skilled face-up power forward.

Arizona moving up

With all the craziness that has been going on at USC, I have been hearing that Arizona has a shot at two of the recruits who were released from USC letter of intents. Will Arizona be able to land Derrick Williams or Lamont Jones -- or both? If that happened, would that put Arizona's recruiting class in the top 25?

-- Josh from Bloomington, Ind.
Arizona received a commitment from Lamont Jones and is hosting Derrick Williams on a visit this week. Williams likely will choose between Arizona and Memphis.

Even without Williams, Arizona's recruiting class likely will squeeze into the top 15 nationally. With Williams, the class could possibly go as high as No. 12.

No doubting Thomas

Where does Adonis Thomas project in the 2011 class, and if you could, how about a breakdown of his strengths and weaknesses?

-- Marticus from Memphis
Right now, Thomas (6-5/210), from Memphis Melrose, projects as a top-15 prospect in the 2011 class.

He is an exceptional athlete with a strong competitive nature. There probably isn't a better perimeter defender than Thomas in the 2011 class. Offensively, Thomas attacks the basket with vigor and has the ability to change direction at a high rate of speed. If he gets to the rim, he will finish with authority. He also has a promising mid-range game and does a good job passing the ball. His outside shot is streaky, but I like his potential as a long-range shooter. Bottom line is that Thomas is an elite wing prospect with plenty of upside.

Hawks flying high?

With the signings of Langston Galloway and C.J. Aiken this week, what are your thoughts on Saint Joseph's 2010 recruiting class? Do you see it as a nationally ranked class?

-- Matt from Philadelphia
St. Joe's is off to a fabulous start with its 2010 recruiting. In one week, the Atlantic 10 school secured commitments from two four-star players to go along with ranked three-star prospect Darius Quarles. In addition to all three prospects being ranked, there is no overlapping of positions. Aiken is a center, Galloway a combo guard and Quarles a forward.

Even if St. Joe's doesn't add to the class, it is a potential top-25 group. At this point, it is a top-20 class.

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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