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September 25, 2009

Meyer's Mailbag: Poole a big get for UK?

Jerry Meyer is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags
Sept 18: Will Cavs win under Bennett?
Sept 11: Memphis still getting the talent
Sept 4: Competition for top class?
Kentucky landed it's first recruit in the 2010 class, and fans want to know why Rivals.com is higher on him than other recruiting sites.

Could Mike Gilchrist be the next Kevin Durant?

What kind of fit will Carlton Brundidge be at Michigan?

National Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer will address these issues and more in this week's mailbag.

Jerry's Mailbag
Poole's potential

Rivals has new UK commit Stacey Poole ranked No. 27 in the country, while other services have him in their top 50. What is it you see in him that makes you feel he is close to being a 5-star player with a strong showing his senior year?

-- Elliott from Nashville
I love Poole's production and his potential. Over the course of the spring and the summer, Poole was one of the most productive scorers on the circuit. He and top-30 prospect Patric Young consistently had the Jacksonville Lee Bulls either winning events or playing deep into the event.

Poole can get to the basket and finish against the best competition. He loves contact and regularly gets to the free-throw line. He is also a solid ballhandler and has the tools to be a terrific and defender and rebounder.

At this point, his outside shooting is average. However, I expect his shooting range and consistency to improve because of his overall athleticism and ability to make shots around the basket.

When analyzing Poole's potential, the main thing that sticks out is how well put-together he is physically and what an explosive athlete he is. Simply put, he has an NBA body and NBA athleticism.

What he lacks right now is a consistent outside shot. If he develops in that area, we might actually have him underranked when we look back at the Rivals150.

As for a comparison, think of former Kentucky player and current Golden State player Kelenna Azubuike.

Room to improve

Can Mike Gilchrist be the next Kevin Durant? If so what does he need to improve to become that kind of player on the next level?

-- Travis from Indianapolis
Gilchrist could certainly have similar success, but he is a different style player than Durant. Gilchrist has a power game that is predicated on attacking the basket. Durant's game is more of a finesse game based on his length and long-range shooting ability.

They both are tremendous ballhandlers for their size and position. One of the most impressive aspects of Gilchrist's game this summer was the way he handled the basketball. In fact, Gilchrist looked like a point guard at times.

In a similar fashion to Poole, the one area Gilchrist needs to improve to take his game to the next level is his outside shot.

One or the other?

As a UNC fan I had a question regarding Adonis Thomas in the 2011 class. Does it matter if we land Harrison Barnes as far as us landing Thomas goes?

-- Rick from Landover
I don't think it makes a difference. Odds are extremely high that Barnes will be a one-and-done player and won't be playing college basketball when Thomas is a freshman.

The bigger question is whether North Carolina will offer Thomas. Roy Williams has been heavily involved in recruiting Thomas, but an offer has not yet been extended. If UNC does offer, it is highly likely Thomas will end up in Chapel Hill.

Brundridge's best yet to come

Hey Jerry, have you gotten to see Carlton Brundidge over the summer? I see he has committed to Michigan. I saw him at the Peach Jam dismantle the all-Ohio Red 16-under team. He is a strong scorer with an assassin's mentality. What do you think about his game?

-- Sean from Ann Arbor
I did get to see Brundidge this summer, and I was impressed with his shooting ability. He isn't overwhelming athletically and probably isn't a point guard, but the one thing he can certainly do - and do at a high level - is shoot the ball.

Michigan is a great fit for Brundidge, and he should thrive in coach John Beilein's system.

Good get for the Gophers?

What do you know about new Minnesota commit Austin Hollins? He seems to have flown under the radar quite a bit but has a pretty impressive offer list. Is this a good get for the Gophers?

-- Eric from Alexandria
Hollins did fly under the radar until he surfaced during the July evaluation period. A lot of college coaches took a liking to his overall skill level and feel for the game. Several high major schools did offer Hollins, but Minnesota wrapped him up after his official visit this past weekend.

I do think Hollins is a good get for Minnesota. As I mentioned above, he has an impressive skill level and feel for the game. He does, however, have room for improvement as an outside shooter and will need to bulk up his 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame.

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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