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October 3, 2012

Mailbag: Harrison twins keep everyone guessing


Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi addresses questions from readers in his weekly mailbag.

Too close to call?

The Harrison twins are deciding Thursday. What do you think is going to happen?
-- Josh, Lexington (via email)

About the only thing that I know will for sure happen when Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison make their pick is that somebody will be landing a backcourt capable of taking them to the Final Four. But I don't think that's the answer you are looking for on the eve of the No. 3 and No. 4 players in the country making their choice.

Officially, it's down to Kentucky, Maryland and SMU, but I don't think anybody is expecting the Mustangs to get the call. In a situation where the Harrison family has done a great job of keeping a tight lid on the recruitment of the 6-foot-5 twins, all we can do is speculate based on information that is out there. Of course, most of that is nebulous at best.

What we do know is this: Kentucky's John Calipari hasn't really been recruiting any kind of "backup plan," and he's absolutely slayed it in recruiting since his arrival in Lexington. We also know that Maryland's Mark Turgeon has been recruiting the twins forever, has one of their good friends (Shaq Cleare) on campus, and the twins have family ties to the area. There's been speculation that Kentucky has told recruits the twins are coming and that they (the twins) have told the UK staff that they want certain players to come with them. Of course, there's also the talk that Under Armour will try to influence the decision after sponsoring the twins team for these past few years.

At the end of the day, I think this one is too tough to call, and there certainly isn't enough information out there to feel great about saying they are leaning one way or another. However, if I had to take a position based on what I've heard, I would give the slightest of edges to Kentucky at this point.


Rising fast

Based on reports from The Workout over the weekend, Joel Embiid was pretty good. How high can he be ranked?
-- Scott, Los Angeles (via email)

That's an excellent question. After watching the near seven-foot-tall center from Gainesville (Fla.) Rock School again over the weekend, there is no question that he needs to be ranked. He also needs to be ranked in at least the four-star range given his size, rebounding, skill and how quickly he has picked up the game. However, I didn't exactly get to evaluate him against anybody that could really test him. So, for right now I'll play it safe and ballpark it somewhere in the top 50-75 range. We will use this winter to gather more information and see how he progresses.


UK making a push

Any news about Marcus Lee or thoughts where you think he ends up?
-- @califreshforlife (via twitter)

I don't know that there is really anything all that new with Lee. We know that the 6-foot-10 big man from Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley is down to California and Kentucky. We also know that he has already been on the Cal campus and that the Golden Bears have built a strong case for themselves. They are close to home, they have an influx of talent on the way, and with Lee in the middle of the floor, Mike Montgomery's squad could really make a move in the Pac 12.

While Lee has already been to Berkeley, he's still got a visit to Kentucky coming here in a week or so. Since showing initial interest in the summer, the Wildcats have turned up the heat on Lee and have been picking up some momentum in his recruitment. But Lexington is a long way away from home.

For now, I think this one is pretty close and will come down to how Lee feels about his visit to Lexington. If he likes the environment there and feels comfortable with leaving home, then the Wildcats could be tough to beat.


Future Friar

What kind of player is Providence getting in three-star power forward Rodney Bullock?
-- Grayson, Providence (via email)

Sometimes, it seems to depend on the type of mood in which you catch the 6-foot-7 power forward. If he's really engaged in the game, running the floor and getting active on the glass then he's a guy who could help out Ed Cooley and the Friars. He's good, not great, athletically, has some length and can face up and score pretty regularly to around 12 feet.

At times, though, he can lose a little bit of focus, and it seems as if some of his peers have passed him with their development. If he gets into the gym and really works on his body and improving his overall skill, Bullock could end up a sleeper recruit and surprise. If he wants to coast on just natural ability, then it could be a rough transition for the senior.


Raw talent

Why isn't Dwight Coleby ranked higher than he is? Seems a guy with his size and athleticism would be rated a little more highly.
-- Robbie, Memphis (via email)

You know, that's a really good question about the No. 146 player in 2013. A 6-foot-9 senior post player with a great frame and above average athleticism from Piney Woods (Miss.) High, Coleby has been a major recruiting target of programs such as Memphis, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and others.

Based on my viewings of Coleby, he has appeared to be a fine run-and-jump athlete who rebounds well and runs the floor. The times I've seen him, though, his hands have looked a little suspect; and while he's shown flashes on offense, he's looked pretty raw.

Given his overall size and athleticism, a little bit of change in his game can go a long way in determining his final ranking. He's one that will definitely be monitored closely throughout the winter.


Eric Bossi is the National Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com. He can be reached at eric_bossi@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ebosshoops.



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