The basketball early signing period begins next Wednesday, and RecruitingNation has got you covered with daily coverage of all the signings and commitments during the jam-packed week. We kick off our coverage today with a Twitter mailbag. We’ve enlisted the services of ESPN National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi to shed some light on some of your recruiting questions leading up to the early signing period.
Let’s get to your questions.
Q: Where do you think Aaron Gordon will go? -- @LobbyBuu
A: He plays for the Oakland Soldiers AAU team and has former and current teammates playing everywhere. This weekend he visits Kentucky, where Kyle Wiltjer plays, and Nick Johnson is at Arizona. I think it will be between Arizona and Kentucky at the end of the day. And don’t count out Cal. Jabari Bird is committed to California.
A: Billy Donovan has done a tremendous job recruiting both guys. Here’s one thing to note. Randle played USA Basketball for Donovan and they won a gold medal together. Randle told me he credits Donovan for helping him see the game better. They developed a good bond and Julius spoke highly of him. They both really like Donovan. You get either of them along with Chris Walker and Kasey Hill -- that’s three top 10 guys. That’s an amazing class and would be one of Donovan’s best classes ever.
Q: Who should Kentucky focus on recruiting: The old or new 2013 kids? And what doors does this open for certain teams (Ex: NC State)? -- @tCannada
A: Of the reclassified guys, Kentucky is only pursuing Wiggins and Johnson. They should continue with their pursuit of the 2013 kids and these two guys as well. Don’t forget, each year Kentucky loses a lot. All of their targets can make an impact next year except Johnson, he needs more development before he impacts things at that level.
I think NC State will land BeeJay Anya, maybe during the early period.
Q: When do you think Brandon Austin will commit and what are UConn’s chances? -- @B_WRecruiting
A: Most likely, he will commit before the end of the Early Signing Period. Some of the schools in the mix for him are Providence, UConn, Texas, Georgetown, Temple and Rutgers. I think UConn is involved, but I think the other schools are in deeper with him. I’m going to go with Texas as the favorite.
Q: What other recruits are likely to commit to Ohio State? -- @bobbyjewell101
A: Nigel Hayes is the guy they have the best shot at getting. He’s from Toledo, the hometown of former Buckeye Jimmy Jackson. It’s between them and Wisconsin. His game in a nutshell: He’s a skilled combo forward who can shoot it, beat you off the dribble or spin away from defenders to score.
Looking at the ESPN 100, I know they’re trying with Andrew Wiggins, the no. 1 player in the country, Noah Vonleh after he reclassified and Dakari Johnson, the big guy. I think they’re going to work real hard to get one of those guys. Not sure if it will happen, but it’s a long time until April when those guys will commit.
Q: Do the Sooners have a realistic shot with Julius Randle? -- @msturdy51
A: A lot of things would have to go right. Kentucky and Kansas would both have to get someone big. And there’s still Texas out there. The Sooners are a long shot; I wouldn’t put my mortgage on that one.
Q: When do you think Kennedy Meeks will announce his college choice? -- @ACblessed_7
A: Kennedy Meeks is warming up to his decision and it could be in the next week. Doesn’t mean he’ll pull the trigger, but I think he’s hot to make a decision. Roy Williams and Georgetown assistant Kenya Hunter were in the gym to see him Wednesday night. It’s a two-horse race for this stud of a center. Nobody has better hands than Kennedy Meeks.
Q: Point guard is a major issue for Arizona moving forward. Why haven’t they gone after one in 2013? -- @SterlinAndretti
A: I know Mark Lyons transferred there from Xavier and will be manning the point this season, but it's Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell, a junior with two years of eligibility remaining, who will be the Wildcats' point guard of the future. And although they’re both shooting guards by nature, coach Sean Miller will most likely play Nick Johnson and Gabe York at point some in an attempt to groom them for a possible position change in the future.