Q&A with Brian Snow, Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst
Who are a couple of the in-state players that you think have really helped their cause this season and increased their recruiting stock?
Snow: I would say the two guys who have done the most to help themselves would be Brenton Scott (2013) and Nick Osborne (2012). I am not saying either of those guys are elite high-major players, but both have played their way onto the high-major radar with their high school seasons after being considered more mid-major type players coming into the year.
Which Class of 2013 and 2014 player do you find most intriguing in Indiana right now?
Snow: The most intriguing in the Class of 2013, to me, is V.J. Beachem. I have said for the past year that I think he is the most talented kid of them all, and I still feel that way. He has some great games and some bad games, but the talent is really intriguing. In 2014 I say Jaquan Lyle. A big guard who can really pass and make shots, he is fun to watch. Also he is young for his grade.
What are your thoughts on the overall talent among the underclassmen this year?
Snow: Right now, in general, I am going to say the 2013 class is a down class compared to 2011 and 2012, but it is a class with a lot of potential. It is too early to know with 2014, but the top three of Trey Lyles, (Jaquan) Lyle, and James Blackmon is a pretty good start.
Talk about what you have seen from Yogi Ferrell this season? How do you think he is maturing as a point guard and also as a scorer?
Snow: I really like Yogi Ferrell. I saw him play about 100 times this season, and he is just a stud. I think he can score and defend right now at the college level. He will need to learn how to run a team in the halfcourt, but the kid is a very good player and should make an immediate impact.
Hanner Perea gets a lot of hype due to his highly-ranked status in the Class of 2012. Do you think it's all warranted or do you think he is still very much a project in some ways?
Snow: I am a big fan of Hanner Perea, I really think he is going to be good, but expectations have to match reality. He isn't going to come in and be Jared Sullinger. Perea is going to rebound, block shots, and score in transition from day one. The post and mid-range game will have to develop, but when you have that body with that freakish athleticism, you can make plays without the refined skill level.
What about Ron Patterson? Do you think he is a lock-down defender at the next level? What about his offensive game?
Snow: Ron will be a very good defender at the next level. It is tough to call a kid a pure lockdown guy before he ever gets to college, but he will be very good on the defense end at absolute minimum. Right now his offensive game is catch-and-shoot threes as well as tip dunks. He absolutely has to make improvements in his mid-range game and with his ball handling, because he can't create his own shot.
It's been a strange recruiting saga with another talented in-state player, D'Vauntes Smith Rivera. What can you tell us about will happen with his situation?
Snow: I wish I was smart enough to be able to tell you what will happen with Smith-Rivera. At the end of the day my guess is he doesn't go too far from home, but I don't know where exactly that will be. I describe Smith-Rivera as an "acquired taste" in terms of a player. The more you see him the more you like and appreciate him. I have him as the No. 2 prospect in the state behind Gary Harris.
Regarding Harris, what do you think makes him so special and how do you see his recruitment shaping up?
Snow: To me Gary Harris is the top player in the class and it is his combination of athleticism, defensive intensity, and ability to score from all three levels on the floor that does it. He simply is the complete package as a player. I know everyone wants to have Gary leaning one way or another, but the simple truth is his recruitment is open. It isn't open in terms of new schools from all over can come in, but that core group of schools around the Indianapolis area that have been recruiting him for a while are all still involved heavily. I doubt Harris makes his decision for a long time.
Another intriguing prospect in that class is obviously Jeremy Hollowell. What are your thoughts on him?
Snow: There is a lot to like about Hollowell. He is as talented as it gets, and if he figures it out he will make a lot of money playing the game of basketball. But Hollowell has to decide if he wants to do that, or if he wants to coast. That decision is on him, and I am hoping with maturity he will grow into the player that his talent suggests he should be. I think Hollowell likes Purdue, Ohio State, and Indiana, and I wouldn't think a decision is on the horizon, it will take time.