Telep speaks about Cards recruiting, C-USA
Memphis signs top class, but Cards a close second
With two likely McDonald's All Americans in Kendrick Perkins and Sean Banks in the fold already, Memphis Head Coach John Calipari has signed the number one recruiting class in CUSA during the early signing period.
The big question at Memphis is whether or not 6'9 Kendrick Perkins will declare for the NBA Draft next spring or show to play for John Calipari's rapidly improving Tiger program.
Dave Telep, TheInsiders.com National Recruiting Analyst, thinks Perkins will indeed go to Memphis and have an immediate impact for the Tigers inside. "Perkins is simply not the type of athletic big man that the NBA has been drafting out of high school," explained Telep.
Telep likes Daniels as a shooter on the perimeter and Diakite as an athletic big man in Pitino's uptempo style. "I expect both Daniels and Diakite to come in and have an immediate impact next season at Louisville," Telep predicted.
Telep is also high on the athletic Jenkins at the point. "Jenkins has great moxie on the court and is an underrated playmaker nationally," stated Telep.
So how does Rick Pitino's recruiting class stack up nationally?
"Louisville's fall recruiting class is not one of the top 5 classes nationally without James Lang, but it's probably in the top 15," explained Telep.
And where would Telep rank UofL's class if the Cards were fortunate enough to sign Lang, the 6'10 center from Birmingham who's also being heavily courted by Alabama and contemplating a jump to the NBA, during the spring signing period?
"Top 5, James Lang is the center piece of the class" stated Telep.
Having seen Lang on several occasions, I'd say the same reasoning that Perkins will go to college also applies to Lang. Lang simply has to lose weight and would tremendously benefit from a top notch conditioning program, Rick Pitino's for example! He's got nimble feet, good hands and possesses a soft touch around the basket but would really benefit from a couple years of development and conditioning at the collegiate level.
One college coach gave his assessment after seeing Lang play recently, "He should forget about the NBA." And even though the L.A. Clippers and others have sent scouts to watch him this season, I think the consensus after the season will be that Lang needs to attend college first.
His recruitment will continue to be a war until next spring and word is Alabama is making a strong push to keep the big man at home. Remember, the last time Alabama really wanted to keep a player in state, wing forward Kennedy Winston reneged on his commitment to California and opted to sign instead with Mark Gottfried's Crimson Tide program.
Recruiting is rarely dull and Lang's recruitment will be the most exciting battle to watch this spring.
Surprise recruiting class of the fall recruiting period?
Look no further than the much improved Depaul Blue Demons and first year Head Coach Dave Leitao.
"Depaul is probably the surprise in C-USA," Telep said. Always known as an excellent recruiter at UCONN under Coach Jim Calhoun, Leitao needed to get off to a good start in Chicago. "It was an important recruiting class for Leitao and Depaul after losing Tracey Dildy to reestablish the program in recruiting circles."