Ask Dave Telep, Part II

You asked, and he answered. Inside Carolina subscribers presented their questions to Dave Telep, the nation's leading hoops recruiting analyst, and he took the time to answer some of them. Today in Part II, Telep tackles questions about the Class of 2008 ...

Who do you see as the UNC staff's top priorities for the 2008 class?

"In terms of prioritizing, it looks like UNC clearly is going to go after Delvon Roe and Greg Monroe. Based on their summer scouting, it appears they're going to target another point guard – and they watched a ton of them, including a good number of West Coast kids … Larry Drew from Calif., Jerime Anderson from Calif. …

"They spent a lot of time watching shooting guard Jrue Holiday and lot of time with Drew Gordon. Those are legitimate 2008 targets. They spent time watching Xavier Gibson and like him and will continue to evaluate him. Travis Releford and Samardo Samuels are in the first cut of guys that UNC is really looking at. They like Ty Walker, but they need to see progress there – he still needs to flip the switch to be recruited at that level. And I'm only listing a fraction of the players they've evaluated.

"What you have is an immature 2008 class – by that I mean guys have yet to separate themselves from the pack. You have a whole litany of post players. Guys like Kenny Frease, who you think are going to be pretty good, but have yet to stamp themselves as big time targets. We know they'll go after Delvon Roe and Greg Monroe, but what you have to understand in 2008 … as the class matures, UNC's list of targets will emerge as well. They're in straight evaluation mode right now."

Just how good is Delvon Roe? Why is he the only junior to get a scholarship offer from Carolina?

"I would assume if Greg Monroe picked up the phone and wanted to come to North Carolina, I don't see how you'd turn that down. Whether or not he has a stated offer, it's all semantics. The staff at Carolina is in straight evaluation mode and they're waiting for guys to separate themselves, like Roe and Monroe did this summer.

"Roe is one of those guys who checks out in every category – his game has advanced past a lot of people and on and off the court he's got everything they're looking for. It's a complex deal and it's not all about on the court. Roe, from a basketball perspective, I thought he was a pretty good player heading into the summer – but he took his basketball game to another notch that surprised a lot of people who even knew him well.

"His game is at an elite level right now and he showed the versatility you want to see in a prospect, consistently getting bigger, which is a major bonus, and then the other component is who he is off the court. He's generally regarded as one of those special kids and his recruitment has advanced at such a rapid rate - because everyone saw the entire package and quickly realized he's a must have guy because of who he is as a basketball player, student and kid.

"He's a wish list kid to have in your program. That's why Roy Williams, Thad Matta, Tom Izzo and Tommy Amaker didn't miss his games. And you saw coaches like Mike Krzyzewski and Tubby Smith watching closely. They went to some odd ball places to see him. When you walk into a gym in Morgantown, WVa. for a Saturday morning AAU game and you see Thad Matta and Tom Izzo watching a 2008 kid, you know something's cooking. Delvon Roe's recruitment advancement in a two week period as fast as can be. You're talking about a situation where people realized that Roe was someone they couldn't waste time on to toss their hat into that ring – frankly you had to, it was an arms race. It wasn't about sending assistants to see Roe – it was about making impressions with head coaches. That doesn't usually happen at this stage unless you've got a unique kid."

What's your opinion of Ed Davis and do you think UNC target him?

"Ed Davis will end up becoming a major target, in my opinion. To me, there's everything to like about Ed Davis and his game. His father was an NBA player, a 6-8 kid who's going to even maybe be bigger than that with enormous wingspan. In fact, he doesn't look a ton different than Brandan Wright did as a sophomore in terms of body type and where their games are. He has the chance to be a really special guy. Being two hours from the UNC campus and as one of the three best power forwards in the class, that pretty much helps his chances of being a serous North Carolina recruit. My hunch is he turns into a priority recruit for a lot of elite level programs."

What's the lowdown on Tyreke Evans' recruitment?

"Tyreke Evans' situation … fans have a tendency to push the peddle so fast, with Tyreke Evans, North Carolina is still learning more about him, about his recruiting situation. Is he talented enough? Absolutely. Does that mean they'll flat out go after him? Not necessarily. They're still trying to learn as much as they can about the situation."

Who should UNC prioritize at shooting guard – Evans or Releford or someone else? And when should they make a decision on that?

"Who do you think they should take here or there? The real answer is you should really wait and see who separates themselves from that group and if anyone else really emerges from that pack. Because there's no guarantee the best shooting guard or wing forward now will still be that guy then. It's an immature class because guys have not separated themselves.

"If you ask me who I'd take right now, I'd give you the guy I rank higher now, but the major point that has to be driven home with an enormous hammer is watch the Class of 2008 very closely, see who elevates their game and be patient because this group of guys have a lot of resume building to do to peak the interest of the Carolina staff. There's no reason to narrow choices, there will be other guys who emerge, and it's a group that hasn't shown its entire hand yet."

You say teams should sit back and see who emerges, yet UConn and Ohio State are taking kids far earlier than that …

"Well, those guys are regional. UConn knew they'd have a good number of scholarships available for that [2009] class and they took two of the better guys in their region – just protecting their own turf. Someone like Alex Oriakhi is rock solid, sure fire high major guy. And so he's a low risk commitment. I just think taking commitments in general where the guys' in your backyard and you've watched him closely, the risk is not greater than the reward."

Do you think Ty Walker can/will develop into an elite-level prospect? What about any other in-state players now or down the road?

"That's a legitimate concern, especially for a guy like Roy Williams, who would love to build from within the state. When you look at 2008, there are some guys in the state who have the ability to be ACC level players, but haven't separate themselves yet. Ty Walker is as good a looking prospect at 6-11 as you can ask for, but now he's got to go from prospect to player.

"You've got Donovan Ingram at Kinston, will he make a move and become a top tier ACC guy? There's Justin Johnson at Cherryville, who people are keeping tabs on. C.J. Williams at Jack Britt in Fayetteville. Victor Davila will bear more watching. I like Tyler McDaniels out of Jacksonville, he's a pretty good player. But like all of their counterparts in ‘08, few guys have separated themselves. In ‘09, Akeem Richmond is a 6-1 guard trying to figure out where he ends up position wise. Just way too early to project. The kid in Rocky Mount named Tayshaun Mabry, a 6-5 small forward in 2010, has a chance at being big time.

"I think the state's ‘07 class rallied a bit, like Dominique Sutton, Dorenzo Hudson, Demontez Stitt. The class rallied a bit, but what it lacks right now is an elite caliber, no-doubt-about-it prospect. A Top 10 guy like Chris Paul. Where is the Cedric Simmons? I believe the best chance right now for a guy like that from this state is Ty Walker, but it's up to him to advance his game to that level."


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