Telep, HoopScoop like Reb recruiting

There are lots of good, reliable sources for basketball recruiting information. Dave Telep at Scout.com is certainly one of the most respected national figures in hoops recruiting, but players and coaches alike also turn to HoopScooponline and Clark Francis, who is considered an authority in his own right. Telep and Francis are both impressed with the Rebs' recruiting efforts.

Scout.com's Dave Telep, who travels all over the nation year-round in search of basketball talent to evaluate, rank and "promote," believes Andy Kennedy and his staff got a gem when they signed Dr. Phillips HS (Orlando, FL) Point Guard Chris Warren yesterday.

"I really believe, in the grand scheme of things, Ole Miss was way ahead of the curve in evaluating Chris Warren. He had some terrific Mid-Major teams, teams that pride themselves in evaluation, teams that go to the NCAA Tournament and usually advance every year, after him, but a lot of the bigger schools missed the boat with him," said Telep. "Andy had Devin Downey last year at Cincy. They built a special bond and won a lot of games together. Chris is another Devin Downey.

"Chris is a kid Andy and his staff can trust to run their team for the next four years and win a lot of games."

Telep said the reason more schools were not after Chris was his physical stature. He's roughly 5-11 and roughly 165-170 pounds.

"Chris does need to get stronger and bigger, but that will come," said Telep, "but what he has that you can't teach is speed and competitiveness.

"He is a jet with the ball, he's extremely quick and fast, he's a tenacious competitor, he can shoot from anywhere on the move, he can create his own shots, he's an excellent passer and ballhandler, and he's excellent in transition. He has a special aura and presence that not a lot of kids have.

"I really believe that Chris, had he gone to one of those Mid-Majors who had him as their number one recruit, would have become the league's MVP and would have been a star. As it is, he's going to be a terrific SEC player, from everything I have seen of him. Andy stole one when he got Chris - trust me."

HoopScoop founder Clark Francis also has a lofty position in the world of basketball recruiting.

Like Telep, when Francis speaks (or writes), people "listen."

Francis is impressed with Rebel Coach Andy Kennedy's efforts in recruiting. The following are some excerpts of a piece Francis wrote on Ole Miss' recruiting.

"Chris Warren is a prolific scoring high-flying athlete who has the ball handling and passing skills necessary to run a team. . . Warren's high school coach Anthony Long thinks he is the best player he ever coached," wrote Francis. "And that's saying a lot when one remembers Long coached Orien Green at Gainesville HS who now plays for the Indiana Pacers, and Florida State 2-guard Jason Rich at Dr. Phillips HS in Orlando."

Francis is also a "fan" of what Kennedy and his staff accomplished last year.

"And this isn't the first player that first-year Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy has stolen in this year's recruiting class and/or from the state of Florida," he penned. "If you will recall, he got a late commitment last spring from 6-5 Eniel Polynice from Sarasota Booker, who in our opinion was one of the best kept secrets in the senior class nationally a year ago.

"And this fall he landed (committed) 6-5 Zachary Graham from Lawrence, GA, who is ranked #87 nationally in the senior class by HOOPSCOOP and was the Rebels' #1 priority this fall."

Note: Graham has not signed with the Rebels yet due to some health issues with his Father, but he is expected to sign the dotted line with the Rebs any time now.

Ole Miss is also waiting on the letter-of-intent papers from 6-9 Clearwater, FL, forward Kevin Cantinol.

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