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November 21, 2012

Mailbag: Impact of move by Terps, Knights

MORE: Impact of move could be great

With the national signing period looming, Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi handles readers' questions in his latest mailbag.

On the move

What do you think about the move Maryland and Rutgers are making to the Big Ten? Will it impact recruiting for them or other Big Ten schools?
-- Jordan, Baltimore (via email)

My initial thought is that it kind of stinks to see all of these traditional rivalries die and that Maryland in the Big Ten doesn't seem to make sense. But the fact of the matter is that this is all about money, and I really feel like the Terps and Scarlet Knights are far from the last schools that will be making moves they feel they need to make.

As for recruiting, I think it remains to be seen what will happen, but I think it could potentially impact Maryland a little bit more. Many of Maryland's kids come from the Mid-Atlantic region and grew up on the ACC. Not only that, playing in the ACC means that they get to play close to home on a pretty regular basis. In the Big Ten, that wouldn't be the case. For Rutgers, it will also have to fight the distance factor (obviously for travel, not home), but I don't feel like there is quite the same attachment to the Big East for it that there is with Maryland and the ACC, at least from my outside-looking-in perspective.

At the end of day, though, I think it's too early to tell if this ends up being a good or bad move. We have to see how a few classes of kids react, and we have to see how this conference realignment stuff ultimately shakes out. Until all of that happens, it's too early to tell and you could easily argue that it will hurt or help depending upon which side you want to push.

Mining talent

How does a five-star like Isaac Hamilton end up at a school like UTEP?
-- Mason, Los Angeles (via email)

When the 6-foot-5 guard from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco committed to Tim Floyd's Miners on Friday, it caught some off-guard.

Even though the slick, high-scoring senior had listed UTEP all along, not many ever took the Miners seriously, which obviously they should have. At the end of the day, Floyd worked what was a longstanding relationship between himself and the Hamilton family (Floyd recruited an uncle to UTEP in the 1980s) and emphasized a place where Hamilton would have freedom and could do something unexpected. Also, it's not like UTEP is without talent.

Brothers Chris and Julian Washburn are former Rivals150 players, and 2012 four-star Anthony January is committed as well. The past couple of days, the Miners have also had another four-star from 2013 -- small forward Vince Hunter -- on campus, and it looks like they are going to be set to compete with the big boys real soon.

Early edges

Rysheed Jordan, what are the chances that he signs/commits early, and who do you think has the edge with him?
-- michstfr (via message board)

As of Wednesday morning, there were no plans for the 6-foot-4, four-star point guard from Philadelphia (Pa.) Vaux to sign during the early period. So, barring a major surprise, his recruitment will run into at least the early part of the winter.

Jordan is mentioning schools like UCLA, Syracuse, Rutgers and Xavier. However, the two schools that seem to have the edge and seem to be generating the most heat are hometown Temple and St. John's and Steve Lavin.

Things can always change, but the Owls and Red Storm look to be the most likely choices.

Haitian creating buzz

What do you know about Skal Labissiere, the 6-foot-9 PF/C out of Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian School who John Calipari just offered for Kentucky?
-- Mike_Edwards (via message board)

A native of Haiti who made his way to the United States after his home country was rocked by a devastating earthquake, Labissiere has generated significant buzz around the Memphis area.

Unfortunately, he has not played in many national events where scouts from outside of the area -- including myself -- have been able to get a good look. I have spoken with his high school coach, Terry Tippett, on a few occasions, and he couldn't be more glowing in his reviews of his player's skill level, upside and current production.

A coach saying good things about his player is no surprise, but coming from an old-school, decorated coach such as Tippett, who has many years and state titles under his belt, the praise carries a lot of weight. Tippett confirms that Kentucky has offered recently and Memphis has offered as well. Getting a look at Labissiere as soon as possible is among our top priorities.

Cowboys' expectations

Oklahoma State just signed Detrick Mostella. What should Cowboy fans expect from the shooting guard?
-- Craig, Stillwater (via email)

A 6-foot-3, four-star prospect from Alabama who is attending La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere for his senior season, Mostella is a high-scoring guard who is thin but very athletic and quick. The key to his offensive prowess lies in his great first step and ability to create for himself via the dribble.

In the open court he slashes to the hoop, and he is an above-the-rim finisher. In the halfcourt, he's an excellent pull-up jump shooter from 12-17 feet, loves to get to the rim and is a bit of a streak shooter from deep.

Mostella absolutely has to get much stronger, and along with that he needs to be consistent and learn to let negative plays roll off him. Sometimes when things don't go his way, Mostella will let one or two bad plays bother him for the next four or five minutes of a game.

All in all, he would seem to be a very good fit for the way the Cowboys play, and if he can improve the consistency and get that strength, he's got a chance to outplay or make the move up from his current ranking of No. 68 in the 2013 Rivals150.

Scouting Miller

What do you know about Tavario Miller?
-- @catorano (via twitter)

Miller is a strong 6-foot-8 power forward from Houston (Texas) Wheatley whom Texas A&M jumped in on and scored a commitment from this week. Relatively unknown on the national circuit, the three-star is a powerful kid with good athleticism who has proven to be an outstanding rebounder.

Throughout the fall, Miller has generated a lot of buzz coming out of the Houston area that he was ready to blow up. The start to his high school season, where he's had 42 points and 18 rebounds and 30 points and 22 rebounds in recent games, suggests that he is taking things to the next level.



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