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January 9, 2013

Mailbag: Where will Wiggins go?


Can UNC keep Andrew Wiggins away from the Kentucky recruiting machine? Eric Bossi attempts to answer that and more in his latest mailbag.

Wigg out

What kind of realistic chance does North Carolina have with Andrew Wiggins now that Roy Williams has visited him again?
-- @bdheelfan (via twitter)

First of all, Wiggins and his circle are extremely tight-lipped, so there is some educated speculation involved in this answer.

That Williams has gone in to meet with Wiggins at least shows us that the Heels are legitimately interested in making a run at the nation's top player. Now, I don't know that Williams going in to visit Wiggins gives the UNC program any kind of more realistic chance at landing the 6-foot-7 wing player.

Wiggins has maintained for a while now that he will visit North Carolina -- most likely after his high school season -- along with Kansas and Kentucky. The only school that he has visited is Florida State. The Seminoles and Wildcats have long been mentioned as the main competition for Wiggins and until he actually sets and takes a visit to North Carolina (or Kansas for that matter) it's hard to consider the Heels as much more than on the outside looking in.

But the Heels are at least taking the steps to make a visit happen, which is more than they were doing with him six months ago.

Post player

What can you tell us about Keanau Post as far as upside and skill?
-- @ShowMe_Hoops (via Twitter)

Ever since the 6-foot-11 post player at Southwestern Illinois College committed to play for Frank Haith and the Tigers, I've been getting asked a lot of questions about him. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to watch him play personally. However, I have plenty of contacts who have seen him regularly and I've been reaching out to them over the past few days to get a feel for the center from British Columbia's game.

Our very own Brett Swanson of jucojunction.com ranks Post as the third-best junior college prospect, and based on his suggestion and others, Post has been rated a four-star prospect. Not only is he tall, he's strong with good hands and a soft touch around the rim.

He is a high-volume rebounder, plays with physicality and has plenty of upside. After some mixed reviews on him headed into the summer, I've gotten nothing but positive feedback and he looks to be a nice addition to the Tigers' 2013 recruiting efforts.

Swingman?

Class of 2014 small forward Paul White is having a big season. What's been your take on him?
-- Joseph, Chicago (via email)

If I had to describe the Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young product who currently ranks No. 55 nationally in the junior class in three words, they would be "talented but inconsistent."

At the rate the 6-foot-8 swingman is going, though, the "inconsistent" part is going to be a thing of the past.

He's not just tall, but he's also pretty fluid as an athlete and has very good ball-handling skills. He can hit pull-up jumpers, is a good passer and is learning to play with more effort on both ends. White has also gotten stronger and is versatile because he can -- and does on the high school level -- play as a stretch four man that causes matchup problems for more slow-footed big men.

In the past month, Rivals.com has watched him at three different events and he's gotten progressively better at each stop along the way.

Good gamble

Thoughts on new UNLV commit Kendall Smith?
-- @farazkhan0 (via Twitter)

A six-footer from Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley, Smith should turn out to be a good pickup for Dave Rice and the Rebels.

He's been a little overlooked in the summer where he played with the loaded Oakland Soldiers and on his high school team where he plays with five-star big man Marcus Lee who is headed to Kentucky. The three-star prospect showed some flashes during the summer of being a quick setup guy who also packed some offensive punch.

More "scorer" than "shooter," he's got a slick handle, good quickness and an aggressive attitude on the offensive end. There's a really limited pool of available point guards out there and UNLV did well to land Smith, as he was rising to the top of that pool. As a senior, Smith has stepped up his game and become even more assertive as a scorer and passer.

He will need to get stronger before he makes a major impact at UNLV, but he looks like a guy who can fill some minutes early and eventually develop into a starter during his career.

Lining up

What is the lineup for the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee?
-- Donaho_Studios (via message board)

This year will be the third year of the Brandon Jennings Invitational, and the second year I'll be covering it for Rivals.com. The event takes place at Brookfield Central High School and there will be no shortage of talent as several players ranked by Rivals.com will be on hand.

I will be watching Milwaukee (Wis.) Dominican, featuring 2013 four-star Duane Wilson and 2015 five-star Diamond Stone. After that practice, I will make my way to Vincent High School to check in on 2013 four-star Deonte Burton, who like Wilson has committed to Marquette. Friday, I'll watch the teams in town for Saturday's games practice before stopping by Hamilton High to watch 2014 five-star Kevon Looney.

Scheduled to be in attendance for the BJI are 2013 Rivals150 players Rondae Jefferson, Eric Mika and Nick Emery. Scheduled to be in attendance from the 2014 Rivals150 are Theo Pinson, Dwayne Morgan, Trayvon Reed, Dominique Collier, Tyqoune Greer, T.J. Haws and JaQuel Richmond. Headlining the freshmen in attendance is Wesleyan Christian power forward Harry Giles a potential five-star prospect.

Here is the schedule:
11 a.m.:Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy vs. Chicago (Ill.) Bogan Tech
12:45 p.m.: Chicago (Ill.) Orr Academy vs. Shiloh (Ga.) High
2:30 p.m.: Minnetonka (Minn.) High vs. Denver (Colo.) East
4:15 p.m.: Brookfield (Wisc.) Central vs. Chester (Pa.) High
6:00 p.m.: Highland (Utah) Lone Peak vs. High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian



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