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2012 Commits Drop in ESPN Rankings; Targets Rise

Dave Telep and his cronies over at ESPN Men’s basketball recruiting have updated their rankings for the first portion of the AAU season. The 2012 class has been updated and the 2013 class has been turned into a Super 60 with the 2014 class being ranked as a top 25. I personally think that after all the scouting websites have updated their rankings recently, ESPN is the most accurate as far as Indiana recruits and recruiting targets go.

This is probably going to burn a few people but hear me out. The 2012 class has nearly as a whole dropped in their individual rankings. However, I feel that according to how they have been playing, mixed with their potential, Telep and his people have done it correct to this point. Make a click after the jump and you’ll see how I think the rankings break down, where they’re iffy and where they are spot on.

2012 Class Targets and Recruits

No. 4 Mitch McGary

No. 16 Gary Harris

No. 34 Yogi Ferrell (committed)

No. 41 Jeremy Hollowell (committed)

No. 49 Hanner Perea (committed)

No. 86 Ron Patterson (committed)

Unranked Peter Jurkin (committed)

McGary and Harris, two highly valued targets that are still uncommitted and their status in limbo, made pretty big jumps in the rankings. McGary had to reclassify from 2011 to 2012 because of grades and has also jumped astronomically in the ratings. His extra year of growth and showcasing has seen him jump from #92 to #4. Many rating services have him making a similar jump, but I’m skeptical. Yes he is definitely a monster of a player and has a high motor to go with, but he has been quoted as saying he prefers to play off the block and handle the ball more as a wing/guard. At 6’10", 215 lbs. he needs to be on the block and rebounding. He is definitely a talent, but many of his highlights videos make him look frantic up and down the court and I fear that at the next level his aggression is going to get him in trouble. I’d have him top 25, but not top 5.

Harris is a guy that is going to be something special at the next level. Having him ranked at 16 feels about right. His biggest knock is his streakiness, but that is a problem with a lot of players. His length and size make him tough to guard at the two guard and if he continues his ball handling he could play some point in college. Unfortunately for both of these two guys, we’re pretty well out of room. We are still in the discussion on each of them but I don’t see how. They’re as good as gone but we have a 5 man class that is just as exciting.

Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell has slipped in his ratings a bit but I’m not sure why. He has been nothing but golden since bursting onto the scene this past summer with a stellar AAU season. What I do believe has made him fall is him being initially overrated to start. At 5’11", 160 lbs. he is a bit lacking in size. He also is prone to get moving too quickly which makes him prone to throw the ball away. These are the reasons I believe he has dropped to 34, which I think is pretty accurate. If he shows this summer that he can handle some ball pressure and be able to slow himself down, he could make a jump back into the top 25 but until then I believe 34 is accurate.

Hollowell rings in at 41. This I also believe is pretty accurate until he can show more this summer with a full season of AAU under his belt. The knock has always been that despite being extremely talented he appears almost lackadaisical on the court at some points. I’m not so sure that is accurate as much as it is a misrepresentation of his laid back attitude. However, he could perhaps take some of this critique to heart and show a little more emotion and drive on the court. Add in a full play in front of scouts after his injury and he could also be a fast riser along with Ferrell.

Perea dropped a lot from his last ranking of 15. This makes a lot of sense. He is an absolute freak of an athlete. Think Shawn Kemp. Unfortunately that doesn’t really translate onto the court in the form of offense. He’s going to have tons of thunder dunks from alley oops in the future, but he struggles to make his own shot. He’ll be a rebounding monster, but until he learns to be an offensive force on his own and not have to rely on his teammates to get him open 49 is where he belongs. Potentially, like McGary, he is a top 20 player. In actuality his current abilities should have him ranked lower.

Ron Patterson is my kind of player. He comes in ranked 86th but that is deceptive. I think he should be higher in the 60s but I don’t find 86 to be completely unfair. He does nothing great but does everything very well. His weak point is the shooting from range. His biggest strength at the college level will be defense. He’s is a big, strong kid with a nearly 7’ wingspan at 6’2". Combine that with his athleticism and old school style and he’ll be a gamer. Some people value motor and play style less than me, either way he should be ranked between 60-80 and arguments can be made for each end of the spectrum.

Our final 2012 prospect to look at is Peter Jurkin. There are rumors he could do prep school before coming to Bloomington, which would be extremely beneficial to both parties. However, he’ll definitely be a benefit to the team if he does come in 2012 like currently expected. Jurkin went unranked in the most recent ESPN rankings, but that isn’t to say he is lacking ability. He lost much of his most recent season to injury. A stress fracture in the foot of a seven footer can certainly be a problem. Add in the fact that he really needs to bulk up and he’s a project. With Zeller being present on campus, Jurkin will have the time to be a project and could potentially be a huge steal in the class of 2012.

As a whole this 2012 class doesn't quite have the hype they were getting a few months ago but they are still an easy top 5 class who will have a ton of momentum behind them by the time they come to campus in the fall of 2012. Some will come in right away and contribute but the real positive about this class that the 2009 class didn’t have the advantage of is that they won’t be expected to carry the team immediately. Unlike 2009 this class will have veterans ahead of them that can show them the reins and lead by example.