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Blog Entry

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

Posted on: October 6, 2009 1:00 am
Edited on: October 6, 2009 1:13 am is reporting that Alex Kirk committed to New Mexico late Tuesday to provide a rarity in recruiting.

Yep, a non-BCS school got a Top 100 prospect.

(Cue the music! )

I wrote a column a few weeks back about the growing divide between the BCS-affiliated and non-BCS affiliated basketball schools, and recruiting is a place where it's obvious. For proof consider that Kirk -- whom ranks 80th -- was just the seventh Class of 2010 prospect ranked in's Top 100 to commit to a non-BCS school. He joined No. 8 Will Barton (Memphis), No. 17 Joe Jackson (Memphis), No. 36 Dominique Ferguson (Florida International), No. 86 Juwan Staten (Dayton), No. 87 Jordan Latham (Xavier) and No. 99 Kyle Collinsworth (BYU).

Meantime, 65 of the Top 100 have committed to BCS-affiliated schools.

So for those keeping track, the updated score is BCS 65, Non-BCS 7 (with 28 prospects yet to decide).
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2009 4:04 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect


Good comments!

I would also argue that while recruiting rankings are one indication of how good a player might be, what’s just as important are the teams that are offering or showing high interest in a player. The problem with and is that almost all of their paying subscribers are affiliated with BCS teams – especially ones with big time football programs.  It isn't just non-BCS schools whose commitments seem to drop once they commit, it happens to other schools too. I think the last part of your comment that I bolded and underlined is probably very accurate. The rankings are a general 'educated guess' as to how talented a player is. The lists really are somewhat of a beauty pageant. If the player is loved by the beautiful BCS people (Your big time football program people ~fanatical basketball programs whose fans buy a lot, work too~ who subscribe to these rating services), then his stock just zooms!

Kansas has more than a couple of players that have recently dropped off once they committed to KU... Xavier Henry was rated in the top 3 by some rating guru's and then fell to about 8th. Royce Woolridge from Phoenix, AZ - signed early with KU, and was rated as high as #66 by Rivals in Lindy's Annual Mag last year, and played well against some of the competition this summer (Did well against Barnes from what I heard), but dropped out of the top 100.

I've been trying to understand the drops. Henry's drop could be expected because he didn't play much summer ball this year, but KU recruits seem to lose ground once they commit.

Thomas Robinson was rated #18 by Rivals in last year's Lindy's mag. This year's annual mag rates Rob #31!
Cole Aldrich was rated #25 by Rivals/Lindy's the year before coming to KU, in the pre-season he joined KU...Rivals/Lindy's had him rated #30. 

Now, those players that haven't played in college yet, well we don't know about them, but Aldrich has certainly played better than the #30 rated prospect, at least IMO.

KU fans love their team, but probably don't buy into these services at the same rate that say Texas, UNC, Duke, UK, and some other teams do (and certainly not on the football side of the business)...maybe our bball recruits take a drop due to our lack of throwing money at these rating services???

It seems possible. I think your comment is maybe close to the mark! Maybe our money doesn't do enough talking?

Since: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2009 1:27 pm

Xavier, Gonzaga and Memphis are different


I have a few issues with your analysis concerning BCS and non-BCS recruiting


You have to separate Memphis, Gonzaga and Xavier from the rest of the non-BCS teams because they recruit from a completely different pool of players. Those 3 teams are really high major teams playing in mid major leagues. Their rosters are entirely filled with players who would be playing for major conference teams if they had chosen to go elsewhere.


For instance, the top seven players in Gonzaga’s rotation last season consisted of the following: Josh Heytvelt (#50 at; Austin Daye (#25 at; Matt Bouldin (#45 at; Steven Gray (#64 at; Jeremy Pargo (#62 at, #65 at, #84 at; Demetri Goodson (#79 at ESPN’s; and Micah Downs (#28 at I have no problems including Downs because while he transferred into Gonzaga, he originally chose Kansas over Duke and Gonzaga coming out of high school. Downs does nothing but prove my point. South Alabama, VCU and Wichita State don’t even have a prayer of recruiting at the kind of level that GU/XU/Memphis operate on. The difference between the players those 3 schools get is much greater than the difference between what they get and the elite programs like Carolina get.


I would also argue that while recruiting rankings are one indication of how good a player might be, what’s just as important are the teams that are offering or showing high interest in a player. The problem with and is that almost all of their paying subscribers are affiliated with BCS teams – especially ones with big time football programs. The authors of these sites have a vested interest in keeping those fans happy. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen recruits disappear from the top 100 list as soon they chose a non-BCS school. Therefore, when I look at how this or that school is doing recruiting wise, I place equal importance on the kinds of schools who are seriously involved with that player. A kid like 2009 incoming Gonzaga big man Sam Dower may have been rated at #116 by, but he was offered scholarships by Marquette, Cal and Minnesota.


Lastly, another reason why Memphis, Gonzaga and Xavier need to separated from the rest of the non-BCS schools is because while Memphis and Xavier lost their head coaches this offseason, they lost them to super elite basketball programs. There is absolutely no way that Calipari was going to leave Memphis except for a program like UK, and there is no way Miller was going to leave XU for some run of the mill BCS program. Those 2 non-BCS schools are no less susceptible to losing their coaches to elite basketball programs than BCS schools like Marquette, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.


P.S. = Gonzaga isn’t going to be bringing in a player from the 2010 class. They don’t need one. Instead they are focusing on 2011 players like Kyle Wiltjer, Nick Johnson and Gary Bell Jr. – all top 75 players at, and all guys who are seriously considering them.

Since: Apr 29, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 4:07 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

Here's one comment that is not stupid.  By the time the final 2010 rnakings come out non-BCS schools will get around 10-12 top 100 players and Memphis will have half of them, kid's soccer team is going to cream your son's this fall.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 3:08 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

Wow. Didn't mean to get everyone's feelings all hurt or something. I was just pointing out one recruit that I thought Gary missed, while later apologizing for the fact that I myself missed that he was using Scout. com's service. There was nothing meant by it , Gary, other than I was skim reading at work and thought it was an oversight, which I apologized for when you pointed it out.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2009 2:38 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

You make a fine point about not reading them.

That's probably the key.

But you have no idea how many stupid questions are presented to me each day.

If I sound frustrated by them, it's because it's frustrating.

It's one thing to question an opinion.

It's another thing to tell somebody they are wrong when they are right.

That's what happened here.

(Now I'm going to go cheer myself up and work on my All-America teams; we'll argue about them tomorrow.)


Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 1:36 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

I could be mistaken, but I think you also said at one point that is the worst ranking service. If that is the case, then I don't know why you use them to speculate anyhow.

Also, I don't understand why so many sports journalists have such thin skin at any perceived criticism. As a matter of fact, I don't understand why you even read the comments to your blog posts, much less respond defensively to the critical ones. Are your sensitivities so easily impugned by the faceless masses of morons in cyberspace? Seriously, you're a grown up whose job is to publish (note the shared etymology with "public") your opinion.

I am sure you won't care, but my theory is that journalists (and sports journalists in particular) sometimes behave so childishly because they are intelligent people with a specific "insider" acumen, but at the same time realize that they will always be secondary (at best) to the people and events that they cover--that what they say or think is ultimately meaningless (pardon the language) masturbation because the game gets played out on the field, there is a winner and a loser, and really there isn't much more than that to explicate.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 1:17 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

Sorry Gary. I confused with Rivals. He is ranked 66th on Rivals service and I think by the end of the year he will be ranked higher on other services. But you do have a valid point about the BCS recruiting compared to non-BCS schools. Take away Memphis and Xavier and it would really look desolate.

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2009 12:25 pm

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

If you can find Chris Crawford in's Top 100, copy it and send me the link.

If you can't, that means he's not there.

Which means it's an oversight by you, not me.

And Crawford isn't "widely" ranked in the 60s.

I think exactly one service ranks him there.

That's not widely.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 11:14 am

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

You forgot Chris Crawford. He committed to Memphis and he is widely ranked in the 60's. I know it is probably just an oversight on your part since you live in the Memphis area.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: October 6, 2009 10:26 am

New Mexico lands Top 100 prospect

Well, it depends on whose top 100 really. Butler just got a commitment from Khyle Marshall (out of Florida) who is ranked in MaxPreps top 100 as well.

I am not sure how many other non-BCS schools have commits from top 100 prospects (among the various rankings, there are far more than 100 "top 100" athletes), but I am willing to bet it's more than 7.

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