November 10, 2010

Analyzing VT hoops 2011 class

Virginia Tech finalized for the early signing period the four prospects committed to date for the 2011 basketball recruiting class in Marquis Rankin, C.J. Barksdale, Robert Brown and Dorian Finney-Smith. Hokiehaven.com sat down with Rivals.com national basketball recruiting analysts Eric Bossi and Jerry Meyer to discuss the newest additions for the Hokies including breakdowns on all four recruits and a look at the strengths and weaknesses of this class inside.

1. Breakdown C.J. Barksdale's game?

Eric Bossi: C.J. is just a solid four man with a good motor. He gets on the glass, is a good enough athlete that he's not ever at a disadvantage in that area and he's developed a pretty good motor. He runs the floor well, scores on either side of the hoop and has a body that will easily carry more weight.

Jerry Meyer:

2. Breakdown Robert Brown's game? Why was he a secret for so long?

EB: Sorry, can't help you here. I've never seen him. I'll see him for first time next week.

JM:

3. Breakdown Dorian Finney-Smith's game?

EB:Dorian Finney-Smith is a really unique guy and one of those hybrid forwards. He can play out on the wing as a sort of point forward because he's a good ball-handler and passer. Or, he can be utilized as a face-up four man who makes up for his lack of bulk with quickness and ball skills. He rebounds at a high rate and is growing in confidence.

JM:

4. Breakdown Marquis Rankin's game? What do you attribute his drop in the rankings to?

EB: Rankin is a speed guy who can take guys off the dribble and get others involved once he gets into the lane. He's also a very good on the ball defender because of his quickness. With rankings, I think some of it is probably that he got rated a bit too high to begin with. When kids get ranked young, so much can change and there are still so many guys who haven't been seen. Also, he was plagued by injury issues and inconsistencies with his shot.

JM:

5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this recruiting class for Virginia Tech?

EB: I think the strength is the overall length, athleticism and additions of guys who can play fast. The biggest question is going to be outside scoring. Brown comes in with the reputation of a deep range gunner, but both Rankin and Finney-Smith need work on their jump shot.

JM:

6. This is easily Virginia Tech's most talented recruiting class under Seth Greenberg to date, what do you think he's doing differently that is allowing the Hokies to land these top ranked prospects?

EB: I don't think that it's necessarily any different approach. Sometimes it just takes time to get people to buy into a system. Also, with somebody like Brown, it's a case of the Hokies beating everybody to the punch and getting their evaluations done early.

JM:

7. Tech is focusing much more on the region, including landing two prospects from in-state in Finney-Smith and Barksdale, along with hiring local recruiter John Richardson? What do you make of these moves and how big is that in the recruiting process?

EB: I always think it's important to focus on those who are closest in proximity to you. They are much more likely to stay home and it always helps with support of the program when fans can see several homegrown guys on the floor.

JM:

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