Early signing period predictions
Here are six predictions from our staff that you should look for throughout the early signing period.
Paul Biancardi: Not including Cody Zeller (Washington, Ind./Washington), who is set to announce on Thursday, there are only eight uncommitted ESPNU 100 prospects. However, don't be surprised if a handful of the committed prospects don't sign during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17). Furthermore, there is a good chance some of the committed ESPNU 100 prospects won't sign with the school they are currently committed to. It seems to happen every year, and we won't know who or why until it happens this year.
Adam Finkelstein: St. John's will add to its class, With four ESPNU 100 prospects expected to sign this week, coach Steve Lavin has already accomplished more than anyone could have predicted, but with so much momentum don't be surprised to see him add a fifth signature this week. Norvel Pelle (Long Beach, Calif./Price) is one possibility because he will reportedly pick between St. John's and Washington, but you can bet that isn't the only lead the Red Storm are chasing this week, as they still have plenty of scholarships to hand out in 2011.
Joel Francisco: Pelle visited St. John's this weekend, and after talking to numerous sources it appears the Red Storm were the heavy favorites for his signature. However, if Pelle doesn't sign with St. John's during the early signing period, look for Washington, Kansas and possibly UCLA to go all out during the regular season to get back in the race.
Michael LaPlante: With the recent changes to the NCAA rules regarding eligibility for international players, watch for an increased trend in European- and South American-born players to show up on elite programs' rosters. Also watch for a mid-major program with good international ties to land a high-major impact-level player with the potential to be a one-and-done or two-year-type player before declaring for the NBA Draft.
John Stovall: Kansas has led throughout Ben McLemore's (St. Louis/Oak Hill Academy) recruiting, but Missouri has really come on strong as of late. Neither team has a ready-made position for McLemore to walk into. Kansas has no seniors at the wing positions, and it's not definite Josh Selby will go to the NBA after his freshman season, while the Tigers are bringing in six new freshmen. McLemore is good enough to be in a rotation at either school, but in the end I see the mystique of Kansas winning out for his services.
Dave Telep: Someone is going to get cold feet. There will be a player or two that, when it comes time to put the pen to the paper, listens to that little voice inside or the big voice of an advisor telling him not to sign. Between the number of open NCAA investigations and the yearly coaching carousel, someone is going to take a step back and empower himself to hold his own cards, especially guys who signed with coaches who may be on the hot seat. Frankly, it's time we adjust the letter of intent so that kids who sign with coaches who are fired or move onto other jobs can be released from their LOI hassle free. It's 2010, and kids commit to coaches not programs.
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