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Examining the 2010 Basketball Recruiting Domino Effect

Could a recent commitment and a switched commitment date sway CJ Leslie?
Could a recent commitment and a switched commitment date sway CJ Leslie?

Two very important evens occurred today for Maryland's 2010 basketball recruiting efforts. Neither of them actually involved a player Maryland is recruiting.

Wondering how?

Simple: the domino effect.

See, two of Maryland's big 3, Terrence Jones and C.J. Leslie, are considering UNC, and rumored to be high on the Tar Heels. The Heels have been all-in on the much-hyped Harrison Barnes. The 100%, full effort, they-stopped-recruiting-other-kids-and-offering-scholarships-to-five-stars-to-impress-him type of all-in. They want to make sure he feels he's the star of the class and the focus of their efforts. I assume that, by reportedly slowing recruitment efforts toward Leslie and not visiting Jones, they accomplished this.

That's a good thing. Lots of recruits like UNC. After being spurned for someone, it makes sense to go to an ACC school for revenge purposes - on both their lists, Maryland is the only ACC school. At the very least, it's one fewer school to contend with.

Unfortunately, the spurning may not last much longer; Barnes is looking to commit in the early fall period, whereas he had previously been planning to wait until spring. Why is that bad? Well, if he chooses UNC, it's not. But if he doesn't, they can quickly refocus on Leslie and Jones and win them back (probably really fast, too). If he waited until spring, it didn't really matter who he chose - only that UNC was waiting on him.

Similarly, Jones, Leslie, and the third member of the big 3, Tobias Harris, are all considering Kentucky. All of them are looking to be point forwards,a 1/3/4 hybrid that usually assumes the SF position. Thus, one of them could consider it objectionable that four star (fans say 5 star) SF Stacey Poole just became a Wildcat. While none of them will cross Kentucky off the list solely because of this, I don't see how more competition for their spot could help matters. It actually gives me some with a guy like Leslie, who will visit Kentucky twice.

Recruiting is a very dependent process. Don't be surprised if Maryland gets one of the big 3 because another one went to Kentucky. There's no way, say, Jones and Harris would go to UK with Leslie there. It's almost getting to the point where I want one of them to commit to Kentucky, just so that rules it out for the other two.

Yes, part of the reason I posted this was because I miss the summer basketball recruiting session.