TSL: Which school has the top class in the ACC?
Jim Young: I’d say Duke has the top class right now. They have a guy a lot of people think is the top player in this class in [guard] Austin Rivers. You add a point guard in Quinn Cook, another wing in Michael Gbinije, another Plumlee (center prospect Marshall Plumlee, who’ll join brothers Miles and Mason next year). This is a very good class.
TSL: For those who haven’t seen him play, what makes Austin Rivers so special and possibly the #1 player in the 2011 class?
Jim Young: I’ll paraphrase [basketball recruiting analysts] Brick [Oettinger] and Dave Telep, respected guys who write for us, both guys say he has a pro’s game. There is a level of sophistication to his game. He has got all the moves. He is a good athlete, but what really sticks out — and this is not a surprise given who his father (former NBA player and current Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers) is — is that he is already a pro in a lot of ways.
TSL: Which players do you expect to see a lot of next year?
Jim Young: Rivers. [North Carolina power forward] James McAdoo is in there. Another guy I think will make an impact is [7’0″ Mark] Clifford from Boston College. He is a big forward with nice face-the-basket skills. [Wing forward] Nick Faust is a really good player. He is important to Maryland symbolically because he is from Baltimore.
TSL: What are some other story lines from this Early Signing Period?
Jim Young: I really like Virginia Tech’s class. I feel like symbolically it’s a big thing for them. If they keep bringing in this talent level on a regular basis, I think they could be an upper-division team on a regular basis. I’ve also been impressed with the talent Florida State is bringing in each class. Leonard Hamilton gets a kid out of Texas, a kid out of North Carolina, a kid out of Ohio, a kid out of Illinois. That’s bringing them to Tallahassee, not exactly a hoops destination. If they keep recruiting like this, Florida State could be in the conversation consistently in the upper division.
TSL: What in particular stands out to you about Virginia Tech’s class?
Jim Young: One thing that did stick in my mind is that the class in which Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney...
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