Saturday, March 28, 2009

Q&A with recruiting expert Dave Telep

Even Dave Telep can't be in two places at once.

Not that he doesn't try. Telep has two courts set up at Cary Academy for his Carolina Challenge, a showcase of the top 80 high school basketball players in the state. As much as he wants to, Telep can't watch every game.'s national recruiting director took time for a few questions on Saturday to talk about the third annual challenge:

Q: Why did you decide to start this event?

Telep: "I've gotten a lot out of the state of North Carolina, professionally basketball-wise and personally. I thought this was my to say thanks.

I thought if you could invite the guys who are not seniors, you can get to them and talk to them just a little bit about academics. You give them three games to play, and you try to talk to them a little bit about life skills and try and get them thinking a little bit.

The guys in the state have taken this event and made it a priority to be here and that's made it a huge help."

Q: You're not going to have too many groups like last year (with top prospects John Wall, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee) but what do you think of this year's group?

"I think this is a better field, one to 80. Last year we had unbelievable star power. This year, one through 80, everything is going to be so competitive."

Q: Procedural question — how are you able to tell which player is No. 2, 20, 21 or 50?

"I cheat because I've seen these guys a lot. In a camp like this, guys will separate themselves, whether it's athletically or their basketball IQ.

You just keep watching, watching and watching. When it's your job, you know, you're supposed to be able to tell if these guys can play or not."

Q: Is C.J. Leslie the best player here?

"I don't know. There are a lot of good prospects here. There's no doubt he's one of the best guys here and across the country when you add up his athletic ability and his attributes. C.J.'s just about putting polish on and finishing that product up.

Athletically, he's so far and away superior to the other guys it's ridiculous." -- J.P. Giglio