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Meyer's Mailbag: Riek's Impact

Jerry Meyer from Rivals.com analyzes the impact of Basketball Academy player John Riek on the University of Cincinnati's recruiting rankings

How far does Cincinnati climb in the recruiting rankings with recent verbal of former five-star and No. 5 player in the nation John Riek? Assuming he qualifies and gets healthy, what kind of impact could he have for the Bearcats come Big East play?
-- Dan from Cincinnati

Here is the catch with Cincinnati's 2008 recruiting class and our team recruiting rankings. Our next ranking will be an Enrolled Team Recruiting Ranking, which will account for all the players who qualify academically and enroll in school for the fall semester. Based on the reports I'm receiving, the best-case scenario has Riek enrolling in school after the fall semester.
 
But let's assume Riek does qualify in the next month or so and enrolls in school. That would put Cincinnati's class, which is headlined by five-star Yancy Gates and four-star Cashmere Wright, around No. 15 nationally.

Part of the mystery of Riek was explained recently when it was discovered that he has been playing with a torn ACL. He was outstanding a summer ago when he burst onto the scene at the Nike Hoop Jamboree and the Lebron James Skills Academy. In fact, at the Lebron James Skills Academy he played every big man toe-to-toe or got the better of them in head-to-head matchups. Thus, the high post-summer ranking.

Then his game fell off quite drastically while undergoing a series of social changes - along with the knee injury. Exactly how good is Riek? I honestly don't know. But I know what I saw over a three-week period last summer, and it was more than impressive.

Will he play like that at Cincinnati if he makes it onto the court? Again, I don't know. I do know that he will be a high-level defensive presence around the rim wherever he is on the court. If he gets his mobility back, then he can be a difference-maker in the Big East.  

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