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Recruiting Class Rankings

Posted on 02. Mar, 2010 by Nolan Shulman in High School

 

Although a few big names remain on the board, most of the players in the class of 2010 are signed, sealed, and delivered.  The following is a list of programs who have loaded up on talented seniors, and set themselves up for success in the very near future.  We will continue to update this list and these rankings as the remaining unsigned seniors ink their LOI's. 

 

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

 

Jared Sullinger

Deshaun Thomas

Jordan Siebert

Lenzelle Smith Jr.

Aaron Craft

J.D. Weatherspoon

 

Sullinger, Craft, Siebert, and Weatherspoon were all part of All-Ohio Red's near perfect summer. They won Peach Jam, the Orlando Super Showcase, AAU Nationals, etc… Sullinger is the #1 player in the country and for good reason. He's a load on the block, has polished post moves, and can face you up.  More importantly his presence on the floor seemingly always translates to W's.  He dominated the AAU circuit and now has his Northland Vikings in position to finish the regular season #1 in the country.  They've beaten powerhouses Oak Hill Academy and Findlay Prep and steamrolled everyone else.  Jared isn't the only McDonald's All-American in this outstanding class.  Deshaun Thomas is a lefty forward who can really score the basketball.  He's got the best hook shot in the country and a plethora of other post moves to go along with a very polished face-up game.  Lenzelle Smith Jr. is a 6-3, 215 pound combo guard who will punish opposing guards with his size and strength.  Considering Ohio State has added two players capable of dominating the half court, Lenzelle will be a terrific compliment in a slow it down slug fest.  J.D. Weatherspoon is Sully's teammate on Northland and a terrific wing forward.   He picked up the slack for Jared vs. Oak Hill and single handedly kept them in it.  Jared made the game winning block and was the talk of the town post game, but that doesn't happen without Weatherspoon's big game.  He's much better than Buckeye fans realize.  Craft and Siebert will solidify the backcourt; something that's neccessary with Turner likely moving on.  Coach Matta continues to dominate the state of Ohio and once again did an excellent job in his own backyard in 2010.  Ohio State should be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years.  

 

2.  Memphis Tigers

 

Will Barton

Joe Jackson

Jelan Kendrick

Tarik Black

Antonio Barton

Chris Crawford

Hippolyte Tsafack

 

Josh Pastner has put the country on notice with this class. Memphis is here to stay! Brewster Academy's Will Barton is a 6-7, long, lean, killing machine who will be a matchup problem for every guard he goes up against at the next level. His combination of length and aggressiveness is very rare for a two guard.  As Will continues to improve his perimeter jumper and ball handling, he could become the most sought after two guard in the 2011 NBA draft.  Mr.Clutch a.k.a. "Joe Cool" should flourish running the point under Pastner. He likes to take big shots and can score the ball in bunches. He's lightning fast, always plays full speed, and should turn the Tigers into one of the best transition teams in the country.  As he improves in the half court, Joe should become one of the most complete freshman in the country.  Kendrick is a bit of a project, but has all the required ingredients to become a star.  Playing along side Jackson in an up-tempo system is exactly what the doctor ordered in terms of bringing out the best in Kendrick's talents.  He's at his best on the run and can finish at the rim regardless of the situation.   Tarik Black is a monster in the paint and should give the Tigers something similar to what they got from Joey Dorsey.  A hard nosed banger who rebounds his area and provides toughness in the paint.  Antonio Barton gets lost in the shuffle with this great class, but Will's brother is an exciting guard who should provide coach Pastner with excellent depth.  Crawford is a teammate of both Joe Jackson and Tarik Black on the Memphis Magic AAU program and was instrumental in their victory in the Reebok Summer Championship last summer.  Tsafack is a teammate of Tobias Harris on the Albany City Rocks.  Although his low post skill set is limited right now, Hippolyte is an elite athlete with a terrific body.  As he learns better footwork and develops on the block, he should make in impact for the Tigers.  It just may not be in year one. 

 

 

3.  North Carolina Tar Heels

 

Harrison Barnes

Reggie Bullock

Kendall Marshall

 

Three recruits, three McDonald's All-American's.  That's flat out getting it done on the recruiting trail.  Roy Williams was spotted in the front row at every marquee AAU event throughout the 09' circuit and it clearly paid dividends.  While UNC is currently on the outside looking in for a spot in the dance, their rebuilding process should get a shot in the arm with this class.  Roy went toe to toe with coach K and came out victorious in the fight for the services of Harrison Barnes.  Harrison is a program changing recruit.  On top of being the most skilled and talented wing in the country, he's also a terrific teammate, a relentless worker, and someone who raises the performance of the guys he plays with.   With Ed Davis likely moving on, John Henson and Travis Wear will occupy the 4 spot while Harrison gets comfortable at the 3.   Reggie Bullock might be the perfect fit as a North Carolina 2-guard.  He's long, athletic, and can really stroke the basketball.  He's taller than the last few Carolina 2-guards and creates more of a matchup problem.  He'll likely beat Dexter Strickland out for the starting job.  Kendall Marshall may be the lowest ranked prospect of Carolina's superb class, but he might also be the most important.  Larry Drew hasn't exactly lit the world on fire this season and UNC has been at it's best when point guard play was a strength.  Kendall is a floor general in every sense of the word.  He's a pass first offensive orchestrator capable of making everyone on the floor better.  He should help Henson's development, he should help Barnes get the ball in a position to be effective, and he should allow the Tar Heels to play the fast tempo style they love without making turnovers.  Three McDonald's All-American's.  Three guys who are a perfect fit for Roy Williams system. 

 

4. Syracuse Orange

 

Fab Melo

Dion Waiters

C.J. Fair

Baye Moussa Keita

 

This Syracuse class is it's best since Donte Greene, Johnny Flynn, Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine, and Sean Williams came to town in 2007.   Fab may be a tad raw and his conditioning is still a work in progress, however, he's the perfect fit to anchor coach Boeheim's 2-3 zone.  The Big East is all about protecting the rim and no player in the class of 2010 has more upside in that department than the Fabulous One.  Offensively Fab still has a ways to go in order to dominate a game, but his skill set is in place for that to happen down the road.  He moves his feet well, can shoot the ball facing the rim, has a go-to move in his baby right hook, and is effective on the offensive glass.  While Fab has garnered most of the spotlight, it's Waiters who's likely to make a big splash from day one.  With Andy Rautins moving on Dion will have the opportunity to win a starting job.  While he isn't a three point sniper like his Canadian predecessor, he can knock it down from deep.  And unlike Andy, Dion has a superb ability to get to the rim.  He's got a tight handle, a body built for contact, and the leaping ability to become one of all time great slashing guards to wear a Syracuse uniform.  C.J. Fair is another player who seems like a perfect fit for the Syracuse System.  He's a long small forward with a versatile offensive game.  Defensively, he's a prototype forward in the 2-3.  He's athletic, has the wingspan to close out on shooters, and should be effective  rebounding on the weak side. With Kris Joseph locked into Wesley's spot in the starting lineup, Fair will be in a dog fight with James Southerland and Mookie Jones for a spot in the rotation.  Keita is more of a project than the others in this class.  He's more of a defender and shot blocker than anything else right now, but, working with big man guru Bernie Fine should help Keita develop into a productive offensive player by his sophomore or junior year.  A redshirt year wouldn't be a bad option seeing as the Orange will already have a sound nucleus of bigs in line for minutes.  . 

 

5a. Duke Blue Devils

 

Kyrie Irving

Josh Hairston

Tyler Thorton


Irving immediately gives Duke something they haven't had since Jason Williams left as the #2 pick in the NBA Draft. A point guard who's dynamic with the basketball and makes a living in the paint.  While Jon Sheyer has done an outstanding job running the Devils, Irving brings a different skill set to the table.  He too can make the open jumper from anywhere on the court, but he can also push the tempo, play the pick and roll, and create opportunities for his teammates in the paint.  He'll change their offense in a positive way from the first day he steps on campus.  Hairston is a prototypical Duke forward. He's versatile and very smart.   While it looked like he may fill the void left by Singler just a few months ago, it now looks like Kyle may opt to return.  If this does indeed become the case, Josh will get a year of training and learning behind a productive 4 year starter and provide coach K with outstanding depth along with Ryan Kelly.  Thorton is Hairston's teammate on DC Assault. He's a great combo guard who should flourish next to Kyrie. Not only is he an outstanding defender capable of locking up opposing point and scoring guards, but he's got a flare for the dramatic too.  He's made some pretty awesome buzzer beaters while I was in attendance . One was a jumper which knocked Grassroots Canada Elite out of  Pitt Jam Fest two years ago.

 

5b. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

 

Travis McKie

J.T.Terrell

Carson Desrosiers

Melvin Tabb

Tony Chennault

 

Wake may not have any top 10 players like the 5 teams ranked ahead of them, but they picked up 5 guys who will all have a major impact on their program for years to come. McKie is a Boo Williams standout who can really get it done on the wing. He's got range, a great body, and he's a team guy.  He's currently a little underrated which I don't get.  He's a complete player and a great locker room presence.  Look for him to battle Ari Stewart for minutes at the three with Al-Farouq more than likely heading to the draft.  JT Terrell is a combo guard with explosive athleticism.  He can score in bunches and is a streaky outside shooter who can catch fire at any point.  He generally saves his drama for the biggest moments too.  He learned to seize the moment and play to the crowd while lacing em up with D-One sports and watching the great John Wall.  I'm expecting JT to be a fixture on Sports Center throughout his ACC career.  Tabb is a CP3 guy who's a dangerous hybrid forward.  He's got the ability to impact the game in transition and with his face-up game.  He brings tons of energy and plays hard at all times.  He's the kind of energy/glue guy that every successful team needs.  Derosiers might be the most underrated big man in the country. We're talking about a guy who averages close to a triple double and yet rarely gets recognized as one of the elite big men in the country.  Once he ads strength to his frame he's going to prove to everyone that like Travis, he was overlooked in high school.  Tony is the point guard of Neuman-Goretti.  He's a big point guard who uses his body to create mismatches for himself.  He's a capable shooter, decent ball handler, and is beginning to see the light as someone who can be counted on to run an offense.  He's a winner too, having just clinched the Blue Division championship in the always difficult Catholic League. 

 

 

7. UCLA Bruins

 

Josh Smith

Tyler Lamb

It's been a tough year for UCLA thus far,  but help is on the way. Smith is a dominant post who should continue the tradition of excellent big men. He's got a very polished offensive repertoire and should have his way with opposing bigs in the Pac-10. As his conditioning improves, look for him to become the new face of the UCLA program.  Lamb is a California kid who plays for powerhouse Mater Dei. He can really guard the ball, is an explosive athlete, and outstanding shooter, and should be a perfect fit for Ben Howland's system.  It's only a two man class, but UCLA is getting two guys ready to carry the load immediately.  God knows they need it. 

 

8. Illinois Fighting Illini

 

Jereme Richmond

Crandall Head

Meyers Leonard

 

What a great class Bruce Webber has put together. Richmond, Head, and Leonard are teammates on the Mac Irvin Fire and are all superb players. Jereme is as decorated a player in the State of Illinois as anyone over the past few years.  He is a SUPERB athlete who can fly in transition and scare the rim on the break.  As he continues to improve his range and ball handling, he could become truly special.  With Findlay Prep standout DJ Richardson playing so well at the two, Richmond should start and impact immediately as the three.  Bill Cole and Mike Davis have been very solid, but neither of them possess the upside of Jereme.  Head is a slasher who excels on the break.  He's a sound ball handler and outstanding finisher.  He'll likely spell Richardson and provide depth at the two as a freshman.

 

 

9. Michigan State Spartans

 

Adreian Payne

Keith Appling

Russell Byrd

Alex Gauna

 

Payne is an absolute stud, capable of protecting the rim and providing great energy for the Spartans.  He's not polished enough to throw him the ball and get out of the way, but from an energy and defensive standpoint he should be a force from day one.  He can run the floor, block shots, and might have been the biggest snub in the McDonald's selection process.  Appling is a big game player and a winner who Tom Izzo will fall in love with next year. He isn't the fastest guy, isn't the best shooter, but he gets it done. A born winner, Appling made a heroic buzzer beater in the State Championship game last season.  He earned himself a spot on the All-American team due to his ability to positively affect the win column, not the stat sheet.  Gauna is a local boy who has excellent size and should provide quality depth in the middle.  It may take him some time before he's ready to make a positive contribution, but Izzo has been known to take local products and help them overachieve.   Byrd is a sniper from the wing who's got unlimited range. He's a zone buster and should see minutes as a specialist.  If he can add to his game, he could become the surprise of this class. 

 

10. North Carolina State

 

Ryan Harrow

Luke Cothron

Lorenzo Brown

 

Harrow is a flashy point guard who's excellent with the ball in his hands. He's got great handles, can create offense with ease, and will be the point guard of the future at State.  Not since Julius Hodge has NC State been so excited about an incoming guard.  Cothron is a smooth Power Forward with wing skills. He's versatile enough to play multiple positions on the floor and is excellent in transition.  He's not there as a low post player yet, but has plenty of talent to make an impact out of the gate.  Brown is a great offensive guard. He can create his own shot and score in a variety of ways. He's supremely talented and if he's given an opportunity, he'll likely make people wonder why he was ranked so low.  He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder and is aggressive and fearless.  Those are the kind of guys you want to have around.  While this class is outstanding right now, State fans are all holding their breath awaiting the decision of Word of God power forward, C.J. Leslie.  If they can get Harrow and Leslie in the fold, the ACC would have a lot more parity over the next couple of years. 

 

Remaining Unsigned Seniors

Brandon Knight

Cory Joseph

C.J. Leslie

Doron Lamb

Ray McCallum

Enes Kanter

Josh Selby

Trey Ziegler

Terrence Jones

Maurice Walker

Terrance Ross

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