RubenD's Nike Top 39

Message board god and recruiting junkie RubenD debuts his column today on Rube drove three hours from Chicago to meet us at Nike and had to skip out on work in doing so. Here's a look at the player that impressed him most.

Top 39?
A little strange, but allow me to explain. It's difficult to make a list of any sort and even harder to rank two hundred basketball players.

Before I get to my 39, let me make a couple of points (or add some caveats). First, I don't claim to be an expert of any sort. I just like basketball. I've been watching and playing for over twenty years, and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

Second, you can't watch every game at the camp. There are at least three games being played simultaneously. I mention this because I want to admit to unintentionally leaving some kids off my list. I believe I saw every kid at least twice, but I'm sure I missed some great performances.

Third, I tried to watch the games and then look-up the players who stood out. I think it's easy to watch Ndudi Ebi and then say, "He's really good." It's more difficult (but more honest) to watch someone and say, "Who is that guy? He's really good."

Next, I separated them into recruiting classes. It's only fair. I could probably rank Daniel Gibson (and the other soon to be juniors) in with the seniors, but what's the point? Yes, some of the juniors are better than some of the seniors, but this year's seniors will be college freshmen next year and this year's juniors will still be in high school.

Also , I ranked the kids according to how good they are now. Potential is not factored into my list. There are some on my list from 2005 to 2006. They made my list not because they might be good when they are seniors, but because they can play at a high level right now.

Finally, I ranked the kids as if I were picking them for a pick-up game. The best player gets picked first. I included an explanation for my top-10. If you want an explanation for any one after, respond to my post and I'll reply back.

1. Shannon Brown – He can score better than anyone else.
2. Luol Deng – Very smart and in control.
3. Ndudi Ebi – Ambidextrous. I had to ask Ben which was his dominant hand.
4. Kris Humphries – Solid and consistent. (Is that redundant?)
5. Tack Minor – Goes from one end of the court to the other faster than anyone I've seen.
6. Chris Paul – Does everything very well. I don't think Wake Forest knew he was this good.
7. Chris Richard – Big and strong. Dominates down low.
8. Longar Longar – Never heard of him before the camp. I knew his name ten minutes after I arrived.
9. Rodrick Stewart – Will be on Sportscenter every night.
10. Andrew Lavender – I never thought 5'7" could do so much.
11. Vakeaton Wafer
12. Marcus Hammond
13. Gary Forbes
14. J.R. Giddens
15. Michael Bush
16. Blake Adams
17. Jeremy Ingram
18. Derek Raivio
19. Ryan Appleby
20. Anthony Harris
21. Demetric Bennett
22. Vince Banks
23. Adam Morrison
24. Michael Nardi
25. Kevin Bell
26. Devon Evertsen

1. Kalen Grimes
2. Daniel Gibson
3. Jason Rich
4. Ra'Sean Dickey
5. Dayshawn Wright
6. Steve Neal
7. Jason Horton
8. Spencer Tollackson
9. Draelon Burns

1. Marcus Johnson
2. Zarron Cann

1. Derrick Caracter
2. Demond Carter

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