2004: The Small Forwards

Josh Smith highlights a group of talented small forwards. Not too far behind is the finest prospect on the West Coast next season.

The small forward crop in 2004 looks to be pretty strong. We had a difficult time narrowing our list down to 10 guys. So, we'll list a few more prospects just so you know who to look for on the scene. Remember this: at this very time last year, no one knew of Vakeaton Wafer and look where he is now.

How We Rank ‘Em (with AAU team)

1. Josh Smith, Atlanta Celtics: What a combination of athleticism and length. Smith could be a pro out of high school with a reasonable summer. If the Celtics do well, he could become the No. 1 player in the class.

2. Marvin Williams, Seattle Rotary Select: Super player. He's got the package from skills to smarts, he's a coach's dream. Versatility is a big trademark of his.

3. Malik Hairston, The Family: We've probably got him higher than a lot of other people do but we believe that what we saw last year was just a sampling of the future.

4. J.R. Smith, Playaz Basketball: Could very well ascend even higher on this list if can replicate the kind of summer he had last year. Cadillac-type athlete.

5. Ronald Coleman, The Family: We loved his game last year and he can really score and shoot. Michigan has another keeper on the wing in Coleman.

6. Roy Bright, Durham Panthers: The real X-factor in the class. He played just a handful of games this year before transferring. Academic requirements won't allow for a full schedule so he'll be looking to make the most of each opportunity.

7. Corey Brewer, Tennessee Travelers: He turned in a great year and we expect huge things from him. If you are looking for a sleeper candidate for the summer, here he is.

8. Rudy Gay, DC Blue Devils: Really stepped up his game for Spalding last year. We put him in the top 10, but everyone on this list will have to fight for their spots.

9. David McClure, Playaz Basketball: Mr. Everything for the Playaz. He'll dive on the floor for loose balls, make 3s, find open teammates. Sweeps the gym when he's done.

10. Gavin Grant, NY Ravens: Had a good year at St. Ray's and the program has a history of churning out excellent prospects. Could be a big riser after the spring.

Guys We Haven't Seen: These kids might factor into the Top 10 list sooner than later, we just haven't seen them to justify including them on the list: Brandon Rush, Marc Egerson, Marcus Monk and Josh Duncan. Egerson was the Delaware Player of the Year. Rush is the brother of Jaron and Kareem.

Serious Consideration Given To: Shawne Williams, Jeremis Smith, Terry Evans, Alex Galindo, Norm Plummer, Joel Smith, DeAaron Williams, DeMare Carroll, Marshall Brown, Dion Dowell, Tim Pierce and David Pendergraft.

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