Texas leads the way

For the past decade, Texas increasingly has gained respect on the grassroots trail for producing top talent.

But this is getting ridiculous.

After sending five native sons to the 2013 McDonald's All-American game, Texas is at it again with the Class of 2014. Four of Scout.com's top 10 seniors reside in Texas, and a total of five comprise the top 25.

While Illinois understandably has received heavy attention the past two cycles — Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor hailing from the same city will cause that to happen — Texas actually stands as the standard bearer.

Myles Turner leads the way. The fast-rising big man performed sensationally during the summer and represents the center position, which even during this torrid period had proved elusive for the state among its elite talents. In part for that reason, Turner actually may possess the most promising long-term future of any prospect to emerge from Texas in the past two classes.

But Emmanuel Mudiay could state his own case. A highly athletic and skilled point guard in a jumbo package, he fits the current NBA floor general mold. More immediately, he played his best ball of the travel season in late July, proving to be a more complete scorer — in other words, he shot much better — than he had previously. If he continues to display a more rounded game, he could make a push for the top spot in the class by next spring.

From there, it's all about the wings. No one seems able to separate the Houston Hoops trio — Justin Jackson, Justise Winslow and Kelly Oubre — so we at Scout opted to rank them in a very bunched fashion.

Jackson and Winslow have been national names for two years. Jackson is a tall and rangy scorer who excels from the middle areas, while Winslow is an all-around contributor who can play the one, two or three in stretches. Jackson is the only committed prospect of Texas' top-25 seniors, as he'll make his way to North Carolina next fall.

Oubre's timeframe uncoiled in unique fashion. He established himself early but tapered off slightly in 2012, before showcasing newfound aggression and determination on the trail the past few months. He may be the best natural athlete of the three, and some scouts believe that he possesses the most formidable long-range prospects.

Illinois enjoys the presence of three top-25 seniors, while Minnesota, California, New York and Indiana all boast two.

That list includes several of the usual suspects, but Minnesota? Known recently as the place where Wisconsin and others have done some of their best, most unsung recruiting work, the Class of 2014 is Hollywood all the way.

Tyus Jones arguably is the best point guard in the class, and the state also produced explosive scoring wing Rashad Vaughn, who's spending this year at Findlay Prep outside Las Vegas.

Among the large states sitting on the sidelines, Pennsylvania doesn't claim a top-25 prospect this year. Nor do Ohio, Georgia, Michigan or North Carolina, which also rank among the country's 10 most populous states.

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