THE TOP 25 SENIORS IN THE WEST
This is an estimate of how good these players project as college prospects. When judging a player as a college prospect, we include many factors -- not only how good of college players they are potentially, but their chances of qualifying academically, chances of staying in good standing academically in college, and their value to a college program over four years, i.e if a player projects as potentially someone who might leave college early, it might discount his value as a college prospect.
1) Chris Rodgers, 6-3 PG Portland (Ore.) Wilson. A measure of just how talented Rodgers is -- you could put him at point guard or shooting guard and he's still the #1 player in the west. Great size, very good athlete and terrific skills. He has a scoring mentality, but can create for others with outstanding vision and passing ability. We like him at the point because his size and ballhandling skills make him a tough match-up for other point guards. Committed to Arizona.
2) Evan Burns, 6-6 SF Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. The most skilled offensive player in the west. A tremendous athlete who can glide to the rim for spectacular dunks or pull up and hit the mid-range jumper. Underrated as a passer, Burns can dominate games when he's looking to create for others in addition to getting his own shot. With his frame and athleticism, Burns looks like the prototypical NBA two guard. And it may not be long before he's playing in the league, as he's indicated he'll explore that option in the spring. Committed to UCLA.
3) Hassan Adams, 6-4 SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester. Gets the nod at the #3 spot due to his all-around game and ability to compete. No one plays harder than Adams and he goes against the West Coast stereotype of players who are talented but soft. Adams is a warrior who will do whatever it takes to win -- whether it's hitting the big shot, defending the best player on the other team or grabbing a key rebound. He will likely choose from Arizona, UCLA, Cal or Kansas.
4) Brandon Roy, 6-5 SF Seattle (Wash.) Garfield. Another big-time athlete with tremendous offensive skills. Three-point shot has really improved in the last year, as has his ability to hit the mid-range shot. Combine that with a very good first step, and explosive leaping ability, and Roy is tough to defend. Washington, Gonzaga, Oregon, Boston College and Arizona are all in the mix.
5) DeAngelo Collins, 6-9 C Inglewood (Calif.) High. Gifted big man who has only started to scratch the surface of his potential. A very good athlete, Collins has developed a nice touch from the perimeter. He's effective inside in high school just by being bigger and stronger than everyone else. He made big strides this spring and summer when his post game really came on. At ABCD, he looked like the best low-post player at the camp. From talent alone, Collins is among the top three in this class, but speculation has been that Collins would attempt to go straight to the league, which discounts his ranking here. There's a chance, though, he could end up at Fresno St. if he qualifies, but he still is bound to try to jump to the pros soon regardless.
6) Marquis Kately, 6-5 SF San Francisco (Calif.) Riordan. Might be the best unknown player in the country. A top 50 level talent, Kately has exceptional athleticism and skills. His recruitment has been somewhat low-profile due to academic questions. Rumored to be close to committing to Cal, Kately will supposedly spend a year at prep school before joining the Bears.
7) Matt Haryasz, 6-10 C Page (Ariz.) High. May ultimately have the most impact at the college level of anyone on this list. The reasons being because he doesn't figure to be going pro anytime soon, yet he's very good. He's also shown that he'll work on his game. Haryasz was a good prospect in the spring, but by summer he had turned himself into one of the best big men in the country. Haryasz has a nice combination of agility, quickness, skills and competitiveness. He needs to get stronger, but somehow we think that'll probably happen when he plays for Mike Montgomery at Stanford.
8) Antonio Lawrence, 6-3 SG Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial. An exceptional athlete, Lawrence has very good skills. Based on just athleticism and skills, he should be higher on this list. But he needs to work on his decision-making and playing within a team concept. A potentially very good player, though, if his games matures. Academics are a question mark.
9) C.J. Watson, 6-1 PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Watson has just about every attribute you look for in a point guard. He's quick, with good ballhandling and distribution skills. He can shoot it out to three-point range. He's got good size and he can defend. Solid decision-maker. Committed to Tennessee.
10) Sean Mallon, 6-8 PF Spokane (Wash.) Ferris. A skilled big man, Mallon can score in a variety of ways. He has range out to the stripe and can also do damage inside. Not a great athlete, but a heady player who figures to be very successful playing at Gonzaga.
11) Armando Surratt, 5-9 PG Oakland (Calif.) Tech. Surratt has the best skills among the point guards in the west. Very quick with the ball, but stays in control. Can pull up for the three off the dribble or break down defenders and get in the lane to dish or score himself. We're usually leery of small point guards, but Surratt has the ability to play at the high major level. Academics are an issue. Rumored to have committed to Georgetown after summer, but still open as of now.
12) Josh Rhodes, 6-6 SF Santa Cruz (Calif.) High. Big-bodied wing who can shoot from distance. Handles the ball well and goes to the hole with strength. Unusual combination of athleticism, quickness and perimeter skills in a low-post-player, big body makes him someone hard to match up against. Has committed to Iowa.
13) Brandon Heath, 6-2 SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester. A streaky shooter, Heath can fill it up in a hurry when he gets going. Very quick, with underrated ballhandling ability, he could end up playing point guard down the road. Decisions have improved greatly in the last year. Academics are a question mark, which hurts him in these rankings and leaves his recruitment somewhat murky.
14) Ashanti Cook, 6-1 PG Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester. Cook plays an understated game that doesn't get a lot of attention, but he could end up being the best point guard from this class in the west. Some observers compare him to Jason Terry when he came out of high school. Terrific frame, with long arms, and very athletic. Can shoot it if left open. Committed to New Mexico.
15) Ryan Hollins, 6-10 C Pasadena (Calif.) Muir. Slender post man with raw skills and a great upside. In a year when it's hard to find anyone over 6-9 with high-major athleticism, a kid like Hollins, who has both, is a rare commodity. Hollins really came on in the summer as he developed confidence. He has terrific timing as a shot-blocker. Good hands and good feet. Committed to St. Louis.
16) Richard Midgley, 6-1 PG Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian. A transplant from England, Midgley is a very skilled point guard. Good size and strength. He can shoot it with deep range and has a nice feel for the game. Won't play his senior year in high school due to eligibility issues. Committed to Cal.
17) Josh Davis, 6-5 SG Sacramento (Calif.) Elk Grove. Davis is a very underrated prospect who didn't get seen by a lot of people nationally. Terrific athlete and very versatile. He can literally give you time at the one, two or three. Shot is ok, but a very good passer with excellent vision. Plays the passing lanes very well on defense. Committed to UC Santa Barbara after drawing interest from Pac-10 schools.
18) Brandon Bowman, 6-6 SF Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester. Bouncy wing who can stroke it from the three-point line. Bowman has a nice frame, with long arms, and he can really defend when he puts his mind to it. Needs to become more assertive, but a very good upside. Committed to Georgetown.
19) Justin Holt, 6-6 SF Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln. A very versatile forward who figures to be a tough match-up at the next level. Holt can shoot it from 15-18 feet, put it on the floor or post up. He was dazzling at the Big Time, where he outplayed many players with bigger reputations. Outstanding defender and plays with great intensity. Committed to Oregon St.
20) Brandon Lincoln, 6-3 SG Portland (Ore.) Jefferson. Lincoln was very impressive at the Big Time and showed much improved offensive skills. More of a scorer than pure shooter, with good size and quickness. Committed to Oregon.
21) David Chiotti, 6-8 PF Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis. A wide-body who moves better than most people realize. Chiotti can shoot it out to the stripe and has decent post-up skills. Needs to work on conditioning, as he's tough to handle when he's in shape. Committed to New Mexico.
22) Chris Ayer, 6-10 C Tucson (Ariz.) Flowing Wells. Very big and solid true post who will open eyes in a couple years. He takes up space with a big frame and has nice hands. Ayer was recruited by Pac-10 and other high majors, but chose to sign with Loyola Marymount.
23) Derek Stockalper, 6-4 SG Carlsbad (Calif.) High. Skilled two-guard who plays the game with textbook precision and efficiency. He's got a sweet stroke with a quick release. A better athlete than people give him credit for and a great feel for the game. Committed to San Diego.
24) Moulaye Niang, 6-10 C El Cajon (Calif.) Christian. A very active and energetic big man with somewhat raw offensive skills. Should make an impact on the defensive end since he's a good athlete who competes very well. Committed to Kansas.
25) Jordan Kent, 6-4 SG Eugene (Ore.) Churchill. A track star who can also get it done on the hardwood. Very explosive from the wing, with a good outside shot and solid ballhandling skills. His father is Ernie Kent, so it's no surprise that he committed to Oregon.