It's really early when you are talking about rising sophomore prospects, but Scout.com is excited to release our post-summer Top 15 in the Class of 2008. Maybe more than any top list we produce this year, this one in particular will change a lot.
However, someone's got to kick things off and sit atop the rankings and during our tour of the country, Tyreke Evans looks to be the best young player in the class right now.
Evans, who comes from the Philly area, is a high-scoring guard who is very strong and has played a lot of basketball on the national scene already. There's a lot of pressure being No. 1 but we've tabbed him to carry the torch into the season.
Samardo Samuels (pictured) was the most dominant big man we saw during spring and summer action. A terrific low post player, Samuels is a load to deal with. In terms of young guys getting it done inside, watch him and see if he doesn't remind you of a young Eddy Curry!
Checking in at No. 3 on the list is Xavier Gibson. Now, Gibson is much more of a prospect than huge producer right now but he's got size, length and is cultivating a face-up game on the perimeter. We like his long term potential and the sky is the limit, especially once he begins filling out his frame.
Travis Releford (pictured) checks in at No. 4 and deservedly so. He made his reputation in his first high school season as a scorer. Then, almost without warning, he displayed all kinds of point guard skills in the summer prompting a quick re-evaluation of what his future position might be. The bottom line is no matter what guard spot he ends up getting comfortable at, he's a legitimate big time guard who has already gone for 43 in a high school game.
The state of Ohio is loaded and one of the gems is No. 5 Yancey Gates, The power forward is huge at 6-foot-9 and at least 235 pounds. He's got great hands and the tools to be elite at the end of his high school career.
The point guard rankings will get interesting in a hurry. Pay close attention to Brandon Jennings (best summer), Korie Lucious (top shooter) and Larry Drew (most upside?) as they have distinguished themselves early as the top guns at their position.
We'll be expanding our 2008 database and in the coming months adding a 2009 grouping as well. Scout.com plans to release its next set of 2007 rankings on Friday followed by the unveiling of the 2006 class on Monday.