Sandwiched in between the best player (Mayo) and potentially one of the best prospects (Randolph) is the top outlet passer of his generation, Kevin Love. The immensely gifted Love, owner of a 30+ rebound game in high school, impacts games in every way these days. He's earned the right to move high up this list.
Michael Beasley, the ultra-talented combo forward out of Oak Hill, showed what he's capable of at the Real Deal On The Hill. When he plays, he has few peers.
Ah, Derrick Rose. One of the more gifted point guards we've seen in recent years. Our assertion is that with even more talented players around him and a steadier jump shot, we could be looking at a special guard here.
Eric Gordon has proven himself time and time again. Who can forget the gem he tossed against Rose and Co. in the Circle City Classic last December? More explosive than he's given credit for and always a major scoring threat, Gordon simply goes about his business and looks terrific doing so.
The best quarterback (literally) on this list is Kyle Singler. He and Bill Walker should duel for top small forward honors all summer long and that's why we've listed them so closely. Some believe (and there's an argument to be made) that Singler is a power forward. Either way, he's a player and so is Walker, the best and most powerful leaper on this list or any for that matter.
Donte Greene has the talent, athletic package and body to shoot right up this list and fast. Don't be surprised when he takes the camp circuit by storm and opens up even more eyes. For the Baltimore native, it's all coming together nicely. Meanwhile, the charismatic Herb Pope was an easy selection. Pope's gregarious nature and skilled game are always a treat to watch.
Anthony Randolph is the guy to watch for in the Top 10. Blessed with all kinds of natural ability and gifts others wish they had, he's a hybrid Lamar Odom-Tayshaun Prince type. When he wants to, Randolph can look like the top prospect in the country. If he ever decided to bring it each time, who knows how high he could rise on this list.
NEWCOMERS TO THE TOP 25
Well, recruiting is an evolving sport and now with the advent of coast-to-coast spring tournaments, the action is hot and heavy every weekend on both coasts and most places in between. Because of the wide array of venues to see games, we've done our best to traverse the nation to come up with this list. Some of the names might be a little unfamiliar but in time, we think they'll prove their worth.
For instance, the Morris Twins out of Philadelphia. These 6-8+ forwards out of Prep Charter have loads of potential and talent. They've made strides each season.
Last weekend we stumbled onto Jon Leuer. The 6-9 forward has been overwhelmed by interest since his effort at the Jayhawk. Dubbed a promising prospect with skills and range, its guys like him that now have to go out and prove they belong among the 100 best prospects in the country. Let's see what happens with the Minnesotan if given the chance.
Here's one you don't see everyday: a Top 100 prospect from Idaho. Well, Scott Thompson has a chance and we'll see if he can continue to build on his potential and remain in our Top 100 after the summer.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
However, so far in our travels, we've noticed something about the Class of 2007. Frankly, as a group it's not overly impressive. Now, that assessment could change in time but you can make a blanket statement about the group not being that deep.
Some positions, like point guard, are thinner than in years past. Now, that tends to correct itself in time but high-major programs across the country are concerned about the overall numbers and talent at that spot. There aren't enough floor generals out there for the scholarships that are available.
This is the time of year that organizations release their Top 100. It's also the time of year when kids tend to measure themselves against their peers and that's where we caution the players.
Few guys have really distanced themselves from the pack. Guys projected to be 15-50 have work to do. In short, you can't rest on your performances to date because no spot is set in stone. In many cases, guys with huge reps have gone through the motions so far this spring. They are on alert because this group as a whole doesn't have the resume other Top 100 contingents have achieved in year's past.
Ok, we've talked about the guys on the list. What about the kids that didn't make our Top 100 and believe me, there were many kids who were agonizingly close. So, how do they get on it the next time around? For starters, make yourself recruitable. There are lots of "players" out there but are they really "prospects?"
A prospect gets it done on the court and in the classroom and those guys are a lot more attractive to college recruiters than the ones who struggle to qualify right up until its time to pass out college textbooks. Help yourself, take care of your academics. You'll be surprised how much your game can expand and improve when you aren't burdened with the question of whether or not you can qualify.
Another way to get on the list is to showcase a feel and overall knowledge of the game. Don't be afraid to be a good passer and if you are a good passer become a great one. Kevin Love is a terrific example. For all the things he does well, the one trait that everyone comes back to with him is his ability to throw touchdown passes on the break.