2009 Top 10 Rankings

Few had heard of DeMarcus Cousins nationally until this summer and now he's moving all the way up the charts to challenge for supremacy in the Class of 2009. To get to No. 1 Cousins only has one obstacle remaining: Renardo Sidney. Top 10 2009

So far the rankings we've produced this month have come with much debate – internally and externally – and the top and the Class of 2009 flows right in line with that thinking.

We selected Renardo Sidney as the top prospect in the Class of 2009 but it wasn't a landslide by any means. Sidney gets the nod but DeMarcus Cousins is in his rear view mirror waving hello.

Back in the spring of 2005 at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, Sidney turned in a simply brilliant performance while playing with the MBA Hoops. That singular effort vaulted him to the top of the rankings where he's sat ever since.

Sidney, due to transfer rules, did not play high school basketball as a freshman and now the talk is that he's likely to end up at Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia this season. He's transferred AAU teams and high schools which is a lot of moves for a young player.

During that time he hasn't replicated that spring 2005 effort though you can clearly see the talent in his game. Sidney was a key piece off the bench for the Southern Cal All-Stars last summer, even bailing them out of a few tight spots down the homestretch.

Initially regarded as an athletic ball handling small forward prospect, Sidney has put on weight and now projects to be a power forward which is fine but his game at that size is shaping up to be a different style from his 2005 national debut.

No. 2 DeMarcus Cousins
Our No. 2 prospect is an aircraft carrier out of the state of Alabama. DeMarcus Cousins was the best high school prospect (Jeremy Tyler was an 8th grader) at the Nike Hoop Jamboree and that means one thing: big time success. Past elite recruits there have been Greg Oden, Spencer Hawes and Kosta Koufos.

Cousins went from the Hoop Jamboree to the All-American Camp where he continued to turn heads. However, the most impressive aspect of Cousins' game we observed was his work ethic. At one event, he beat every single kid to the gym after lunch to work on his skills.

After the first 2 spots the next 8 kids could jockey all day for position on the list. Xavier Henry is probably the most advanced prospect in terms of size and skills for his position. He's a threat even while playing with the 17-and-under group.

No. 5 Lance Stephenson
Derrick Favors is just a pup but soon enough he'll be a big dog. Atlanta is loaded with talent and in the Class of 2009, for now, Favors is the torch bearer. Eventually he'll have more company at top should Lorenzo Brown and Noel Johnson progress as we anticipate them too.

Lance Stephenson at No. 5 might be the most ballyhooed name on the list. He's quite the prospect and down the road in Jersey No. 6 Dexter Strickland isn't too shabby either.

No. 7 Terrell Vinson seems to make waves at every event he plays. Karron Johnson (No. 8) is very physical and strong at the power forward slot. Out west we like No. 9 Jordan Hamilton right now but there's talk that the Wear Twins (Travis and David Wear) have big time long term potential.

Kenny Boynton is a major league scoring threat who checks in at No. 10.


  • Lorenzo Brown, SG
  • Noel Johnson, SG
  • Isaiah Armwood, PF
  • Alex Oriakhi, PF
  • Christian Watford, SF
  • Daniel Orton, PF
  • Leslie McDonald, CG
  • Stephan Van Treese, PF
  • Terrence Boyd, SG

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