With the all-important month of July on the horizon, we wanted to take this opportunity to set the table for the remainder of the summer. We've tinkered with this Top 100 more than in past years to this point.
In the past month, a few new faces have emerged as legitimate Top 100 candidates and frankly, it was time to give them their due.
The real question facing the Class of 2008 is who will separate himself in the next 6 weeks? The point guard and center positions are wide open and primed for movement. Brandon Jennings has done everything in his power to separate himself at his position and he's been successful fending off prospects. His reign as the top point guard has been long and distinguished.
The center spot has consistently been anchored by recent Louisville recruit Samardo Samuels. The Montego Bay native continues to prove that not only is he one of the most productive players in the Class of 2008 but he's also one of its more reliable performers.
Over at the small forward position there's a decent battle going on for the second slot. Most can agree that Al-Farouq Aminu is the biggest talent. After Aminu, we'll enjoy monitoring the progress of Devin Ebanks and Demar DeRozan.
Speaking of DeRozan, it's not out of the question he becomes the biggest riser of the summer. What's holding him back from cementing a spot in the Top 10 is consistency. No question he's of that talent. Will he drive home the point in July?
Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and William Buford have been our highest-rated shooting guards for a long time. Though the order has changed occasionally over the last 2 years, these have set the standard.
Now their authority is being challenged by a contingent of up and comers that included Iman Shumpert and Elliot Williams. Shumpert and Williams have been outstanding throughout the spring and have been rated accordingly. July is judgment month and we'll take their temperatures often throughout the next 6 weeks. Mix in a little Willie Warren and Travis Releford and this position has the makings of a fun group to watch.
We specifically saved the power forwards for last. Last July, Greg Monroe had his way on the circuit. From a dominating camp performance to a summer dotted with eye-popping efforts, he made his bones on the July trail. This year the parameters of the month are totally different.
As a rising junior he chased down Tyreke Evans for the No. 1 slot. Now the spotlight is on him and elite level performances every time out will be needed to lock down his status as the nation's top prospect. Who's challenging him?
This position has some up and comers in Tyler Zeller and a bit of an unknown in Angel Garcia. Zeller's hot and Garcia has been absent from the circuit (though he's drawn big reviews all year) and both players could make a splash.
In our opinion, there isn't a position in the country that has more competition within the Top 25 players. There is plenty of room to make headway on this list and we expect a few kids to crank it up and make some headway with the established stars.