Full disclosure: Scout.com hadn't settled on a top prospect in the Class of 2010 until the morning of May 23. When rankings week began, it was our goal to produce a Top 15 list of this class. The reason why we waited until the last day of the event to produce the list should be evident.
Tristan Thompson, a native of Canada, spent last season at St. Benedict's clerking for Samardo Samuels and Greg Echenique. In basketball terms, it was an apprenticeship, a chance to learn from two of the best in the business. The fact that he didn't average double-digits is meaningless – for now.
Thompson has an opportunity to be special. Long, rangy and blessed with natural talent he'll likely wind up being a combo forward. For now, we're touting him as the top prospect in this class. What does that mean? Very little (except to Texas fans!) because this deal is wide open.
If we were to play pick up and have to choose sides, Jared Sullinger would be the No. 1 pick. If Thompson is the "down the road guy", Sullinger is the "now" kid. He's the most dominant player on possibly the best 16-and-under AAU team in the country. With a personality akin to Glen Davis and a body to boot, no one has stopped him yet. One college head coach said he "punishes people" which properly describes the collisions he initiates in the paint. Once he trims up his body, the sky is the limit.
Speaking of trimming up his body, Josh Smith is a magician. Every time we see him more and more of his waistline disappears. Give him credit but he's realized that with hard work and dedication to his body and craft he can be excellent.
Checking in at No. 4 is a former No. 1, Jeremy Tyler. Beyond a shadow of doubt, right now he's got the most tools of any post in his class. If focused and motivated we're looking at a guy who could runaway with this top spot. Time will tell.
Our final 5 slots are intriguing. Harrison Barnes proved that what the newspapers wrote about him during the season was spot on. Crandall Head, well, he's ahead of where he brother was at the same stage and Luther is now in the NBA. C.J. Leslie and Doron Lamb are worthy. Our last guy in is Roscoe Smith. Absent from the AAU circuit this spring, his resume was bolstered this winter at Walbrook High School.
Our goal is to add guys each week to the 2010 database but bring the star values along slowly. There are lots of kids worthy of being on this list but we kept it tight for a reason as we continue to evaluate the underclassmen on what is now a week-by-week basis through the summer.
We aren't ready to rank a lot of players by position and we're leaving these position rankings open. This is wide open and kids are going to be moving quickly this summer!