Scout Six Pack: Reappraising 2003

The Class of 2003 will forever be defined by the careers of two players: LeBron James and Chris Paul. The gold medalists and best friends carry the expectations for a class that could have used a few more stars.

Basically, LeBron James and Chris Paul carried this entire class.

Frankly, the Class of 2003 was pretty average as a unit. The final Top 100 list reveals few great collegians and only a handful of good pros. This watered-down Six Pack doesn't contain the finest ingredients of prospects and it hasn't aged to perfection either.

Outside of LeBron and CP3, this group didn't do college hoops many favors. It happens sometimes and our final Top 100 list lacked depth. In scanning the prospect lists, few names truly grab your attention in terms of impacting the college game outside of the bright lights headliners.

No. 1 LeBron James, No. 9 Chris Paul, No. 13 Linas Kleiza, No. 15 Vakeaton Wafer, No. 31 Guillermo Diaz, No. 100 D.J. Strawberry.

Overview: A candidate for best player on the planet, James was as much of a stud back then as he is now. CP3 was the nation's finest point guard and not much has changed on his resume. That year Kleiza showed up on our McDonald's ballot and was stellar at Missouri. Recruiting buffs know that Vakeaton Wafer's blowup at the Kingwood Classic in 2002 is the stuff of legends. Diaz was a prime timer in the ACC and some thought he'd be a better volleyball player. Typically, the final spot in our Top 100 is nothing more than a coin flip to have a good career. However, our last man in this year turned in a strong career for the Maryland Terrapins
No. 3 Ndudi Ebi, No. 4 David Padgett, No. 10 Mustafa Shakur, No. 22 Michael Jones, No. Regis Koundjia

Overview: Ebi ignored all the advice that told him to enroll in college and declared for the NBA draft. Padgett's career began with a coaching change at Kansas and then a series of injuries derailed the train. Expectations for Shakur to be the next in line at "Point Guard U." couldn't be met. Jones made 3s at Maryland but never quite morphed into a dominant player. Koundjia, the son of Central African diplomat, never got it going at LSU.
No. 14 Brandon Bass, No. 66 P.J. Tucker, No. 35 SG Lee Humphrey, unranked Nick Fazekas

Overview: Bass caught himself an SEC player of the year trophy as he was the sandwich guy between Lawrence Roberts and Glen Davis. Tucker was the Big 12 player of the year for the Longhorns and one of the toughest guys in the league. Humphrey owns two national championship rings and is the NCAA Tournament's all-time leader in 3-point shots made. Fazekas was the three-time WAC player of the year at Nevada.
Acie Law, Jared Dudley, Paul Millsap

Overview: Acie Law isn't just the great nephew of Cub great Ernie Banks. He also won a Bob Cousy Award, was a lottery pick and is the only Texas A&M player to have his jersey retired. Unheralded out of high school despite two state championships, Dudley won an ACC player of the year award at Boston College. All Millsap did was become the only player in the history of college basketball to lead the nation in rebounding three consecutive seasons. Louisiana Tech helped launch him to a career with the Utah Jazz just like it did for Karl Malone.
LeBron James, Chris Paul

Overview: Best friends, this pair graduated high school together and went on to win the Gold Medal together last summer in Beijing. They went from hanging at the prom to hanging with Jay-Z. Each considered the best at their position in the NBA, it'll be hard to top this duo in terms of overall impact on the game.
Adam Morrison, Gonzaga.

Overview: Here was our take July 25, 2002 when we caught him in a back gym in Vegas playing with Eastern Washington Elite. "It's almost chic to say this guy would be perfect at Gonzaga. Well, this kid is going to be perfect at Gonzaga. Why? Well he' has a nice body, he's active and he absolutely shoots the lights out of the basketball from behind the arc. The game flows to him and he's a very productive player." In one of the biggest misses of my career, we left him off the Top 100 list. We ranked him the No. 26 small forward. The goal is to never make a mistake of that magnitude again.

Click here for the 2003 rankings.

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