Oden, the two-time Indiana state player of the year and Gatorade National Player of the Year, completed one of the most dominant high school careers a center has seen since the days of Lew Alcindor. He earned the right to be called the No. 1 player in the Class of 2006.
Joining Oden, Durant and Wright in the Top 5 was Seattle standout Spencer Hawes and the nation's top point guard, Tywon Lawson. Why is Lawson so high? In our opinion, few impact games the way he does. Don't let the size fool you, this is a young man who has a bright future.
Thaddeus Young, Wayne Ellington and Chase Budinger are three big time wing players who each did special things as a senior. Young, who sports a 4.3 GPA, was a big timer in the Memphis community as well as a terrific player. Ellington recorded his 2,000th last season and Budinger routinely had 50-plus point games in his senior sendoff.
Rounding out the Top 10 are two more studs. Darrell Arthur is one of the most talented guys in America but has been taken to task at times for not consistently playing hard. Don't be fooled by his cool nature because when the lights go on and its time to win, Arthur has delivered (see two Texas high school state titles).
Meanwhile, Paul Harris has become one of the most scrutinized kids in this class. The bottom line is that he's a terrific talent even if we aren't quite sure how he fits in position wise. That's for Jim Boeheim to figure out now and it won't take Harris long to impact the program.
One of the keys to rounding out this list is patience. Each year the month of April proves to be very revealing. Take Hasheem Thabeet for instance. The 7-foot-3 center went from prospect to bonafide player in the last 3 weeks. He belongs on this list, he earned his way here and he's deserving of such a high ranking. Typically, foreign big men ranked as Top 100 players have struggled but Thabeet is likely to be the exception to the rule.
Jeremy Jacob is another name to consider. He transferred from Capitol High to Woodlawn in Baton Rouge and all he did was earn his region POY award and become a first-team all-stater in Louisiana. He's a late bloomer, exactly the kind of guy we love!
Speaking of late bloomers, how about Patrick Beverley? This kid had the kind of senior season every baller in Chi-Town would be pleased with. Another late bloomer who has surpassed his pre-senior year reputation with a bullet.
We hope you enjoy the Scout.com Final 2006 Top 100!