Why is the selection easy this year? Well, nine of the 12 players cracked the top 10 in scoring for the tournament. Only rising junior Keith Brumbaugh of Team Florida wasn't selected among the scoring leaders after averaging 19 points per game.
Al Jefferson, PF, 2004, Jackson Tigers, 25.4 ppg
The dominant big man from Mississippi showed off his slimmed-down body -- down 35 pounds to 265 -- and new post tricks. He was the most dominant player in the tournament, often proving to be unguardable. His low-post moves have become fine-tuned and he has great hands on the boards or with post passes. In five years, maybe some of his classmates will have surpassed him, but until they do, he's a great candidate to end the summer ranked No. 1
Daniel Gibson, PG, 2004, Houston Hoops, 19.7 ppg
In the past, I've wrestled with whether Gibson was more of a shooting guard than a point guard. Gibson scores so effortlessly, and he's adept at driving to the basket or bombing away from deep. But the Texas commitment did a better job of scoring and including his teammates. He is going to be a college star at point guard from day one.
Malik Hairston, SG, 2004, The Family, 21.2 ppg
A star is being born this spring as the Michigan swingman dominates on both ends of the floor. He can shoot with range, jump out of the gym and has a competitiveness that never allows him to think the game is over. There's few things he can't do as he should be in most national top 20s at the end of the summer, if not the top 10.
Shawne Williams, SF, 2004, Memphis YOMCA, 21.7 ppg
No one helped themselves as much as Williams. A year ago, Williams was a promising prospect because of his great athleticism. However, he's not just a run/jump player anymore, he's a basketball player. His ability to create off the dribble, drill the 3-pointer and use his great wingspan on defense equals a top 20 player nationally. An absolute joy to watch.
D.J. White, PF, 2004, Alabama Lasers, 15 ppg
After playing with a knee injury last summer, it was nice to see White play at full strength. White's game is efficient and a nice balance between power and finesse. The unselfish star could have scored at will at times but instead let the game come to him. There's still a couple of areas which need work in his conversion to perimeter threat, but he's close to becoming a complete player.
Sixth man: Trent Meachum, PG, 2004, Martin Brothers Select
The tournament MVP is so trustworthy on the floor. He hits open shots, gets into the lane, finishes among the trees more times than not and doesn't turn the ball over. Every top mid-major and several high-major colleges should be tracking his progress this summer. Travis Diener rose up the charts with many of the same attributes before signing with Marquette three years ago.
LaMarcus Aldridge, C, 2004, Team Texas, 20.2 ppg
Unlike some of the other top players at the tournament, Aldridge did not have a lot of help from his teammates. With the departure of Jason Horton, the slender post player didn't have guards to complement his game. Aldridge is a quick jumper, active shot-blocker and adept at running the floor. It's scary how good Texas could be with Gibson and Aldridge in two years.
Joe Crawford, SG, 2004, The Family, 20.4 ppg
Crawford has become a scoring assassin. So strong and explosive, it's almost impossible to keep him out of the lane. He can also keep defenses honest with his outside shooting, though that's the part of his game which will need the most work on prior to his arrival to the University of Michigan.
A.J. Price, PG, 2004, Riverside Church, 21 ppg
Price absolutely hates to lose as most of his points seemed to come when the Church were down and needed a jolt of energy. Price is excellent going to the hoop and adept at passing to his teammates off the dribble. A solid outside shooter, he'll need to continue develop his shot. Whatever college lands him will be in great hands the next four years.
Jawaan McClellan, SG, 2004, Houston Hoops, 21.0 ppg
The Arizona commitment had a reputation as a scorer going into the tournament, which he quickly confirmed. Like his teammate Gibson, McClellan scores so easily with his outside shot and was good for 3-4 3-pointers almost every game. He's clearly a top 30 player.
Isaiah Swann, SG, 2004, D.C. Blue Devils, 18.9 ppg
Swann is another great scorer but is more ruthless about racking up big point totals, than some of the other perimeter threats in the tourney. Swann can stroke it from deep or work his way inside, where he doesn't back down. You can also sense how much Swann enjoys playing as he didn't show any signs of fatigue even though he had to put the Devils on his back at times.
Sixth man: Justin Dentman, PG, 2004, Illinois Warriors
The Carbondale, Ill., product was instrumental in the Warriors run to the title game. Dentman hit the game-winning jumper against the Houston Hoops in a comeback win. And Dentman proved he had the ultimate guts in sinking two free throws with no time on the clock to force overtime against The Family when the Warriors' were down two points. Mid-majors will discover Dentman fast.