Mike Sullivan of Rivals Hoops released his site's Class of 2002 rankings earlier this week, and the placement of several players took many by surprise -- most notably Jason Fraser at No. 1.
Sullivan has been praising Fraser since before the start of the summer, dubbing him his site's Pre-Summer Player of the Year, and bestowing Post-Summer POY honors on Fraser as well.
But putting the Amityville (NY) center atop the entire class turned quite a few heads. Ahead of Amare Stoudemire? Ahead of Raymond Felton? Ahead of Lenny Cooke?
We spoke with Sullivan, asking him to explain his decision.
"Fraser led his team to three major summer tournaments," Sullivan said. "And he was co- or MVP of all of them. He affects the game more than any player in the country. He plays hard all the time and what he does on defense, altering shots, helping out teammates defensively, blocking shots, rebounding, throwing outlet passes, passes from the high post to cutting players is what makes him so special.
"He won't kill you with his post moves but he gets his points the hard way, cleaning up misses and scoring on putbacks. Add up the points he affects on defense and the points he helps his offense score and no one in the class makes more of an impact."
Sullivan, whose says his rankings were formed using the opinions of recruiting analysts, high school and AAU coaches, and college coaches, ranks committed Tar Heel Raymond Felton at No. 2 and Rashad McCants at No. 18.