We're just days away from the beginning of the July evaluation period, so here are the pre-evaluation period top 50 players for the class of 2009. UCLA has many recruiting targets spotting this list, including Reeves Nelson, David Wear, Travis Wear and Hollis Thompson...
A pair of New Jersey wings round out our current Top 10. Dexter Strickland and Dominic Cheek should do battle over the next two seasons and could flip flop places on the list at any time. Cheek's interesting because he's clearly growing into his body and seems to gain an inch each time we spot him.
Hey, with the way kids are committing these days we found it to be the appropriate time to expand on our lists. Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. We've got our eyes on plenty kids who narrowly missed the Top 50 this time around. We expect major changes upon the conclusion of the summer.
Point Guard (3 in Top 50) – We think the position is going to eventually show its depth and we're being patient as a host of players mature physically. Elijah Johnson has the most talent of the bunch and he's transitioning to the position. Peyton Siva defies the odds with his size and Mfon Udofia is on the rise. Lookout For:Jared Cunningham. If his body develops sky is the limit.
Shooting Guard (12) – You've got to love the depth at this position. Plus, there's a dose of star power at the top. Xavier Henry has proven he's elite. We love the potential in-state battle for the 2nd slot between Dexter Strickland and Dominic Cheek. Lookout For:Joseph Bertrand and Earnest Ross. Bertrand is a weight program away while Ross has the body of an NFL safety.
Stewart Cracks Top 25
Small Forward (10) – This is Lance Stephenson's position. The best in the country in his class at playing through contact, at No. 6 overall Stephenson has plenty of room to ascend up the list. Hollis Thompson is the hard charger; Ditto for Ari Stewart. Lookout For:Jordan Walker. He's an under the radar wing who in time should blossom.
Power Forward (17) – The position produced (by far) the most members of our Top 50 including No. 1 Renardo Sidney. This crew should be strong throughout the process especially if our predictions on Jamil Wilson and John Henson hold true. Lookout For:Marshawn Powell. He's a no-nonsense power forward that has a motor and made serious strides since the end of the high school campaign.
Center (8) – The best battle for the No. 1 slot at any position is likely to take place here. Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins and John Riek are all different in their approach but big time when it comes to results. For now we'll Favor the Atlanta native who draws no attention to himself and goes about his business. Lookout For:Greg Smith. The Californian was off the radar prior to the spring but he's been outstanding through June.