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May 10, 2006

Researching the rankings

The pre-summer Rivals150 rankings are out for the class of 2007 and diving further into the list, we break down where the top players are going, where they come from and what conferences are getting it done early.

Off the board

At the time of the Rivas150 release, 47 of the 150 players ranked in the class of 2007 are have verbally committed to a school. Nine of the top 25 players are already committed, however only one player - Eric Gordon - in the top ten has decided on a school. Jerryd Bayless, a soft verbal to Arizona, rounds the number to 10 if counting him as a Wildcat pledge in 2007.

Get ready for a wild July.

Point guards and big men are usually the first to go but that isn't the case so far in the class of 2007. Only seven of the 22 ranked point guards have verbally committed. Only one of the ten centers ranked has made his choice while 12 of the 44 power forwards have picked a school.

Shooting guard is the position of choice early on. Of the 32 shooting guards in the Rivals150, 19 have picked a program.

Wing forwards appear to be the last to decide. Of the 42 wings in the Rivals150, only seven have made their decision.

Syracuse leads all teams and conferences in Rivals150 players

Nine schools have locked up multiple commitments in the Rivals150. Syracuse leads the way with four prospects in the top 60. The Orange went to work early and secured commitments from Donte Green (a first time five-star), Johnny Flynn (No. 29), Rick Jackson (No. 35) and Antonio Jardine (No. 59).

Syracuse leads the charge for the Big East. The conference leads the way with 11 committed prospects in the top 150.

The ACC and SEC are tied for second with eight players in the rankings. Duke has a pair of players in the top 40 in Nolan Smith and Taylor King. Maryland is holding early commitments from Jeff Jones and Braxton Dupree.

The National Champion Florida Gators have a pair of top 150 guards locked up in five-star Nick Calathes and Gary Clark. Georgia has the low blocks secured with big men Martavius Adams and Jeremy Price.

Michigan State's future backcourt of five-stars Kalin Lucas and Chris Allen and Durrell Summers (No. 28) will be something to reckon with down the road. The future Spartans are three of the seven players that have committed to the Big Ten in the Rivals150.

Illinois is close behind with the nation's top shooting guard Eric Gordon and big man Bill Cole.

A pair of West Coast schools have doubled up on Rivals150 members. Tim Floyd and his staff at USC have commitments from guards Daniel Hackett and Quinton Watkins. Gonzaga continues to lock up the top talent in the Pacific Northwest with verbals from Steven Gray and Robert Sacre.

Surprisingly, the Big 12 is lacking in star power so far in the class of 2007 with a pair of committed prospects in the rankings. Only Kansas and Baylor have secured commitments from Rivals150 members. Cole Aldrich will play for the Jayhawks while LaceDarius Dunn picked Baylor in January.

Crunching the numbers

How the rankings break down by state:

15 - California
14 - Texas
11 - Georgia
9 - Florida
8 - Indiana, Maryland, Ohio
7 - Illinois, New Jersey
6 - Michigan, New York
5 - Louisiana, North Carolina
4 - Pennsylvania
3 - Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington
2 - Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin
1 - Alabama, Canada, Connecticut, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia

How the rankings break down by position:

Point guards - 22
Shooting guards - 32
Small forwards - 42
Power forwards - 44
Centers - 10


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