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November 16, 2006

Trojans make run at top hoops class

Team Rankings by year: 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

After an eventful early signing period, Kansas State holds onto its No. 1 position in the 2007 team recruiting rankings. However, the Wildcats barely edged USC. The Trojans made a run from outside the top 25 to take the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

Four previously uncommitted prospects, including elite five-star prospects O.J. Mayo and Davon Jefferson, highlight the Trojans class.

Three other schools jumped into the top 25 after landing key prospects during the early signing period. North Carolina State, behind the commitment of four-star Tracy Smith, slid ahead of Michigan into the No. 19 spot.

Alabama, which signed four-star Rico Pickett, and Oklahoma State's signing of four-star James Anderson and Ibrahima Thomas round out the last two spots in the top 25.

Memphis, Indiana, Washington and Arizona State all jumped teams ahead of them by signing previously uncommitted prospects during the early period.

Florida State, Georgia, Villanova and Texas A&M fell out of the team rankings.

Kansas State Wildcats

Michael Beasley PF 6-9, 235
Bill Walker SF 6-6, 220
Fred Brown SG 6-3, 185
Jacob Pullen PG 6-1, 175
Dominique Sutton SF 6-4, 195
When you sign the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country and combine him with the most explosive player to hit the travel team scene in quite a while, you have a combination that is hard to beat. Top-ranked prospect Michael Beasley and Bill Walker (rated No. 6) give coach Bob Huggins a truly dynamic duo. Add three solid three-star prospects, and you have a No. 1 class. All five prospects have an edgy competitiveness that should allow them to thrive under Huggins.
USC Trojans

O.J. Mayo PG 6-5, 215
Davon Jefferson SF 6-7, 190
Venoy Overton PG 6-0, 165
Marcus Simmons SF 6-4, 175
Leonard Washington SF 6-6, 225
What an eventful early signing period for USC. The Trojans land two elite prospects in O.J. Mayo and Davon Jefferson. Joining these two five-star prospects are two physical small forwards - Leonard Washington and Marcus Simmons. Scoring guard Venoy Overton is expected to sign in the spring if he improves his academic standing.
Syracuse Orange

Johnny Flynn PG 5-11, 170
Donte Green SF 6-9, 217
Rick Jackson PF 6-8, 235
Antonio Jardine SG 6-1, 180
Sean Williams C 6-11, 220
Johnny Flynn (No.21) will take control of the ballhandling, which will free up Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris on the offensive end. Donte Green (No.13) will have an opportunity to play a Carmelo Anthony-type role. Certain to contribute, Rick Jackson (No. 98) and Antonio Jardine (No. 58) will also have a chance to work themselves into significant roles for the Orange this season.
Arizona Wildcats

Jerryd Bayless SG 6-3, 193
Jamelle Horne SF 6-7, 205
Alex Jacobson C 7-1, 223
Zane Johnson SF 6-6, 200
Laval Lucas-Perry PG 6-1, 191
A dynamic athlete, Jerryd Bayless (No. 10) is custom-made for Arizona's wide-open offensive attack. Jamelle Horne (No. 19) will be a perfect complement filling the lanes on the break with Chase Budinger, if Budinger is still around next season. Three-star prospects Laval Lucas-Perry and Zane Johnson can be top-of-the-line role players.
Florida Gators

Nick Calathes PG 6-5, 185
Adam Allen SF 6-6, 185
Chandler Parsons SF 6-8, 190
Alex Tyus PF 6-8, 210
Still working on finding a big man (Patrick Patterson is their top target), the Gators have a five-star and three four-stars already in the fold. Teammates Nick Calathes (No. 11) and Chandler Parsons (No.30) bring skill and excellent basketball IQs to Gainesville. Alex Tyus and Adam Allen are forwards with size and athleticism.
Ohio State Buckeyes

Kosta Koufos C 7-0, 252
Jon Diebler SG 6-6, 182
Evan Turner SF 6-6, 175
Dallas Lauderdale C 6-8, 230
Eric Wallace SF 6-7, 195
Thad Matta continues his recruiting momentum by landing a five-star, two four-stars and a top of the line three-star. No. 12 ranked Kosta Koufos' European-style game will be a unique addition to the Buckeye lineup. Evan Turner is skilled on offense and defense at the forward spot. Sharpshooter Jon Diebler plays a heady game, while Dallas Lauderdale is a tough low-post defender. Signing Eric Wallace during the early period pushes Ohio State up a spot in the rankings.
Purdue Boilermakers

Robbie Hummel SF 6-8, 200
JaJuan Johnson PF 6-10, 195
Scott Martin SF 6-8, 200
E'twaun Moore SG 6-3, 170
Purdue hasn't seen a class like this in quite some time – if ever. Coach Matt Painter landed a quartet of four-star standouts. The versatile class also fills several needs. E'twaun Moore is a combo guard, JaJuan Johnson as an inside/outside post and Robbie Hummel and Scott Martin as multipurpose forwards.
Duke Blue Devils

Kyle Singler SF 6-8, 210
Taylor King SF 6-7, 215
Nolan Smith SG 6-4, 175
Kyle Singler (No. 4) highlights this three-man class. Singler is the most complete and versatile player in the class, and will have two steady four-star players coming to Durham, N.C., with him. Nolan Smith is a steady ballhandler. Taylor King can shoot it from deep and also grind out a rebound. Pattrick Patterson still remains on the Blue Devils' wish list.
Indiana Hoosiers

Eric Gordon SG 6-4, 205
Jordan Crawford PG 6-4, 180
Jamarcus Ellis SG 6-5, 185
Eli Holman C 6-9, 210
Brandon McGee PF 6-7, 220
Eric Gordon, our No. 2 prospect in the nation, should put up big scoring numbers the second he steps onto the Assembly Hall court. Eli Holman is tough on the defensive end, and Brandon McGee can stretch the defense. Junior college commitment Jamarcus Ellis should contribute immediately. The Hoosiers also picked up talented combo guard Jordan Crawford in the final hours of the early signing period.
Michigan State Spartans

Chris Allen SG 6-3, 185
Kalin Lucas PG 6-0, 165
Durrell Summers SF 6-5, 195
This is a three-man class made for coach Tom Izzo's transition game. Kalin Lucas does a superb job pushing the ball up the court. Chris Allen and Darrell Summers are the perfect set of wings to run along with him in East Lansing, Mich.
Memphis Tigers

Derrick Rose PG 6-4, 194
Jeff Robinson SF 6-5, 205
Marcus Morris PF 6-7, 215
Markeiff Morris PF 6-8, 225
Memphis is hoping that Derrick Rose - the nation's No. 3 recruit - can have the type of impact that Carmelo Anthony had for Syracuse a few years ago. Rose appears to be headed to Memphis for one season before leaving for the NBA. Jeffrey Robinson's run-and-shoot game is custom-built for the Tigers' attack. Both four-star prospects in the class of 2008, the Morris twins announced their intentions of going to prep school next year, but the Tigers' coaching staff is trying to convince them to enroll as freshmen next season.
DePaul Blue Demons

Darquavis Tucker SG 6-4, 190
Nayal Koshwal PF 6-9, 235
Matija Poscic PF 6-9, 220
Mike Bizoukas PG 6-1, 175
Darquavius Tucker (No. 22) and Nayal Koshwal (No.26) are the big catches in the Blue Demons' class. Both have a physically mature game along with a rapidly improving skill set. Matija Poscic and Mike Bizoukas round out the class.
Gonzaga Bulldogs

Austin Daye SF 6-9, 184
Steven Gray SG 6-3, 185
Robert Sacre C 7-0, 250
Highly skilled Austin Daye could turn into the next great scorer at Gonzaga. Fellow four-stars Steven Gray and Robert Sacre should fill important roles for Gonzaga early in their careers.
UCLA Bruins

Kevin Love C 6-9, 240
Chace Stanback SF 6-7, 185
In Kevin Love, UCLA has a freshman of the year candidate. He should have an immediate impact on the interior for the Bruins. Local product Chase Stanback is a four-star prospect with a lot of upside.
Oklahoma Sooners

Blake Griffin PF 6-9, 230
Tony Neysmith PG 6-5, 196
Cade Davis SG 6-5, 205
Chris Early SG 6-6, 210
A prototypical Big 12 player, Blake Griffin should immediately be the man inside for the Sooners. Wings Tony Neysmith, Chris Early and Cade Davis will have a shot at significantly contributing to the Sooner lineup.
Texas Longhorns

Clint Chapman PF 6-10, 245
Gary Johnson PF 6-6, 210
Alex Wangmene PF 6-8, 225
The power forward position is certainly taken care of for the Longhorns in the 2007 class. All four-star players, Johnson is the best scorer around the basket. Chapman is the most skilled and Wangmene is the best rebounder.
Virginia Tech Hokies

Jeff Allen PF 6-7, 215
Malcolm Delaney PG 6-3, 170
Terrell Bell SF 6-7, 170
Augusus Gilchrist PF 6-8, 215
Dorenzo Hudson SG 6-4, 200
A solid five-man class is headed to Blacksburg, Va. Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney both had superior moments on the travel team circuit. Dorenzo Hudson is a big-bodied wing who is built to score. Augustus Gilchrist is a forward with upside. Terrell Bell also has the ability to make plays.
LSU Tigers

Anthony Randolph SF 6-10, 210
Garrett Green PF 6-9, 210
Quintin Thornton PF 6-9, 230
D.J Wright SF 6-7, 220
Anthony Randolph (No. 16) is the jewel of this five-man recruiting class. Coach John Brady and company also reached into Canada to land sharpshooter DJ Wright. The Tigers went to the West Coast to land a sleeper in Garrett Green. Two top junior college players round out the class.
N.C. State Wolfpack

J.J. Hickson PF 6-8, 220
Tracy Smith PF 6-7, 225
Johnny Thomas SF 6-5, 210
First year head coach Sidney Lowe made quite a splash beating Tennessee for five-star prospect J.J. Hickson. Lowe followed that up by landing four-star forward Tracy Smith, who is expected to sign during the late period.
Michigan Wolverines

Corperryale Harris SG 6-4, 170
Alex Legion SG 6-4, 200
Kelvin Grady PG 5-10, 156
Coach Tommy Amaker convinced a couple of Michigan's top prospects to stay at home and play in Ann Arbor. Four-star prospect Corperryale Harris has an instinct for making plays, and four-star prospect Alex Legion has the ability to get his shot whenever he wants.
Washington Huskies

Matthew Bryan-Amaning PF 6-9, 220
Darnell Grant PF 6-8, 200
Isaiah Thomas SG 5-8, 170
Justin Holiday SF 6-6, 170
Coach Lorenzo Romar has three prospects who fit in perfectly with Washington's high-powered attack. Four-star Matthew Bryan-Amaning runs the floor extremely well and is loaded with upside. Four-star Isaiah Thomas is an electric scorer from outside. Justin Holiday makes plays with his length and athleticism on both sides of the ball. Another long athlete, Darnell Gant, joined the fold during the early signing period.
Arizona State Sun Devils

James Harden SG 6-5, 200
Rihards Kuksiks SG 6-6, 205
Jamelle McMillan PG 6-2, 180
Kraidon Woods PF 6-8, 210
Coach Herb Sendek is off to a solid start recruiting in the Pac-10. He has a future superstar in multitalented James Harden (No. 18), a solid floor general in Jamelle McMillan and a long forward with upside in Kraidon Woods. Little known Rihards Kuksiks of Latvia rounds out a solid class.
Georgetown Hoyas

Austin Freeman SG 6-3, 185
Chris Wright SG 6-0, 190
Georgetown didn't have to look far to find its backcourt of the future. Both local products, Austin Freeman (No. 9) is an elite shooting guard with a mature mid-range game. Chris Wright is a combo guard who can light it up from outside.
Alabama Crimson Tide

Senario Hillman SG 6-2, 170
Rico Pickett PG 6-4, 170
Justin Knox PF 6-9, 215
Coach Mark Gottfried secured his backcourt of the future with four-star prospects Rico Pickett and Senario Hillman. Local forward Justin Knox shows a great deal of potential.
Oklahoma State Cowboys

Martavius Adams PF 6-8, 245
James Anderson SF 6-5, 190
Nick Sidorakis SG 6-5, 175
Ibrahima Thomas PF 6-10, 225
Oklahoma State was a big winner on the first day of the early signing period when four-star forward James Anderson chose the Cowboys over Kansas. The Cowboys also landed four-star post player Martavius Adams and potential four-star post player Ibrahima Thomas.

For more information on these rankings or to request an interview with Rivals.com National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer, please send an e-mail to jmeyer@rivals.com.

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