Contributed by Kyle Callaway
These are the top 25 rankings for high school seniors entering college basketball next season.
(* Post Grad)
1) Harrison Barnes (UNC) - 6'8", 215 pounds, SF
He is one of the best prospects to ever come out of Iowa. Blessed with a 7 foot wing span, high basketball IQ, and excellent long range shot. Barnes is one of those rare athletes that can run the 1-5 if needed. He has a good understanding of the defensive part of the game and routinely makes highlight blocks. He is a proven winner and is just what North Carolina needs to become a contender once again.
NBA Comparison: Scottie Pippen/ Ray Allen
2) Brandon Knight (Kentucky) - 6'3", 185 pounds, PG
Looking vaguely similar to Lil Wayne, Knight is the reigning National Player of the Year. Knight is an absolute beast of a point guard and is constantly compared to last years top point guard John Wall. Like Wall, Knight is a play maker for others as well as for himself, frequently throwing up 30+ points. He is definitely a candidate for the 2010 class to be a one and done player.
NBA Comparison: Russell Westbrook (better shot)
3) Perry Jones (Baylor) - 6'11", 230 pounds, SF/PF
One word best used to describe Jones….scary. With a 7’3” wing span, automatic mid range game and elite athleticism, Perry could very well end up as the best player in this class when it is all said and done. He is the most highly touted recruit ever to sign with Baylor and is motivated to live up to expectations. Regardless of his potential and height, Jones has worked hard and developed a nice set of skills that will make him a threat on any level of basketball. He plays with a ton of emotion and constantly lifts others around him to play better. With the addition of Perry Jones, Baylor could have one of its best teams ever next season.
NBA Comparison: Tracy McGrady/ Anthony Randolph
4) Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) - 6'9", 265 pounds, PF
He is a big time post presence and an absolute monster in the paint. Sullinger is ready to contribute from the time he steps on campus at Ohio State. He is a highly competitive player who has a nice touch around the rim for a player of his size. Although his potential is not as high as Barnes, Jones and Knight, Jared will be counted on to start right away for the Buckeyes and his development will be counted on for the team to have a successful season next year.
NBA Comparison: Kevin Love (more explosive)
5) C.J. Leslie (Undecided) - 6'9", 205 pounds, PF
Leslie is arguably the most intriguing player in the 2010 class. Although a little thin at the moment, CJ can be seen doing everything on the court from leading the fast break, making an unbelievable blocks, knocking down threes and of course dunking the ball any way imaginable. On top of being highly skilled, he plays with a lot of heart (like KG) and has what it takes to be a successful athlete at the NCAA and NBA level
NBA Comparison: Kevin Garnett
6) Reggie Bullock (UNC) - 6'6", 200 pounds, SG
Bullock is arguably the best shooter in the class; but along with his silky stroke, he is also a big time scorer. The North Carolina signee is the second gem in this 2010 class that will help rebuild the prestigious program. His upside and potential are through the roof and he can be as good as he allows himself to be. He has added 15 pounds from his junior to senior season and still seems to be growing. He looks to be an exciting player for years to come.
NBA Comparison: Jamal Crawford
7) Tobias Harris (Tennessee) - 6'9", 225 pounds, SF/PF
Tobias is perhaps the most versatile prospect in the class. Although he is not a world class athlete, he does everything well. He can step out and knock down the three or take you down low and exploit you with his arsenal of post moves. If Harris works on his quickness the possibilities are endless with this kid. He has a bright future ahead of him with Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Vols.
NBA Comparison: David West/ Tayshaun Prince
8) Will Barton (Memphis) - 6'6", 180 pounds, SG
Rail thin and somewhat unorthodox… but that doesn’t matter! Barton is a big time player with a knack for putting the ball in the hoop. I expect Will to explode in the Conference USA next year. Barton is aggressive when attacking the rack by throwing down show time dunks and creating for others as well. Adding weight in college is a must for Barton if he expects to make an impact in the NBA one day.
NBA Comparison: Gerald Green (less athletic, more skilled)
9) Kyrie Irving (Duke) - 6'2", 175 pounds, PG
Kyrie may have one of the quickest first steps in the 2010 class. With the quickness Irving possesses, unlimited range and impressive handles to boast, he is the definition of a true point guard and creates easy buckets for his teammates with his court vision. He is touted to be the best player to ever come out of New Jersey, and I’m sure Coach K will do nothing but help him live up to his reputation.
NBA Comparison: Jay Williams
10) Josh Selby (Kansas) - 6'3", 190 pounds, PG
Athletically superior to Knight and Irving, Selby my have a chance to make a bigger splash than both when he arrives at Kansas. Josh is an up-tempo point guard who is fearless when attacking the rim. If given the opportunity at Kansas, Selby could have a John Wall like year. But with the depth of Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson, it may be harder for him to find the floor as much.
NBA Comparison: Baron Davis (before injuries)
11) Enes Kanter* (Kentucky) - 6'10", 250 pounds, PF
Kanter is possibly the hottest prospect in the nation that many people haven’t heard off. Kanter recently dominated the Nike Hoop Summit in which the top recruits in the U.S. faced the best recruits in the world. He is one of the strongest freshmen this year and is also an excellent rebounder. Look out for Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight to pick up right were DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall left off.
NBA Comparison: Chris Bosh
12) Josh Smith (UCLA) - 6'9", 290 pounds, PF
Stamina and weight control will be key in Josh’s success at UCLA. In a half court set however, Smith is a man-child. His great size gives him the ability to control the paint and cause a lot of damage on the offensive boards. Smith surprisingly moves well for a player his size, and when he sheds the baby fat he could be a force in the paint.
NBA Comparison: Eddy Curry
13) Fab Melo (Syracuse) - 7'0", 270 pounds, C
Not Carmelo, but Fab Melo can be labeled somewhat of a project in many coach’s eyes. His height and size allow him to succeed in many aspects of a game. If Fab can develop a better motor and work on his stamina, Boeheim should see instant results from the “Brazilian Banger”.
NBA Comparison: Marc Gasol
14) Cory Joseph (Texas) - 6'3", 185 pounds, PG/SG
Cory Joseph is the definition of a scorer. Although undersized for the SG position, Joseph has a nice set of handles that allow him to run the point guard position. Cory has one of the prettiest strokes in the 2010 class and routinely knocks down the three ball in bunches. Look for him to be a great lead guard in the near future.
NBA Comparison: Ben Gordon
15) Jereme Richmond (Illinois) - 6'7", 200 pounds, SG/SF
The Illinois native Richmond chose to stick to his roots, and the choice couldn’t have come at a better time for the Illini and Bruce Weber. Jereme is a highly skilled player that is as unselfish as they come. He can play the 1-3 positions and his versatility will help as the Illini try to establish themselves as a Big Ten contender.
NBA Comparison: Corey Brewer
16) Lorenzo Brown* (NC State) - 6'5", 185 pounds, SG/PG
Lorenzo was a top 50 player last year as apart of the 2009 class; but during this year at Hargrave Military school, his body and mind have both matured noticeably. He has put on weight and has gained valuable experience by going to prep school (ala John Wall). He and Ryan Harrow look to bring NC State back to prominence in the ACC next year, and well definitely look to make his mark for the Wolf Pack.
NBA Comparison: Rodney Stuckey
17) Terrence Jones (Undecided) - 6'8", 225 pounds, SF/PF
Considered to be the best player on the West Coast by many, Jones tends to live up to the reputation by showing his arsenal of skills. Terrence has excellent instincts for a forward and is always where the action is. He is very well rounded on the offensive end by displaying great post moves and scoring beyond the arc. He has a chance to be a one and done player depending on how much playing time he will get at the school he chooses.
NBA Comparison: Jeff Green
18) Adreian Payne (Michigan State) -6'9", 220 pounds, PF
Payne is a stat sheet filler. He does everything well on both sides of the ball and will be looked at right away to fill Raymar Morgan’s shoes. He’s a great rebounder and will add size to a Michigan State team that desperately needed it this year. With the return of Kailin Lucas and Durrell Summers, look for Adreian to shine while they will be getting a lot of attention on the offensive side of the ball.
NBA Comparison: Michael Beasley
19) Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) - 6'7", 225 pounds, SF/PF
Deshaun is explosive and a well built athlete. He plays strong on the inside and can also knock down the 3 when a taller defender is guarding him. Thomas is a high octane basketball player that will contribute on both sides of the ball for Thad Madd and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
NBA Comparison: Thaddeus Young
20) Jelan Kendrick (Memphis) - 6'7", 190 pounds, SG/SF
Kendrick is a rare hybrid forward that doesn’t come around that much in high school. The reason he is so special is because he handles the ball extremely well for a player that is 6'7". Don’t be surprised if you see Jelan playing point guard at times during his stint at Memphis.
NBA Comparison: Chris Douglas-Roberts
21) Roscoe Smith (UConn) - 6'8", 190 pounds, SF/PF
Long, lean, and athletic are three adjectives that come to mind when you watch Roscoe Smith on the basketball court. He plays as hard as anybody on the court and comes from a winning tradition while playing at Oak Hill Academy. Roscoe plays a vaguely similar game to departing UConn husky Stanley Robinson. Like Robinson, Roscoe can routinely make exciting dunks by excelling in the fast break. With the addition of Smith, Coach Calhoun will have an excellent young core at UConn for the 2010 season.
NBA Comparison: Darius Miles (pre injury)
22) Doron Lamb (Kentucky) - 6'4", 190 pounds, PG/SG
Despite being a tad undersized for a shooting guard, Doron is a solid prospect in every aspect of the game. If he can make the transition to the point guard while learning under Calapari at Kentucky, his potential will be unlimited. He puts up points in bunches and has a great pull up jumper that is extremely accurate in the mid range. Lamb should help the Kentucky Wildcats reload as they have already lost 5 players to the NBA draft.
NBA Comparison: Rashad McCants
23) Kendall Marshall (UNC) - 6'3", 185 pounds, PG
Although not as quick or as athletic as North Carolina is accustomed to, Marshall is a tall, long lefty with the best court vision in the 2010 class. Along with his court vision, his passing ability is equally amazing. Look for him to compete with Dexter Strickland for the starting point guard job for the rebuilding Tar heels.
NBA Comparison: Devin Harris
24) Ryan Harrow (NC State) - 6'0", 160 pounds, PG
Don’t let his size fool you, Harrow may be small in stature, but he plays a big game. His handles may be the best in the 2010 class, but with the nasty handles he possesses, he also has tons athleticism. Ryan is a highlight reel waiting to happen and will be looked at as the quarterback on the floor as soon as he arrives at NC State.
NBA Comparison: Brandon Jennings
25) Tristian Thompson (Texas) - 6'9", 230 pounds, PF
The Canadian big man will definitely enjoy more than the climate change while attending Texas. Tristian is expected to step in and start right away with Dexter Pittman and Damion James both entering the NBA draft. He has made big strides in his offensive game during his senior year at Findlay, extending his range to the three point line. He now is playing with more heart and showing great leadership qualities. Thompson and his high school teammate Cory Joseph should help Texas stay in contention for the Big 12 title next year.
NBA Comparison: Charlie Villanueva