Thursday, April 19, 2007

I don't understand recruiting rankings

And I never will. But let's just agree that it is an imprecise science, with too many variables to really create a good picture of what's to come. Ohio State was pretty easy to guess, as it had a LeBron-type presence in Greg Oden, and the best incoming freshmen Wing and Point to Boot.

Needless to say, there's a few guys every year (more than 2, less than 10) that are going to make a big impact right away. Then the next 100 guys or so could turn out to be fantastic (Iowa's Tyler Smith comes to mind) or benched (Georgetown's Vernon Macklin), or even redshirted (MSU's Tom Herzog). Then there's the Juco's.

The Juco's are even more hard to predict. Most had Mike White as a top-10 Juco, and Lance Stemler somewhere in the top 50. Together, they made for one much-needed starter at the power forward position.

Now, we've got Juco Player of the Year Jamarcus Ellis coming in and teammate DeAndre Thomas ranks somewhere in either the top 10 or 20, depending on who you're listening to. What kind of impact will they make?

Well, I think an appropriate parallel would be Mike White himself for Thomas. Thomas will probably give us 10-15 minutes per game, and be a decent back-up center. Ellis, on the other hand, is more difficult to gauge. While certainly not a player on the level of former top Juco Shawn Marion, Ellis nonetheless is very, very good, and should be similar in impact to last year's equivalent top wing. That was Sonny Weems, who was a starter and double-digit scorer at Arkansas this season. I don't think the other sites appropriately rate Jucos, and haven't been calibrated to incorporate the late signings thus far, so here's my take on the top classes for next year, so far:

1. Indiana
2. Syracuse
3. Ohio State
4. USC
5. Purdue
6. Arizona
7. Florida
8. LSU
9. Memphis
10. Virginia Tech
11. Texas A&M
12. Michigan State
13. Kansas State
14. DePaul
15. Duke
16. Gonzaga
17. NCSU
18. Georgetown
19. Arizona State
20. Alabama
21. UCLA
22. Illinois
23. South Carolina
24. Pepperdine
25. Oklahoma State

Honorable Mentions:
Boston College, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Creighton, Kent State,
Pittsburgh, Stephen F. Austin, Texas Tech, UAB, Washington


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