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June 26, 2007
Out of the draft, into the Power Rankings
• PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Head Coach
When we looked at our first College Basketball Power Rankings for the 2007-08 season we lamented the lack of big-time big men.
But that's the nature of the center position. If you're a great center, you're not going to spend a lot of time in the college game. Witness Greg Oden and Spencer Hawes, two former five-star prospects who did the one-and-done thing.
If you're a very good center with the potential to be great, staying in college isn't such a bad idea. It means you get to hone your game for another season and improve your stock. It also means you don't have to be in the same draft as Oden and Hawes.
Four centers who pulled out of the NBA Draft – California's DeVon Hardin, Texas A&M Corpus Christi's Chris Daniels, Texas A&M's Joseph Jones and Illinois' Shaun Pruitt – shook up our latest power rankings by jumping into our top 10 upon their return.
Hardin makes his debut the highest. His return was a surprise because his NBA Draft stock by all accounts was on the rise. The 6-11 middle man for the Golden Bears played in only 11 games last season because of a stress fracture, but he averaged 10.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots in his limited time. Now he'll team with power forward Ryan Anderson to give Cal one of the premier front lines in the country.
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.