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July 3, 2007
Several moves made in updated Rivals150
Which recruits will live up to their billing? Which will struggle and drop in the rankings?
Rivals.com breaks down the top 150 players in the class of 2008 in the latest installment of the Class of 2008 Rivals150 player rankings.
Few changes at the top
After that, things get interesting. USC commitment Demar DeRozan shot up the charts to No. 4 in the post-spring rankings. DeRozan was previously ranked No. 17 in the Rivals150 for the class of 2008.
National basketball and recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer explained the rise of the 6-foot-5 Compton (Calif.) High School product.
"Demar DeRozan has always been one of the most athletic players in the 2008 class, and now he is one of the better prospects in the class," Meyer said. "He shoots an effortless jumper off NBA-style moves, and can get a rebound in a crowd. He is a prototypical NBA shooting guard."
Also making a big jump in the top 10 is Tyreke Evans, who was one of the most dynamic players at the USA Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., last month.
"Tyreke Evans hasn't played very inspired basketball over the past year, but a lot of that must have to do with boredom. He has been on the 17-and-under circuit - and under a bright spotlight - for years," Meyer said. "Evans was in top competitive form in Colorado Springs. He was physical and quick with the basketball and played with a chip on his shoulder."
Trio enters five-star range
Hopson, an athletic 6-foot-5 wing from Kentucky, overcame a slow start in 2007 with a huge performance at the USA Youth Development Festival. Hopson, a Mississippi State commitment, checks in at No. 20. Meyer said he saw a lot of pro potential in the rising wing.
"After a lackluster high school season and spring travel season, Scotty Hopson was terrific in Colorado Springs," Meyer said. "He played against many of the top prospects in the country. A smooth shooter and ultra-athletic player, Hopson has the makings of a NBA shooting guard."
Garcia, an offensively skilled 6-foot-10 big man from East Chicago (Ind.) High School via Puerto Rico, continues to rise in the rankings. He is the No. 22 ranked player in the latest rankings. Vargas, another skilled 6-foot-10 big man, hails from the Dominican Republic. Vargas has fine-tuned his skills at American Heritage in South Florida. Vargas is the No. 23 ranked player in the class.
Getting to the point
The point guard position is clearly one of the most important in the game. Programs have tried to lock up the floor generals in the '08 class, and for good reason. The class is shaping up nicely at the position.
Holiday has separated himself from the pack. The California native hasn't had many challengers this year for the top spot. Evans demonstrated his court savvy and floor awareness in Colorado Springs. Texan Willie Warren - a strong-bodied, 6-foot-3 guard - has a game similar to the style Evans plays.
Recent Kentucky pledge DeAndre Liggins has the best size of the bunch at 6-feet-5 and is a great passer in the halfcourt. Connecticut commitment Kemba Walker showed off his point-guard prowess with his New York Gauchos club this spring. He also shined individually at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp.
"At the highest level of play, you see more of a movement toward physical point guards with size," Meyer says. "Steve Nash and Tony Parker are exceptions, but both of those guys are 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-2 respectively.
"When looking at the top point guards in this class, Holiday, Evans, Warren and Liggins fit the mold of the big lead guard. They are all certainly college-ready. Jennings, who is an exception, has the quickness to develop into a Tony Parker-type player if he improves his leadership skills and becomes tougher."