May 8, 2006

Rivals150 could offer surprises

Changes always mark the original release of the Rivals150 for each rising senior class. The 2007 pre-summer ranking, which is set for release on Wednesday morning, is marked by an influx of new talent along with some shifting of names in the top 10. That's on top of some new blood in the top 25.

So what could take place Wednesday with the release of the new Rivals150? Here is a quick glance at some possibilities going into the first release of the 2007 rankings.

Solid at the top

Despite the clamor for a new No. 1 player, it will be difficult for anyone to topple O.J. Mayo.

With his refined blend of athleticism, skill and savvy, Mayo has the tools to run the point for a long time in the League. Behind him, however, there will be some shifting in the top ten, including two new entries from the previous ranking.

His teammate Bill Walker, who presently sits at No. 2, has as much potential as any player in the 2007 class, but does not always produce up to expectation. Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose are all making a push towards the top of the list.

While some analysts are discussing whether Love is a better prospect than Mayo, the Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting staff is discussing whether Love is a better prospect than Beasley.

New five-stars

With the top 25 as a whole, expect nearly ten new players to earn five-star status, with the equivalent amount dropping from five-star status.

Austin Freeman and Kalin Lucas lead the charge of players that proved their five-star worth during the April evaluation period.

Freeman is a scoring machine with his efficient, low-key style of play. With his smooth style and wide frame, his athletic bursts to the basket catch defenders by surprise.

Lucas is the engine that runs The Family as he pushes the tempo and delivers the ball to his talented wings. He can also score the ball with a variety of shots in the mid-range.

Previously Unheralded

After playing just his first season of varsity basketball, Evan Turner has turned heads with his play with the Illinois Wolves this April. The smooth 6-foot-6 playmaker could work his way into a five-star ranking this if he doesn't land one before this summer.

LaceDarius Dunn left his mark at the Real Deal on the Hill during the middle of April with his strong play. The Baylor commitment is also pushing for a five-star ranking.

Coming off a strong high school season, Corperryale Harris has a shot at a top-50 ranking. The Detroit native might not have the athleticism for the NBA, but he is destined to fill up the stat sheet on the collegiate level.

Names you may not know

Sudan native Teeng Akol makes you think NBA at times with the way he shoots the ball off a pivot in the mid-range area at 6-foot-11. The big fellow needs to add some weight and some defense for the NBA to ever become a reality for him.

The Tennessee Travelers picked up quite a prospect to compliment sharp-shooting Teddy Dupay-like Terrence Oglesby with Antwaine Wiggins. The 6-foot-6 swingman has a smooth lefty shooting stroke and a big upside.

Not well known outside his home state, Steven Grey, a Gonzaga commitment, caused quite stir in Washington during the high school season. Look for him to enter the rankings closer to the top than to the bottom.



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