May 9, 2006

Rivals150: Previewing the 2007 rankings

Just how much have certain prospects raised their stock during the AAU circuit this spring? Who are the best juniors in the nation at each position?

We are about to find out those answers and much more. Rivals.com's basketball recruiting staff is busy putting together the final touches on the first Rivals150 for the Class of 2007. The complete rankings will be released this Wednesday.

Here is a preview of what to look for in this week's release.

Early commits proving themselves

Much curiosity surrounds some of the juniors who committed before this past high school season began. This includes point guard Nick Calathes (Florida), shooting guard Chris Allen (Michigan State) and power forwards Donte Green (Syracuse) and Richard Jackson (Syracuse).

The entire group is making strong pushes for five-star rankings.

Calathes, who is best known for his savvy and versatility, was named to the All-Tournament team at the Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton, Virginia. He also put together some big games in the Houston Kingwood Classic, leading his NIKE Team Florida to a win over the SYF Players, who ended up reaching the title game.

Allen went on big scoring tears at the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He consistently took defenders off the dribble and penetrated to the basket.

Green showed tremendous versatility at the Kingwood Classic and at the King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio. He pushed the ball up court on fast breaks, hit mid-range jumpers and used a variety of moves to get from the perimeter and high post area to the basket.

Jackson was arguably the top player for USA's 16-under team in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany last month. He led the team to a 4-2 record, averaging a team-high 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds.

On the outside looking in

Many of the prospects which were not included in Rivals.com's original release of the top 100 prospects, are making strong cases for earning a spot in the rankings.

That includes point guard Jamelle McMillan, shooting guard Dorenzo Hudson and small forward Adam Allen.

Already considered an excellent defender, McMillan, who is the son of Portland Trailblazers coach Nate McMillan, averaged eight assists a game for O'Dea High School in Seattle this past season. Schools from nearly every major conference are showing interest in him.

Hudson, who is drawing attention from a handful of ACC schools, showed how dangerous of a scorer he can be at the Boo Williams Invitational - putting up 49 points in one game.

Allen led Milton (Fla.) High to a state title game this past season and recently landed scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida and Florida State. He looked like one of the nation's top outside shooters at the Kingwood Classic and the King of the South in Nashville, consistently burying 3-pointers from well beyond the arc.

Moving back a year

The rankings will also include a handful of familiar names.

Some of former top 2006 prospects recently re-classified into the class of 2007 This will include Mamadou Diarra, Virginia Tech-commit Jeff Allen and former Iowa State-commit P'Allen Stinnett.

Diarra is playing for Stoneridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif., a program that has recently produced a large group of Division-I signees. Allen was one of the top players at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia this past season. Stinnett is currently looking to enroll in a prep school for the next school year.



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