May 7, 2007

New name cracks into the 2008 top five

The rankings have been reworked and the nation's top 25 prospects have been awarded five-star status in preparation for Rivals.com's updated Class of 2008 Rivals150 release on Tuesday.

Eight new players cracked into the top 25 and the top five welcomes a new name.

After looking at No. 25 to 17 and No. 16-9, Rivals.com breaks down the top eight in the final part of a three-part series leading into Tuesday's release of the updated Class of 2008 Rivals150.

Ask the experts about the new rankings | Vote: Who is your pick for the nation's top prospect?

2008 Five Stars: The top eight
8. Willie Warren
6-4, 195, SG, Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley
Warren in action
Texas guard Willie Warren took his game to another level this spring, showing more maturity and better decision-making skills. The 6-foot-4 scorer from North Crowley (Texas) High School is also becoming one of the most coveted players in the nation. While he maintains his recruitment is wide open, Warren says Kentucky, Kansas and Texas are recruiting him the hardest.

Jerry Meyer on Warren: "With his strength and skill, Warren is one of those guards who is basically unguardable. Even scarier, at the Kingwood Classic he looked like a power point guard who could run someone's show in the NBA one day."

7. Ty Walker
6-11, 200, C, Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover
Wake Forest was able to beat the certain rush for in-state center Ty Walker. The 7-footer from New Hanover High School in Wilmington continues his upswing. Playing now with the always powerful Boo Williams traveling team, Walker is showing glimpses of great things to come. The Demon Deacons beat out North Carolina, North Carolina State and Clemson early in the process.

Jerry Meyer on Walker: "What an upside this athletic and very long post player has and he is quite good right now. Walker is rapidly becoming a more skilled player. He's listed as a center, but he is a new-age center who is effective facing the basket as a shooter and passer."

6. Samardo Samuels
6-9, 230, PF, Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's Prep
Samuels in action
A longtime top 10 player, Samuels continues to take on all comers and more than holds his own. The St. Benedict's (N.J.) post has withstood the physical battles well this spring and he continues to be one of the most coveted players in the nation. North Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, Rutgers and Georgetown are high on his list.

Jerry Meyer on Samuels: "You know what you are going to get with this powerful post player. Samuels consistently dominates around the basket. Yes, he overpowers opponents, but he also has the skill and footwork to produce points when he can't just outmuscle his opponent."

5. Ed Davis
6-8, 215, PF, Mechanicsville (Va.) Benedictine
The new face in the top five enjoyed one of the best showings of the spring with his MVP performance at the Boo Williams Invitational. The 6-foot-8 forward was unstoppable against some of the nation's top players. It doesn't come as a surprise that Virginia, Connecticut, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and others have made him a top priority.

Jerry Meyer on Davis: "Davis has transformed himself from just a shot blocker, rebounder and dunker into a skilled post player who can wheel and deal with his back to the basket. It's nice to see a post player gain that confidence where he is hungry for the ball and ready to create a basket."

4. B.J. Mullens
7-0, 260, C, Canal Winchester (Ohio)
Long before Ohio State played in the national championship game, center Mullens pledged to the Buckeyes. His commitment is an important one because Greg Oden as expected is moving on to the NBA. Mullens is physically gifted, and is an impressive player at this stage in his development. While not quite the player that Oden is, Mullens will be a game-changer in Columbus.

Jerry Meyer on Mullens: "Although Mullens didn't get many touches at the Real Deal on the Hill this spring, there was no denying the impressive athleticism in such a large body. Mullens also has a feathery touch on his jumper to go along with his powerful play."

3. Al-Farouq Aminu
6-8, 210, SF, Norcross (Ga.)
Aminu in action
Aminu has always had major potential. In April, he tapped into it. The Norcross (Ga.) wing showed off his skills while helping his Georgia Stars win the King James Shooting Stars Classic. He's one of the best pure prospects in the nation and a must get for the likes of North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida, Clemson and Wake Forest.

Jerry Meyer on Aminu: "Aminu's game continues to grow. A skilled combo forward, he can score at all three levels, put the ball on the floor and pass it. However, what has been most impressive this spring is the way he has aggressively rebounded the ball."

2. Jrue Holiday
6-3, 200, SG, North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall
Holiday in action
There are a lot of positive things to be said about California guard Jrue Holiday. In April, he added dominating guard to the list of descriptions. The 6-foot-3 standout helped his Pump N Run Elite team win the Real Deal on the Hill. Holiday also shined at the other national events. The nation's top guard is being heavily pursued by UCLA, Washington and North Carolina.

Jerry Meyer on Holiday: "There just isn't a guard in the 2008 class who has as polished a game as Holiday. Not only is he powerfully athletic, he is also extremely skilled. He has the mind for the game and competitive desire to be a dominant backcourt player at the highest level."

1. Greg Monroe
6-10, 226, PF, Harvey (La.) Helen Cox
Monroe in action
The nation's top player withstood every battle thrown his way in April and maintained his spot atop Rivals.com's Class of 2008 rankings. LSU's John Brady, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self of Kansas, Billy Donovan of Florida, USC head man Tim Floyd, Rick Pitino of Louisville, and others watched Monroe closely at the Kingwood Classic. Many were also on hand at the Next Level event in Dallas.

Monroe maintains he is no rush to decide where he'll play his college basketball. As the country's top prospect, he has time on his side. The versatile forward laid the foundation for a great summer ahead.

Jerry Meyer on Monroe: "What immediately jumps out at you with Monroe is how fluidly he handles the basketball and how well he passes it at his size. He is a monster in the open court, both with the ball and filling the lane. Everything he can do - and will be able to do - at his size makes him the top player in the class."




 

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