A week after releasing a new Rivals150 list for the class of 2008, Rivals.com is proud to unveil an expanded ranking for the class of 2009.
There is a new name at the top, and the class boasts a good balance of players at each position.
Sidney takes No. 1 spot
The biggest change in the rankings comes at the top. Renardo Sidney reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the class of 2009 with his stellar play in the spring, taking the spot from Alabama forward DeMarcus Cousins.
Sidney, a Mississippi native, moved to Los Angeles last summer and got his body into shape. The 6-foot-9 forward has a do-everything approach to the game. His versatility, upside and skill set are hard to match nationally - regardless of class.
"Renardo Sidney has really taken his game to another level in the past year," Rivals.com national basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer said. "Last summer, he was good - but not great. Since then he has really toned up his body and refined his skills.
"Maybe most impressive was the competitive edge that he played with at the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, Ark. He led his team to the championship game of the tournament."
Xavier Henry, a dynamic scoring guard from Oklahoma City, Okla., was dominant on the offensive end of the floor this spring. The No. 2 prospect in the class solidified himself as one of the best pure scorers in the country.
"I don't think there is any question that Xavier Henry is the most impressive perimeter prospect in the 2009 class," Meyer said. "At 6-foot-6 he is capable of playing the two to the four, and is filling out into a strong athlete. Xavier has all the skills and has the length and scoring moves to one day put up big numbers at the highest level."
Cousins checks in at No. 3, while point guard Dexter Strickland moves up a spot and Atlanta area big man Derrick Favors rounds out the top five.
Depth at the top prevails
Unlike the class of 2008, there isn't a positional theme atop the rankings. The class of 2009 has balance. Of the 20 five-star players in the class, six are wings, five are power forwards and five are shooting guards. The centers and point guards only tally a pair of prospects each.
Also changing with this new set of rankings is the number of five-star players. Generally, the basketball rankings boast 25 players that are tabbed five-stars. However, this current set of rankings only includes 20 five-stars in the 2009 class. Meyer said the players will need to earn five-star status with their play.
"We have realized for a while that it didn't make sense to have an arbitrary number of five-stars," Meyer said. "From now on we are going to use a fluid cutoff number between five-stars and four-stars."
The 2009 rankings only consist of 40 players heading into the summer, but expect that number to expand as Rivals.com has a chance to evaluate the class even further.
With a full summer slate ahead, the rankings for the class of 2009 will certainly fluctuate and are far from being complete. Expect several changes and some new names to pop onto the list over time.