Re-ranking recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2005?

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July’s live recruiting period is right around the corner, meaning that the Class of 2016 will have a chance to truly prove themselves to the recruiters and the recruitniks around the country. Scholarships will be earned and rankings will be justified over the course of those three weekends in July.

But scholarship offers and rankings don’t always tell us who the best players in a given class will end up being. Ask Steph Curry. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be re-ranking eight recruiting classes, from 2004-2011, based on what they have done throughout their post-high school career. 

Here are the 25 best players from the Class of 2005, with their final Rivals Top 150 ranking in parentheses:

READ MORE: The complete Re-ranking the Classes series

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(Monta Ellis/Getty Images)

1. Monta Ellis (No. 3): Since entering the league out of high school Ellis has been a potent scorer who has averaged double figures every year since his second season. At 19.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game over 10 seasons, Ellis is a proven talent who was named the league’s most improved player in 2007.

2. Andrew Bynum (No. 6): It appears Bynum’s career could be over due to bad knees and a bad attitude, but he’s the only player in the class to make an All-NBA team (second in 2012), an all-star game (2012) and he’s a two-time starting center on the championship Lakers (09-10). At his peak, Bynum was one of the best centers in the game.

3. Wesley Matthews (No. 85): Going from undrafted to averaging at least 13 points per game the last five seasons, Matthews has become one of the NBA’s best two-way two-guards. Matthews suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in March of last season.

RELATED: Re-ranking the Class of 2004

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(Lou Williams/Getty Images)

4. Lou Williams (No. 7): The only player in his class to be name-dropped by Drake, Williams won the 2015 Sixth Man Award during the best season of his career. A volume shooter, Williams can score points in a hurry, but he’s also inefficient sometimes as a shooter.

5. Darren Collison (No. 100): Collison has averaged double figure points in all six of his NBA seasons and he’s been a steady presence playing good minutes. After leaving UCLA tied as the program’s winningest player, Collison has averaged 12.4 points, 5 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

6. Wilson Chandler (No. 44): After two seasons at DePaul, Chandler has carved out a solid NBA career with a brief stint in China during the NBA lockout. Chandler is coming off of a solid season with the Denver Nuggets and he’s averaging 13.7 points and 5.3 points over the course of his career.

7. Danny Green (No. 31): A champion at both the college (2009 North Carolina) and NBA (2014 Spurs) level, Green has carved out a solid career as a three-and-D guard on a championship contender. Green set the NBA Finals record for 3-pointers and is also coming off of a solid 2014-15 season.

8. Mario Chalmers (No. 12): Also a champion in college (2008 Kansas) and the NBA (2012-13 Heat), Chalmers has received steady point guard minutes for a championship contender. The former Kansas star averaged 8.9 points, 3.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while making second-team all-rookie in 2009.

9. C.J. Miles (No. 19): Now a 10-year NBA veteran after being drafted in the second round out of high school, Miles had a good 2014-15 season with Indiana, giving the Pacers some much-needed scoring.

10. Gerald Green (No. 1): Once known only as the Slam Dunk Champion from 2007, Green re-started his NBA career after some time in the D-League and overseas to become a potent role scorer for the Phoenix Suns. Green has improved his three-point shooting to become a high flyer who can also hit shots.

11. Amir Johnson (No. 29): Also out of high school, Johnson has been a consistent producer as a reserve forward for the Toronto Raptors the last five seasons.

12. Andray Blatche (No. 4): Another high school prospect who slipped to the second round, Blatche is still playing in China after some productive stints in the NBA.

13. Martell Webster (No. 5): Webster has been a productive scorer as a role player the last few years after being selected No. 6 overall out of high school.

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(Tyler Hansbrough/Getty Images)

14. Tyler Hansbrough (No. 10): One of the most decorated college players in recent memory, Hansbrough still gets some minutes after his title and four-year All-American run at North Carolina.

15. Josh McRoberts (No. 2): McRoberts has never been a particularly impressive player in terms of production, but he’s steady and he’s developed a 3-pointer to be a stretch forward.

16. Alonzo Gee (No. 33): Playing with Denver this past season, Gee has been in the league six seasons after going undrafted out of Alabama. He’s averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game during his career.

17. Brandon Rush (No. 13): A member of the 2015 champion Golden State Warriors, Rush has only played in 73 games the last three seasons after a productive four-year stretch. Injuries have limited him.

18. Shawne Williams (No. 15): Since finishing his Memphis career as a one-and-done, Williams has stayed in the NBA, having played for seven different teams. Williams started 22 games for the Heat last year and appeared in 57 total games.

19. Chris Douglas-Roberts (No. 75): Playing with the Clippers for 12 games last season, CDR has played for five different teams since his career at Memphis ended.

20. Terrence Williams (No. 111): The former Louisville wing hasn’t been in the league since the 2012-13 season, but Williams had a briefly solid stretch when he entered the league with the Nets.

21. Sam Young (No. 71): Entering the league with two solid years with Memphis, Young only played two more seasons and hasn’t appeared in the league since the 2012-13 season.

22. Jeff Adrien (No. 41): Appearing in parts of five seasons in the NBA, Adrien never played more than 52 games in a season. He still plays professionally in China.

23. Jeremy Pargo (No. 105): Pargo played in 83 games over three seasons in the NBA after his career at Gonzaga. The last few seasons for Pargo have been played in Israel.

24. Julian Wright (No. 8): A lottery pick out of Kansas, Wright hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2010-11 season after only four years in the league. He still plays professionally, most recently in Puerto Rico.

25. Jon Brockman (No. 47): Four good years at Washington and three years in the NBA before Brockman carved out a solid professional career. He’s currently in Germany.

Notables
Greg Paulus (11)
Tyler Smith (34)
Eric Devendorf (46)
Bobby Frasor (51)
Antonio Anderson (56)
Marcus Williams (76)
Luke Zeller (79)
Jerel McNeal (99)
Derrick Brown (115)
Justin Dentmon (119)
Taylor Griffin (141)
Martellus Bennett (UR)
Jimmy Graham (UR)

No. 22 Tennessee beats No. 3 Kansas 64-50 for Atlantis title

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Tennessee’s players proved to be determined defenders and relentless rebounders, along with having the kind of toughness to ensure the reigning national champions would have little chance to get comfortable.

It was all enough to give the 22nd-ranked Volunteers a title of their own, along with the blueprint that coach Rick Barnes hopes they follow the rest of the year.

Santiago Vescovi scored 20 points while Tennessee locked down on third-ranked Kansas in a 64-50 win Friday night in the championship game at the Battle 4 Atlantis, snapping the Jayhawks’ 17-game winning streak.

Vescovi hit five 3-pointers as the tournament’s most valuable player for the Volunteers (5-1), who dominated the glass, overcame their own turnover troubles and made the Jayhawks work for clean looks. And for the third time in as many days, Tennessee won without leading scorer Josiah-Jordan James (knee soreness).

Perhaps that’s why reserve guard Zakai Zeigler, who had 14 points and four steals, showed up wearing sunglasses to the postgame news conference after the Volunteers had danced and hollered through the on-court trophy ceremony.

“We know if you can’t stop the man in front of you, then you’ll have no shot at winning the game,” Zeigler said, adding: “We just like to play defense, and we just happen to be good at it.”

The Vols held the Jayhawks to 32.1% shooting, bothering them with size and length around the rim. They also took the ball right at the Jayhawks with 5-foot-9 Zeigler leading the way, down to him refusing to let go of a jump ball and trading words with 6-8 forward Jalen Wilson.

Zeigler’s night included a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock at the 7-minute mark to push Tennessee’s lead to 56-38. He followed with another big one from the right wing with 4:42 left after Kansas had closed within 11.

Wilson and Joseph Yesefu each scored 14 points to lead the Jayhawks (6-1), who shot 28.6% in the first half and never warmed up. They made 5 of 21 3-pointers in what was an all-around rough night, from losing starting guard Dajuan Harris to fouls with 9 minutes left to failing to keep the Vols off the glass (45-27).

“We played a team tonight that was older and more mature and obviously played stronger and tougher,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We didn’t handle the situation near as well as what I would hope a poised team would.”

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers opened the tournament with a win over Butler, then grinded through an overtime win against Southern California in Thursday’s semifinals. This time, Tennessee played in front the entire way en route to its first title in three tries at the Atlantis resort.

“I think the main thing from the whole week was stay together through tough times, that’s what you’ve got to do,” Vescovi said.

Kansas: The Jayhawks didn’t have an easy first two days in the Bahamas. First came a battle to the final minutes with North Carolina State. Then came Thursday’s overtime win against Wisconsin on Bobby Pettiford Jr.’s last-second putback. But they never looked in any type of offensive flow this time with their smaller lineup.

“I feel like if we were able to get them out of place and not just have them standing there, waiting to contest a layup, that could’ve gave us some better chances at finishing at the rim,” Wilson said.

STRONG RUN

Tennessee held its three Atlantis opponents to 36.9% shooting and 15 of 59 (25.4%) from 3-point range. The Volunteers also averaged a +9 rebounding margin, ending with having Jonas Aidoo (nine) leading five players snagging at least six rebounds against Kansas.

“You can be a good defensive team but if you can’t be a great one if you give them second and third shots,” Barnes said.

SIDELINED

Beyond Harris’ foul trouble, the Jayhawks played most of the way without Pettiford, who exited midway through the first half grabbing at his right leg.

Afterward, Self said he would be out “for a while” with a hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: The Volunteers return home to host McNeese State on Wednesday.

Kansas: The Jayhawks host Texas Southern on Monday.

BYU erases 23-point deficit, beats Dayton in overtime 79-75

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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NASSAU, Bahamas – Gideon George scored 21 points and combined with Jaxson Robinson and Rudi Williams for BYU’s 15 overtime points as the Cougars came back from a 23-point deficit to beat Dayton 79-75 in overtime Friday.

BYU’s victory came in the seventh-place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

George’s 3-pointer with 2:19 left in regulation gave BYU (4-3) its first lead after Dayton scored the first 10 points of the game and led 32-9 with six minutes left in the first half.

Mike Sharavjamts’ basket gave the lead back to Dayton but George’s free throw with a minute left sent the game into overtime.

Dayton got the first points in overtime but Robinson’s 3-pointer gave BYU the lead for good halfway through the extra period.

Robinson had 14 points, Dallin Hall 12 and Williams 11 to join George in double figures for BYU.

DaRon Holmes II scored 21 points and Sharavjamts 15 for Dayton (3-4). The Flyers lost starting guards Kobe Elvis and Malachi Smith to lower-body injuries in the second half, Smith with with just seconds left in regulation.

Portland beats Villanova 83-71 in Phil Knight Invitational

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Moses Wood scored 16 points and Portland beat Villanova 83-71 on Friday in the Phil Knight Invitational.

Villanova (2-4) has lost three straight games, including an overtime loss to Iowa State on Thursday to drop below .500 for the first time since March 7, 2012.

Vasilije Vucinic’s layup with 4:16 remaining in the first half gave Portland the lead for good. The Pilots had an eight-point lead at halftime and scored the first 10 points of the second half.

Wood added six rebounds and three blocks for the Pilots (5-3). Tyler Robertson scored 15 points while shooting 6 for 12 (1 for 5 from 3-point range) and added seven rebounds and eight assists. Kristian Sjolund recorded 14 points and shot 5 for 7 (2 for 3 from 3-point range).

Caleb Daniels finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats. Villanova also got 14 points from Jordan Longino. Brandon Slater had 11 points.

Caleb Grill, Iowa State topples No. 1 North Carolina 70-65

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Caleb Grill has followed T.J. Otzelberger from South Dakota State to UNLV and now back to Iowa State hoping the pair could share a moment like they did Friday.

Taking down the No. 1 team in the country was another bookmark moment in a long journey for the pair.

“I’m actually really enjoying sitting next to him from this moment right now just thinking about how long we’ve known each other and how cool this really was,” Otzelberger said.

Grill hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points and Iowa State rallied in the final five minutes to stun No. 1 North Carolina 70-65 in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational.

Iowa State (5-0) picked up just its third win over a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Cyclones are 3-22 against No. 1 teams, with the other wins coming against Kansas in 1957 and Oklahoma in 2016.

The Cyclones can now add North Carolina (5-1) to the list.

“I was just staying the course of the game. I never really thought about it and the game just kind of came to me,” Grill said.

Grill was averaging 7.3 points and had made just 4 of 24 3-point attempts for the season entering Friday. But he couldn’t be stopped from beyond the arc, hitting a pair of big 3s to spark Iowa State’s late rally. His deep fadeaway jumper just inside the 3-point line with 1:40 left gave Iowa State a 63-61 lead and the Cyclones did just enough at the free throw line in the final minute to close out the upset victory.

Grill’s previous career high was 27 points while playing for UNLV in the 2020-21 season against Alabama. He also hit seven 3-pointers in that game.

Grill originally signed with South Dakota State when Otzelberger was the coach there. He was released from his commitment when Otzelberger took the head job at UNLV and started his career at Iowa State before deciding to join his coach in Las Vegas.

When Otzelberger returned to Ames, Grill followed again.

“Just having him be the first person that really had belief in me, it’s just really special what he’s done for me and my family and everything we’ve done,” Grill said.

Jaren Holmes added 22 points and the Cyclones withstood off shooting games from Aljaz Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur, who combined for three points and missed all eight of their shot attempts. Both were averaging double figures scoring for Iowa State.

RJ Davis led North Carolina with 15 points, Armando Bacot added 14 and Caleb Love scored 12. But the Tar Heels will lament a series of mistakes in the closing minutes that allowed Iowa State to rally.

“We had wide open threes. We were able to get to the basket. We were able to get whatever we wanted, we just didn’t make those shots,” North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said.

North Carolina led 57-49 after Leaky Black’s layup with 5:43 left, but missed four of its final six shots and had four turnovers during that span.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times and you just can’t do that in late-game situations,” Davis said. “You have to be sound and discipline and you have to do that on both ends of the floor and we just didn’t do it.”

NO. 1 LOSSES

North Carolina lost as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015 when it lost 71-67 at Northern Iowa. The Tar Heels also lost as No. 1 to UNLV in 2011 at a Thanksgiving tournament.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: Pete Nance wasn’t able to contribute in the same way he did in Thursday’s opening round. Nance, who tied his career high with 28 points against Portland, didn’t score for the first 27 minutes and finished with seven points.

Iowa State: The Cyclones were playing a No. 1 team from outside their conference for the first time since 1999 when they faced Cincinnati in the championship game of the Big Island Invitational.

UP NEXT

Iowa State will face either No. 18 Alabama or No. 20 UConn in the championship game while the Tar Heels will face the loser for third place.

No. 8 Duke locks down late, holds off Xavier 71-64

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
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PORTLAND, Ore. – After a shaky offensive performance in the opening round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, Duke coach Jon Scheyer wanted to see Jeremy Roach get back to playing more instinctively, especially at the offensive end of the floor.

Roach responded with a season-high 21 points, Mark Mitchell added 16 and No. 8 Duke withstood Xavier’s second-half comeback for a 71-64 win on Friday.

The Blue Devils (6-1) advanced to the championship game thanks to the play of their standout guard and another strong defensive effort. Roach came one point shy of matching his career high, and the Blue Devils rebounded after an unexpectedly tight victory over Oregon State in the opening round of the event.

Roach was 3 of 14 shooting against Oregon State as the Blue Devils scored a season-low 54 points. He made 9 of 15 shots and had five assists against Xavier.

“There’s a lot that falls on your shoulders so you can end up overthinking it a little bit,” Scheyer said. “The thing that I love for him today is he just was him. And when he’s that way, he is to me the best guard in the country.”

The Musketeers (4-2) were held to two points over the final five minutes and missed their last four shot attempts. Souley Boum scored 23 points and Adam Kunkel had 13. Kunkel didn’t play the last 11 minutes after taking a hard fall committing a foul.

Xavier leading scorer Jack Nudge was 1 of 13 shooting and finished with five points.

“Jack played a great effort. He really did. He was ready for the game. He just had one of those nights where the ball didn’t go in the basket,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

At the same time, Miller was disappointed in what he called the “fracturing” he saw from his team.

“There were spurts and segments of the game where I thought we reflected our style, how we’re trying to play, whether it be defense and offense. But there were way too many segments of the game, if not most of the game, where we were at times in our own way,” Miller said.

Mitchell scored seven points in the opening minutes of the second half, including a pair of layups, and he hit a 3-pointer from the wing that gave Duke a 49-36 lead, its largest of the game.

That’s when Xavier’s comeback started. The Musketeers pulled within three points on several occasions, but Duke answered each time. Desmond Claude’s driving layup pulled Xavier within 63-60 with 5:51 left, but Ryan Young scored for Duke and Xavier didn’t make another basket.

Roach’s jumper with 2:40 left pushed Duke’s lead to 69-62.

“We like to play inside out but I mean, when guys are hitting shots it just opens up for everybody else,” Roach said. “Just try to continue to be consistent hitting shots and I think we’ll be fine.”

Kyle Filipowski had 12 points and was not Duke’s leading scorer for the first time in five games.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils’ dominance on the backboards finally came to an end. Duke had outrebounded each of its first six opponents by double figures, the longest such stretch in school history. But Xavier’s interior size limited Duke to a 33-32 advantage on the glass. The Blue Devils had 12 second-chance points.

Xavier: The Musketeers played an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the first time since beating Virginia Tech in last year’s NIT Season Tip-Off. Xavier dropped to 0-2 against ranked opponents this season, having lost to Indiana last week. The Musketeers will play another ranked foe in Sunday’s third-place game.

UP NEXT

Duke will face the Gonzaga-Purdue winner in the championship game on Sunday, while Xavier will play the loser.