Re-ranking the recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players in the Class of 2007?

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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 2007, with their final Rivals Top 150 ranking in parentheses:

READ MOREThe complete Re-ranking the Classes series

source:
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

1. Derrick Rose (3): Rose’s lone season at Memphis nearly resulted in a national title (that run was vacated by the NCAA), and he was the top overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Chicago native’s had some health issues to deal with, but he’s also the only player in the class to have been named NBA MVP.

2. James Harden (11): Harden’s two seasons at Arizona State were incredibly productive, as he led the Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament in 2009 and was a lottery pick in that year’s draft. Having spent his first three seasons in Oklahoma City before being traded to Houston, “The Beard” is currently one of the best players in the NBA.

3. Blake Griffin (23): Griffin was dominant in his two seasons at Oklahoma, where he helped lead the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009 before being taken first overall in that year’s NBA Draft. Griffin’s averaging 21.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in five seasons as a Clipper.

Blake Griffin
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

4. Kevin Love (6): Love’s lone season at UCLA ended in the Final Four, and he’s been a productive pro in both Minnesota and Cleveland. Love, who’s averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in six seasons as a professional.

5. Jeff Teague (57): Teague, who played his college basketball at Wake Forest and was a second team All-American in 2009, has emerged as a highly valuable player for the Atlanta Hawks. Teague, who averaged 15.9 points and 7.0 assists per game this season, earned his first All-Star appearance in 2014-15 as well.

6. DeAndre Jordan (8): Say what you want about the development of Jordan’s offensive skill set, he’s been a high-level rebounder and defender in the NBA after playing a season at Texas A&M. Currently working his way through free agency, Jordan’s a two-time NBA rebounding champion and was third team All-NBA this past season.

7. Chandler Parsons (19): Parsons is one of the few players on this list who spent four seasons in college, earning SEC Player of the Year honors at Florida in 2011. As a pro he’s played in Houston and Dallas, averaging 14.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for his career.

8. O.J. Mayo (4): Mayo’s lone season at USC was marred by controversy, with NCAA violations leading to him losing his remaining eligibility and Tim Floyd being relieved of his coaching duties. Mayo was a first team All-Pac-10 selection in 2008, and he’s averaging 14.3 points per game for his NBA career.

9. Eric Gordon (2): Gordon’s recruitment was an interesting one, as he committed to Illinois before changing his mind and joining Indiana instead. Picked seventh in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Clippers, Gordon’s struggled with injuries throughout his career but has averaged nearly 17 points per contest.

**** Kenneth Faried (UR): Yup, this was an oversight. This is where he would have been ranked.

10. Jerryd Bayless (13): Bayless averaged nearly 20 points per game in his lone season at Arizona, going on to be a lottery pick of the Pacers (traded to Portland) in the 2008 NBA Draft. He’s bounced around quite a bit in the NBA but is averaging just over eight points per game as a pro.

RELATED: Re-ranking the classes 2004 | 2005 | 2006

11. Patrick Patterson (17): Patterson played three seasons at Kentucky, averaging at least 14.3 points per game in each of those campaigns. From there it was on to the NBA, where he’s developed into a dependable option who can serve as a stretch four. Patterson’s averaging 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest as an NBA player.

12. Evan Turner (49): Like Patterson, Turner played three seasons in college. Unlike Patterson, Turner earned National Player of the Year honors in 2010 and was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection in each of his final two seasons at Ohio State. Turner played four seasons in Philadelphia before moving on to Boston, where he averaged 9.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game this past season.

13. Kyle Singler (5): Singler is one of two players on this list who won a national title in college, doing so as a junior at Duke in 2010. Singler spent his first season as a pro (2011-12) in Spain, earning NBA All-Rookie Team honors with the Pistons in 2013. Since then the Oregon native move on to Oklahoma City, where he agreed to a new deal earlier this week.

14. Michael Beasley (1): Beasley’s one season at Kansas State was a dominant one, as he averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds and earned Big 12 Player of the Year and first team All-America honors. However that didn’t translate to the NBA, where inconsistency and immaturity have plagued his career. Beasley, who began last season in China, played with the Heat from late February on.

15. Mike Scott (115): Scott ended up spending five seasons at Virginia due to an ankle injury, and by the time he was a fifth-year senior the forward was one of the best players in the ACC. Scott’s been a solid contributor for the Hawks in three seasons, averaging 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

source:
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

16. Nick Calathes (14): Calathes joined Parsons at Florida but wasn’t there nearly as long, leaving the school for the pro ranks after earning first team All-SEC honors as a sophomore. Calathes has played in both Europe and the NBA, most recently serving as Mike Conley Jr.’s backup in Memphis.

17. Norris Cole (NR): Cole wasn’t ranked coming out of high school, and in four seasons at Cleveland State he emerged as a player worthy of being selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Cole was a member of two NBA champion teams in Miami, before being traded to New Orleans during the 2014-15 season.

18. James Johnson (62): Johnson spent two seasons at Wake Forest before turning pro, and the second degree black belt has averaged 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in six seasons in the NBA. Johnson also spent some time in the NBA D-League during the 2013-14 season before signing with Memphis in November of that season.

19. J.J. Hickson (10): After playing one season at NC State, Hickson was a first round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then he’s played for four franchises, averaging 9.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest in the NBA.

20. Kosta Koufos (16): Koufos averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in his lone season at Ohio State, going on to be a first round pick of the Jazz in 2008. He’s averaging 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game at the NBA level.

21. Robbie Hummel (75): Part of the highly acclaimed “Baby Boilers” class that helped Matt Painter rejuvenate the Purdue basketball program, Hummel has spent his entire career in Minnesota.

22. Jon Leuer (82): Having been traded to Phoenix earlier this week, Leuer played for four different NBA franchises. Leuer improved throughout his career at Wisconsin, earning first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2011.

23. Festus Ezeli (145): After spending five seasons at Vanderbilt, redshirting as a freshman, Ezeli’s been able to earn some playing time with the champion Golden State Warriors in each of his first two seasons as a pro. Ezeli was a second team All-SEC selection in 2011.

24. Cole Aldrich (21): Aldrich joins Singler as the lone national title holder on this list, winning his as a freshman reserve in 2008. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, Aldrich has played for four franchises since being drafted in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft by New Orleans.

25. Lavoy Allen (142): Allen put together a solid four-year career at Temple before being selected in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the 76ers. Allen spent this past season with the Pacers after playing his first three NBA seasons in Philadelphia.

Notables:

Bill Walker (7)
Donte Green (9)
Anthony Randolph (12)
Austin Freeman (15)
Jonny Flynn (22)
Austin Daye (25)
Corey Fisher (27)
Herb Pope (31)
Manny Harris (34)
E’Twaun Moore (35)
Taylor King (37)
Nolan Smith (39)
Scoop Jardine (53)
DeJuan Blair (59)
Jon Diebler (60)
Demetri McCamey (72)
Justin Holiday (83)
Robert Sacre (102)
Talor Battle (131)
Jeremy Hazell (136)
Jacob Pullen (NR)

College basketball broadcaster Billy Packer dies at 82

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died Thursday. He was 82.

Packer’s son, Mark, told The Associated Press that his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte for the past three weeks and had several medical issues, and ultimately succumbed to kidney failure.

Packer’s broadcasting career coincided with the growth of college basketball. He worked as analyst or color commentator on every Final Four from 1975 to 2008. He received a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio and Sports Analyst in 1993.

“He really enjoyed doing the Final Fours,” Mark Packer said. “He timed it right. Everything in life is about timing. The ability to get involved in something that, frankly, he was going to watch anyway, was a joy to him. And then college basketball just sort of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and that became, I think, the catalyst for college basketball fans to just go crazy with March Madness.”

Packer played three seasons at Wake Forest, and helped lead the Demon Deacons to the Final Four in 1962, but it was his work as an analyst that brought him the most acclaim.

He joined NBC in 1974 and called his first Final Four in 1975. UCLA beat Kentucky in the title game that year in what was John Wooden’s final game as coach.

Packer was also part of the broadcast in 1979 with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in the title game. That remains highest-rated game in basketball history with a 24.1 Nielsen rating, which is an estimated 35.1 million viewers.

Packer went to CBS in the fall of 1981, when the network acquired the rights to the NCAA Tournament. He remained the network’s main analyst until the 2008 Final Four.

In 1996 at CBS, Packer was involved in controversy when he used the term “tough monkey? to describe then-Georgetown star Allen Iverson during a game. Packer later said he “was not apologizing for what I said, because what I said has no implications in my mind whatsoever to do with Allen Iverson’s race.?

Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said Packer was “synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.”

“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport.” McManus said. “In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, yet always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, at his heart Billy was a family man. He leaves part of his legacy at CBS Sports, across college basketball and, most importantly, as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all.”

Packer was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale took to Twitter as word of Packer’s death spread. “So sad to learn of the passing of Billy Packer who had such a passion for college basketball,” Vitale tweeted. “My (prayers) go out to Billy’s son Mark & the entire Packer family. Always had great RESPECT for Billy & his partners Dick Enberg & Al McGuire-they were super. May Billy RIP.”

College basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted: “We fell in love (with) college basketball because of you. Your voice will remain in my head forever.”

Packer was viewed as a controversial figure during his broadcasting days, often drawing the ire of college basketball fans, particularly on North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

“As a kid, I was a big NC State fan growing up, and I would watch a game and the next day I’d be like, `Boy you sure have it out for NC State, don’t you?’ And he would just laugh,” Mark Packer said.

The younger Packer, who is the host of ACC PM on the ACC Network, said it didn’t matter what school – most fans felt the same way about his father.

“He would cover North Carolina game and Tar Heels fans would be like, `you hate North Carolina,”‘ Mark Packer said. “Wake (Forest) fans would be like, `you hate us.’ And Billy just sort of got a kick out of that.”

Mark Packer said that while most fans will remember his father as a broadcaster, he’ll remember him even more for his business acumen. He said his father was a big real estate investor, and also owned a vape company, among other ventures.

“Billy was always a bit of a hustler – he was always looking for that next business deal,” Packer said.

Clemson starter Galloway will miss time after surgery

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson starter Brevin Galloway is expected to miss games for the 24th-ranked Tigers after having surgery on his groin area Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 Galloway has started 20 of 21 games after transferring from Boston College this past offseason.

Galloway posted on social media that he’d had the surgery. Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that Galloway had the operation.

Galloway said in his post he will be in uniform soon. He is not expected to play at Florida State on Saturday.

A fifth-year player, Galloway has averaged 10.6 points a game this season. He’s second on the Tigers with 55 assists and 18 steals.

The Tigers (17-4) lead the Atlantic Coast Conference at 9-1 in league play.

Clemson is already down two experienced players due to injury.

Point guard Chase Hunter, who started the team’s first 18 games, has missed the past three with a foot injury.

Guard Alex Hemenway, in his fourth season, has missed the past nine games with a foot injury. Hemenway was the team’s leading 3-point shooter (27 of 54) before getting hurt.

Zach Edey has 19 points, No. 1 Purdue beats Michigan 75-70

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Zach Edey had 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Fletcher Loyer finished with 17 points to help No. 1 Purdue hold off Michigan 75-70 on Thursday night.

The Boilermakers (20-1, 9-1 Big Ten) had a 15-0 run to go ahead 41-28 lead in the first half after there were 10 lead changes and four ties, but they couldn’t pull away.

The Wolverines (11-9, 5-4) were without standout freshman Jett Howard, who missed the game with an ankle injury, and still hung around until the final seconds.

Joey Baker made a 3-pointer – off the glass – with 5.9 seconds left to pull Michigan within three points, but Purdue’s Brandon Newman sealed the victory with two free throws.

Purdue coach Matt Painter said Michigan slowed down Edey in the second half by pushing him away from the basket.

“They got him out a little more, and got him bottled up,” Painter said.

The 7-foot-4 Edey, though, was too tough to stop early in the game.

“He’s one of the best in the country for a reason,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “He’s very effective, especially if he’s 8 feet and in.”

With size and skills such as a hook shot, the junior center from Toronto scored Purdue’s first seven points and finished the first half 7 of 12 from the field and 1 of 2 at the line.

“He did a great job in the first half, going to his right shoulder and using his left hand,” Painter said. “He made four baskets with his left hand which is huge.”

Freshman Braden Smith had 10 points for the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s defense ultimately denied Michigan’s comeback hopes, holding a 22nd straight opponent to 70 or fewer points.

Hunter Dickinson scored 21, Kobe Bufkin had 16 points and Baker added 11 points for the Wolverines, who have lost four of their last six games.

Dickinson, a 7-1 center, matched up with Edey defensively and pulled him out of the lane offensively by making 3 of 7 3-pointers.

“Half his shots were from the 3, and that’s a little different,” Painter said. “His meat and potatoes are on that block. He’s the real deal.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Boilermakers got the top spot in the AP Top 25 this week after winning six games, a stretch that followed a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3 that dropped them from No. 1 in the poll. Purdue improved to 7-2 as the top-ranked team.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: Edey can’t beat teams by himself and he’s surrounded by a lot of role players and a potential standout in Loyer. The 6-4 guard was the Big Ten player of the week earlier this month, become the first Boilermaker freshman to win the award since Robbie Hummel in 2008.

“Fletcher is somebody who has played better in the second half, and on the road,” Painter said.

Michigan: Jett Howard’s health is a critical factor for the Wolverines, who will have some work to do over the second half of the Big Ten season to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. Howard averages 14.6 points and is the most dynamic player on his father’s team.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Boilermakers were away from home for 12 of 23 days, winning all five of their road games. They won at Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan for the first time since the 1997-98 season and beat the Spartans and Wolverines on their home court in the same season for the first time in 12 years.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Hosts Michigan State on Sunday, nearly two weeks after the Boilermakers beat the Spartans by a point on Edey’s shot with 2.2 seconds left.

Michigan: Plays at Penn State on Sunday.

Miller scores 23, No. 10 Maryland tops No. 13 Michigan 72-64

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Diamond Miller scored 23 points, and No. 10 Maryland closed the first quarter with a 13-2 run and led the rest of the way in a 72-64 victory over No. 13 Michigan on Thursday night.

Abby Meyers contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (17-4, 8-2), who won for the 10th time in 11 games. Lavender Briggs scored 14 points and Shyanne Sellers added 13.

Maryland gained a measure of revenge after losing twice to Michigan last season – including a 20-point rout in College Park.

Leigha Brown led the Wolverines with 16 points.

Michigan (16-5, 6-4) led 13-9 in the first quarter before a three-point play by Miller started Maryland’s big run. Briggs and Faith Masonius made 3-pointers during that stretch.

The Terps pushed the lead to 16 in the third quarter before the Wolverines were able to chip away. Miller sat for a bit with four fouls, and Michigan cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines still wasted too many possessions with turnovers to mount much of a comeback.

Michigan ended up with 24 turnovers, and Maryland had a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Miller fouled out with 2:19 remaining, but even after those two free throws, the Terps led 65-57 and had little trouble holding on.

Michigan lost for the second time in four days against a top-10 opponent. No. 6 Indiana beat the Wolverines 92-83 on Monday.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Whether it was against Maryland’s press or in their half-court offense, the Wolverines turned the ball over too much to score consistently. This was a lower-scoring game than the loss to Indiana, but the margin ended up being similar.

Maryland: While Miller clearly led the way, the Terps had plenty of offensive contributors. They also held Michigan to 13 points below its season average entering the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines have appeared in 48 straight AP polls, and although a two-loss week could certainly drop them, the quality of their opponents could save them from a substantial plunge.

Maryland is tied for 10th with an Iowa team that beat No. 2 Ohio State on Monday night. Now the Terps can boast an impressive victory of their own.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines play their third game of the week when they visit Minnesota on Sunday.

Maryland: The Terps host Penn State on Monday night.

 

Boum, Jones lead No. 13 Xavier over No. 19 UConn, 82-79

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STORRS, Conn. – Souley Boum scored 21 points, Colby Jones added 20 and No. 13 Xavier went on the road and held off No. 19 Connecticut 82-79 Wednesday night.

The win was the 13th in 14 games for the Musketeers (17-4, 9-1 Big East) and it gave them a season sweep over the struggling Huskies (16-6, 5-6).

Jack Nunge had 12 points and Jerome Hunter added 11 for Xavier, which led by 17 in the first half and 39-24 at halftime.

Jordan Hawkins scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half for UConn, leading a comeback that fell just short.

Tristen Newton added 23 points for the Huskies, who won their first 14 games this season but have dropped six of eight since.

The Musketeers never trailed but had to withstand UConn runs that cut the lead to a single point four times in the second half.

A three-point play from Hawkins made it 78-77 with 2:40 left. But a second-chance layup from Nunge put the lead at 80-77 just over a minute later.

Newton was fouled with two seconds left by Desmond Claude, but his apparent attempt to miss his second free throw went into the basket.

Boum then hit two free throws at the other end, and Newton’s final attempt from just beyond halfcourt was well short.

Xavier jumped out to a 9-0 lead as UConn missed its first nine shots.

A 3-pointer from Zach Freemantle gave the Musketeers their first double-digit lead at 20-9, and another from Jones pushed it to 35-18.

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: The Musketeers lead the Big East, and the win over UConn was their ninth conference victory this season, eclipsing their total from last season.

UConn: The Huskies came in with a 17-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion dating to February 2021. They fell to 1-4 against the four teams in front of them in the Big East standings. The lone win came at Gampel against Creighton.

UP NEXT

Xavier: The Musketeers continue their road trip with a visit to Creighton on Saturday.

UConn: Doesn’t play again until next Tuesday, when the Huskies visit DePaul.