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Re-ranking the 2010 recruiting class

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July’s live recruiting period, the last of its kind, just finished up, meaning that the Class of 2019 have fully had a chance to prove themselves to the recruiters and the recruitniks around the country.

Scholarships were earned and rankings were justified over the course of those three weekends, 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 2007-2014, based on what they have done throughout their post-high school career. 

Here are the 25 best players from the Class of 2010, with their final Rivals Top 150 ranking in parentheses:

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1. Kyrie Irving (4)

Just like it was in college, injuries have been an issue for Irving in the pros, but still by the age of 26 he’s got one NBA title, five All-Star appearances and one All-NBA team appearance. Given all that, he deserves the top spot here despite playing more than 60 games in a regular season just three times thus far in his career. Now out of Cleveland and without LeBron James, Irving has a chance to enhance his legacy with perhaps the league’s premier young team.

2. Doug McDermott (UR)

The criteria here is “post-high school career” so McDermott lands here less because he was a lottery pick and has been a solid rotation player throughout his four-year NBA career, but because he was an absolute monster in four years at Creighton. He is fifth all-time in NCAA career scoring and owns the record for double-digit scoring games with 135 while winning National Player of the Year as a senior. Not bad for a kid who played in Harrison Barnes’ shadow in high school and was slated to attend Northern Iowa before his dad left Iowa State for the Bluejays right before his collegiate career started.

3. Victor Oladipo (144)

After putting up good numbers for a bad team in Orlando, Oladipo suddenly becoming the centerpiece of a trade that sent him and Domantis Sabonis from Oklahoma City to Indiana, where Oladipo had a breakthrough season last year. He was first-team all-defense and a third-team All-NBA selection – while making north of $21 million. Cody Zeller may have been the headliner when they were both in Bloomington, but Oladipo has blossomed into perhaps best player from Tom Crean’s Indiana teams.

4. Enes Kanter (3)

Kanter never got to play for Kentucky thanks to an NCAA eligibility ruling, but the Turkish big man has backed up his recruiting ranking as a durable and productive big man at multiple stops across the league. In seven seasons he’s averaged 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and has twice averaged a double-double for a season. He’s made about $73 million over his career as well.

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5. Tristan Thompson (17)

Thompson is the second player on this list who owes a great deal of his professional success to LeBron James, but is the first to be connected to a Kardashian sister. The 6-foot-9 center has spent his entire career in Cleveland and was a big part – as much as one can be with Kyrie and LeBron on the team – of the Cavs’ 2016 title. Thompson’s career numbers aren’t huge – 9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game – but he’s been a major contributor on four-straight Finals team.

6. Harrison Barnes (2)

Barnes is often maligned for what he can’t do, which might have a little bit to do with the fact he came up with one of the best teams to ever be assembled. He was often the focal point of criticism on a team that won a title and then 73 regular-season games before he was tossed overboard to make room for Kevin Durant. The lifeboat, however, was a nearly $100 million contract with Dallas. He’s averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists over his career.

7. Tobias Harris (7)

It took Harris until his fourth season to establish himself, but the 6-foot-9 small forward has turned into a reliable scorer with six-straight seasons of averaging at least 14.6 points. The Tennessee product is yet to find himself in a winning situation in his NBA career, but as his 3-point shooting has improved, he’s proved to be a difference-maker.

8. Gorgui Dieng (44)

After winning the 2013 NCAA national championship at Louisville (despite what the NCAA history books say), Dieng was drafted 21st overall in the draft that summer. He became a full-time starter for the Timberwolves before coming off the bench last season. He’s averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for his career and has three years left on the $64 million deal he signed with the Wolves in 2016.

9. Brandon Knight (6)

Knight had a breakthrough season in 2015-16 when he averaged nearly 20 points per game after Phoenix gave him a $70 million contract, but struggled in 2016-17 before a torn ACL cost him last season. He’s averaged 15.2 points per game for his career and will enter this season as the Suns’ starter at point guard.

10. Terrence Ross (48)

The 6-foot-7 Washington forward established himself as a big part of Toronto’s ascendency in the Eastern Conference before being shipped to Orlando in the Serge Ibaka trade. A broken leg derailed his season with the Magic last year, but the 27-year-old former top-10 draft pick has proven himself as both a capable starter and rotation player.

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11. Shabazz Napier (98)

After averaging 18 points per game and leading UConn to the 2014 national title, Napier won the distinction of LeBron James’ “favorite player” that led the Heat to trade up to take him in the first round of the draft. LeBron returned to Cleveland a month later. But still, Napier has a national title on his resume and found himself a growing part of the Portland rotation a year ago.

12. Will Barton (11)

Barton left Memphis after just two seasons and was a second-round pick in 2012, but has found a spot for himself in Denver, where he just signed a four-year deal worth more than $50 million. Barton struggled to get much run in Portland in his first two-plus seasons in the league, but has since become a strong rotational guy for the Nuggets, averaging 15.7 points per gmae last season.

13. Tim Hardaway, Jr. (UR)

It’s a bit amazing the son of the Killer Crossover was unranked on his way to Michigan, where he starred for three years and played in a national championship game, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting together a strong pro career. He’s averaged double-figures in four of his five NBA seasons and looks to be a part of the Knicks’ core for the next few seasons.

14. Tony Snell (UR)

After three years at New Mexico, Snell was the 20th overall pick by the Bulls in the 2013 draft. He was a part-time starter for Chicago for three years before being traded up Interstate 94 to Milwaukee, where he’s started 139 games over two seasons. He’ll make about $34 million over the next three seasons with the Bucks.

15. Dion Waiters (29)

As much as it is to laugh at a guy who has a listed nickname of “Kobe Wade” on Basketball Reference, while never averaging more than 16 points per game or shot better than 43 percent from the floor in a season, Waiters has produced – to varying degrees – over seven seasons. A broken ankle ended his season with the Heat last year after he started in the team’s first 30 games.

16. Cory Joseph (8)

The Toronto native and University of Texas product has turned into something of an iron man the last few years, playing in in 79 games or more in the last four seasons, including all 82 last year for the Raptors. He’s not a star, but as a solid defensive rebounder, Joseph has found his place in the NBA.

17. Jeremy Lamb (76)

The UConn product had a breakout year last season, averaging a career-best 12.9 points while shooting a career-high 37 percent from 3-point range. He’ll open the season with the Hornets, his fourth in Charlotte, before becoming a free agent after the year.

18. Jared Sullinger (5)

The former Ohio State big man hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2016-17 season, but he had a nice three-year run with the Celtics in which he averaged double figures in scoring and at least 7.6 rebounds per game. Sullinger, a two-time first-team All-American with the Buckeyes, was one of the NBA’s top rebounders in 2013-14, but conditioning issues, along with injuries, knocked him out of the league.

19. Allen Crabbe (69)

Crabbe was a full-time starter last season for the first time in his career, and the former Cal Bear averaged career-highs of 13.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’s an $18.5 million player the next two season for the Nets.

20. Meyers Leonard (31)

Leonard left Illinois after a stellar sophomore season in Champaign, and has spent his six NBA seasons as a role player in Portland, where he’s under contract for one more season. The 7-foot-1 center’s best season came in 2015-16 when he put up 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game, all career bests.

21. Andre Roberson (UR)

The 6-foot-7 wing has never put up much in the way of offensive production – he’s a career 25.7 percent 3-point shooter and has averaged 4.6 points in per game in 295 carer games – but he was a critical defensive player for some really good Oklahoma City teams over the years and was one blown 3-1 lead in 2016 away from maybe getting a ring.

22. Reggie Bullock (10)

Bullock has spent the bulk of his career trying to crack rotations in Phoenix, L.A. and Detroit, but finally found success last year with the Pistons. He averaged 27.9 minutes per game last season, averaging 11.3 points per game while shooting 44.5 percent from 3-point range.

23. Tarik Black (54)

Black transfered to Kansas for his senior season after three years in Memphis, and was a role player for the Jayhawks. Since, he stuck around in the NBA for five seasons, including last year with the Western Conference’s top seed, Houston.

24. Joe Harris (119)

Harris has stuck in the NBA the hard way with years in the NBDL before finally catching on with Cleveland and later Brooklyn. The former Virginia Cavalier put up 10.8 points per game last season for the Nets.

25. Jerian Grant (105)

The former Notre Dame standout found a spot for himself with Chicago during its rebuild of the last two years, averaging 22.8 minutes per game last season. He was traded to Orlando this offseaseason.

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FIVE NOTABLES THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE TOP 25

Josh Selby (1)

After an unspectacular freshman season with Kansas, Selby declared for the draft and went 49th overall. He played in 38 career games over two season – both with Memphis before washing out of the league. His overseas career has taken him to China, Israel, Turkey and Croatia. He’s often cited as a victim of the one-and-done era.

Perry Jones (9)

Jones could have been a lottery pick had he left Baylor after his freshman season, but slid to 28th after a lackluster sophomore season. He last played in the NBA in 2014-15 after three years as a bench player for Memphis.

Aaron Craft (111)

Most recently spotted with the Ohio State alumni team in TBT, Craft became one of college basketball’s most high profile players in his four years with the Buckeyes, but never appeared in an NBA game.

Josh Huestis (UR)

The Stanford grad found his niche in the NBA with Oklahoma City, where he started a handful of games last season after being relegated to the DLeague and bench in his first two years.

Russ Smith (UR)

Russdiculous won the 2013 national championship with Louisville, but only managed two seasons in the NBA in which he played sparingly. He spent the last two years playing in China.

Georgia lands 2019 guard Jaykwon Walton

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It’s been a busy August for Jaykwon Walton.

Nine days after committing to Mississippi State and seven days after de-committing from the Bulldogs, the four-star guard in the class of 2019 committed to Georgia and first-year coach Tom Crean on Monday.

Walton currently lives in Montgomery, Ala., but spent much of his life in Columbus, Ga. He committed to Ben Howland’s program on Aug. 11, but backed off that decision just two days later. Now, just a week later, he’s slated to join Crean’s Bulldogs instead.

The 6-foot-6 guard is a consensus top-75 player in his class. He averaged 19.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists last year as a junior at Carver-Montgomery High School.

“He is a tremendous player and a tremendous kid,” Carver coach James Jackson previously told 247 Sports. “I told him today that he’s been all over the world this year and has really played well. He always does what is asked of him and is a great kid in the classroom, too. He is an amazing athlete that is really humble and is a very grounded kid.

“When you watch him, it is like looking at a mirror of (former NBA player and current Memphis coach) Penny Hardaway in his younger days. Jaykwon can play any position on the court and can defend any position on the court. He has tremendous ability to create and can handle the ball well. He rebounds well and being 6-6, 6-7, he has that range that you want. He’s a great kid to coach and a kid that does everything well.”

Walton is Crean’s first commitment in the 2019 class.

Four-star center Kadin Shedrick commits to Virginia

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Tony Bennett has secured a second top-100 commit in his 2019 recruiting class.

Kadin Shedrick, a four-star recruit, pledged to Virginia on Monday, he announced via social media.

Shedrick chooses Virginia over a recently-trimmed list of Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Providence, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and Xavier. He visited the Musketeers and Demon Deacons before making an unofficial to Charlottesville over the weekend, apparently showing him all he needed to see.

“Virginia is a place where I can develop my basketball game greatly. They have a great track record of developing players,” Shedrick told 247Sports. “”They have a winning traditional as well, and I think that’s very important.”

Shedrick is a 6-foot-10 center that is a consensus top-100 prospect. He joins Casey Morsell, a top-75 guard from Washington, D.C., in Bennett’s 2019 class. Virginia has gotten the commitment of just one four-star prospect in the last two recruiting classes after securing the talents of four such players in 2016.

Baylor’s Jake Lindsey out for season after hip surgery

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Jake Lindsey’s senior season is going to be delayed a year.

The Baylor guard will miss the upcoming season after undergoing hip surgery, he announced Sunday.

“I will be redshirting this season as I recover from hip surgery,” Lindsey wrote on Twitter. “I can’t wait to help the team this year in a different role as I recover. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me in this time, whether you know it or not.”

The 6-foot-5 guard has averaged more than 20 minutes per game the last two seasons as a 3-point shooting specialist and distributor. He averaged just 4.5 points per game last season, but dished out 3.4 assists while shooting 34.1 percent from distance (down from 40.4 percent as a sophomore). He will have one season of eligibility remaining in 2019-20 after sitting out this season.

Lindsey, whose father Dennis is the general manager of the Utah Jazz, battled the hip injury throughout much of last season, but did not miss any games as a result. His loss will be acute for the Bears, who lost four seniors off last year’s No. 1 seed NIT team including point guard Manu Lecomte.

Five Takeaways from Duke’s Canada Exhibitions

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Just like Kentucky did two weeks ago, the Duke Blue Devils spent last week traveling abroad to play in exhibition games that were televised.

Kentucky went south, heading to the Bahamas.

Duke made the trip up north so that Canadian R.J. Barrett would have a chance to play in front of his home crowd.

And while it was a little bit easier to see what Kentucky will have a chance to be this season — we’ll get into why that is later — we did get our first chance to see what Duke could look like.

Here are the four things that we learned:

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R.J. BARRETT IS THE TRUTH, BUT ZION WILLIAMSON SHOULD LIVE UP TO THE HYPE

At this point, everyone should know more or less what R.J. Barrett is.

He was the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2018 despite the fact that he reclassified last summer. (He turned 18 this summer, meaning that he is enrolling in college in what would be considered the normal year.) There is a long way to go still, but he is thought to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field when it comes to the race for the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Last summer, he put 38 points, 13 boards and six assists on the USA team at the U-19 World Cup, which became first time since 2011 that USA Basketball was not the reigning champion at any age group in international competition.

Put another way, seeing Barrett steamroll a bunch of Canadian college basketball players should not be surprising if you know what he did against a team that included the likes of Carsen Edwards, Kevin Huerter, P.J. Washington and Romeo Langford, not to mention Barrett’s current Duke teammate, Cam Reddish. In three games, he averaged 30.7 points, 8.0 boards and 5.0 assists.

What was more eye-opening was the way that Zion Williamson played.

Williamson is college basketball’s first superstar of the internet age. His other-worldly athleticism has turned him into a social media machine. He has 1.7 million followers on Instagram. There are YouTube channels that have sprung to life simply because they were able to post his high school dunk. When he was a junior in high school, Drake wore his jersey. Every teenage basketball fan knows who he is.

The question about Williamson has long been whether or not he is more than just an athlete. He never left his local South Carolina high school, which is why those viral videos of him dunking often looked like he was playing against, well, me. He played on the Adidas circuit in high school, which is good but is not at the same level as the EYBL. I’m not sure there is a person on the planet that can match his explosiveness and quickness while checking in at 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, as Duke lists him, but the question about his potential as a pro has always been what will happen when he is not longer on another planet athletically.

And at the risk of overreacting to three exhibition games against overmatched competition, I am much more bullish on him as a prospect today than I was a week ago.

There are three reasons for that:

  1. Williamson has a higher basketball IQ and is a better passer than I realized. It’s the little moments that give it away: finding a shooter after an offensive rebound, seeing a backdoor cut even if the pass he threw was not good enough to get the assist, the outlet passes he would throw to streaking guards before he even landed after grabbing a defensive rebound. He reads the game.
  2. He’s underrated as a ball-handler. He’s also hardly a finished product there, but he has good enough handle that he can be a sensation as a grab-and-go big in transition and will be able to beat bigger (well, slower, he’s pretty big) defenders off the bounce. That’s key because his shooting still needs work.
  3. He just plays so damn hard. When someone his size with his leaping ability decides that they want to go and get a rebound, how are you going to stop him? And while things like handle or shooting or defensive positioning can be taught, ‘motor’ cannot.

Williamson probably could stand to lose 20 or 25 pounds*, which will likely also help with him improving on his conditioning; he seemed to tire for stretches in these exhibitions, which is understandable considering the load he and Barrett carried and the fact that, you know, he is 285 pounds. And that jumper needs some consistency.

But those are fairly easy problems to fix, all things considered.

Which is why I think Williamson is going to come much closer to living up to the hype than I did before this trip.

*(The “Zion is fine at 285” crowd annoys me. Yes, he’ll be just fine playing at 285 pounds or whatever he is. But if he’s able to do all of this while carrying baby weight around, imagine what he’ll do once he streamlines his body.)

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DUKE’S DEPTH IS GOING TO BE AN ISSUE

Duke had a bunch of injuries on this trip.

I know.

Cam Reddish didn’t play. Tre Jones didn’t play. Alex O’Connell lasted all of three minutes in the first game before fracturing a bone in his face. That’s three of Duke’s top six players heading into next season.

The problem?

Without those three, Duke was forced to start the likes of Jack White, Antonio Vrankovic and Jordan Goldwire in lineups that included both Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden. I expect White will play a larger role this season because, if nothing else, he’s going to be one of the best shooters on the roster and can play a forward spot. Goldwire is fine as a point guard off the bench, I guess, and Vrankovic is big enough and serviceable enough to play emergency minutes.

Those guys are fine for the end of the bench, but the problem that will arise is that “the end of Duke’s bench” looks like it is going to start with the eighth man.

And that’s assuming that Marques Bolden becomes a trusted part of Coach K’s rotation. In the three exhibitions in Canada, Bolden played a total of just 39 minutes, missing all three of his shot attempts without taking a single free throw while grabbing all of nine rebounds.

My guess?

Duke plays the majority of this season with a six-man rotation, using O’Connell off the bench to spell whoever needs a rest and allowing Williamson to play the five when Javin DeLaurier needs a blow.

Depth is something that I think is overrated in college basketball given how many TV timeouts there are during a game. Villanova has won two of the last three national titles despite using rotations that end at seven guys. Syracuse routinely makes runs in March with teams that have just five or six guys that see minutes. It’s great to have 13 players on scholarship that can contribute, but only five of them can see the floor at a time. When your best players are going to get 30-35 minutes a night, having too many guys that deserve to play can lead to discontentment.

So I’m not sure this is going to cripple Duke’s season.

But in a sport where titles are won in one-game knockout tournaments, a poorly-timed sprained ankle or some simple foul trouble can be a killer.

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THIS TEAM IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH

If there is one thing that we can learn from the way that Duke played in Canada, it’s that this team is likely going to play fast, fast, fast.

I’m not sure there will be any player in the college basketball this year that can grab-and-go the way that Barrett and Williamson can, and that’s before you even factor in that Reddish — a silky 6-foot-8 wing — will be able to do the same thing, and that Tre Jones will actually be the point guard on this roster.

Imagine being an opposing point guard and seeing Barrett or Williamson come at you with a full head of steam in transition. That’s nightmare fuel.

This group is also switchable defensively, and I’ve been told that they have already been tinkering with lineups that allow Williamson to play the five, a la the ‘Death Lineup’ that the Golden State Warriors roll out with Draymond Green playing center.

There is a lot to like about this group, but that leads me to my single-biggest concern about this team …

… DUKE IS GOING TO HAVE TO FIND SHOOTING SOMEWHERE

Part of the reason I think Duke is going to be a transition-heavy team is that they have the players to thrive in that kind of a system.

But I also think that it will partly be by necessity, as Duke has a roster that is loaded with perimeter talent without having all that much perimeter shooting.

Put another way, Villanova made small-ball work for them last season because every single player in their top six was a lethal three-point shooter. Golden State makes it work because they have three of the greatest shooters in the history of the sport on the roster.

Barrett? The biggest knock on him as a prospect is that he is an inconsistent shooter, and that was backed up by a 6-for-21 (28%) performance in Canada. The same thing can be said about Williamson, who shot 3-for-9 (33%) from three on the trip, and one of his three makes was a ball that bricked off the back of the rim, hit the backboard and happened to drop in. Reddish and Jones are both guys that can make threes, but they are probably better described as scorers more than shooters.

Throw in someone like a DeLaurier or a Bolden, and suddenly the paint gets awfully clogged.

I currently have Duke sitting at No. 4 in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25 — behind Kansas, Gonzaga and Kentucky — because of those question marks from beyond the arc.

This trip did nothing to alleviate those concerns.

VIDEO: Duke’s Zion Williamson takes flight in final exhibition win

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Duke played this trip short-handed and against competition that wasn’t exactly overwhelming, but the Blue Devils still looked pretty impressive steam-rolling the teams they did play.

And while I say “the Blue Devils”, I really mean Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Barrett is widely considered the better prospect, but Williamson was the one that put on a show all weekend, and today’s game against McGill was no different.