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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

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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)

After getting minutes vs. Nigeria, Anthony Davis sits in Team USA’s close win over Lithuania

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Granted, we came into this Olympics with the understanding that Anthony Davis was the last man on the bench of a loaded Team USA roster, but the former Kentucky star and No. 1 overall pick to the New Orleans Hornets saw some good minutes in the Americans’ 156-73 rout of Nigeria this week.

He was, perhaps though, more remembered for this moment, when he forgot his jersey on his way to checking into the game before halftime. Overall he played 15 minutes, went 4-of-4 from the field, and scored 9 points.

It was a different story Saturday against Lithuania, as the Americans could not fend off the fifth-ranked team in the world until the final minutes, even trailing in the fourth quarter on their way to a 99-94 victory in London.

LeBron James was the hero in the final minutes, integral to a 17-6 run that put Lithuania away for good. James finished with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

But this close win aside, it is worth taking a look at what Anthony Davis has been able to bring to this team, despite the fact that he didn’t get a chance to see the floor in the closest game Team USA has had so far in this tournament.

When Blake Griffin went down in an already depleted USA frontcourt, Davis was brought onto the team and has filled the exact role that Coach K and that staffed asked him to: Be fresh legs to let stars rest during blowouts, play hard, provide some defense, and enjoy the ride.

He just needs to remember his jersey next time.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Anthony Davis signs endorsement deal with Nike

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Nike, king of the basketball shoe world with its 95-percent market share, has just inked another top draft pick, signing No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis to a lucrative endorsement deal, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

Davis is coming off a stellar freshman season at Kentucky, winning a national title, national player of the year award, and national freshman of the year award.

Nike has now signed three of the last five top overall picks, but Davis differs from the last No. 1 pick to come from Kentucky, John Wall, who signed with Reebok.

Davis’ teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who went second overall in the 2012 draft to Charlotte, is also a member of Team Nike, having signed in May. Kentucky itself is one of Nike’s most prominent schools branded with the signature swoosh.

Another John Calipari player stands in contrast to Davis in the logo war, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who signed with adidas in 2008 and recently signed a deal with the company worth a reported $200 million over 13 years.

Davis won’t be seeing that kind of money from Nike, at least not yet, but joins 2011 top pick Kyrie Irving on the Nike roster.

Though he has yet to play a game at the professional level, Davis will take the court for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics later this month, following Blake Griffin’s knee injury.

He may not be a key contributor in Team USA’s pursuit of gold, but he adds another defensive weapon for coach Mike Krzyzewski to have off the bench.

Oh, and another side note that binds Davis and Nike, Team USA will also happen to be adorning the swoosh in London.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Blake Griffin’s knee injury gives Anthony Davis another shot on Team USA

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The injury bug has struck the Team USA frontcourt again, but it now, perhaps, gives former Kentucky star Anthony Davis a shot at Olympic gold.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin twisted his knee during a Team USA scrimmage and has been sent home for evaluation, forcing team officials to summon Davis to Las Vegas to rejoin the American National Team after being cut last week.

The extent of Griffin’s injury is unknown, but he has had trouble with the same knee in the past, including during the playoffs this past season.

Coming off a stellar national championship season with Kentucky and being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis will now have the opportunity to practice with Team USA.

Injuries and withdrawals have weakened the American frontcourt during the selection process, including losing Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Andrew Bynum.

Even Davis, for a time, was considered out of the running because of an ankle injury he suffered during a workout with the Hornets, but it turned out to be less severe than first thought.

Wojnarowski reports that Davis was on his way to Las Vegas Wednesday night after being in Los Angeles for a television event.

During his one season at Kentucky, Davis averaged 14.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. He is expected to bring a defensive presence down low for the US Team and could see minutes in a depleted frontcourt.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Anthony Davis injured, out of Olympics contention

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Four days ago, Anthony Davis was selected with the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

With Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Chris Bosh missing the Olympics, many believed that meant that the newest New Orleans Hornet would have a very real shot at backing up Tyson Chandler as Team USA’s center in this summer’s Olympics.

With Kevin Love and Blake Griffin being the only other big men on the entire roster, it made sense.

But that won’t be happening, according to Adrian Wojnarowski:

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So much for that theory.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

NBA draft breakdown: The top 10 power forwards

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All this week at CBT, we’ll be spotlighting the top players at each position for the 2012 NBA draft. Monday featured the top point guards; Tuesday was the shooting guards; Wednesday the small forwards. Today? The power forwards.

1. Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
Davis is widely regarded as the top pick in this month’s draft and with good reason. His growth spurt is well-known at this point, and his athleticism and wingspan allowed Davis to have an unprecedented impact on the defensive end of the floor as a freshman at Kentucky. And there’s definitely room for growth, because as his body matures and he adds a little in the way of post moves Davis could very well be a perennial all-star.

2. Thomas Robinson (Kansas)
Robinson hasn’t conceded the top pick in the draft to Davis, and while some may see that as an opportunity to ridicule it’s actually a display of the Jayhawk’s competitive nature. With the Morrii moving on he had to step up and Robinson did just that, helping lead Kansas to the national title game. Some have looked at his physical attributes and see some similarities between Robinson and Blake Griffin. He’s strong, skilled and highly athletic, and someone will grab him early in the lottery.

3. Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
Not sure how much returning to school helped Jones in regards to where he’ll get picked, but it’s safe to say that the second year in Lexington helped the Portland native in regards to his game. Jones can step out and knock down perimeter shots, and he was a more mature players for the Wildcats as a sophomore. He’s going in the lottery, and if paired up with a quality center Jones should be productive.

4. John Henson (North Carolina)
Behind Davis likely the second-best shot blocker in this year’s draft, Henson is very good as a weak side defender and also averaged 9.9 rebounds per game last season. He isn’t going to provide much when it comes to teams who may be looking for a player who’s useful in pick and pop situations, but his activity on the defensive end and length guarantees that Henson’s name will most likely be called in the lottery.

5. Perry Jones III (Baylor)
Jones III may be the most intriguing power forward for the simple fact that he’s a player that many have described as one who has “boom or bust” potential. Immensely gifted, Jones III averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for Baylor this season as they reached the Elite 8. But his motor has been called into question on multiple occasions, which could be a concern for some teams. He’s got lottery-level talent and will likely hear his name called during that portion of the draft, but does he drop due to the aforementioned concerns?

6. Royce White (Iowa State)
Much has been made about White’s anxiety disorder, aversion to flying and the beginning of his college career at Minnesota. But in two years at Iowa State (sitting out 2010-11 per NCAA transfer rules) there were no reported off-court issues. From a talent standpoint White is a point forward who could be seen in the mold of what Anthony Mason was during his time in the NBA. Iowa State employed him at the point and White was sensational last season, earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.

7. Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)
Nicholson isn’t going to wow folks with athletic feats but there’s no denying his skill level. Nicholson led the Bonnies to their first NCAA appearance since 2001 this season, averaging 18.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and winning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year honors. He can step out to the college three-point line and knock down shots, and he’s skilled on the block as well. Nicholson likely slots into the latter portion of the first round, but if he’s still on the board in the second he won’t be there for long.

8. Draymond Green (Michigan State)
The Big Ten Player of the Year will most likely be a second round pick due to what some have termed as “below the rim athleticism.” But Green did just about everything for the Big Ten tournament champs last season, leading the team in points, rebounds and assists. Like Nicholson he can knock down shots out to the college three-point line, and his intangible are off the charts.

9. Kevin Jones (West Virginia)
Personally, Jones is the most underrated ‘four’ in this year’s draft. There doesn’t seem to be much chatter about the guy some felt should have been Big East Player of the Year, but he was a first team All-Big East selection as a senior. Jones averaged 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, leading the conference in both categories in addition to offensive rebounds (4.3 per game). Jones isn’t a great perimeter shooter but he’s effective out to 15-17 feet in that regard. Jones will be a second rounder with the ability to become a steal if he lands in the right system.

10. Drew Gordon (New Mexico)
Gordon’s college career didn’t get off to the best start at UCLA but he took full advantage of his time at New Mexico, helping lead the Lobos to the Mountain West tournament crown and a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament as a senior. Gordon can be a beast inside, as he averaged 11.1 rebounds per game to go along with his 13.7 points. Gordon averaged a double-double in both seasons in Albuquerque and possesses above the rim athleticism, which should give him some value as a mid- to late-second round selection.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.