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 Class of 2007 Final Top-25          


It should come as no surprise that OJ Mayo will finish his prep career as the top ranked player in his class.  Lebron-like hype has followed him to three different high schools since he was an all-state 8th grader playing high school ball in Kentucky.  He has since won three straight state championships- two in Ohio and another in West Virginia- and added three state POY awards. 


After leading his D1 Greyhounds team to an AAU National Championship last summer, Mayo transferred to Huntington High in West Virginia and led the Highlanders to a 25-2 record, and a state championship.  He averaged 28 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds en route to being named West Virginia Player of the Year. 


Two games stick out from his senior season.  The first, televised nationally on ESPN, was a 47-point performance in an overtime loss against national No.1 St. Patrick (NJ).  And the next, a 41 point, 11 assist, and 10 rebound (triple-double) performance in the West Virginia AAA state championship game.


Although Mayo played poorly in the McDonald’s All-American Game, he dominated his peers that entire week in practice, and made up for his bad showing in the McDonald’s game with an MVP performance at the Roundball Classic and Hoop Summit.


Mayo has always took the pressure (of being labeled the best high school player in the country) in stride and he will end his high school career right where he began it- ON TOP.


Michael Beasley moved up to 2nd from 4th in our rankings after averaging 28 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks as a high school senior and then playing like a man amongst boys in both the McDonald’s All-American and Derby Classic games. 


Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose each dropped a spot, but it was more due to Michael Beasley’s post-season heroics than their lack of impressive outings.  In fact, Derrick Rose led Chicago Simeon to their second straight state championship while averaging 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists, and Gordon led North Central (Indianapolis) to the Indiana state championship game before falling to East Chicago.  Gordon averaged nearly 32 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists a game, including a 43-point performance in a game that was televised on ESPN.


Anthony Randolph cracked the top-5 this time around, despite not making the McDonald‘s All-American game.  He did, however, play in the Derby Classic where he scored 24 points on 10-14 shooting and proved that he is the most skilled 7-footer in the country.  He’s going to look like a pro at LSU next season where they can expect a long athlete that can handle and shoot and runs the court like a deer.


JJ Hickson checks in at No.6 after impressing us with his combination of size, athleticism, toughness and all-around skill in the McDonald’s All-American game.  And, by default (because of Hickson’s rise in the rankings), the other players in our top-10 each dropped a couple of spots.


The only surprise player in the top-25 is Dayton-recruit Chris Wright.  We had a chance to catch him in action late in the high school season and again in the post-season all-star games and we’re ready to label him the most underrated prospect in the country.  Everyone knows that he is a world-class athlete that has push-button-acceleration and touch-the-sky hops, but his skill game is finally catching up to his athleticism and he is looking more-and-more like an NBA small forward everyday (not to mention he has grown since last summer). 


Even if he doesn’t become a proficient outside shooter and ball handler, it is hard to imagine Wright not being a dominant player with dunk tips, rebounds, and blocked shots (he literally catches his opponent’s shots in mid-air), alone.  Wright compares closely to former Cincinnati (and Florida) player James White, who was the first player taken in the second round of last year‘s NBA Draft.


And now for the final rankings of the top-25 players in the class of 2007.  By HoopsReport.com:


1.  OJ Mayo 6’4 CG Huntington (WV) High USC Franchise Pro
Has everything: size, handle, court vision, toughness, poise, shooting ability. Loves to take the big shot and plays with tremendous confidence. Will be a talented NBA guard someday.


2.  Michael Beasley 6’9 PF Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Prep KANSAS STATE Franchise Pro
Skilled enough to play away from the basket and tough enough to bang inside. Top level athlete gives the fans their money’s worth. Immediate impact player in Big 12.


3.  Eric Gordon 6’4 SG Indianapolis (IN) North Central INDIANA Franchise Pro
The premiere scorer in this class. Cannot be stopped at this level. Deep range and uses strength and athleticism to get to the hole and finish. 20ppg+ scorer at Indiana next season.


4.  Derrick Rose 6’3 PG Chicago (IL) Simeon MEMPHIS Franchise Pro
Most explosive point guard in years. Excellent handle and court vision. Blows by defenders with quick first step and uses his Jordan-like hang time to finish.


5. Anthony Randolph 6’11 CF Dallas (TX) Woodrow Wilson LSU Pro
Skinny and long, and runs the court like a guard. Handles the ball well in transition for a player his size. Has perimeter game and finishes close to the hoop. Tremendous upside.


6. JJ Hickson 6’9 PF Marrietta (GA) Wheeler NC STATE Pro
Strong build, good athlete, long arms and ability to create own shot. Tough inside and dangerous from perimeter.


7. Kevin Love 6’9 PF Lake Oswego (OR) High UCLA Franchise Pro
Son of former NBA player Stan Love. Very skilled big man with a good body. Dominates the boards and scores in a variety of ways. The best outlet passer in years.


8. Jerryd Bayless 6’4 CG Phoenix (AZ) St. Mary’s ARIZONA Franchise Pro
Blessed with an NBA-ready body. Big time scorer has high elevation on his jumper. Skilled enough to run the point, but excels as a scorer. Crowd pleasing dunker. Star at Arizona.


9. Kosta Koufos 7’0 C Canton (OH) Glen Oak OHIO STATE Pro
Euro-style big man with game out to the 3-point line. Sweet stroke and nice post moves. Good body and solid shot blocker and rebounder. Skill level is most impressive. 7-feet but not awkward at all.


10. Kyle Singler 6’8 SF Medford (OR) South Medford DUKE Pro
He is a talented scorer inside and outside and he rebounds, handles, and passes well. The most skilled 6’8 player in the class. Draws comparisons to Adam Morrison, but has a better all-around game.


11. Austin Freeman 6’4 SG Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic GEORGETOWN Pro
Big time scorer can fill it up from outside and is hard to stop going at the hoop. Excellent midrange game. Solid frame and good athlete. The top player at the 2006 Nike All-America Camp.


12. Patrick Patterson 6’8 PF Huntington (WV) High KENTUCKY Pro
College ready body, long arms, blessed athleticism, and a nice touch. Excellent shot blocker and rebounder and efficient scorer that will shoot 60%+ from the field.


13. Nick Calathes 6’5 CG Winter Park (FL) Lake Howell FLORIDA
Hoops IQ is through the roof. Handles the rock, passes like Steve Nash, and has excellent size at point guard. Loves to take the big shot. Can play the wing when needed.


14. Donte Greene 6’8 SF Towson (MD) Catholic SYRACUSE Pro
Scouts love his ability to handle and shoot from outside. Still plays in spurts. Many thought he was the best player at the 2006 Nike All-American Camp.


15. DeAndre Jordan 7’0 C Houston (TX) Christian Life TEXAS A&M
Blessed with an excellent basketball body and natural skill. Long and athletic and very coordinated for size.  Potential future-lotto pick.


16. Durrell Summers 6’5 SG Redford (MI) Covenant MICHIGAN STATE Pro
Excellent vertical athlete with good first step. Knows how to finish and excels in transition. Streaky but capable outside shooter. Potential big time scorer.


17. Blake Griffin 6’9 PF Edmond (OK) Oklahoma Christian OKLAHOMA
Beast down low and solid midrange game. Tough rebounder and defender. Strong frame and runs the court well. Tallied 41 points, 28 boards, and 9 assists in a senior season game.


18. Nolan Smith 6’3 SG Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy DUKE
Consistent performer is skilled enough to run the point, but is most comfortable at the 2. Good athlete thrives in transition and finishes everything. Streaky shooter but scores points in a hurry.


19. Gani Lawal 6’9 PF Norcross (GA) High GEORGIA TECH Pro
Athletically and physically, he’s ready for the ACC.  We expect a Thaddeus Young-like impact freshman season from him.  Hit 21-22 shots (mostly dunks) during two games in January .  Raw skill-wise.


20. Chris Wright 6’0 PG Washington (DC) St. John’s GEORGETOWN
High scoring guard that also knows how to dish the rock. Solid handle and heady playmaker. Dominated the 2006 Boo Williams Invitational.


21. James Harden 6’5 SG Lakewood (CA) Artesia ARIZONA STATE Pro
Southpaw with deep range is a dangerous scorer. Long athlete with a good feel for the game. His teams win often.


22. E’twaun Moore 6’3 CG East Chicago (IN) Central PURDUE Pro
Long guard with a silky smooth game.  Handles the ball and passes well enough to play the point.  One of the top midrange scorers in the class and can create and finish.


23. Nayal Mac Koshwal 6’8 PF Chicago (IL) Boys to Men Academy DEPAUL Pro
Skilled combo forward with an excellent scoring game.  He’s got a solid body and good athleticism and rebounds and blocks shots.  Could be DePaul’s best player as a frosh.


24. Corey Stokes 6’5 GF Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s Prep VILLANOVA Pro
Big-time athlete with a smooth perimeter game.  Hits shots from every range and gets to the hole and finishes.  Solid all-around wing.


25. Chris Wright 6’7 SF Trotwood (OH) Madison DAYTON Pro
Far-and-away the best athlete in the nation- think former Cincy star James White.  He’s good for unbelievable dunks and blocks all day.  Has earned the nickname Chris “Top Flight” Wright.


*We apologize for the delay in bringing you our spring/summer rankings for the class of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.  The delay is due to our goal of making them as accurate and deep as possible.  We should have the player rankings and 2007 recruiting class rankings up shortly as we are working on all of them.





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Recap 8-25-2005


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I think there is a book that starts off that way, but I digress.

The anticipation of the upcoming AAU or summer campaign was alive and kicking all over the country in May of 2005, especially in Memphis.

The expectations seemed enormous, having finished second in the 17 and under nationals last season as 16's the Memphis YOMCA seemed primed for the ultimate run.

Something happened on the way to the gym.

It was apparent the Bluff City faithful were not the only parties interested in getting a piece of the star studded squad.

Adidas wanted to get a foothold in the ever burgeoning Memphis hoop scene and this seemed to be the initial move to start this particular ball

So the YOMCA was no longer in the loop and the Memphis Pump-N-Run were officially born.

Taking a peek at the roster one could not blame Adidas for their bold move. Thaddeus Young, Willie Kemp, Wayne Chism, Pierre Niles and Brandon Powell made up a nucleus that would surely lead Team Memphis to the promised land.

The summer campaign started with a most interesting scenario as the "PNR" lost a game to the Mid-State Ballerz, who ironically had Willie Kemp running the show. This was an illusion that would soon change, as Kemp
shortly thereafter joined the PNR.

With all their ducks in a row, the PNR set out to establish themselves and put a benchmark on the national attention that would follow.

The Real Deal on the Hill, the first major tournament of the summer that coaches could attend. The pundits pined for the impending matchup between Team Memphis and the defending mythical goliath The Indy Spiece Heat. The Heat were led by the consensus top player in the class Greg Oden and numerous other high level prospects who could actually match the
PNR with name recognition.

The reputation was established and the aura of the PNR was created as the boys from Memphis soundly defeated the Heat and made a huge cry across the land as the best summer squad in existence.

Another funny thing happened on the way to their future endeavors, nothing.

For some inexplicable reason the PNR did not suit up for any of the Memorial Day festivities and was sparsely seen until the Adidas Super 64 in Atlanta, following the shoe camps.

The aforementioned players participated in various high level exposure camps and the three major shoe camps and kept their names on the tongues of coaches nationwide.

After achieving individual success at these various camps, the boys got back together with the purpose of putting the finishing touches on a grand and final run through the top programs the country had to offer. They added Ridgeway jumping jack Ernest Fields and ECS powerhouse Tim Johnson to the fold and things looked bright.

Once again a funny thing happened on the way to the gym.

The time off and the lack of continuity played havoc on the chemistry of the PNR and they bowed out early in Atlanta.

Heading to Las Vegas for the final big time event of the summer, the PNR seemed poised and ready to achieve. After dominating pool play the lack of chemistry once again reared it's ugly head and some resentment among the players seemed to end this summer campaign on a sour note.

This team had the potential to be one of the best of all time. It is truly unclear what precipitated these events that grounded this team for much of the latter portion of May and June, but it truly had it's effect on their success.

None the less these kids are part of the best class of seniors to dot the Tennessee landscape in many years.

The decision to completely disassociate themselves with the
organization that they grew up playing for in retrospect now seems like a mistake. The YOMCA will continue on with quality younger teams and what to make of the Adidas affiliation with the Bluff City at this juncture is




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