By Dennis Berry
It is never too early to start looking towards the future. With a new college basketball season right around the corner, college coaches have been doing just that. With their 2012 classes done and most players on campus, coaches spent the summer looking towards the class of 2013.
When you look at the 2013 class, it appears that there is a separation in talent from the top players and the rest of the class. It is easy to see when you look at the various rankings from different services. For the purposes of this post, I chose four rankings from the bigger recruiting services; Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN.com, and Max Preps.
Here is a chart of 20 players from the 2013 class. For the purposes of the chart, I used the rival’s rankings as the base line.
With each ranking you can see that there is pretty much an agreement on the top of the class. There are eight players who all are ranked in the 1-8 range by all the services. Right now it appears that Jabari Parker is the best of the group. Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have him as the top ranked player in this class, while Max Preps has him fifth. Sports Illustrated called him the best high school prospect since LeBron James.
This could change if Andrew Wiggins, the top prospect in the class of 2014 reclassifies to 2013. Most all agree he would jump to the top of the list if he joins the 2013 class.
The rest of the top eight prospects include a pair of Florida commits in Kasey Hill and Chris Walker. Then there is the twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison who both have impressed scouts this summer as well. James Young, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle all have offers from the best college programs in the country also.
After the top eight players, the rankings get interesting. I always find it interesting to see the various rankings for a player from different scouts. Each scout sees things differently and looks at different aspects of a player’s game.
Look at Robert Hubbs ranked 11th overall by Scout and Max Preps, 19th by Scout, and 35th by ESPN. Rondae Jefferson is ranked 10th by Scout, 14th by ESPN, 17th by Rivals, and 46th by MaxP Preps.
The one guy who is ranked all over the listings is Rysheed Jordan. He is a 6’4” guard from Philadelphia that is all over the Top 100 rankings. Rivals has him as the16th overall in their rankings, but after that he takes a slide. Max Preps lists him 37th overall. Scout has him 49th overall. ESPN lists him 63rd overall.
That is quite a difference between of the four services. Who knows what led to these ranking differences. Perhaps Jordan had a great game with only the Rivals scout in attendance and played poorly in front of the others. Or maybe there is something that the Rivals scout sees that the others don’t.
When it comes to ranking recruits, there is no exact science. It is up to a coach to find the right player to fit their program and convince them to come to their school.