EARLY signing period began on Nov. 8 and many of the nation's top recruits
wasted no time making an NCAA commitment--some to elite programs, others to
up-and-coming schools. While some key players, such as O.J. Mayo of Huntington
High in West Virginia, have not yet officially selected a school, here are the
recruits who, according to the high school sports ranking service, RISE, should
make the most impact as freshmen.
St. Mary's ( Phoenix)
Point Guard, 6'3", 190
Here's a guy who can really fill it up. Last year Bayless averaged 37.9
points--including 49 against city rival Brophy--to go along with 8.0 rebounds,
7.4 assists and 3.2 steals.
Notre Dame Prep ( Fitchburg, Mass.)
Small Forward, 6'9', 235
College: Kansas State
At his third high school in three years, Beasley can shoot from long range and
play the post; he averaged 18.8 points and 10.2 rebounds for Oak Hill Academy
( Mouth of Wilson, Va.).
North Central ( Indianapolis)
Shooting Guard, 6'4", 215
Gordon selected Illinois, then reneged on his oral commitment after Kelvin
Sampson became the Hoosiers' coach in March. He averaged 26.1 points, 5.5
rebounds and 3.5 assists as a junior and will make electrifying moves for the
MASTER OF THE
Towson (Md.) Catholic
Power Forward, 6'9", 210
With the size of a power forward and the shooting touch of a guard, he's
difficult to defend. The crown jewel in a sparkling Orange recruiting class
averaged 23 points last year.
Lake Oswego (Ore.)
Center, 6'10", 260
Not flashy, but his passing skills as a big man have been likened to Tim
Duncan's. He's also got excellent post moves, can clean up on the boards and
has three-point range.
Christian Life Academy ( Houston)
Center, 7'0", 240
College: Texas A&M
Jordan, a strong defender, picked the Aggies because, he says, "they're on
the rise." He averaged 16 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks per game
Glen Oak ( Canton, Ohio)
Center, 7'1", 255
College: Ohio State
With a soft touch from the perimeter Koufos should be an ideal complement to
Buckeyes center Greg Oden (page 83)--the two will play together for at least a
year before Oden is eligible for the NBA.
Simeon ( Chicago)
Point Guard, 6'3", 195
With his exceptional athleticism he's a perfect fit for the Tigers' explosive
offensive attack. He's also an excellent floor leader and is undaunted by
pressure, as he showed last season when he hit the game-winning jumper in the
South Medford (Ore.)
Small Forward, 6'8", 200
His ability to shoot from outside and to find the open man has drawn
comparisons with Larry Bird. He's aggressive on the boards, too, as evidenced
by his 8.5 rebounds per game last year.