The chart below is based on the RSCIs final rankings of the 2004 class. The RSCI, which stands for Recruiting Services Consensus Index, is a calculation of the average rankings of all of the major high school recruiting services. Its methodology is explained here.
|2004 High School Class||RSCI Ranking||Player||Destination|
|Marvin Williams||North Carolina/NBA|
|Mike Williams||Texas/Cincinnati (redshirt)|
|J. R. Smith *||NBA|
|A. J. Price||Connecticut (redshirt)|
|Jason Rich||Florida State|
|Marquise Gray||Michigan State|
|Robert Vaden||Indiana/UAB (redshirt)|
|Roy Bright||Cincinnati/Delaware State (redshirt)|
|Gabe Pruitt||Southern Cal/NBA|
|Cedric Simmons||NC State/NBA|
|Ron Steele||Alabama (redshirt)|
|Dorell Wright *||NBA|
|Isaiah Swann *||Florida State|
|Brian Johnson||Louisville/Mississippi State (redshirt)|
|Sean Singletary *||Virginia|
|Dion Dowell||Texas/Houston (redshirt)|
|Justin Cerasoli||Seton Hall/Ole Miss/Loyola Chicago|
|Ra'Sean Dickey||Georgia Tech (redshirt)|
|JamesOn Curry||Oklahoma State/NBA|
|Drew Neitzel||Michigan State|
|Quentin Thomas||North Carolina|
|Churchill Odia||Xavier/Oregon (redshirt)|
|Charles Rhodes||Mississippi State|
|Andrew Brackman||NC State/New York Yankees|
|Marquie Cooke||Virginia Tech/Virginia Tech/USBL/Home|
|Andray Blatche*||prep school/NBA|
|Alex Galindo||Kansas/Florida International (redshirt)|
|C.J. Giles||Kansas/Oregon State/Home|
|Jamar Butler||Ohio State|
|David McClure||Duke (redshirt)|
|Joakim Noah *||Florida/NBA|
|Lee Cummard||BYU (redshirt/mission)|
|Josh Heytvelt||Gonzaga (redshirt)|
|Jeremis Smith||Georgia Tech|
|A. J. Ratliff||Indiana/Home|
|Gavin Grant||NC State|
|DeSean White||Providence/La Salle/Delaware/Northwood (Division II)|
|Walter Sharpe||Mississippi State/UAB (redshirt)|
|Zam Frederick||Georgia Tech/South Carolina (redshirt)|
|Nick Young *||Southern Cal/NBA|
|Lorenzo Wade*||Louisville/San Diego State (redshirt)|
|Anthony Morrow||Georgia Tech|
|DeAaron Williams||Wisconsin/Bradley/Northern Kentucky (Division II)|
|James Hardy||Indiana/Football/NFL Draft|
|Rahshon Clark*||Iowa State|
|Brian Laing||Seton Hall|
|Robert Kurz*||Notre Dame|
|Alex Thompson||Iowa/Iowa State (redshirt)|
|Channing Toney||Georgia/UAB (redshirt)|
|Toney Douglas||Auburn/Florida State (redshirt)|
*= Went to prep school, and thus not ranked by all, which lowered their average recruiting ranking, sometimes substantially.
Notes from a Crazy Class
-30 of the top 100-ranked players made the NBA, and 29 of them are still there. The only one who is not is Darius Washington, who had a cup of coffee with the Spurs in November and is now considered a lawful citizen of the Republic of Macedonia, allowing him to earn a mammoth salary in Greece. 11 of the top 12-ranked players made it, and 22 of the top 35. What that tells us is that despite certain players being ranked too high or too low, the recruiting services were for the most part highly accurate identifying the top talent. Other members of the top-25, like Malik Hairston, D.J. White, A.J. Price and DeMarcus Nelson might not have developed quite the way some envisioned, but still have a chance to make the NBA.
-7 other players are already in the NBA despite not being considered top 100 prospects out of high school: Patrick O'Bryant, Jeff Green, Sean Williams, Jason Smith, Dominic McGuire, Taurean Green and Ramon Sessions. Green was a top-5 pick, and OBryant top 10. What that goes to show you is that its never a good idea to put a ceiling on a players potential at the age of 17-18, because you never know how theyll develop.
-How much has the NBA draft landscape changed since David Stern instilled the 19-year old age limit? Consider that 8 of the top 19 players drafted in 2004 were high school players, and that only one player was subsequently one and done in Marvin Williams.
-Out of this years senior class, we still find some fantastic college players who were not highly regarded out of high school, for one reason or another, but have developed into legit NBA prospects, like: Roy Hibbert, Courtney Lee, Jason Thompson, Kyle Weaver, Joey Dorsey, Richard Roby, Chris Lofton, Jaycee Carroll, Pat Calathes, Aleks Maric, Will Daniels and others. Again, even though the recruiting services do a very good job with their scouting, there will still always be many players who improve considerably in college and leapfrog their more highly touted peers down the road. When it's all said and done, there will be over 40 players from this class in the NBA, which is pretty impressive.
-You can nitpick about the order possibly, but there is no way you can argue that the recruiting services did a fantastic job pegging the top five prospects in the 2004 high school classDwight Howard, Shaun Livingston, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Rudy Gay. After that, though, there is an incredible drop-off, as we find three marginal NBA players in Sebastian Telfair, Robert Swift and Randolph Morris, joined by the ultra-talented Marvin Williams and possibly the biggest bust of this classMalik Hairston.
-Moving down the list, we find LaMarcus Aldridge slightly underrated at #12, and some serious question marks in Joe Crawford, Darius Washington, Juan Palacios and Jawann McCllellan, all of whom had somewhat disappointing college careers and are in varying degrees extremely far from the NBA radar. Rajon Rondo, the starting PG of the Boston Celtics, ranked alongside Mike Williams, an anonymous college player who barely played at Texas before transferring to Cincinnati and being setback by injury, shows you just how much of a crap shoot things are in the recruiting business at times.
-J.R. Smith, a 5th year prep school player, at #23 would have been in the top 10 had he been ranked by HoopScoop. Other examples of players who are ranked too low for this reason (not being considered 2004 prospects by some services) include Dorell Wright, Andray Blatche, Nick Young and Jackie Butler.
-At #25, we find Corey Brewer, the most highly regarded player in Billy Donovans recruiting class, ahead of #47 Al Horford, #72 Joakim Noah, and unranked Taurean Green. This class went on to win two straight national championships before leaving for the NBA last year.
-Wondering why Kentucky has been such a disappointment over the past few years? Consider how little they got out of what was then considered arguably the top recruiting class in the nation, headlined by #10 Randolph Morris, #14 Joe Crawford, and #21 Rajon Rondo, who went pro after an underwhelming sophomore season.
-Kansas is in the national championship this year, thanks to heavy contributions from #31 Russell Robinson, #43 Sasha Kaun, and #68 Darnell Jackson. #67 Alex Galindo and #69 C.J. Giles transferred out of the program fairly quickly.
-20 of the 100 players listed here decided to transfer to another school at some point in their college careers, some of them multiple times. This usually stems from dissatisfaction with playing time, touches, or a coaching staff change. Many of the players just found out that they arent as good as they thought they were.
-We also find a number of very average college players scattered throughout the upper half of the list, for example: #28 Marquise Gray, #36 Josh Wright, #37 Greg Stiemsma, #40 Brian Johnson, #45 Jason Horton, #47 Marshall Brown, and #51 Justin Cersaolinone of whom averaged double-digit scoring this season.
-For those that think that being a top 100 high school recruit is a surefire sign of having a professional career in basketball (in the NBA or overseas), consider the cases of Marquie Cooke, Kalen Grimes, A.J. Ratliff or Albert Weberall of whom finished this season sitting at home, for one reason or another. Looking at how some of the players who transferred and still have a year of college eligibility have panned out so far (Alex Thompson, DeAaron Williams, DeSean White, etc), there will likely be a few joining them next season.