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Rankings: What are they good for?

Warning: Lots of numbers below. It might make your head hurt.

We’ve been debating off and on recently the validity of the Rivals rankings and what they all mean in the long run.  Is G.J. Vilarino really worthy of his UK scholarship?  Is Jerry Tipton right about a top 10 ranking being a sign of a player not being ready to contribute?  What does history tell us about what we could expect from recruits?  Well, like the Chinese proverb says, you can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a butcher’s…no, wait. It’s gotta be your bull. Well, nevermind.  You get the point.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, El Capitan Jones outlined the best way to evaluate Rivals rankings, which was by breaking it down into the five groups below. So, since we’re so thorough with our research here at KSR, we used exactly one recruiting class (the recently departed 2004 class) and broke their players down into these groups in order to make obscenely simplified comparisons.  Also, you can see where current UK players and class of 2009 recruiting targets fall, giving you more of an idea of…well…nothing actually. This list is probably just as indefinite as the original rankings, but hopefully it helps paint a little bit better picture of what you might expect out of a certain group of players.

*Top 15*
Best of the bunch: Well, basically, the whole group was pretty solid, but the majority went to the NBA, so it’s tough to classify underachievers. The group was Dwight Howard, Shaun Livingston, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Rudy Gay, Sebastian Telfair, Malik Hairston, J.R. Smith, Joe Crawford, Randolph Morris, Marvin Williams, Dorell Wright, Glen Davis, Robert Swift and D.J. White.

Underachievers: None

Other Notables: None

Current UK Players: None

Current UK 2009 Targets: John Wall (1), Derrick Favors (3), Daniel Orton (10)

Best of the bunch: LaMarcus Aldridge (16), Jordan Farmar (22), Rajon Rondo (25), Corey Brewer (31), Al Horford (36)

Underachievers: Jawan McClellan (18), Marquise Gray (21), Steven Hill (37), Josh Wright (40)

Other Notables: DeMarcus Nelson (17), Shawne Williams (19), Darius Washington (23), Ronald Steele (24), Arron Afflalo (26), Russell Robinson (27), Kyle Lowry (28), Daniel Gibson (29), Sasha Kaun (34),

UK Players: Patrick Patterson (17), DeAndre Liggins (28), Jodie Meeks (39),

Current UK 2009 Targets: Jon Hood (24), Mfon Udofia (30), Noel Johnson (36), Christian Watford (40)

Best of the bunch
: Josh Shipp (43), James Gist (53), Sean Singletary (56), Drew Neitzel (68), Cedric Simmons (71), Joakim Noah (75)

Underachievers: Brian Johnson (41), Jason Horton (59), Rahshon Clark (67)

Other Notables: Walter Sharpe (44), Darnell Jackson (54), Maarty Leunen (60), Jamar Butler (69), Lorenzo Mata (73)

UK Players: Darius Miller (43), Perry Stevenson (63)

Current UK 2009 Targets: Richard Howell (59), Jamil Wilson (60), Anthony Marshall 967), Darius Morris (70)

Best of the bunch: Shan Foster (82), Sundiata Gaines (88), Devon Hardin (89), Ramel Bradley (91), Anthony Morrow (94), Sean Williams (104)

Underachievers: A.J. Ratliff (77), David McClure (86), Ron Coleman (95)….quite a few players of no interest in this group although they might not be all-out “disappointments” given their ranking

Other Notables: Robert Dozier (83), Joseph Jones (102), Taurean Green (105), Josh Duncan (112), Spencer Tollackson (118), Josh Heytvelt (120)

UK Players: Jared Carter (113)

Current UK 2009 Targets: Ferrakohn Hall (78), Shawn Kemp Jr. (83), Mike Moser (85), Reginald Buckner (91)

*I’m only using the Rivals 150 list so we’re cutting the list short
Best of the bunch: Rodney Stuckey (131), Derrick Low (138), Chris Lofton (146)

Underachievers: A lot

Other Notables: Alex Gordon (135), Trent Plaisted (140), Jamarcus Ellis (145), David Pendergraft (147)

UK Players: A.J. Stewart (149)

UK Players not ranked in the 150:  Matt Pilgrim, Michael Porter, Mark Coury, Ramon Harris, Josh Harrellson, Kevin Galloway

Article written by Thomas Beisner