Jared Sullinger tops ESPNU Super 60 for Class of 2010
|Class of 2010 ESPNU Super 60|
|1. Jared Sullinger||PF||Ohio State|
|2. Brandon Knight||PG||undeclared|
|3. Tristan Thompson||PF||Texas|
|4. Joshua Smith||C||undeclared|
|5. Harrison Barnes||SF||undeclared|
|6. DeShaun Thomas||PF||Ohio State|
|7. Jeremy Tyler||C||undeclared|
|8. Roscoe Smith||SF||undeclared|
|9. Jereme Richmond||SF||Illinois|
|10. Dion Waiters||SG||Syracuse||• Tracker: Complete ESPNU Super 60|
With two more years left for these players in high school, if they show a real commitment to improve and a strong work ethic in the off-season, this class will certainly shine on a national stage.
Five or six high-level players are at each position in the class, which is rare. Traveling around the country this past summer, the ESPN Scouts Inc. staff found 21 players who stood out enough to jump into our Super 60.
But it's the frontcourt that clearly leads the 2010 class. When you evaluate their overall size, length, power, athleticism and skill package, it's a group with super promise -- between 6-12 of these prospects have NBA potential. As we all know, having it and reaching it is an entirely different story.
Let's take a look at who has dominated thus far, who has moved up the charts and who are some of the new kids on the block.
Six-foot-8 power forward Jared Sullinger (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) has been crushing opponents and simply makes his team win. When he is in the game, you know it.
We have evaluated him since he won the 15-under Nationals in Detroit in July 2007 to just recently in last week's Boost Mobile Elite 24, and continue to be impressed by the longtime Ohio State pledge. His AAU team All Ohio-Red surrounds him with good players and makes sure he gets touches, which is important for his development.
The art of the low post game is becoming a rare sight in basketball. For such a young player, Sullinger demonstrates almost a mini-clinic with his back to the basket as he sets up shop. The mechanics of the low post game take position and patience. Sullinger knows where he is on the floor, which block he is on and where he wants the ball. He gives his passer an excellent target as he gets a low base and makes and maintains contact as he catches the pass. His head is up to locate his defender and he is ready to score with his soft touch, drop step, jump hook or turnaround jumper.
The versatile 6-8 forward Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/St. Benedict's) competes every time he steps on the floor. Extremely active and athletic, the Texas commit ranks third in the 2010 class. He dominates his opposition above the rim and in the paint, rebounding the ball like a man and going after every miss on both ends of the floor. He already produces highlight-reel dunks, but the upside for his all-around game is tremendous.
Six-foot-5 SG Andre Dawkins (Chesapeake, Va./Atlantic Shores Christian) enters the ESPNU Super 60 with a bang at No. 11. This big, strong, physical Duke commit may have one of the best shooting strokes in his class. He stretches the defense out because he is a consistent long-range shooter who displays great confidence in his abilities. More than just a shooter, Dawkins hits the offensive glass and is an underrated ball handler.
New England native Gerald Coleman (West Roxbury, Mass./Tilton School) is a terrific all-around scoring guard and enters the Super 60 at No. 23. The 6-3 lefty is always attacking the basket and putting constant pressure on the defense.
Entering at No. 25, 6-9 PF Adreian Payne (Dayton, Ohio/Jefferson) oozes potential. Extremely long and athletic, he uses those qualities in his game. Payne's a defensive presence -- he's an excellent shot blocker, and when he doesn't block the shot, he certainly changes it. He rebounds on both ends of the floor, especially offensively where he gets his share of put-backs.
A great summer at the Nike Peach Jam and AAU nationals jumped 6-7 SF Travis McKie (Richmond, Va.) to No. 26. A big-time finisher in transition and the half-court, he plays with a high motor while putting the ball on the floor driving to the basket.
Six-foot-2 point guard Kyrie Irving (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick) has a great feel and poise for his position and the entire game. Entering the Super 60 at No. 29, he loves to run the break with the ball in transition and makes great decisions as he attacks the basket. He scores or sees the assist in a spilt second. When he penetrates his way to the basket, he displays good body control for the pull-up jumper or the one-handed floater against the bigger defenders.
After displaying tremendous shooting range this summer, 6-5 SG Dan Bejarano (Phoenix/North) enters at No. 33. He is a prolific shooter with a smooth release and good elevation as he rises over his defenders. He emerged at the Nike Hoop Jamboree in June with the ability to catch and shoot the 3-pointer with accuracy.
Also making big strides this summer was 6-7 combo forward Tobias Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West), vaulting 20 spots to No. 18 overall. A matchup nightmare for defenders, he possesses the ball skills to use a catch-sweep-go move, shoot the jumper from the perimeter and score inside. With his aggressive play Harris scores a good percentage of his points from the free-throw line.
Strong play at the adidas It Takes 5ive Classic, adidas Super 64 and adidas Nations moved 6-5 SF Trey Ziegler (Mount Pleasant, Mich.) up to No. 27 from 50. A perimeter player with very good size and a strong basketball IQ, he is comfortable knocking down the mid-range jumper and can stretch it to the arc. He beats people with his penetration to the basket and sees potential for assists while doing so. Ziegler is a gifted talent who needs to give a consistent effort to reach his potential, but the game is starting to be important to him and it shows.
Improving from No. 53 to 35 is 6-4 SG Anthony Johnson (Chicago/Whitney Young). One of the more complete players in the class, he possesses two important qualities. One, he can score with the long-range jumper or the drive to the basket. Two, he makes others better with his court vision and unselfish style of play. Johnson needs to work on getting stronger -- push-ups, dips and pull-ups would be a great start.
As with all recruiting classes and players, the Super 60 can and will change over the course of this season, and as it grows into the ESPNU 100 by the spring. We at ESPN Scouts Inc. will be constantly following and evaluating all talent in all the classes.
Paul Biancardi, who spent 2007-08 as an assistant coach on Rick Majerus' staff at Saint Louis, is the sole national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc. He has 18 years of coaching experience at the Division I level. He was an assistant at Boston University, Boston College and Ohio State before becoming the head coach at Wright State, where he earned Horizon League Coach of the Year honors in the 2003-04 season.
Reggie Rankin is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc.
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