Commentary

Elite big men still looking

Originally Published: November 6, 2009
By Scouts Inc.

Some of the top big men in the 2010 class, such as Jared Sullinger (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) and Tristan Thompson (Toronto/Findlay Prep), have been committed to colleges for many years. That said, there are still some sought-after post prospects out there with major potential. In fact, three top-10 prospects who are classified as either power forwards or centers are still undecided. Here's a look at where the undecided big men in the ESPNU 100 might end up:

Harris

Tobias Harris, PF, Brookville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills
Player rank (position rank): 7 (3)
Considering:

GT UK Cards Terps Cuse Vols></a> <a href=WVU
Scouts Inc. says: Harris had as good of a spring and summer as any player in the country. He was consistent with his play at every event. This combination forward is a matchup nightmare at the power forward position. Less-mobile posts have no chance of defending him on the perimeter. He can handle the ball and get into the lane, where he finishes with his length over or around defenders. Evaluation | Highlights
Recruiting overview: Harris has said he will announce Nov. 19, which could mean he will make a verbal commitment rather than sign. He has made visits to Louisville, Kentucky, Syracuse and Tennessee and plans on visiting his other three listed favorites. Harris really hasn't given an indication about which direction he is leaning, but it's always hard to bet against John Calipari or Rick Pitino in these types of scenarios.


Leslie

C.J. Leslie, PF, Raleigh, N.C./Word of God
Player rank (position rank): 9 (4)
Considering:

ASU Gators UK UNC 'State
Scouts Inc. says: Leslie is a bouncy athlete who has the tools to dominate on both ends of the floor. He can block and alter shots on the defensive end, and he can finish above the rim on offense or score with a nice jump hook. He has great natural athletic ability. Evaluation | Highlights
Recruiting overview: Formerly an NC State commit, Leslie now sounds wide-open. He recently visited Kentucky, which is the college home of his former high school teammate John Wall. Several programs, including Maryland, have come to Raleigh to check in on him.


Smith

Josh Smith, C, Covington, Wash./Kentwood
Player rank (position rank): 10 (1)
Considering:

UCLA Washington
Scouts Inc. says: This strong and physical wide body is super-explosive around the rim. Smith power dunks on, over or around defenders when he receives drop-off passes created by guard penetration. He has good hands and runs the floor very well for a player his size. He can beat most centers down the floor for an early post-up opportunity. Evaluation
Recruiting overview: Smith said in early October that it was down to the Bruins and the Huskies and he expected to make his decision soon. He's visited both schools officially.


Black

Tarik Black, PF, Memphis/Ridgeway
Player rank (position rank): 54 (13)
Considering:

Bama></a> <a href=Gators Marquette Memphis
Scouts Inc. says: He is one of the most efficient players in this class, regardless of position. Black understands his role on the floor better than most big men and relishes in the fact he can defend, block shots and control the boards. He has exceptional strength which makes him a demon on either end of the floor defensively with positioning and aggressiveness. Evaluation
Recruiting overview: The speculation now is that Black is leaning toward Marquette. He's an AAU teammate of Memphis commit Joe Jackson (Memphis/White Station), so many thought he would end up with the Tigers. He has also taken an official to Tennessee.


Mitchell

Tony Mitchell, PF, Dallas/Pinkston
Player rank (position rank): 57 (14)
Considering:

Cincy FIU Hoyas Memphis
Scouts Inc. says: Mitchell is already a highly respected and sought-after prospect in the 2010 class, but this kid has a chance to be really good. He's the top uncommitted player in Texas, so whoever ends up signing him is getting a player. He is a thoroughbred who possesses an outstanding skill set. Evaluation | Highlights
Recruiting overview: It sounds as though Mitchell, a former K-State commit, is going to wait until the late signing period to make a decision. The Dallas prospect has visited Georgetown unofficially. He is close with Missouri commit Phil Pressey, which could give the Tigers the inside track.


Graham

Jonathan Graham, PF, Towson, Md./Calvert Hall
Player rank (position rank): 84 (22)
Considering:

Terps Friars
Scouts Inc. says: This long forward scores with midrange jumpers off the catch and with quick slashes along the baseline as he beats help-side defenders to the rim. Graham is a good athlete who needs to add strength. He competes and attacks the rim, where he does a great job of drawing fouls by using his length and ability to elevate over defenders. Evaluation
Recruiting overview: Graham is a player whose stock could take off with a big senior year. He has family ties to Maryland -- his dad is former Terps standout Ernest Graham.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies high school basketball from all angles for ESPN.