Howard, Livingston could go in top five

Updated: June 21, 2004, 9:21 PM ET
By Bill Hodge |

Nine of the record 13 prep players who declared for the NBA Draft remain as early candidates.

ESPN will televise an NBA Draft Preview ( June 23 at 10 p.m. ET) and the NBA Draft (June 24 at 7 p.m. ET).

Top 100 forward/center Al Jefferson of Prentiss, Miss., who had signed with Arkansas, left his name in the draft, but will not sign with an agent, leaving open the slight possibility that he could play for the Razorbacks. He is projected to be selected in the first round.

Dorell Wright, a Top 100 forward from South Kent Prep, Conn., who had signed with DePaul, also remained in the draft, as did Top 100 guard Shaun Livingston of Peoria-Central, Ill., who had signed with Duke. Both are expected to be first round choices.

Among players withdrawing were Top 100 center Robert Rothbart of Sacramento-Natomas, Cal., who had signed with Indiana, and Top 100 center LaMarcus Aldridge of Seagoville, Tex., who had picked Texas.

Although the success of LeBron James last season may have caused the increased number of hopefuls who skipped college for the 2004 draft, no one in this year's group, including top player Dwight Howard, is expected to immediately play a major role. The most heralded high school player in years, James, of Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio, was chosen No. 1 in the first round of the 2003 Draft by Cleveland. He averaged 20 points and was Rookie of the Year. The other three preps taken in the first round, all late picks, played a combined 86 minutes during the entire season: Forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville, Miss., 23rd pick by Portland; forward Ndudi Ebi of Houston-Westbury Christian, Tex., 26th pick by Minnesota; center Kendrick Perkins of Beaumont-Ozen, Tex., 27th pick by Memphis, then traded to Boston.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft; second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts. A record 13 preps entered the NBA Draft. Players staying in the draft, but not signing with an agent, leave open the possibility that they could play in college).
Official High School/Prep School Entries
F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga. Agent. Predict Lottery: 2-4 in first round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Duke). Agent. Predict Lottery: 2-4 first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Indiana). Agent. Predict: 6-9 in first round.
C Robert Swift 7-0 Bakersfield, Cal (USC Trojans). Agent. Predict: 15-19 in first round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (UNC). Agent. Predict: 17-18 in first round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Louisville). Agent. Predict: 22-26 in first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-9 Prentiss, Miss (Arkansas). No agent. Predict: 17-27 in first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (DePaul). Agent. Predict: 24 in first round.

C Jackie Butler 6-10 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Tenn). Agent. Predict: Possible second round.

---C Jermaine Bell 6-11 Notre Dame Prep, Mass. Predict: Not selected. *Withdrew from draft.
---F Maurice Shaw 6-9 Bridgton Academy, Maine. Predict: Not selected. *Withdrew from draft.
---C Robert Rothbart 7-1 Sacramento-Natomas, Cal (Indiana). Predict: Not selected. *Withdrew from draft.
---C LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 Seagoville, Tex (Texas). Predict: Bottom first round. *Withdrew from draft.

Official Junior College Entries
G/F Donta Smith 6-7 SE Illinois CC, Ill (Louisville). Agent. Predict: 26 in first round to 2nd round.
C Randall Orr 6-11 Georgia Perimeter CC, Ga. Agent. Predict: Not selected.
F Jason Parker 6-8 Kentucky (2000-01). Predict: Not selected.

C Sani Ibrahim 6-10 Gulf Coast CC, Fla. Predict: Not selected.
F Brandon Bender 6-9 Robert Morris CC Ill. Predict: Not selected.
---G Kelvin Pena 6-3 Southeastern CC, Iowa. Predict: Not selected. *Withdrew from draft.
---C Tremayne Singletary 6-8 Southwestern CC, Cal. Predict: Not selected. *Withdrew from draft.

Class 2004 Basketball Database: Signings/Top Classes.
*Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*Top 100 Prospects/Super Prospects
*Top Classes: Kentucky and Kansas made wild closing finishes to lead the rankings.
*Top Junior College Prospects.

Class 2005 Basketball Database: Prospects/Commitments
*Early Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Super Prospects.

Top 25 Players for 2005
1. Tasmin Mitchell F 6-7 220 La
2. Tyler Hansbrough F 6-9 230 Mo
3. Richard Hendrix F 6-8 250 Ala
4. Keith Brumbaugh F 6-8 215 Fla
5. Louis Williams G 6-2 165 Ga (Committed to Georgia)
6. Martell Webster F 6-6 215 Wash
7. Monta Ellis G 6-2 160 Miss (Committed to Mississippi State)
8. Brandon Rush F 6-7 190 NC
9. C.J. Miles F 6-6 210 Texas
10.Mario Chalmers G 6-1 165 Alaska (Committed to Kansas)
11. Julian Wright F 6-8, Ill; 12. Bobby Frasor G 6-3 Ill (Committed to North Carolina); 13. Andray Blatche F 6-9 NY; 14. Eric Boateng C 6-10 Del; 15. Micah Downs F 6-8 Wash (Committed to Kansas); 16. Greg Paulus G 6-2 NY (Committed to Duke); 17. Eric Devendorf G 6-3 Mich; 18. Jamont Gordon G 6-3 Tenn; 19. Joe Krabbenhoft F 6-7 SD (Committed to Wisconsin); 20. Luke Zeller C 6-11 Ind (Committed to Notre Dame); 21. Brandon Costner F 6-8 NJ; 22. Amir Johnson F 6-9 Cal (Committed to Louisville); 23. Josh McRoberts F 6-9 Ind (Committed to Duke); 24. Tyler Smith F 6-7 Tenn; 25. Chris Douglas-Roberts G 6-5 Mich.

The 5/8 Rule
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to approve measures of academic reform that included a repeal of the controversial 5/8 rule limiting college basketball recruiting to no more than five recruits in a single class and no more than eight in any two-year period. With the rule rescinded, coaches can fill their 13-man rosters with the best eligible players who have yet to sign. NCAA Story

2004 McDonald's All American Game
J.R. Smith and Dwight Howard helped the East rout the West, 126-96, at the 27th McDonald's All American Basketball Boys Game in Oklahoma City, Okla. The John Wooden Award which is given to the most valuable player of the game was given to co-winners Smith and Howard. Smith led all scorers with 25 points, while Howard contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Story, Rosters.

McDonald's Games/All-Star Games/NBA Drafts
Search for Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Nike Hoop Summit
The 2004 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select team defeated World Select, 99-79, in the Hoops Summit game in San Antonio. Josh Smith led all scorers with 27 points, J.R. Smith added 17, while Rudy Gay and Al Jefferson had 14 and 13. Sebastian Telfair scored six. Luka Bogdanovic led the World team with 20 points. Churchill Odia and Juan Diego Palacios each scored 10. Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Jordan Capital Classic
Dwight Howard scored 18 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Black team to a 107-96 victory over the White squad in the Jordan Capital Classic and was named the outstanding player. Malik Hairston led the Black team with 23 points, while Robert Vaden added 21. Dorell Wright led the White team with 24 points, while Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stories/games/rosters

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database/Top 100
Class 2004: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2003: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2001: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2000: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 1999: Database
Class 1998: Database/ Top Classes

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.