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August 25, 2011

Post-summer Rivals150 sees some big moves

RANKINGS: Live chat | Rivals150 | More on Muhammad

Except for the acknowledgement that the 2012 class is as deep with quality frontcourt players as any class in recent time, the talent in the 2012 class has received more than its fair share of criticism.

It has a weak point guard class. There isn't much star power at the top. It's not a deep class, and on and on.

Certainly there is some truth to these criticisms, but it is also true that the first part of the top 100 is composed of prospects who all have a legitimate chance to be NBA players. In fact, the most difficult aspect of putting together this update to the 2012 Rivals150 ranking was trying to find the right order for the upper four-star prospects.

There is plenty of quality talent in that range who will help college teams contend for championships and will then have a great shot at making a nice living playing the game.

But at the top of this ranking, the group is ruled by Shabazz Muhammad and Andre Drummond. Muhammad, who sits at the top, projects as a do-everything, high-level wing scorer who has an insatiable desire to compete. His improved strength and explosiveness will allow his game to seamlessly translate to the highest level.

Drummond is the physical force of the class, who if he develops his scoring game will, like Muhammad, have a major impact in the NBA.

The most unique prospect in the class Kyle Anderson sits at No. 3. It has taken the nation a couple years to comprehend the impact of his play, but his length, vision, rebounding, midrange scoring and feel for the game are undeniable.

After Anderson, there is a trio of big men. No. 4-ranked Mitch McGary has been a star of the summer drawing comparisons to Tyler Hansbrough and Kevin Love.

New Zealand native and Pittsburgh commit Steven Adams recently took the adidas Nations event by storm with dominating performances. Then there is the intriguing Isaiah Austin, who if he develops enough strength and toughness, could be a star one day.

Rodney Purvis takes the No. 7 spot, largely behind our believe that will be a high-scoring, playmaking, physical point guard at the highest level.

Behind Purvis is one of the top competitors in the class Anthony Bennett, who has a terrific blend of athletic aggression and skill.

At No. 9, Ricardo Ledo projects as the quintessential NBA shooting guard. He is long athlete who can score in a variety of ways and has the tools to be a complete player.

Rounding out the top 10 is Devonta Pollard. He hasn't had the national exposure that many of his fellow five-star prospects have had, but Pollard is an elite athlete who projects as a do-everything small forward at the highest level.

As for the significant risers in this post-summer Rivals150, Steven Adams, Sam Dekker, Alex Poythress, T.J. Warren and Gary Harris moved into the five-star range.

And in the four-star category, Brice Johnson, Dominic Artis, Prince Ibeh and Georges Niang made a significant move up the charts, and Josh Scott, Semaj Christon, Javan Felix, Zach Auguste, Buddy Hield and Martavious Newby jumped into the rankings as four-stars.



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