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August 9, 2007

New 2009 top 100 is wide open

The field is wide open in the class of 2009.

The No. 1 position in the class is always up for debate, and the class as a whole should expect heavy attention on the recruiting front during the high school season.

Rivals.com breaks down the class and unveils the new top 100 rankings for the junior class.

Top five has few changes

Despite a shaky summer, Renardo Sidney held on to the top spot in the class of 2009 rankings. Consistency has always been an issue for the Artesia (Calif.) High School product.

When the 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward is clicking on all cylinders, he's one of the most intriguing players in the nation. However, there are times when goes through the motions and doesn't tap into his natural abilities.

Potential is still on his side for the time being, but there are a number of other players that have made a strong case for the top spot after impressive summer showings.

Close behind Sidney is Oklahoma native Xavier Henry, a 6-foot-6 left-handed guard who held onto the second overall position. Henry is the best scoring guard in the class. He has proven himself as an elite producer at all three levels, and he has a game that is mature beyond his years.

Derrick Favors, a 6-foot-9 big man, shined in July and helped his Atlanta Celtics claim the adidas Super 64 title in Las Vegas. Favors has proven himself as an elite defender, and he turned it up on the offensive end of the floor.

New York native Lance Stephenson is one of the most difficult backcourt players to defend because of his size, strength and ability to turn on the intensity when the game is on the line.

DeMarcus Cousins, a skilled 6-foot-10 forward from Birmingham, Ala., dominated the 16-and-under division with his AAU team. He's big, strong, active and can score both inside and outside.

Class is wide open

Only four players in the top 100 have made college decisions. That is very few considering there are 90 commitments in the Rivals150 for 2008. Even more telling, there are more than a dozen players in the class of 2010 that have made commitments. The junior class doesn't seem to be in a hurry to find a college home.

Kyle Hardrick (No. 50) is one of the exceptions. He committed to Oklahoma more than a year ago. Connecticut commitment Alex Oriakhi was the first high-profile player to find a school in the class of 2009.

Villanova landed Philly native Maalik Wayns (No. 52) at the start of the summer. Devin Booker (No. 58) said he is going to follow his older brother Trevor to Clemson.

With the important official visit season quickly approaching this fall, don't be surprised to see a high number of junior decisions in the near future.

High risers

Rbk U star John Wall used his speed to shine at the Philadelphia camp in July. The speedster from North Carolina is also the fastest riser in the class of 2009. Wall went from being unranked to No. 9 overall and the top point guard in the nation.

Also making a splash at the point guard position is Tacoma, Wash., native Abdul Gaddy, who jumped from No. 45 to 14th in the latest rankings. Fellow Washington state native Peyton Siva moved from No. 57 to 31st.

California wing Hollis Thompson crept into the five-star rankings, moving from 36th to the No. 24 spot. Texas forward John Henson might be the most intriguing player in the class. He's a work in progress who is quickly approaching the 6-foot-10 mark. Henson climbed from 39th to No. 25.

Georgia forward Kenny Hall went from unranked to No. 28 overall. The 6-foot-8 forward is one of the fastest risers in a loaded Peach State.

Northern California forward Brendan Lane took the same path as Hall, going from unranked to No. 35 in the top 100.

Class of 2009 Top 100



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