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April 13, 2009

Class of 2009 post players scouting report

MORE: Meyer's point guard rankings | Shooting guard rankings | Forward rankings

Here's our look at how the nation's best senior post players stack up in four key categories.

BEST REBOUNDER
1. Derrick Favors
High school: Atlanta South Atlanta
College choice: Georgia Tech
Buzz: He plays at a higher elevation than any post player in the class. He also has sure hands and the mobility to snatch a ball outside his area.
2. Thomas Robinson
High school: Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy
College choice: Kansas
Buzz: Making money playing this game often comes down to having a niche, and Robinson is an NBA-level rebounder. Robinson has a strong motor and sure hands.
3. DeMarcus Cousins
High school: Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore
College choice: Kentucky
Buzz: No one controls horizontal space on the court in the class better than Cousins. His size and reach make him a load on the boards.
4. Dante Taylor
High school: Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy
College choice: Pittsburgh
Buzz: Taylor will be next in the line of rugged and athletic rebounders who have played at Pitt. Taylor's stamina and mobility make him an effective rebounder.
5. Mouphtaou Yarou
High school: Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian
College choice: Villanova
Buzz: Big, strong and athletic, Yarou has a formidable presence around the basket. He will give Villanova a dimension it has not had lately.
BEST DEFENDER
1. Derrick Favors
High school: Atlanta South Atlanta
College choice: Georgia Tech
Buzz: Favors' length and athleticism put constant pressure on opponents in the lane. Not only is Favors a strong one-on-one defender, but he can also swat shots from the weak side.
2. Dante Taylor
High school: Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy
College choice: Pittsburgh
Buzz: His strength as a defender is his versatility. Strong enough and long enough to defend inside, Taylor also has the foot speed to get after it on the perimeter.
3. DeMarcus Cousins
High school: Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore
College choice: Kentucky
Buzz: He is an immoveable force in the lane and loves to play physical. Most opponents shy away from engaging Cousins around the basket.
4. Daniel Orton
High school: Oklahoma City Bishop McGuinness
College choice: Kentucky
Buzz: Orton is right behind Cousins in the 2009 class in his ability to control space. He keeps his man away from the basket, and his length and timing make it tough to get a shot over him.
5. Alex Oriakhi
High school: Tilton (N.H.) Tilton School
College choice: Connecticut
Buzz: Always on his toes, Oriakhi is a physical competitor on the defensive end. He has the tools to fill the gap inside for Connecticut next year.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER
1. DeMarcus Cousins
High school: Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore
College choice: Kentucky
Buzz: He is as skilled offensively as any big man I've scouted over the past seven years.
2. Keith Gallon
High school: Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy
College choice: Oklahoma
Buzz: Gallon isn't too far away from Cousins when it comes to offensive prowess.
3. John Henson
High school: Tampa (Fla.) Sickles
College choice: North Carolina
Buzz: Skilled and freakishly long, Henson might be more comfortable facing the basket on the perimeter than grinding it out around the basket.
4. Derrick Favors
High school: Atlanta South Atlanta
College choice: Georgia Tech
Buzz: Favors' offensive game is catching up to his defensive game. He is becoming an adept finisher over either shoulder, and he is on his way to becoming a perimeter shooting threat.
5. Renardo Sidney
High school: Los Angeles Fairfax
College choice: USC
Buzz: The only person who can really stop Sidney is Sidney, with his tendency to be out of shape and emotionally volatile. When he is on his game, there are few who can match his offensive skill set.
BEST PASSER
1. DeMarcus Cousins
High school: Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore
College choice: Kentucky
Buzz: Every once in a while, Cousins will bust out on the break after a defensive rebound, then deliver a pass that makes you think of Magic Johnson. Double-team Cousins in the low post and he will slice you up with his passing.
2. Keith Gallon
High school: Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy
College choice: Oklahoma
Buzz: Gallon has a superior feel for the game when operating in the low post. When a teammate finds an opening, Gallon will deliver.
3. Renardo Sidney
High school: Los Angeles Fairfax
College choice: USC
Buzz: Sidney is the ultimate high/low threat with his ability to make plays with the basketball in the key and down low. He has the ability to draw defenders and find the open man.
4. Joe Burton
High school: Hemet (Calif.) West Valley
College choice: Oregon State
Buzz: Burton tends to be a high-risk/high-reward player with his love for the difficult pass. If he keeps things under control, he can create a lot of positive plays.
5. Mason Plumlee
High school: Arden (N.C.) Christ School
College choice: Duke
Buzz: A pass-first big man, Plumlee is comfortable with the ball and effective in the high post.



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