By Joe Henricksen
A year ago they entered with plenty of hype. A year later the Class of 2010 in Illinois, led by Jereme Richmond of
Waukegan, hasn't disappointed. In fact, the class has only added to its early talk of being "the next great class" in
While Richmond remains the bellringer for what is shaping up as the best class since the Quentin Richardson,
Corey Maggette and Frank Williams class of 1998, Whitney Young's Anthony Johnson and rising star Lavonte
Dority of Foreman aren't too far behind. Richmond is already ranked as the No. 4 sophomore prospect in the nation
by one recruiting service, and both Johnson and Dority should find themselves among the top 20 or 30 prospects in
the country as well. And that is what truly makes a special class. That's what made the 1998 class the best in two
decades---Richardson, Maggette, Williams, Bobby Simmons and Michael Wright at the top of the class, along with a
ton of Division I depth throughout. That class also included the likes of Lance Williams (DePaul), Kevin Frey (Xavier),
Damir Krupalija (Illinois), Lucas Johnson (Illinois), Dennis Gates (Cal), Cordell Henry (Marquette) and Joey Range
(Iowa) to name just a few. A class has to have top national talent at the top and follow it up with depth, which is
what this class of 2010 is shaping up to have.
Although it's still early in the evaluation process and plenty more players will emerge over the next 18 months, the
depth is already impressive in the Class of 2010. Here is a look at how the City/Suburban Hoops Report sees the
top 20 players in the sophomore class.
Hoops Report's Top 20 Sophomores
1. Jereme Ricmond, 6-6, Waukegan .... The Illini recruit has the skills, make-up, demeanor to live up to the hype.
2. Anthony Johnson, 6-3, Whitney Young .... Combination of speed, size, shooting; able to play both guard spots.
3. Lavonte Dority, 6-0, Foreman .... Fastest rising player in class; will be a big-time national recruiting target.
4. DeAndre McCamey, 6-1, St. Joseph .... Already steady and a true point guard; another top 100 player in class.
5. Crandall Head, 6-4, Rich South .... Still very raw but oozes athleticism and untapped potential.
6. Paul Bunch, 6-10, North Lawndale .... Top big man in the class is yet another player who could crack top 100 list.
7. Alex Rossi, 6-4, New Trier .... So fundamentally sound, terrific mid-range game, plays with confidence.
8. Reggie Smith, 5-11, Thornton .... Explosive athlete; must learn to play the point.
9. Brandon Spearman, 6-3, Hales Franciscan .... Athletic wing who must find his role with loaded team.
10. Lenzelle Smith, Jr., 6-3, Zion-Benton .... Hoops Report feels he may be most underrated player in this class.
11. Mike McCall, 6-0, Foreman; 12. Jared Oldham, 6-2, Decatur Eisenhower; 13. Chance Carter, 6-4, Loyola Academy; 14. Isiah Jones, 6-2, Mounds-Meridian; 15. Ben Brust, 6-2, Mundelein; 16. Dwayne Evans, 6-4, Neuqua Valley; 17. Ahmad Starks, 5-7, Whitney Young; 18. Rob Robinson, 6-4, Simeon; 19. Fred Heldring, 6-9, New Trier; 20. Rayvonte Rice, 6-1, Champaign Centennial