By Joe Henricksen
Wow, are both Jon Scheyer and Sherron Collins really entering their senior year of college basketball already? Time does fly and after three years of college it might be fun to take a look back at the Class of 2006, which was highlighted by Scheyer and Collins at the top, and see just where today's college players stood following their senior year of high school here in Illinois -- and where they stand now.
The City/Suburban Hoops Report takes a look at where the players in the Class of 2006 would be ranked today in comparison to where they were ranked following their senior year of high school, according to the final Hoops Report rankings. Let us begin the debate....
1. Javale McGee, Hales Franciscan (Nevada/Washington Wizards)
Where he ranked in 2006: #10
Oops. The first big mistake as the Hoops Report left this future NBA player -- after just two years of college -- out of the top five and barely cracking the top 10. He averaged 15 minutes and 6.5 ppg as a rookie in the NBA after being selected No. 18 overall in the 2008 NBA Draft and has a long professional future ahead of him.
2. Sherron Collins, Crane (Kansas)
Where he ranked in 2006: #2
The power-packed, explosive point guard was No. 2 as a senior and stays at No. 2, though he gets the edge over Scheyer. As a sophomore he helped lead the Jayhawks to a national title. This past season he averaged 35 minutes, 19 points and 5 assists a game for the Big 12 champs.
3. Jon Scheyer, Glenbrook North (Duke)
Where he ranked in 2006: #1
The 2006 Mr. Basketball winner has averaged 12.2, 11.7 and 14.9 points a game in his three years at Duke. He made the move to point guard late in the year and also knocked down 79 three-pointers.
4. Jerome Randle, Hales Franciscan (Cal)
Where he ranked in 2006: #6
He moves up a couple of spots from 2006 but an argument could be made that he may just be ahead of Scheyer. Randle was sensational during his breakout junior year, averaging 18.3 ppg and 5 apg while making 82-of-177 three-pointers on the season. He has become one of the elite point guards in the Pac-10.
5. Osiris Eldridge, Phillips (Illinois State)
Where he ranked in 2006: #8
The Hoops Report thought it had Phillips high back then, even calling "O" "the steal of the 2006 recruiting class" when he signed with the Redbirds in the fall of 2005. But he wasn't high enough as he makes the move to No. 5. He's an athletic freak, defensive stopper and an improved scorer who has averaged 16 ppg in his three years at ISU.
6. Patrick Beverley, Marshall (Arkansas)
Where he ranked in 2006: #3
He was on his way to maintaining a top five spot after a strong start to his career at Arkansas. He left after two solid, productive seasons and now hopes to catch on with a NBA team next fall or play overseas.
7. Will Walker, Bolingbrook (DePaul)
Where he ranked in 2006: #5
He was slightly overrated as a prep but has been a steady influence for a downtrodden DePaul program. As a junior this past season he played just under 35 minutes a game while averaging 14.6 points a game and knocking down 71 three-pointers on the year.
8. Mario Little, Washington (Kansas)
Where he ranked in 2006: #18
A slight miss here at No. 18 as a couple of years of JUCO elevated his stock and landed him at powerhouse Kansas. He was a role player for coach Bill Self this past season as a junior, playing 12 minutes a game off the bench.
9. Joevan Catron, Thornton (Oregon)
Where he ranked in 2006: #7
The Ducks have struggled but Catron has played more in Eugene than the Hoops Report thought he ever would. He played 13 minutes a game as a freshman and 26 minutes as a sophomore (8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and junior (7.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg). Hoops Report still believes Catron would have been the perfect mid-major 4-man.
10. Jeremie Simmons, Von Steuben (Ohio State)
Where he ranked in 2006: #12
After two years of junior college basketball Simmons signed with Ohio State, where he averaged 20 minutes and 7 points a game as a junior last season.
11. Andre Walker, Homewood-Flossmoor (Vanderbilt)
Where he ranked in 2006: 14
After a year or prep school at Brewster Academy, Walker made an impact as a freshman in Nashville, playing in all 34 games and averaging 11 minutes a game. He played just three games this past season before sustaining a torn ACL and missed the rest of the season.
12. Willie Veasley, Freeport (Butler)
Where he ranked in 2006: #17
As a junior at Butler he was a 30 minutes-a-game player who averaged 9 points and 4 rebounds a game for a team that was ranked in the top 25 all season.
13. Jonathan Peoples, St. Joseph (Notre Dame)
Where he ranked: #11
Has been a role player at Notre Dame, averaging 14 minutes a game as a junior and just 3.2 ppg. He scored a season-high 14 points in a win over Providence.
14. Devan Bawinkle, Winnebago (West Virginia/Iowa)
Where he ranked in 2006: #9
Was thought to be a system player who could thrive in the right one but was a bit overrated. After starting his career at West Virginia he transferred to Iowa. He played 22 minutes a game for a struggling Iowa program, averaging just under five points a game and knocking down 51-of-139 three-pointers.
15. Jeremy Nash, Marist (Northwestern)
Where he ranked in 2006: #13
The long, active wing provided a defensive lift and athletic presence for Northwestern this past season. He still has his limitations offensively (3.5 ppg), which limited him to 19 minutes a game.
Stock has risen the most: Without question Javalle McGee was the fastest riser in this class as he's now playing in the NBA.
Stock has fallen the most: Proviso East's Brian Carlwell, who signed with Illinois, was the No. 4 ranked player in the Hoops Report's final Class of 2006 rankings. Ouch.
Others of note: A few other players that were among the top 15-25 players were Hales Franciscan guard Darrien McKinstry (#15), Leo's Donald Lawson (#16), Glenbrook South's Jeff Ryan (#19), Thornridge's Billy Rush (#20) and Richards guard Cody Yelder (#21).
Observations: Yes, McGee has made it to the NBA. And while Collins and Scheyer have both been very good college basketball players, and both Randle and Eldridge have been stars in their respective conferences, this class was one of the weaker classes in the last decade. There was zero depth. After the top 12-15 players the talent in this class dropped fast.
A look back at 2006...
1. Jon Scheyer, 6-5, PG/2G, Glenbrook North
2. Sherron Collins, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Crane)
3. Patrick Beverley, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (Marshall)
4. Brian Carlwell, 6-11, C, Proviso East
5. Will Walker, 6-0, PG, Bolingbrook
6. Jerome Randle, 5-8, PG, Chicago (Hales)
7. Joevan Catron, 6-5, PF, Thornton
8. Osiris Eldridge, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (Phillips)
9. Devan Bawinkle, 6-4, 2G, Winnebago
10. JaVale McGee, 6-11, PF, Chicago (Hales)
11. Jonathan Peoples, 6-3, 2G, St. Joseph
12. Jeremie Simmons, 6-2, 2G, Chicago (Von Steuben)
13. Jeremy Nash, 6-3, WF, Chicago (Marist)
14. Andre Walker, 6-6, WF, Homewood-Flossmoor
15. Darrien McKinstry, 6-1, 2G, Chicago (Hales)
16. Donald Lawson, 6-9, PF, Chicago (Leo)
17. Willlie Veasley, 6-3, WF, Freeport
18. Mario Little, 6-5, WF, Chicago (Washington)
19. Jeff Ryan, 6-5, WF/2G, Glenbrook South
20. Billy Rush, 6-5, WF, Thornridge