The Top 100 rankings have become a rite of passage over the years, a ritual signifying -- fair or not -- how highly regarded a player is as a prospect among his peers.
The move into the top 100 marks a player's change of status upon entry into a select group, despite the fact it's very common the 117th ranked player is often every bit the prospect as the No. 74 ranked player. Nonetheless, that top 100 is a status symbol for the prep hooper, a badge of honor. Can it be overblown? Certainly.
In 2008 one Samardo Samuels was No. 4 in the class while Draymond Green was No. 95. Good luck finding Damian Lillard, the former Weber State star now playing with the Portland Trail Blazers, in any top 100 list in 2008.
In 2006, Stephen Curry couldn't sniff a top 100 list, while forgettables Vernon Macklin and Duke Crews were both in the top 25. Also in 2006, future NBA player JaVale McGee of Hales Franciscan wasn't ranked in the top 100, while Proviso East's big man Brian Carlwell was in the top 50. Carlwell has hardly been the only top 100 bust out of Illinois over the past 13 years.
There are dozens and dozens of overrated and overhyped Top 100 ranking stories just like this every single year.
Last week the first composite top 100 (Recruiting Services Consensus Index) rankings for the Class of 2014 was released, which is a calculated formula combining the opinions of multiple top 100 rankings into one. And Illinois was well represented with seven players among the top 100, headed by the No. 1 prospect in the country, Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor.
For fun, the City/Suburban Hoops Report broke down top 100 players from Illinois since the year 2000 as a little Top 100 historical look. The ranking listed is their final (with the exception of the current seniors in 2014) ranking in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index.
Class of 2014
1. Jahlil Okafor, 6-11, C, Chicago (Whitney Young)
3. Cliff Alexander, 6-9, PF, Chicago (Curie)
30. Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7, WF/PF, Normal (U-High)
31. Tyler Ulis, 5-8, PG, Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic)
58. Paul White, 6-9, WF/PF, Chicago (Whitney Young)
72. Vic Law, 6-7, WF, Chicago (St. Rita)
97. Malek Harris, 6-7, WF/PF, Orland Park (Sandburg)
Hoops Report Note: Loaded group is the only class with two players ranked among the top 10 and matches the second highest total (7) of players in the top 100.
Class of 2013
3. Jabari Parker, 6-8, WF, Chicago (Simeon)
57. Kendrick Nunn, 6-2, 2G, Chicago (Simeon)
63. Kendall Stephens, 6-5, 2G, St. Charles (East)
70. Malcolm Hill, 6-6, WF, Belleville (East)
Hoops Report Note: Still believe Malcolm Hill, who missed all of the summer prior to his senior year, is ranked a little too low. Although not in the exact order as national experts had it, these were the top four prospects in the Hoops Report's final player rankings.
Class of 2012
82. Steve Taylor, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Simeon)
Hoops Report Note: A forgettable class, indeed. There were only two players in the class who even signed with high-major programs out of high school.
Class of 2011
1. Anthony Davis, 6-11, PF, Chicago (Perspectives)
26. Wayne Blackshear, 6-5, WF, Chicago (Morgan Park)
46. Sam Thompson, 6-7, WF, Chicago (Whitney Young)
63. Chasson Randle, 6-2, PG/2G, Rock Island
64. Ryan Boatright, 5-11, PG, East Aurora
65. Mike Shaw, 6-8, PF, Chicago (De La Salle)
66. Myke Henry, 6-6, WF/PF, Chicago (Orr)
69. Tracy Abrams, 6-1, PG, Chicago (Mt. Carmel)
78. Nnanna Egwu, 6-10, C, Chicago (St. Ignatius)
Hoops Report Note: The best class Illinois has produced since 1998, though the Hoops Report was skeptical of where Illinois players were ranked nationally (i.e. Hoops Report didn't even have Mike Shaw in the top 10 among Illinois prospects, thought Ryan Boatright should have been higher nationally and had Nnanna Egwu as the No. 3 prospect in the state in 2011.)
Class of 2010
24. Jereme Richmond, 6-7, WF, Waukegan
29. Meyers Leonard, 7-0, C, Robinson
76. Crandall Head, 6-3, 2G, Richton Park (Rich South)
Hoops Report Note: Meyers Leonard already in his second season in the NBA; Jereme Richmond is ... Sad.
Class of 2009
49. Brandon Paul, 6-4, 2G, Gurnee (Warren)
97. Chris Colvin, 6-2, PG, Chicago (Whitney Young)
* D.J. Richardson of Peoria attended Findlay Prep in Nevada his senior year and was ranked No. 35
Hoops Report Note: Big omission from national rankings was the City/Suburban Hoops Report Player of the Year: Drew Crawford of Naperville Central.
Class of 2008
22. Iman Shumpert, 6-5, PG/2G, Oak Park-River Forest
23. Mike Dunnigan, 6-9, C, Chicago (Farragut)
* DeAndre Liggins of Chicago attended Findlay Prep in Nevada his senior year and was ranked No. 34
Hoops Report Note: Iman Shumpert lived up to the hype; Mike Dunnigan didn't.
Class of 2007
5. Derrick Rose, 6-2, PG, Chicago (Simeon)
45. Mac Koshwal, 6-9, PF, Chicago (Boys To Men Academy)
52. Evan Turner, 6-7, WF, Westchester (St. Joseph)
65. Demetri McCamey, 6-3, PG, Westchester (St. Joseph)
93. Brandon McGee, 6-7, PG, Chicago (Crane)
Hoops Report Note: A class that produces a NBA MVP (Derrick Rose) and another NBA Lottery Pick (Evan Turner) is noteworthy. Proviso East's Jacob Pullen had heck of a career at K-State (school's all-time leading scorer) after being left off top 100 lists his senior year in high school.
Class of 2006
14. Sherron Collins, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Crane)
28. Jon Scheyer, 6-5, 2G, Northbrook (Glenbrook North)
49. Brian Carlwell, 6-11, C, Maywood (Proviso East)
76. Patrick Beverly, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (Marshall)
Hoops Report Note: Well, three of the four had stellar post-high school careers. Sherron Collins and Jon Scheyer both won national titles at Kansas and Duke, respectively, while Patrick Beverly made the league.
Class of 2005
6. Julian Wright, 6-8, WF/PF, Homewood-Flossmoor
31. Bobby Frasor, 6-3, PG, Chicago (Brother Rice)
57. Jerel McNeal, 6-2, 2G, Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)
84. Jeremy Pargo, 6-1, PG, Chicago (Robeson)
87. Nate Minnoy, 6-3, WF, Chicago (Hales Franciscan)
Hoops Report Note: Jerel McNeal and Jeremy Pargo may have been a little undervalued, while Julian Wright and Bobby Frasor maybe a little overvalued ranking wise.
Class of 2004
2. Shaun Livingston, 6-7, PG, Peoria (Central)
51. Justin Cerasoli, 6-4, PG, West Aurora
77. Shaun Pruitt, 6-9, C, West Aurora
91. DeAaron Williams, 6-5, WF, Bartonville (Limestone)
Hoops Report Note: After Shaun Livingston, the No. 2 prospect in the country behind Dwight Howard, there were a few overrated prospects in this group.
Class of 2003
3. Shannon Brown, 6-3, 2G, Maywood (Proviso East)
28. Richard McBride, 6-3, 2G, Springfield (Lanphier)
53. Brian Randle, 6-7, PF, Peoria (Notre Dame)
71. Dameon Mason, 6-5, WF, West Aurora
Hoops Report Note: The only two players ranked ahead of Shannon Brown nationally in 2003? LeBron James and Luol Deng. Illinois signees Richard McBride and Brian Randle simply weren't No. 28 and No. 53.
Class of 2002
19. Dee Brown, 5-11, PG, Maywood (Proviso East)
21. Sean Dockery, 6-2, PG, Chicago (Julian)
27. Andre Igoudala, 6-7, WF, Springfield (Lanphier)
30. Michael Thompson, 6-10, C, New Lenox (Providence)
78. James Augustine, 6-10, C, New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central)
81. Marcus White, 6-8, PF, Chicago (Whitney Young)
86. Aaron Spears, 6-9, PF, Chicago (Dunbar)
Hoops Report Note: Andre Igoudale remains City/Suburban Hoops Report's biggest miss in 18 years. Sean Dockery nationally ranked ahead of guards Brandon Roy, Jarrett Jack, Deron Williams and Randy Foye? Michael Thompson? McDonald's All-American? Notable omission in this class: Lockport's Alando Tucker, who went on to become a Big Ten MVP and broke the Wisconsin all-time scoring record.
Class of 2001
1. Eddy Curry, 6-11, C, South Holland (Thornwood)
32. Pierre Pierce, 6-3, PG, Westmont
53. Will Bynum, 5-9, PG, Chicago (Crane)
58. Najeeb Echols, 6-6, WF, Chicago (Whitney Young)
62. Roger Powell, 6-6, WF, Joliet
64. Levar Seals, 6-4, 2G, Chicago (Providence St. Mel)
66. Marcellus Sommerville, 6-6, WF, Peoria (Central)
Hoops Report Note: A mixed bag here but some on-the-court/off-the-court busts here.
Class of 2000
3. Darius Miles, 6-9, PF, East St. Louis
11. Andre Brown, 6-8, PF, Chicago (Leo)
18. Imari Sawyer, 6-1, PG, Chicago (King)
19. Cedric Banks, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (Westinghouse)
28. T.J. Cummings, 6-8, PF, Homewood-Flossmoor
60. Matt Lottich, 6-5, 2G, Winnetka (New Trier)
Hoops Report Note: O-VER...RA-TED ... O-VER...RA-TED
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