About Player Rankings

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By Roy & Harv Schmidt

It is truly sad that we feel a need to write this blog, because quite frankly it is a waste of our time. Unfortunately, it has become necessary, seeing as though another blogger on this site felt compelled to publicly share our player rankings without our consent. Since those who read his contributions may come away with the wrong impression with respect to why we have certain players unranked, we feel a strong need to offer a few clarifications. With that being said, here goes.

What is especially pathetic is that the situation should have never come to this. The blogger who decided to share and offer some public commentary regarding our rankings did so despite the fact that we specifically told him not to after we sent them to him. Makes us wonder what the incentive was. While we certainly don't own a patent on player rankings as a whole, we do have a patent over any thing that we write and publish, including our player rankings. As any credible journalist should know, that means that NO ONE can copy, print or redistribute any of our material without our consent. That is exactly what was done in this instance.

To make matters worse, the blogger chose to offer his opinion on how basketball scouting/player rankings is a "cottage industry" by comparing some of our rankings to those of one of our chief competitors. It was done in a clear-cut effort to make it look like we don't see as many players and to discredit our rankings as a whole. That is where we feel compelled to step in and offer some all-important clarifications, things that the blogger in question should have already been aware of but instead chose to ignore in order to advance his agenda.

First of all, no one should get fooled into thinking that the competitor who the blogger chose to compare our rankings to sees more players than we do. It is common knowledge amongst most astute basketball fans that the competitor who we are referring to doesn't see at least ninety percent of the players that he writes about. In fact, he would probably report to the world that there is an outstanding midget player in Japan if someone were to call him up and tell him so. Enough said.

As for us, we don't operate that way. We can honestly say that every player we write about, every player we watch, every player we rank we have seen play, in most instances on more than one occassion. That is how you establish credibility in this business. Furthermore, as anyone who knows us should already know, our evaluations are done objectively and without the politics, personal agendas, and ties to various shoe companies and AAU programs. The same cannot be said about the majority of our competition.

Now getting back to the matter at hand. We do not have Rueben Cotto from Alton ranked in our Class of 2008 player rankings from Illinois because we have not seen him play, and we don't rank players who we haven't seen. It is that simple. We are willing to bet that the competitor who supposedly has Cotto ranked as the #24 senior in Illinois hasn't seen him either, but that doesn't stop him from ranking Cotto nevertheless. As for Aziz N'diaye from Lake Forest Academy, he is not a true high school senior and in all likelihood will not be playing D1 college basketball next season, which is why we have chosen not to rank him. Therefore, we would advise everyone to take anyone else's ranking of N'diaye with a grain of salt. As for North Lawndale's Paul Bunch, for some reason he was inadvertently omitted from our rankings of the top players in Illinois from the class of 2010. That is what happens when you don't have proofreaders! There is no question that he ranks among the top ten players in that class.

Finally, we wish to offer some choice comments of our own regarding the art of ranking players. Yes, it is true that it is not an exact science and yes, it is true that anyone out there is capable of offering an opinion on what they think of a player. However, we feel strongly that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about ranking and evaluating players, which is why our skin crawls whenever we hear ignorant people say that anyone can do this.

We are confident in saying that those who subscribe to us know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our scouting service and our reports contain the most thorough and accurate evaluations of Illinois high school basketball players that you will find anywhere, mainly because of the reasons that we have stated above. That is why our service is the most trusted and respected of any in the state. And yes, we do take our rankings seriously because they are part of our job. We would hope that anybody who performs a job takes it seriously and tries to do it to the fullest of their capability.

Hopefully this will be the last time we ever have to write on this subject, as we certainly have better and more productive things to do with our time. Again, this whole thing could have been avoided had the blogger in question communicated with us prior to making our player rankings public knowledge without our consent and jumping to conclusions which were totally unfounded. We can only hope that this is something that he will take into consideration in the future.

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I am a loyal reader of both blogs, I really like both of them and consider myself independant in terms of knowing either of you. While I appreciate your passion for your jobs and rankings, I think you are just a bit defensive. I think that most informed and educated readers understand what you gents do locally(Illinois) and appreciate your info. I follow some of your competitors as well, but I trust your rankings more than the National guys. What I am trying to say is that the people that "know", appreciate what you do. By defending yourselves so vehemently makes you look a bit petty. So stop worrying so much. And thanks for your info.

Roy & Harv Respond:

Your points are well taken. Believe us, we are not worried. Sensitive to the issue? Perhaps! As we said, we wish that we wouldn't have had a need to write this but decided to mainly to clear up why we don't rank the players that were in question in the other blog. Maybe we should have left it at that. Hopefully something like this will never have to be addressed again.

Wow! Will Tom Lemming get to speak his piece too?

Roy & Harv Respond:

We can only hope and pray that he does!!

At the end of the day, all you guys are doing is going and watching young men play basketball. What part did you take in their development either on, and especially off, the hardwood or blacktop.

It's obvious that anyone with a computer can have a website or blog these days and refer to themselves as 'scouts' or better yet, 'recruiting experts'. It is humorous that you two guys (brothers I assume) feel that someone has done such an injustice by posting a list with players names. It is obvious that you all would not have been offended had the guy not shared his opinion or attempted to discredit you.

Bottom line, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. If you are not comfortable with the world seeing your rankings/lists then you are not familiar with the existing talent. Further, this blog and your website are trivial when compared to the dons of the industry like Scout and Rivals.

Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the world values your opinion anymore than the next guy. Basketball was here long before you two Schmidts arrived and will continue long after. Oh yea, it's just a game gentlemen, and the time I checked the two of you were not even players; just fans. Like the rest of us.

Roy & Harv Respond:

We have no idea who you are, but are you really that clueless? If you weren't you would realize that in addition to having a web site, we also publish our own scouting service which is subscribed to by college programs throughout the country at all levels. We see more players throughout the state of Illinois than any other service. Therefore, we are more than qualified to be called recruiting experts when it comes to scouting players in Illinois and we would argue that while we are not players, we are far more than just fans and there are plenty of college programs who do value our opinion.

Your reference to Scout and Rivals being the dons of the industry is laughable. We have been scouting players in Illinois for 25 years and have been around long before Scout and Rivals were ever in existence. The same can be said about many of the national scouting services such as All-Star Sports, HSBI Report, ACC Poop Sheet (Prep Stars), Future Stars and plenty of others.

The bottom line is that our player rankings are available to our subscribers, just as any rankings done through Scout and Rivals are premium information and available only to their subscribers. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of sharing our rankings with another blogger at the Sun-Times who breeched confidentiality by going public with them despite the fact that we told him not to.

And while we don't (and never will) take credit for any player's development, we aren't aware of any other scouting service that can do so either. Last we checked, people like Bob Gibbons, Dave Telep and Van Coleman never played the game either. Therefore, your argument doesn't hold water. Next time do some research.


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This page contains a single entry by Roy & Harv Schmidt published on February 20, 2008 9:41 AM.

Underrated Back Courts? Look No Further Than Elgin was the previous entry in this blog.

Plenty Wrong With Post Season All-Star Game Selection Process is the next entry in this blog.

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