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.