The young men included in our first rankings of the ESPN Top 60 national prospects in the Class of 2010 are all exceptionally advanced high school sophomores. These players have shown outstanding potential as varsity players during this past year.
These ratings most definitely will change; these young men still have two seasons of high school basketball remaining, not to mention all of the offseason events. Please look at this initial ESPN Top 60 as a good beginning in the player rankings for the Class of 2010.
Our pick as the No. 1 player in this class is multitalented, 6-foot-3 guard Brandon Knight. Knight, who plays for Pine Crest Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Knight was the top rising sophomore at our Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in May. He also was the most impressive 2010 prospect at the Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas in July. Knight has skills similar to those of point guard Brandon Jennings, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2008. But Knight is taller, stronger and appears to be just as athletic as Jennings.
Rated No. 2 is the most promising big man in the Class of 2010, 6-9 C/F James Tyler of San Diego Senior High School. Tyler has great low-post skills for a player so young, including good range on his shot. He was the only rising sophomore invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy in July. And, he competed well at that event. There are rumors that Tyler may attend another high school for his junior year. But that is purely speculation at this time.
The No. 3-rated 2010 prospect is Indiana all-state player 6-7 P/WF DeShaun Thomas. The athletic Thomas, who plays for Bishop Luers High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.), has the talent to play multiple positions -- shooting guard and either forward spot -- and outstanding overall skills for a young player. He has the size to effectively play an inside-outside game and the ability to post up smaller wing players. Thomas made an early commitment to Ohio State, which some now question. Thomas has refused to comment on his status, other than to say Ohio State is still his top school, but he may consider taking other visits during the next two years. Presently, he is listed as still committed to the Buckeyes. That will remain the case until he officially declares that he is not.
Our No. 4 prospect is the top 2010 sophomore in New York City, 6-4 shooting guard Doron Lamb, who plays for Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin High School. Our scouting associate, Norm Eavenson, now rates Lamb as the No. 1 sophomore in the mid-Atlantic region. Lamb had an excellent season for Bishop Loughlin. He has a silky-smooth shooting touch that we compare to North Carolina standout Wayne Ellington's. Lamb is already being recruiting by many major college programs, including Louisville, Florida, Connecticut, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Seton Hall and St. John's.
Rated No. 5 is Toronto resident 6-8 P/WF Tristan Thompson of St. Benedict's School (Newark, N.J.). Thompson was the valuable sixth man on coach Danny Hurley's nationally ranked (24-1) St. Benedict's team. He has the skills and athletic ability to play either forward position. Thompson made the 16-and-under all-tournament team playing for Grassroots Canada in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions last May. He has been invited to the 2008 NBPA Top 100 Camp. Thompson has made an early commitment to coach Rick Barnes' Texas Longhorns. Could he become another Kevin Durant in three years? It is possible under Barnes' tutelage.
Completing the 2010 "Super Six" is precocious point guard and team leader Kendall Marshall, who stands at 6-foot-3 and plays for Bishop O'Connell High School. (Arlington, Va.). Marshall is incredibly advanced for a player so young, and he started as a freshman point guard for coach Joe Wootten's team. He also was the starting point man for a highly regarded AAU team, the Boo Williams All-Stars, in the summer of 2007. Marshall showcased his leadership, ballhanding, playmaking and scoring skills at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June. He committed in September to coach Roy Williams' North Carolina Tar Heels.
At this time 16 of ESPN's 2010 Top 60 have announced their college choices.
Leading the way are coach Thad Matta's Ohio State Buckeyes with four -- count 'em, four -- 2010 commitments. In addition to No. 3 DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State has received verbals from No. 7, rugged 6-6 PF Jared Sullinger, Northland High School (Columbus, Ohio); No. 12, 6-1 PG Trae Golden, McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.); and No. 43, 6-4 SG Cameron Wright, Benedictine High School (Cleveland).
Illinois and North Carolina both have two 2010 Top 60 commits. We expect others members of the Class of 2010 to soon announce their collegiate choices.
Bob Gibbons is the editor and publisher of the All Star Sports Report and is widely regarded as the recruiting guru of college basketball. Drop Bob a line in his mailbag.