We have now officially entered the dog days of summer. As the temperature rises, news in our college hoops universe comes to a standstill. Recruiting news, on the other hand, doesn't. There are two extremely important observation periods during the month of July, and more than a few scholarships, and spots on top 100 lists, are on the line. Unfortunately, BIAH doesn't pay the rent (click on some ads people!!!), which means we can't be out on the road at events like Nike's Peach Jam. In other words, we won't be putting out top 100 lists for the class of 2013. But since it is July, and since basketball in July is dedicated to recruiting, we are going to spend these next few weeks looking back past recruiting classes and rankings. Some of the results will surprise you.
The Class of 2003
The crown jewel of the class of 2003 was obvious. Some 6'8" kid from Akron, OH, named LeBron James. Ever heard of him? I think he spent some time in the news recently.
The class of 2003 was more than just LeBron, however. It also produced one of the best point guards in the NBA as well as quite a few capable pros and excellent collegians. Hit the jump to see the consensus (using Rivals and Scout) top 50(ish) from the class of 2003 and where they ended up:
1. LeBron James: Duh.
2. Luol Deng: Deng, a native of Sudan, spent one season at Duke, where he averaged 15.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg on a team that made the Final Four. Deng would go on to be the 7th pick in the 2004 NBA draft, landing in Chicago after a trade. He's battled some injuries, but in six seasons has a career average of 15.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg, averaging 17.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 70 games in '09-'10.
3. Ndudi Ebi: Ebi was an Arizona commit, but he was one (of many) in this recruiting class to head straight to the league. Ebi was drafted by the Wolves with the 26th pick, but only hung around for two seasons before heading to the D-League. Ebi spent some time in Israel and Italy before turning up at the Orlando summer league with the 76ers this year.
4. Shannon Brown: Brown spent three years at Michigan State, making the Final Four with the Spartans in 2005 and earning 2nd team all Big Ten honors as he averaged 17.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg as a junior. Brown left school after his junior season, getting scooped up by the Cavs with the 25th pick. Brown bounced from Cleveland to Chicago to Charlotte to the D-League before eventually finding a home with the Lakers this year, averaging 8.1 ppg in 82 while playing a key role for the NBA Champs.
5. David Padgett: Padgett was a McDonald's all-american coming out of Reno, but transferred out of Kansas after he freshman season. He ended up at Louisville, where he was a vital part of the Cardinals team, averaging double digits for two of his three seasons there and playing a key role as a high post passer. Padgett wasn't drafted out of Louisville, and after bouncing around some professional leagues, including the Canary Islands, Padgett is now a member of the Louisville coaching staff.
6. Charlie Villanueva: Villanueva, a high school teammate of Deng's, originally committed to Illinois, but after Bill Self left for Kansas, he backed out and headed to UConn. He spent two seasons with the Huskies, winning a national title as a freshman and earning 2nd team all-Big East as a sophomore. Villanueva would go on to enter the 2005 NBA Draft, where he was picked 7th by Toronto. He was runner-up in rookie of the year voting, and has been a productive pro ever since, averaging 13.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg in five seasons.
7. Kendrick Perkins: A Memphis commit, Perkins went straight to the pros out of high school. He was picked 27th in the 2003 draft by Memphis, but was traded to Boston on draft night. Perkins has steadily gotten more playing time every season, becoming a starter in his third season in the league, winning a title in 2008, and averaging a career high 10.1 ppg this past year.
8. Leon Powe: Powe is a tremendous story (I won't go into details, but watch this clip from ESPN during the 2008 finals). He was the Pac-10 freshman of the year at Cal, but missed his sophomore season due to injury. As a junior in 2006, he averaged 20.5 ppg and 10.1 rpg for the Bears and entered the NBA Draft. Powe was the 49th pick, landing with the Celtics. He played a key role as a reserve in the Celtics 2008 title run as well as their 2008-2009 team. Powe spent 2010 with the Cavs.
9. James Lang: Lang went pro out of high school, going in the second round. He bounced around the lesser professional leagues, getting a cup of coffee with the Wizards in 2007. Unfortunately, Lang suffered a stroke in November of 2009, just nine days after the Utah Flash of the D-League cut Lang for "medical reasons", and was reportedly left paralyzed on the left side of his body.
10. Brian Butch: Butch dominated Wisconsin competition in high school, and despite being an all-american, Butch elected to redshirt as a freshman at Wisconsin. Butch was nothing more than an average center for the Badgers, battling through mono and a nasty elbow injury during his collegiate career. He would go undrafted in 2008, and after playing in Germany and Greece, Butch has been playing with the Nuggets in the Las Vegas summer league.
11. Mustafa Shakur: Shakur headed to Point Guard U., starting all but two games in his four year career with Arizona. He averaged 10.1 ppg and 5.1 apg over those four seasons, but went undrafted in 2007. He's gotten chances with the NBA -- 10 day contracts and trips to summer leagues -- but most of Shakur's professional career has come overseas. His biggest claim to fame may be that he's a cousin of Tupac.
12. Chris Paul: I think we all know who Chris Paul is. The former Wake Forest star has turned into arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
13. Brandon Bass: Bass, a Louisiana native, spent two years at LSU before heading to the NBA. As a sophomore, he averaged 17.3 ppg and 9.1 rpg en route to being named the SEC player of the year. Bass would eventually be the 35th pick of the 2005 draft, spending two years with New Orleans before signing with Dallas. He proved to be a valuable role player with the Mavericks, signing an $18 million deal with the Magic in the summer of 2009.
14. Travis Outlaw: Outlaw is another guy who went straight to the NBA out of high school. He spent his first six seasons in the NBA with Portland, turning into a very good role player and scorer off the bench. He averaged 13 ppg in '07-'08 and '08-'09. This offseason, he signed a 5 year, $35 million contract with the Nets.
15. Linas Kleiza: Kleiza was a stud in his two seasons at Missouri, averaging 11.1 ppg and 8.4 rpg as a freshman and 16.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg as a sophomore. He would enter the draft after his sophomore season, getting scooped up by the Blazers with the 27th pick. After playing limited minutes as a rookie with the Nuggets, Kleiza eventually worked his way into the rotation, becoming a double digit scorer with Denver. This past season, he played for a team out in Greece, but terminated that contract to sign with the Raptors for four years and $20 million.
16. Kris Humphries: Humphries originally committed to Duke, but backed out to play for Minnesota, his home state. The Golden Gophers had a miserable season, but Humphries was sensational, averaging 21.7 ppg and 10.1 rpg, both of which led the Big Ten. He would enter the draft as a freshman and get picked 14th by the Utah Jazz. He's played six mostly ho-hum years in the league -- starting just eight games -- but averaged career highs of 8.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 20.6 mpg with the Nets this season.
17. Olu Famutimi: Famutimi, a 6'4" guard, signed with Arkansas. After two mediocre season -- 8.3 ppg and 3.8 rpg for his collegiate career -- Famutimi went pro and wasn't drafted. He spent time in the D-League and made a couple of NBA training camps and summer league teams, but has spent the majority of his pro career overseas. He's currently in Turkey.
18. Von Wafer: Wafer was an unknown in the recruiting world until the summer after his junior year, when his stock took off. He eventually became a McDonald's all-american, spending two seasons at Florida State, where he averaged 12.5 ppg as a sophomore. Wafer was the 39th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, but bounced around for three years before finally getting a chance in '08-'09 with the Rockets. He averaged 9.7 ppg, which was enough to get him a $10 million contract in Greece. He was waived halfway through the season, and bounced around the NBA and the D-League for the remainder of 2010.
19. Trevor Ariza: Ariza played for a loaded high school team (Hassan Adams, Brandon Heath, Bobby Brown) out in LA before eventually playing one season at UCLA, where he averaged 11.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. He would go on to turn pro, getting picked by the Knicks at 43rd. Ariza made an immediate impact with the Knicks and the Magic due to his ability to defend. He was eventually traded to the Lakers, where he burst into national notoreity with a tremendous performance during the 2009 playoffs. That performance landed him a 5 year, $33 million deal from Houston, where he averaged a career high 14.6 ppg last season.
20. J.R. Giddens: Giddens has had an up-and-down career. He started out at Kansas, where he averaged double figures for two seasons but was asked to leave by head coach Bill Self after he was stabbed in the calf during a bar fight in May, 2005. He transferred to New Mexico, and after sitting out a season, Giddens averaged 15.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg as a junior. But he was suspended for a couple of games that year due to his attitude. As a senior, Giddens was named MWC player of the year, averaging 16.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg, before getting picked 30th by the Celtics in the 2008 draft. He bounced between the Celtics and the D-League for a season and a half before being shipped ot New York as a part of the trade for Nate Robinson.
Other notable 2003 prospects:
32. Ronnie Brewer: Brewer signed with Arkansas, where his dad was a star in the 70's. Ronnie stepped right in and contributed, averaging 12.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 2.0 spg as a freshman. As a junior, Brewer turned into one of the best prospects in the country thanks to his length, athelticism, and ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. He averaged 18.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, and 2.6 spg. Brewer was picked 14th by the Jass in 2006, becoming a starter by the end of his rookie season. Brewer spect three years at the starting two guard in Utah before being traded to Memphis, where he played just five games before getting hurt.
34. Aaron Brooks: Brooks, a Seattle native, very well might be the third best player to come out of this class. A dynamic scoring point guard, Brooks slowly developed into a star at Oregon, averaging 17.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 4.3 apg as a senior. He would get picked by the Rockets at 27th overall, turning into a starter midway through 2009. By 2010, he was the Rockets best player, averaging 19.6 ppg and 5.6 apg.
Quincy Douby: Douby (Rivals 52nd, Scout 51st) was a scoring dynamo for Rutgers for three seasons, but was never able to get the Scarlett Knights out of the NIT. He would go on to be picked 19th by the Kings, but was never able to latch on in the league.
Josh Boone: Boone (Rivals 54th, Scout 65th) won a title with the Huskies as a freshman, earned all-Big East as a sophomore and junior, and was named the conference's defensive player of the year once. He was picked 23rd by the Nets, where he has ben ever since. Boone has started 88 games in four years, averaging 5.2 ppg and 4.9 rpg.
Marcus Williams: Williams (61st in both Rivals and Scout) twice was suspended for the first half of the seasons, once for grades and once for trying to sell stolen laptops, but Williams was still able to 12.3 ppg and 8.6 apg for an under-talented UConn team in 2006. Williams was picked 22nd by the Nets, but has only started 10 NBA games. He spent some time in Puerto Rico, and is currently a free agent after spending last season in Memphis.
Dominic McGuire: McGuire (Rivals and Scout 88th) started his collegiate career at Cal before transferring to Fresno State. He would eventually get picked 47th by the Wizards. McGuire spent three seasons in DC before being traded to Sacramento. He's currently under a one year deal with Charlotte.
Renaldo Balkman: Balkman (92nd Rivals, 91st Scout) was a relative unknown coming out of high school, and after playing three years at South CArolina, was an unknown entering the NBA Draft. Balkman still managed to get picked, 20th by the Knicks in a surprising move by Isiah Thomas. He's spent four uneventful seasons in New York and in Denver.
Paul Millsap: Millsap (130th Rivals) ended up at Louisiana Tech, where he led the nation in rebounding for three consecutive years. He finished his three year career with averages of 18.6 ppg and 12.7 rpg, getting selected 47th by the Jazz in the 2006 draft. Millsap has become a very good pro, putting up career numbers of 9.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg, averaging a high of 13.6 ppg and 8.8 rpg in '08-'09.
Aaron Gray: Gray was the 148th player in Rivals' top 150, and while he had a slow start to his career at Pitt, Gray was a monster his last two seasons, averaging around 14 and 10 over that span. A legit seven feet, Gray was picked 49th by the Bulls, where he played for three seasons. He was traded to the Hornets last year, and just recently resigned with them.
If I missed anyone from this class, please leave a comment and let me know.