By Bryan Kriss - firstname.lastname@example.org
Usually when new player rankings are released for a given class, there will be a few prospects that
you didn't expect to see rated quite so highly. In order to answer your questions before you ask them,
here are some explanations for what may be seen as bold moves, and some introductions for players
who you might not recognize yet.
Deuce Bello: Deuce Bello may not be seen this high in other national rankings, but he has been performing at a very high level as of late. While leaping ability may be the first thing that catches your eye when watching Bello, it isn't the only part of his game. He is a super-quick wing player whose first step and tight handle leave defenders in the dust with sore ankles. He does a spectacular job of getting into the lane and finishes above the rim in a way that makes it almost impossible to defend. Even when he isn't able to convert with a dunk he still does an excellent job of finishing. His jump shot is still a work in progress, but when you can get to the rim like he can, outside shooting becomes an afterthought. Defensively he has the length and lateral quickness to become a lockdown defender at the next level and give opposing teams headaches. Bello will have to work hard to maintain this ranking, but for the time being his natural talent and overall potential is too strong to ignore.
Paul Jesperson: Paul Jesperson, a 6-foot-7 small forward out of Merrill, WI, is just beginning to make a name for himself. While playing for the Wisconsin Playmakers, Jesperson hasn't spent a lot of time under the spotlight, but after being invited to the highly regarded NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp, Jesperson proved that he can play with the best players in the country. Being one of the best shooters in his class and possessing such an impressive skill set for a player his size, Jesperson is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Thomas Gipson: While Thomas Gipson may not possess ideal height for a highly ranked power forward, he more than makes up for this with bulk and hard-nosed play. He uses his strength and physical play to gain position on the block and finish through contact. At this point he's very left-hand dominant and needs to work on some counter moves in order to be a more reliable scorer against taller defenders. However, even when he's giving up inches, he's often able to use his body to create enough space for the finish. Gipson is also more than capable of stepping out and hitting the jumper.
Jarrod Uthoff: Jarrod Uthoff, similar to Paul Jesperson (but more of a combo forward), is a tall and lean player with an excellent shot and overall skill set. There is very little that Uthoff can't do on the basketball court. He is an excellent passer and a good ball handler for his size who can stretch defenses with his deep range. He is also capable of mixing it up in the paint despite his thin frame. Strength is definitely an area that needs attention for Uthoff, but he certainly deserves his ranking in our Elite 100.
Josh Oglesby: Josh Oglesby, a teammate of Jarrod Uthoff for the Iowa Barnstormers AAU team, is a player who is in the process of making a name for himself. He has phenomenal shooting ability and is a very smart and skilled player. It's no surprise that he is a coache's son. He has great size for the shooting guard position (6-foot-5), but is capable of filling in at point guard when needed as well. He is a good ball handler with an excellent basketball IQ and does a good job of playing within himself. His foot-speed may sometimes limit who he'll be able to guard at the next level but he's a smart, hardworking defender who more than makes up for it. Already holding scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Illinois and Minnesota, expect more BCS schools to start knocking on Oglesby's door during the month of July.