2006: The High School Class that Keeps on Giving

2006: The High School Class that Keeps on Giving
Jun 19, 2010, 08:50 pm
The 2006 high school class took a while to unfold, but it ended up developing into a terrific group of players as far as NBA prospects are concerned. Now that four years have passed and the dust has settled on the recruiting rankings, we take a look back to see how it really panned out and what affect that might have on the 2010 NBA draft.

The chart below is based on the Recruiting Services Consensus Index's final rankings of the 2006 class. The RSCI is a calculation of the average rankings of all the major high school recruiting services.

-Unless otherwise stated in the “college” column it's presumed that player stayed all four seasons and has graduated with the rest of his 2006 classmates.
- --> = Player transferred schools, forced to sit out a season unless to JUCO or Division II
-* Player spent an additional season of high school in prep school

Color Coding:

Green- Player was drafted and is in the NBA
Turquoise- Player transferred or redshirted and still has NCAA eligibility remaining
Orange- Player is considered a 2010 draft prospect
Gray- Player went undrafted

RSCI Name CollegePro DestinationYear Drafted / Current Projection
1Greg OdenOhio State [one year]NBA (#1) Pick2007
2Kevin DurantTexas [one year]NBA (#2) Pick2007
3Brandan WrightNorth Carolina [one year]NBA (#8) Pick2007
4Spencer HawesWashington [one year]NBA (#10) Pick2007
5Ty LawsonNorth Carolina [three years]NBA (#18) Pick2009
6Thaddeus YoungGeorgia Tech [one year]NBA (#12) Pick2007
7Chase BudingerArizona [three years]NBA (#44) Pick2009
8Wayne EllingtonNorth Carolina [three years]NBA (#28) Pick2009
9Brook LopezStanford [two years]NBA (#10) Pick2008
10Paul Harris *Syracuse [three years] --> NBA Draft Early-Entry --> UndraftedD-LeagueUndrafted 2009
11Gerald HendersonDuke [three years]NBA (#12) Pick2009
12Darrell ArthurKansas [two years]NBA (#27) Pick2008
13Javaris CrittentonGeorgia Tech [one year]NBA (#19) Pick - 2010 Free Agent2007
14Daequan CookOhio State [one year]NBA (#21) Pick2007
15Sherron CollinsKansas Projected second round pick
16Damion JamesTexasProjected first round pick
17Vernon MacklinGeorgetown --> Florida5th year senior next season
18Derrick CaracterLouisville --> UTEP --> NBA Draft Early-EntryProjected second round pick
19Stanley RobinsonUConnProjected late first/early second round pick
20Robin LopezStanford [two years]NBA (#15) Pick2008
21Lance ThomasDukeProjected undrafted
22Mike Conley JrOhio State [one year]NBA (#4) Pick2007
23Duke CrewsTennessee --> Bowie State (CIAA - no redshirt)Projected undrafted
24Earl ClarkLouisville [three years]NBA (#14) Pick2009
25Brian ZoubekDukeProjected second round to undrafted
26DaJuan SummersGeorgetown [three years]NBA (#35) Pick2009
27Quincy PondexterWashingtonProjected first round pick
28Jon ScheyerDukeProjected second round to undrafted
29Davon Jefferson*Southern Cal [one year] --> NBA Draft Early-Entry --> UndraftedIsraelUndrafted 2008
30D.J. AugustinTexas [two years]NBA (#9) Pick2008
31Curtis KellyUconn --> Kansas State5th year senior next season
32David LightyOhio State [medical redshirt]5th year senior next season
33Deshawn SimsMichiganProjected undrafted
34Ramar SmithTennessee [two years] --> Poland --> 2nd Division Germany --> JailArrested for aggravated robberyUndrafted 2009
35Raymar MorganMichigan StateProjected undrafted
36Obi MuoneloOklahoma StateProjected undrafted
37Jerome DysonUconnProjected undrafted
38Scottie ReynoldsVillanovaProjected undrafted
39James KeefeUCLAProjected undrafted
41Taj Gibson *USC [three years]NBA (#26) Pick2009
42Willie KempMemphisProjected undrafted
43Michael Washington *ArkansasProjected undrafted
44Jason BennettKansas State [one year] --> Detroit Mercy [one year] --> IrelandAutomatically-Eligible~ Projected undrafted
45Deon ThompsonNorth CarolinaProjected undrafted
46Tyler Smith *Tennessee [three years] --> Arrested --> TurkeyAutomatically-Eligible~ Projected undrafted
46Mike JonesSyracuse --> South Carolina --> Indian Hills JUCO --> Claflin University (Division II)Projected undrafted
48Jerry SmithLouisvilleProjected undrafted
49Tom HerzogMichigan State --> Central Florida5th year senior next season
49Patrick ChristopherCaliforniaProjected undrafted
51Brian CarlwellIllinois --> San Diego State5th year senior next season
52Jamie SkeenWake Forest --> VCU5th year senior next season
53Jonathan KreftArrested for Cocaine Possession --> Chipola JUCO --> Florida StateTwo seasons of eligibility remaining
54Derrick JasperKentucky --> UNLV5th year senior next season
55Wayne ChismTennesseeProjected second round to undrafted
56Doug WigginsUconn --> Umass --> Robert Morris5th year senior next season
56Edgar SosaLouisvilleProjected undrafted
58Jodie MeeksKentucky [three years]NBA (#41) Pick2009
58Perry StevensonKentuckyProjected undrafted
60Anthony GurleyWake Forest --> UMass5th year senior next season
61Marreese SpeightsFlorida [two years]NBA (#16) Pick2008
62Jason BohannonWisconsinProjected undrafted
63Bryan DavisTexas A&MProjected undrafted
64Hasheem ThabeetUconn [three years]NBA (#2) Pick2009
65Matt BouldinGonzagaProjected second round to undrafted
66Eugene Harvey*Seton HallProjected undrafted
67Jamil TuckerVirginia --> DismissedProjected undrafted
68Keith ClarkOklahoma [two years] --> Dismissed --> UndraftedD-LeagueUndrafted 2009
68Isaiah DahlmanMichigan StateProjected undrafted
70Tweety CarterBaylorProjected undrafted
71Nigel MunsonVirginia Tech --> University District of Columbia (Division II)5th year senior next season
72Phil NelsonWashington --> Portland State5th year senior next season
73Pierre NilesMemphis --> Left teamProjected undrafted
74Mamadou DiarraSouthern Cal --> Chaminade (Divison II)Two seasons of eligibility remaining
75Antonio Pena*Villanova [medical redshirt]5th year senior next season
76Patrick BeverleyArkansas [two years] --> Dismissed --> UkraineNBA (#42) Pick~ Played for Olympiacos in 2010~ NBA 2011?2009
77Jarvis VarnadoMississippi StateProjected second round pick
78Marques JohnsonTennessee --> N.C. State --> Georgia State5th year senior next season
79Will GravesNorth Carolina [redshirt]5th year senior next season
80Adrian OliverWashington --> San Jose State5th year senior next season
81Leon FreemanChipola Junior College --> ????
82Dexter PittmanTexasProjected second round to undrafted
83Luke HarangodyNotre DameProjected second round to undrafted
84Doneal Mack *MemphisProjected undrafted
85Josue SotoFlorida State --> Florida International --> Puerto RicoProjected undrafted
86Jeff AllenPrep School --> Virginia Tech 4th year senior next season
87Jonathan MitchellFlorida --> Rutgers5th year senior next season
87Trevon HughesWisconsinProjected undrafted
89Taylor HarrisonCalifornia (forced to quit basketball due to knee problems)Projected undrafted
90Donald SloanTexas A&MProjected undrafted
91Gilbert Brown*PittsburghProjected undrafted
92Solomon Tat *VirginiaProjected undrafted
93Greivis VasquezMarylandProjected second round pick
94Jeremy MayfieldUAB --> Texas Wesleyan5th year senior next season
94Dan WernerFloridaProjected undrafted
96Cameron TatumPrep School --> Tennessee [medical redshirt]Two seasons of eligibility remaining
97Daniel DeaneUtah --> Oregon State 5th year senior next season
97Hamady N'diayeRutgers Projected second round to undrafted
99Da'Sean ButlerWest VirginiaProjected second round to undrafted
100Adrion GravesXavier --> Bowling Green --> Cumberlands (Division II)5th year senior next season
101Will WalkerDePaulProjected undrafted
102Reggie ReddingVillanovaProjected undrafted
103Larry DavisSeton Hall --> Loyola Marymount5th year senior next season
104Matt HillTexas [redshirt]5th year senior next season
105Josh LomersBaylorProjected undrafted
106Nic WiseArizonaProjected undrafted
107Lazar Hayward*MarquetteProjected second round to undrafted
108Tory JacksonNotre DameProjected undrafted
109Tre'Von WillisMemphis --> UNLV5th year senior next season
110Will Harris *Virginia --> Albany [transfer waiver]Projected undrafted
111JeJuan BrownVanderbilt --> Los Angeles Southwest JUCO --> Arkansas StateProjected undrafted
112Eric HayesMarylandProjected undrafted
113Jermaine BealVanderbiltProjected undrafted
114Russell WestbrookUCLA [two years]NBA (#4) Pick2008
114Malcolm GrantWinchendon Prep --> Villanova --> MiamiTwo seasons of eligibility remaining
116Dwayne CollinsMiamiProjected second round to undrafted
117Tyrone Appleton *Midland (Texas) JUCO --> Kansas --> Southwest Baptist JUCO--> Midwestern State (Division II)5th year senior next season
118Rob Thomas *St. John's [redshirt]5th year senior next season
119Hashim BaileyMemphis --> UMass5th year senior next season
119Ishmael SmithWake ForestProjected undrafted
121Brandon PowellFlorida --> Marshall --> Dismissed -->Philippines (left team)Projected undrafted
122Djibril ThiamBaylor --> Wyoming5th year senior next season
123Tony DavisCentral Florida --> Dismissed from teamProjected undrafted
124Earl PettisPrep School --> Rutgers --> La SalleTwo seasons of eligibility remaining
125Jerome RandleCaliforniaProjected second round to undrafted
137Jordan HillArizona [three years]NBA (#8) Pick2009
150Ryan AndersonCalifornia [two years]NBA (#21) Pick2008
153Ekpe UdohMichigan [two years] --> Baylor [one year]Projected lottery pick

Notable 2006 High School Prospects Outside of RSCI Top 150

Name CollegePro Destination/ Current Projection
Stephen CurryDavidson [three years]NBA (#7) Pick
Trevor BookerClemsonProjected second round pick
Mikhail TorranceAlabamaProjected second round pick
Artsiom ParakhouskiSouthern Idaho JUCO --> RadfordProjected second round pick
Jerome Jordan TulsaProjected second round pick
Aubrey ColemanSouthwest Mississippi JUCO --> HoustonProjected second round to undrafted
Ben UzohTulsaProjected second round to undrafted
Omar SamhanSt. Mary'sProjected second round to undrafted
Marqus BlakelyVermontProjected second round to undrafted
Jeremy WiseSouthern Miss --> D-LeagueProjected second round to undrafted

NBA Players Abound

The 2006 class has already produced 13 lottery picks, five of whom were top 5 draft picks. Ekpe Udoh (#153) can fill the quota of lottery picks by being selected in the top 14, which is a likely scenario.

25 players have already been drafted in total, with another 7-10 on the way next week, adding further depth to a stacked 2010 draft. The draft picks have been evenly distributed over the last three years: eight in 2007, seven in 2008 and 11 in 2009.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and Brook Lopez appear to be the four best prospects to emerge thus far.

Compare that with the miserable high school class of 2005, which produced just 10 first round draft picks, and a slew of busts.

We may have overestimated the importance of this class on the 2009 NBA draft class last year, though.

2006 can't compare with the incredible class of 2004, though, which is considered one of the most talented ever with its 28 first round picks.

The only already drafted 2006 high school class member who isn't in the NBA is Patrick Beverley (#76), who was picked in the second round last year by Miami after being forced to leave Arkansas for the Ukraine. He played alongside Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza on one of the best teams in Europe in Olympiacos this season and is expected to make the Heat's roster this summer.

Javaris Crittenton (#13) made $1.4 million “playing” for the Washington Wizards this season, but was cut midway through the season and did not have the fourth year option on his rookie contract picked up last summer. He'll try to earn a contract playing summer league with the Lakers in Las Vegas from July 9-18 .

The Year of the Sleeper

Not only were there a good amount of NBA players produced by this class, but some of them also came from way off the radar (not ranked in the top 100) such as Russell Westbrook (#114), Jordan Hill (#137), Ryan Anderson (#150) and the soon-to-be drafted Ekpe Udoh (#153).

Some of the sleepers don't even appear on the chart, as they were nowhere to be found at the high school level. Such is the case with Stephen Curry, who ended up at Davidson and broke all kinds of scoring records before taking his trade to the NBA -- he was a huge steal as the seventh overall pick for Golden State last season.

Udoh is the highest ranked 2006 high school class in our latest 2010 mock draft, ranking ahead of fellow members Damion James (#16), Stanley Robinson (#19) and Quincy Pondexter (#27).

There were also a number of players ranked pretty far down the top 100 who had great college careers and could very well go on to play in the NBA, such as Jerome Randle (#125), Lazar Hayward (#107), Greivis Vasquez (#93) and Luke Harangody (#83).

Very Few Busts

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the 2006 high school class is the small number of top-rated players who flopped at the college level, unlike in years past. Out of the top 30 players in the 2006 RSCI, only a handful won't be playing in the NBA next season.

Some of the early exceptions are Paul Harris (#10), who went undrafted last year out of Syracuse and spent the season nursing an ankle injury as a member of the Maine Red Claws, and Davon Jefferson (#29), who played in Israel the last two seasons for Maccabi Haifa. Both are young and exceptionally athletic and will continue to get NBA looks in the next few years.

As is the case with former Tennessee player Duke Crews (#23), who was kicked off the Vols team and finished his career in the CIAA conference with Bowie State, character concerns and differences in opinion with coaching staffs are typically some of the main causes for a player not reaching his full potential at the college level.

6-10 center Vernon Macklin (#17) languished on the bench at Georgetown for his first two seasons, looking like a fish out of water in the Princeton offense. Macklin never produced anything close to the numbers his McDonald's All-American status indicated he should, but managed to turn things around somewhat after transferring to Florida. He averaged 11 points and 5.5 rebounds and was a solid contributor for the Gators last season. Although he's far older than everyone else in this class turning 24 later this year, he'll at least get some NBA looks when he finishes up college next season.

Lance Thomas (#21) never quite developed into the small forward that many envisioned him becoming at Duke, but he was an important contributor on a national championship squad as a defensive role-player, even if his glaring lack of offensive ability may hamper him from making much of a career at the pro level.

McDonald's All-American James Keefe (#39) ranks as one of the bigger disappointments. He never averaged more than 3 points per game at UCLA and shot just 45% from the free throw line over his four-year career. Keefe's college career never got off the ground, partially due to injuries, but at 6-8 he'll surely have a chance to play somewhere as a pro.

Jason Bennett (#44) is an odd story. The 7-3 Jacksonville native committed to Kansas State but only spent a year there before transferring to Detroit-Mercy, where he lasted just a year as well. He signed a contract in Ireland last December and came off the bench for most of the season for Neptune of Cork. He's automatically eligible for the draft next week.

Ramar Smith (#34) was a scoring machine in high school who could have had his choice of colleges had his transcript not been so poor. He played two years for Bruce Pearl at Tennessee but was kicked off the team and was last seen being accused of taking money, guns and marijuana in a home invasion last summer.

6-7 Mike Jones (#46) played a semester for Syracuse before transferring, then lasted only a semester at South Carolina before being dismissed from the team, according to Mike Waiters of the Syracuse Post-Standard. His next stop was at Indian Hill Junior College, where he managed to stick around for two years before having a falling out with his head coach and transferring again, this time to Division II Claflin University, according to Seth Emerson of

Keith Clark's (#68) greatest hit likely came on this site, thanks to his outstanding performance at the D-League Dunk Contest last year, where he battled James White admirably.

6-6 Isaiah Dahlman (#69) was a high school star in Minnesota, breaking the state's all-time scoring record with over 3,000 points. He only managed to get on the floor for 177 minutes over the last three years for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, though, electing not to change schools like 38 of the other players on this list did.

The whereabouts of Leon Freeman (#81) appear to be unknown. He was supposed to attend Chipola Junior College back in 2007 but never showed up on their roster and doesn't seem to have played anywhere organized since.

A Restless Class

No fewer than 29 players on this list are still active in Division I next season -- mostly due to transfers. About a third of the players ranked in the 30-120 range elected to get up and move to another school.

Some decided to move twice. Some three times -- see the curious case of Tyrone Appleton (#117), a JUCO standout at Midland in Texas who spent his junior season glued to the bench for Kansas and swiftly elected to transfer to Southwest Baptist before eventually deciding on another Division II school: Midwestern State. He needs to win an appeal to play next season according to Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World.

Outside of Ekpe Udoh (#153), and possibly Vernon Macklin (#17) and Curtis Kelly (#31), none of the transfers on this list have been able to make a big impact at the highest levels of college basketball. Washington transfer Adrian Oliver (#80) did average 22.5 points per game for San Jose State (seventh place in the WAC conference), though, getting to the free throw line almost seven times per game. He'll likely make a run for the NCAA scoring title next season, along with Jimmer Fredette and Adnan Hodzic.

We'll see what 7-footer Jon Kreft (#53) is able to do in his last two seasons of college basketball. His arrival at Florida State was delayed slightly by cocaine and marijuana possession charges in in 2006, forcing him to start his career at Chipola Community College, from which he graduated. He could fill a big hole in the middle for Leonard Hamilton and Stan Jones with Solomon Alabi off to the NBA.

It will be interesting to see if these next batch of classes will decide to bounce around as much as the 2006 group, or whether they will explore other alternatives, such as the D-League or Europe.

Many will study the case of Jeremy Wise, an unheralded junior at fledgling Southern Miss last season who decided to spend his senior year of college playing in the D-League rather than continuing to put up big numbers on a bad team in Conference USA.

Wise had an outstanding year in the D-League with the Bakersfield Jam, playing against much stronger competition than he would have seen in the NCAA, and has improved his professional stock dramatically in turn. He's gotten a great deal of interest from NBA teams in the form of private workouts, and is a clear-cut six-figure earner in Europe next season if he ultimately ends up going undrafted. The question isn't whether or not Wise made the right decision at this point, but how many disgruntled college players will opt for the road less taken and decide to follow in his footsteps.

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