Evaluating the Madness of the 2004 High School Class
by: Jonathan Givony - President
April 6, 2008
The 2004 high school class was lauded for being one of the deepest and most talented of all-time when it entered the college ranks four years ago. 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. 37 players from the RSCI's top-100 recruiting rankings have already made it, with likely a half dozen or more still to come from this year's NCAA senior class.

The chart below is based on the RSCI’s final rankings of the 2004 class. The RSCI, which stands for Recruiting Services Consensus Index, is a calculation of the average rankings of all of the major high school recruiting services. It’s methodology is explained here.

2004 High School Class
RSCI RankingPlayerDestination

1
Dwight Howard NBA

2
Shaun Livingston NBA

3
Al Jefferson NBA

4
Josh Smith NBA

5
Rudy Gay Connecticut/NBA

6
Sebastian Telfair NBA

7
Marvin Williams North Carolina/NBA

8
Robert Swift NBA

9
Malik Hairston Oregon

10
Randolph Morris Kentucky/NBA

11
Glen Davis LSU/NBA

12
LaMarcus Aldridge Texas/NBA

13
DJ White Indiana

14
Joe Crawford Kentucky

15
Darius Washington Memphis/NBA/Europe

16
Juan Palacios Louisville

17
Jawann McClellan Arizona

18
DeMarcus Nelson Duke

19
Daniel Gibson Texas/NBA

20
Jordan Farmar UCLA/NBA

21
Rajon Rondo Kentucky/NBA

22
Mike Williams Texas/Cincinnati (redshirt)

23
J. R. Smith * NBA

24
A. J. Price Connecticut (redshirt)

25
Corey Brewer Florida/NBA

26
Arron Afflalo UCLA/NBA

27
Jason Rich Florida State

28
Marquise Gray Michigan State

29
Kyle Lowry Villanova/NBA

30
Robert Vaden Indiana/UAB (redshirt)

31
Russell Robinson Kansas

32
Roy Bright Cincinnati/Delaware State (redshirt)

33
Gabe Pruitt Southern Cal/NBA

34
Cedric Simmons NC State/NBA

34
Shawne Williams Memphis/NBA

36
Josh Wright Syracuse/Transfer?

37
Greg Stiemsma Wisconsin

38
Ron Steele Alabama (redshirt)

39
Bryce Taylor Oregon

40
Dorell Wright * NBA

40
Isaiah Swann * Florida State

40
Brian Johnson Louisville/Mississippi State (redshirt)

43
Sasha Kaun Kansas

44
Steven Hill Arkansas

45
Jason Horton Missouri

46
Sean Singletary * Virginia

47
Al Horford Florida/NBA

47
Marshall Brown Missouri

49
James Gist Maryland

49
Dion Dowell Texas/Houston (redshirt)

51
Justin Cerasoli Seton Hall/Ole Miss/Loyola Chicago

51
Ra'Sean Dickey Georgia Tech (redshirt)

53
JamesOn Curry Oklahoma State/NBA

54
Drew Neitzel Michigan State

55
Quentin Thomas North Carolina

56
Churchill Odia Xavier/Oregon (redshirt)

57
Josh Shipp UCLA

58
Charles Rhodes Mississippi State

59
Charles Thomas Arkansas

60
Andrew Brackman NC State/New York Yankees

61
Marquie Cooke Virginia Tech/Virginia Tech/USBL/Home

62
Shan Foster Vanderbilt

63
Kalen Grimes Missouri/Home

64
Andray Blatche* prep school/NBA

65
Dayshawn Wright Syracuse/CBA

66
Mohammed Tangara Arizona

67
Alex Galindo Kansas/Florida International (redshirt)

68
Darnell Jackson Kansas

69
C.J. Giles Kansas/Oregon State/Home

70
Jamar Butler Ohio State

71
David McClure Duke (redshirt)

72
Joakim Noah * Florida/NBA

73
Lee Cummard BYU (redshirt/mission)

74
Josh Heytvelt Gonzaga (redshirt)

74
Jeremis Smith Georgia Tech

76
A. J. Ratliff Indiana/Home

77
Shawn Pruitt Illinois

78
Gavin Grant NC State

79
Albert Weber Alabama/JUCO/Home

80
Lorenzo Mata-Real UCLA

81
Keith Benjamin Pittsburgh

82
DeSean White Providence/La Salle/Delaware/Northwood (Division II)

83
Ron Coleman Michigan

84
Walter Sharpe Mississippi State/UAB (redshirt)

85
Zam Frederick Georgia Tech/South Carolina (redshirt)

86
Devon Hardin California

87
Maarty Leunen Oregon

88
David Pendergraft Gonzaga

89
Nick Young * Southern Cal/NBA

89
Lorenzo Wade* Louisville/San Diego State (redshirt)

91
Anthony Morrow Georgia Tech

91
DeAaron Williams Wisconsin/Bradley/Northern Kentucky (Division II)

93
James Hardy Indiana/Football/NFL Draft

94
Rahshon Clark* Iowa State

95
Brian Laing Seton Hall

96
Sam Perry Clemson

97
Longar Longar* Oklahoma

97
Robert Kurz* Notre Dame

99
Alex Thompson Iowa/Iowa State (redshirt)

100
Channing Toney Georgia/UAB (redshirt)

100
Toney Douglas Auburn/Florida State (redshirt)

100
Jackie Butler* NBA



*= Went to prep school, and thus not ranked by all, which lowered their average recruiting ranking, sometimes substantially.

Notes from a Crazy Class

-30 of the top 100-ranked players made the NBA, and 29 of them are still there. The only one who is not is Darius Washington, who had a cup of coffee with the Spurs in November and is now considered a lawful citizen of the Republic of Macedonia, allowing him to earn a mammoth salary in Greece. 11 of the top 12-ranked players made it, and 22 of the top 35. What that tells us is that despite certain players being ranked too high or too low, the recruiting services were for the most part highly accurate identifying the top talent. Other members of the top-25, like Malik Hairston, D.J. White, A.J. Price and DeMarcus Nelson might not have developed quite the way some envisioned, but still have a chance to make the NBA.

-7 other players are already in the NBA despite not being considered top 100 prospects out of high school: Patrick O'Bryant, Jeff Green, Sean Williams, Jason Smith, Dominic McGuire, Taurean Green and Ramon Sessions. Green was a top-5 pick, and O’Bryant top 10. What that goes to show you is that it’s never a good idea to put a ceiling on a player’s potential at the age of 17-18, because you never know how they’ll develop.

-How much has the NBA draft landscape changed since David Stern instilled the 19-year old age limit? Consider that 8 of the top 19 players drafted in 2004 were high school players, and that only one player was subsequently “one and done” in Marvin Williams.

-Out of this year’s senior class, we still find some fantastic college players who were not highly regarded out of high school, for one reason or another, but have developed into legit NBA prospects, like: Roy Hibbert, Courtney Lee, Jason Thompson, Kyle Weaver, Joey Dorsey, Richard Roby, Chris Lofton, Jaycee Carroll, Pat Calathes, Aleks Maric, Will Daniels and others. Again, even though the recruiting services do a very good job with their scouting, there will still always be many players who improve considerably in college and leapfrog their more highly touted peers down the road. When it's all said and done, there will be over 40 players from this class in the NBA, which is pretty impressive.

-You can nitpick about the order possibly, but there is no way you can argue that the recruiting services did a fantastic job pegging the top five prospects in the 2004 high school class—Dwight Howard, Shaun Livingston, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Rudy Gay. After that, though, there is an incredible drop-off, as we find three marginal NBA players in Sebastian Telfair, Robert Swift and Randolph Morris, joined by the ultra-talented Marvin Williams and possibly the biggest bust of this class—Malik Hairston.

-Moving down the list, we find LaMarcus Aldridge slightly underrated at #12, and some serious question marks in Joe Crawford, Darius Washington, Juan Palacios and Jawann McCllellan, all of whom had somewhat disappointing college careers and are in varying degrees extremely far from the NBA radar. Rajon Rondo, the starting PG of the Boston Celtics, ranked alongside Mike Williams, an anonymous college player who barely played at Texas before transferring to Cincinnati and being setback by injury, shows you just how much of a crap shoot things are in the recruiting business at times.

-J.R. Smith, a 5th year prep school player, at #23 would have been in the top 10 had he been ranked by HoopScoop. Other examples of players who are ranked too low for this reason (not being considered 2004 prospects by some services) include Dorell Wright, Andray Blatche, Nick Young and Jackie Butler.

-At #25, we find Corey Brewer, the most highly regarded player in Billy Donovan’s recruiting class, ahead of #47 Al Horford, #72 Joakim Noah, and unranked Taurean Green. This class went on to win two straight national championships before leaving for the NBA last year.

-Wondering why Kentucky has been such a disappointment over the past few years? Consider how little they got out of what was then considered arguably the top recruiting class in the nation, headlined by #10 Randolph Morris, #14 Joe Crawford, and #21 Rajon Rondo, who went pro after an underwhelming sophomore season.

-Kansas is in the national championship this year, thanks to heavy contributions from #31 Russell Robinson, #43 Sasha Kaun, and #68 Darnell Jackson. #67 Alex Galindo and #69 C.J. Giles transferred out of the program fairly quickly.

-20 of the 100 players listed here decided to transfer to another school at some point in their college careers, some of them multiple times. This usually stems from dissatisfaction with playing time, touches, or a coaching staff change. Many of the players just found out that they aren’t as good as they thought they were.

-We also find a number of very average college players scattered throughout the upper half of the list, for example: #28 Marquise Gray, #36 Josh Wright, #37 Greg Stiemsma, #40 Brian Johnson, #45 Jason Horton, #47 Marshall Brown, and #51 Justin Cersaoli—none of whom averaged double-digit scoring this season.

-For those that think that being a top 100 high school recruit is a surefire sign of having a professional career in basketball (in the NBA or overseas), consider the cases of Marquie Cooke, Kalen Grimes, A.J. Ratliff or Albert Weber—all of whom finished this season sitting at home, for one reason or another. Looking at how some of the players who transferred and still have a year of college eligibility have panned out so far (Alex Thompson, DeAaron Williams, DeSean White, etc), there will likely be a few joining them next season.
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Dwight Howard
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 12/08/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Southwest Atlanta Christian
Previous Team: Rockets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 2004 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
13.7 Pts, 11.8 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Shaun Livingston
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 186 lbs.
Birthday: 09/11/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Peoria Central
Previous Team: Warriors , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #4 in 2004 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
6.3 Pts, 2.2 Rebs, 3.1 Asts


Al Jefferson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 263 lbs.
Birthday: 01/04/1985
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Prentiss
Previous Team: Hornets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #15 in 2004 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
12.0 Pts, 6.4 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Josh Smith
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 221 lbs.
Birthday: 12/05/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Oak Hill Academy
Previous Team: Rockets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #17 in 2004 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
5.7 Pts, 3.9 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Rudy Gay
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 222 lbs.
Birthday: 08/17/1986
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Spalding
Previous Team: Kings , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
17.2 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


Sebastian Telfair
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthday: 06/09/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lincoln
Previous Team: Xinjiang , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #13 in 2004 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
8.2 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Marvin Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 228 lbs.
Birthday: 06/19/1986
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bremerton
Previous Team: Hornets , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2005 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
11.7 Pts, 6.4 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Robert Swift
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 12/03/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bakersfield
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2004 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.5 Pts, 6.0 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Malik Hairston
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 204 lbs.
Birthday: 02/24/1987
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Renaissance
Previous Team: AEK Athens , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #18 in 2008 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
7.9 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


Randolph Morris
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 266 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Landmark Christian
Previous Team: Beijing , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
25.3 Pts, 9.9 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Glen Davis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 298 lbs.
Birthday: 01/03/1986
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: University
Previous Team: Clippers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #5 in 2007 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.0 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


LaMarcus Aldridge
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthday: 07/19/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seagoville
Previous Team: Spurs , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
18.0 Pts, 8.5 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Joe Crawford
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 213 lbs.
Birthday: 06/18/1986
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Renaissance
Previous Team: Erie , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #28 in 2008 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
5.7 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Darius Washington
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 12/07/1985
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Edgewater
Previous Team: Sakarya , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
20.1 Pts, 4.6 Rebs, 3.9 Asts