Category Archives: Prospects
For every season since 1979, the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia lists recruiting guru Bob Gibbons’ top high school seniors, ranked 1-20. Every so often, I’m going to highlight these top prospects from a given year and take a look at what happened to them, as well as throw out the names of some players who may have slipped through the recruiting cracks but emerged as stars anyway. We’ll start with the Year 2000, and a group whose best player (by far) wasn’t even ranked among the 50 best prospects in the country…
Picking up where we left off, we’re going to look at the classic McDonald’s All-American teams to see which players fared well — and which ones never made it. Using Win Shares, I’ll break each class into 4 groups: those with good careers (>11.0 WS), those with typical careers (>0.5 WS), those with fringe careers (<0.5 WS), and those who never played in the league. And along with those who never made it, I’ll try to fill in as many gaps as I can on what happened after they failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for them as high schoolers. And by all means, if you know more about what happened to some of these guys, tell us in the comments!
I have to say that I’m fascinated by old high school recruiting lists. There’s something about looking back with the benefit of hindsight at the talent scouts’ evaluations of teenage players that’s always been very compelling to me — mainly because I usually end up asking the question, “How did they get it so wrong?” or, “Whatever happened to that guy?”