Rankings: the lifeblood of the spring/summer doldrums. Embrace them.
ESPN just came out with their new basketball ones earlier today, the last of the three major scouting services (along with Scout and Rivals) to do so. For the record, this is the first class that new head man Dave Telep, one of the most respected guys in the business, gets to craft himself, so while ESPN is normally pretty meh with basketball stuff, I'd respect these.
And the big surprise? Justin Anderson isn't the highest-regarded of the local wings. In fact, he's the lowest. How's that for a surprise?
A full run-down of Maryland targets in the rankings, plus the rankings in the other two services and a few thoughts, below the jump:
#4 - Mitch McGary (Rivals: #5; Scout: #15)
#22 - Shaquille Cleare (Rivals: #29; Scout: #20)
#26 - Amile Jefferson (Rivals: #34; Scout: #21)
#42 - Jerami Grant (Rivals: #57; Scout: #28)
#53 - Arnaud Moto (Rivals: #117; Scout: #50)
#54 - Justin Anderson (Rivals: #23; Scout: #44)
#71 - Twymond Howard (Rivals: #66; Scout: 78)
Big thing that stands out: not only are both Grant and Moto above Anderson in ESPN's, but they're right there with Scout's, too. I know people tend to be all "Bah, rankings!" here, especially when it contradicts preconceived notions, but if the Terrapins end up with Grant or Moto in place of Anderson, it's far from the end of the world that many have been making it out to be.
Speaking of Anderson, Telep said this in his SportsNation chat regarding the rankings:
Barring an unexpected hitch that would come as a shock to those recruiting Anderson and those in the know, I imagine it's sooner than later until he's a Cavalier. Tony Bennett doesn't have a dynamic athlete like this young man. He'll be a beast in transition. If he rebounds he's a different player.
Phooey. Oh well. Guess that's that.
They also updated the 2013 rankings, for the record. A quick tour there, too:
#8 - Andrew Harrison
#17 - BeeJay Anya
#24 - Nate Britt
#50 - Aquille Carr
Small list for the moment, but it'll evolve. Obviously, the dream class there is to land Anya and either Britt or the Harrisons. With Hill and Bino on board, it might even happen.