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January 29, 2004RivalsHoops.com is the authoritative source on college basketball recruiting. After personally attending a collection of more AAU events, camps and high school basketball tournaments than any other recruiting service, RivalsHoops.com is ready to release its class of 2006 player rankings, the first of its kind in the industry.
Rivals.com National Scout Jerry Meyer, who is the all-time career assist leader in college basketball, and Tim Watts, the Rivals.com Director of Basketball Operations, compiled the list and evaluated the players for Rivals.com.
The RivalsHoops.com 2006 inaugural ranking is led by 6-foot-11, 225-pound center Greg Oden from Indianapolis, Indiana. The top five players consists of prospects with the size and skill to play at the next level as well as hold their spot among the nation's elite over the next two years.
1. Greg Oden -- Blessed with super size and athleticism, Oden may be too good to even get recruited. Most college coaches are already resigned to the fact that Oden will be headed straight to the NBA out of high school. Despite needing to add some weight to his slender frame and polish his skills with the basketball, he is a formidable presence around the basket on both ends of the floor.
2. Brandon Wright -- With a 7-foot-3 wing span and a soft touch, Wright has every high major program in the country pursuing him. Along with being a tremendous shot blocker, Wright has the skill to play all five positions on the court. Once he gains some weight and an appetite for contact, he will be an NBA caliber player.
3. Derrick Caracter -- Possessing tremendous hands and polished skills, Caracter already has the bulk to be an impact player on the high major level. He is best around the basket, where he spends the majority of his time, but he also has a nice mid-range jumper to keep defenders honest.
4. Vernon Macklin -- A gifted athlete, Macklin can play both inside and outside. He is at his best in transition where he finishes strong and he also has a nice jump shot that extends to 15-feet. With his strong work ethic, look for Macklin to continue to expand his skills.
5. Curtis Kelley -- A wiry athlete with a springy step, Kelley can run the floor and is active around the basket. With long arms, he is a good rebounder, especially on the offensive end, and a solid defender. Once this gifted athlete gains weight and develops his now raw skills, he will be an impact player as a combo forward on the high major level.
Click here for the complete RivalsHoops.com Top 50 for 2006