Breaking down the 2014 ESPN 100
After a summer of evaluating prospects, here are the 10 things every college basketball fan should know about the 2014 ESPN 100:
1. State of the states
The state of Texas is big time when it comes to producing high school all-americans. Three of the top 10 seniors are Texans. The Lone Star State led the way by putting the most (four) players in the top 25. Not to be outdone by their southwestern friends, Illinois rose up and was counted. Two of the top three players in the country are Chicago kids; when mixing in Keita Bates-Diop, it gives Illinois the second most top-25 prospects. You know who doesn't receive enough credit? Florida. The state accounted for three top-25 players of its own plus No. 27 Brandone Francis.
2. Okafor's on another level
Someone who spent a lot of time with center Jahlil Okafor made an interesting comment the other day. "It's not fair that he has to play high school basketball this year. He'll be bored." The statement created a pause and then it hits you: there isn't another skilled big man like Okafor that can match him skill for skill. He truly is ready to play college basketball. Last summer, Billy Donovan coached him with USA Basketball and left him with a parting thought. Donovan told him if it was greatness he wanted, it was time to get serious about his body. A few weeks later, a noticeably slimmer Okafor was the main man at adidas Nations. Dumping this guy into college basketball is akin to the impact of Elton Brand or Jared Sullinger for their teams in different decades of college basketball.
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