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December 1, 2005

Best of the Rest: Small forwards

Of all the positions, the small forward spot is the one that has the most high-level talent still available. Leading the way is Davon Jefferson, the No. 6 rated player overall in the country by Rivals.com. There are still a number of talented players at the three spot that are looking for a home at the next level.

Five Rivals150 guys still looking

As the highest uncommitted player in the country, you'd think every high-major with a scholarship to give would be all over Davon Jefferson. However that isn't necessarily the case. The super athletic California native has made it clear that he would like to go pro out of high school and as one of the few guys that can based on the new NBA draft rule, there are few that doubt he will spend a year in college.

Kansas has made it out to the hills of North Carolina to see Jefferson this fall. They aren't too worried about the possibilities of Jefferson going pro. Hey, it worked for Brandon Rush, right? Oklahoma State is also on his list. They are no strangers to players that test the waters. Freshman Keith Brumbaugh is a perfect example.

Jefferson may be a guy that rethinks his next step. He didn't wow the NBA scouts that came out to see him play two weeks ago.

The on-going Lance Thomas recruitment followed the path that most thought it would go. He'll be signing in the spring and with a list that has consistently held Arizona, Duke, Florida, Rutgers and Wake Forest, Thomas has not been one to rush things. Things will stay quiet as the season goes along and pepper visits along the way when time allows.

Former Tennessee signee Tyler Smith is spending a year at Hargrave Military and shaping up to be a must get recruit for a number of programs. Arkansas has been hot in chase as have Iowa, Memphis, Arkansas and Charlotte. He's got his gusto back and playing like a guy ready to earn his way at the next level.

Rob Thomas was the standout for South Kent last week at the National Prep School Tip-Off. With more weight on his 6-foot-5 frame, he's utilizing his body inside the paint for hard-earned buckets. Since the tournament, he and his coach Ralph Chillious are telling people that he's looking at other options outside of his verbal commitment to South Florida.

Thomas's cousin, Kiwan Smith, is also a top 150 kid still open in the process. The 6-foot-7 small forward from Laurinburg (N.C.) Prep is a pogo stick athlete that can make a splash with a high-major program. Smith recently told Rivals.com that he is hearing from Tennessee, Clemson, Cincinnati, Memphis, Florida State, Purdue, Iowa and Maryland. He has not been offered by any of those schools at this point.

Who else is left?

There are a number of long and thin wings that can put it on the floor but also shoot the rock.

Floridian Damian Hollis comes to mind. The 6-foot-7 wing from Coral Springs High School in Taravella, Fla., is a feathery shooter with good handles and a knack for knocking down the big shot from deep. He's visited Rhode Island and Seton Hall but wanted to wait until the spring for more options.

Hiding away at Toronto Prep, Marvell Waithe is a guy that is worth taking a look at. The 6-foot-8 prospect made a splash last month at the NEAA NIT because of his big shot ability. He's good for at least three threes a game and did it against some high-level competition. He's currently on the low to mid-major radar and would be a heck of a pick up for a mid-major school.

Thijin Moses, the long and thin wing from Chicago's Boys to Men Academy, is still on the board. He's a difficult player to defend at 6-foot-8 and when he gets hot from deep, he's even tougher. DePaul and Marquette look to be the frontrunners with him at this point.

Moss Point (Miss.) High School's David Booker recently told Rivals.com that his top three consists of Texas A&M, SMU and Memphis. Since recovering from Hurricane Katrina, Booker is now getting a chance to focus on his collegiate life. He's a strong rebounder with a body that can be developed for the rigors of the paint.

Since leaving South Florida, Jonathan Hall said things are still the same with his recruitment. He still lists Nebraska, LSU and Cincinnati but doesn't have any immediate plans to take any visits. Hall is spending the season at Laurinburg Prep.

Since moving to Tucker (Ga.) High School, Josh Guillory has gone somewhat under the radar. The California super freak athlete relies heavily on his ability to play above the rim and playing alongside Charlotte-bound Cameron Tatum, Guillory will be able to go one on one with defenders this season. Guillory is a high-major athlete but will be a steal as a mid-major plus player.

After watching Lamonte Ulmer put together a string of good games, Notre Dame Prep head coach Bill Barton said he must have field 30 calls from coaches regarding his 6-foot-6 wing. Ulmer was the spark Notre Dame prep needed two weeks ago in Rhode Island and since then his recruitment has take form. Going from the likes of Rhode Island, Maine and Stony Brook, Ulmer is now hearing from Providence, Memphis, Notre Dame and others.

Since pulling out of his pledge to USC, Andre McFarland, a 6-foot-5 wing from Las Vegas's Durango High School, is getting looks from the SEC. A strong bodied prospect, McFarland mixes his post game with a confident perimeter jumper.

Texas forward Darris Santee has watched his recruitment go through peaks and valleys. After shining at the Academy National tournament last year with some game winning shots, he heard from a number of high-majors. Then things quieted down this summer and now they are picking back up. The 6-foot-8 combo forward from Fort Bend Marshall High School said he's looking at Georgia, UNLV, Florida and Florida State.

Tyrone Hanson is a name you'll probably hear more about as the year goes on. The 6-foot-6 wing from Bridgton (Me.) Academy is a skilled small forward that doesn't wow you with one thing but puts it all together and makes for a very interesting prospect. He recently gave a list of Rhode Island, Providence, South Florida and Farleigh Dickinson prior to the NPT.

Next up in the Best of the Rest series are the big men. Be sure to stay logged on to Rivals.com for the top uncommitted post players in the country.


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