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June 30, 2009

Gilchrist tops expanded 2011 hoops ranking

MORE: Top 100 for the class of 2011 | Chat with the experts about the updated ranking

There is a new No. 1 prospect in the 2011 class. In fact, Mike Gilchrist isn't just the top prospect in the 2011 class, but the top prospect in the country regardless of class.

Always a high-energy, top-level athlete, Gilchrist has taken his skill game to another level over the past year. The 6-foot-6 small forward is now attacking the basket proficiently with either hand, passing the ball accurately off the dribble and keeping the defense honest with an improving outside shot to go along with his rebounding and inside scoring ability.

Young for his class and still oozing with upside, Gilchrist has about as firm a hold on the No. 1 spot as a rising junior could have.

Potential top prospect

The last No. 1 prospect to have a stranglehold on the top spot as early as Gilchrist was Greg Oden. As of now, however, it looks like the consensus No. 2 prospect Kevin Durant was ultimately the best prospect in the 2006 class. The 2011 class has its potential version of Durant in highly-skilled small forward Quincy Miller. At 6-8, 195 pounds, Miller is an adept ball handler with three-point shooting range. His ceiling might just depend on how much stronger he can make his wiry, athletic frame.

Strength on the perimeter

There are a few post players, namely James McAdoo, Rakeem Christmas and Johnny O'Bryant, in the 2011 class with elite potential. But it is the three perimeter positions that are loaded with both star power and depth.

Out of the 20 five-star prospects, six are point guards with Marquis Teague, Austin Rivers and Anthony Wroten Jr. in the top 10. Four of the five-stars are shooting guards, with Bradley Beal holding the top spot. Five small forwards are included in the five-star ranks.



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