All-Decade: The 10 biggest ranking misses of the 2010s
What defines a “miss” in rankings? Everybody has their own definition and own formula. Today in our All-Decade series, National Analyst Eric Bossi examines what he feels are 10 of the biggest misses of the decade and what made them misses.
MORE ALL-DECADE: Ranking the No. 1 prospects from 2010-19
Bossi’s take: Look, I made the decision to drop Simmons to No. 2 behind Skal Labissiere in the final rankings of the class and I’ve regretted it ever since. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the single worst decision I’ve made in 20 years in the business. If that doesn’t make it No. 1 on the list of misses, then I don’t know what could top it. Four and a half years later Simmons is an NBA All-Star making millions of dollars and though I owned the mistake early, it still eats at me that I did it.
Bossi’s take: I never even saw Morant play. In fact he wasn’t even evaluated by anybody on our staff. It’s a big country and we can’t see everybody. But, Morant went to a well-regarded mid-major in Murray State and one that wasn’t too far removed from producing another unheralded (as a high schooler) first-round draft pick in Cameron Payne. Given so many others overlooked him, it is quite likely that we would have blown the eval too, but it would be nice to at least be able to try to learn from anything we might have missed.
Bossi’s take: The DeMatha team that Oladipo played on during his senior was stacked featuring a total of four (Jerami Grant, Jerian Grant and Quinn Cook are the others) eventual NBA players. So, he kind of got lost in the shuffle and he was a bit of a late bloomer who looked like a solid pickup for Indiana given his athletic upside. By his junior year in college he had developed into a first team All-American and the No. 2 overall draft pick and turned out to have been vastly underrated.
Bossi’s take: I remember thinking to myself Wisconsin had taken the wrong guy off the Illinois Wolves summer team when Kaminski committed because Nnanna Egwu looked like a much better prospect. Through his first two years in Madison, Kaminsky produced like the non-ranked three-star that he was coming out of high school. Something happened prior to his junior year though as he developed into a sharp-shooting big man and eventually the National Player of the Year in 2015 before getting picked in the top 10 of the NBA Draft.
Bossi’s take: This one has stuck with me for a while as Booker has developed into one of the most dangerous shooting guards in the game. Would I have liked his overall ranking to have been higher? Yes, of course. But, what I’ve struggled with ever since he graduated high school was that I downgraded him from five to four-stars in the final ranking because I worried he wouldn’t be able to handle the physicality of college hoops as a freshman because he was a year young for his class. I was right to consider his youth, but how I factored it in couldn’t have been more wrong.
Bossi’s take: An explosive shooting guard, Mitchell’s final ranking of No. 31 overall in his class really isn’t that terrible. So why do I consider it such a miss? I consider it a miss because I only had him as the third-highest ranked guard on his own high school team behind Jalen Adams and Justin Simon. No disrespect to those guys, they are going to play for a while. But, ouch, ranking both of them ahead of Mitchell -- who Brewster coach Jason Smith told everybody would be a star -- is a pretty big L.
Bossi’s take: Funny story here. I still have an email that Kuzma sent to us at Rivals.com in August of 2011 asking us to simply set up a profile for him. Long story short, we hadn’t yet seen him so it took a bit of time to get him all set up. He also bounced around high schools some. But, in the summer of 2013 he really caught my eye playing alongside Josh Jackson for Michigan-based Dorian’s Pride. He was likely going to land inside the next Rivals150. Instead, he elected to skip prep school and enroll at Utah where he redshirted in 2013-14. He blossomed his final two years at Utah and is now one of the top young wings in the NBA.
Bossi’s take: Woof. I’ll include these guys together because we managed to leave not one, but two, players from the same class who became first-round draft picks out of the national rankings.
When I saw Smith in high school he was a hard playing and really athletic guy playing mostly on the interior at 6-foot-4. I don’t think there was any way to see he was going to be a one-and-done. Culver, on the other hand, was in the Rivals150 for a while and was a guy that we really liked. However, we let a few off performances discourage us. Took him out of the rankings and ended up with egg on our face when he ended up a top-10 draft pick after just two years of college.
Bossi’s take: On one hand, Anunoby didn’t play a ton before his senior year due to injury. On the other hand, I saw plenty of him as a high schooler and even saw him near the very end of his senior year when he came to play in Kansas City where I live. He had a rough game against a Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst team with no real talent to speak of. I loved his size, I loved his athleticism and I had heard about all the big games he had been having. However, each time I saw him he had poor outings and I just couldn’t justify ranking him because I never saw him play well in person. It happens.
Bossi’s take: We got roasted for our low ranking of Burke when we did it and in retrospect it was well deserved. Heck, I even thought that we had done him a favor by even keeping him in the Rivals150. I just wasn’t at all sold on him being a Big Ten guard. Turns out I was way off on that one because just two years later he was the Big Ten and National Player of the Year before getting taken No. 9 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.