1. Tim Thomas, F, 6'10"
Villanova; Paterson, N.J. (Catholic)
A three-time Parade All-America, Thomas averaged 29 points, 12
rebounds and five blocks as a senior. In the Magic Johnson
Roundball Classic he scored 21 points and was MVP of the East
team, which included NBA first-round pick Kobe Bryant. Memo to
Wildcats fans: Enjoy him this season (page 36).
2. Lester Earl, F, 6'9"
LSU; Baton Rouge (Glen Oaks)
Knee problems kept Earl out of several games, but he still led
Glen Oaks to its third straight state title, averaging 20 points
and 11 rebounds. At the Boston Shootout in June, he won the
slam-dunk contest for the second straight year.
3. Winfred Walton, F, 6'10"
Syracuse; Detroit (Pershing)
Walton has a solid jumper and terrific ball-handling skills. His
stock rose dramatically when he capped an already outstanding
summer with a 26-point performance at the Magic Johnson
4. Mike Bibby, G, 6'1"
Arizona; Phoenix (Shadow Mountain)
Bibby is the most prolific scorer in Arizona high school
history. The point guard, whose father is former UCLA star and
NBA veteran Henry Bibby (page 178), averaged 34 points, eight
assists and six rebounds as a senior.
November 15, 1996
5. Shaheen Holloway, G, 5'10"
Seton Hall; Elizabeth, N.J. (St. Patrick's)
Holloway has the game to back up the hype, which is no small
feat: He announced his college choice at a press conference that
was aired on cable TV (he arrived in a limo). On the court, he
averaged 23 points, nine assists and five steals.
6. Corey Benjamin, G, 6'6"
Oregon State; Fontana (Calif.) High
Assuming that some questions about his qualifying exams are
cleared up, Corey will play alongside his brother Sonny, a
junior forward, in Corvallis. The younger Benjamin had 24
points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the Capital Classic
All-Star game in April.
7. Mike Robinson, G-F, 6'6"
Purdue; Peoria, Ill. (Richwoods)
Another Robinson at Purdue; some on the Boilermakers' staff are
already calling Mike "Small Dog." Robinson is Peoria's leading
high school scorer, having broken a record set by his father,
Mike Sr., who played at the University of Detroit and Southwest
8. Charles Hathaway, F, 6'10"
Tennessee; Nashville (Hillwood)
Hathaway averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks and
showed what he is capable of when he exploded for 50 points, 21
boards and 10 blocks in a game against Overton High.
9. Vassil Evtimov, F, 6'9"
North Carolina; Brookville, N.Y. (Long Island Lutheran)
The native of Sofia, Bulgaria, averaged 28 points, 19 rebounds
and four assists. Among the schools he considered was Indiana
State, where his idol, Larry Bird, played. Like the Legend,
Evtimov is a great-passing, soft-shooting, 6'9" small forward.
10. Jason Collier, C, 7'0"
Indiana; Springfield, Ohio (Catholic Central)
A southpaw with a sweet touch, Collier averaged 27 points and 14
rebounds and became only the second player in Ohio history to be
named Mr. Basketball and win the state championship in the same
year (Jimmy Jackson was the first).
11. Ed Cota, G, 6'0"
North Carolina; Oakdale, Conn. (St. Thomas More)
The slick point guard was born in Panama, grew up in Brooklyn
and prepped in Connecticut. With Jeff McInnis gone to the NBA,
Cota, who averaged 21 points and nine assists, will be in the
hunt for playing time in Chapel Hill right away.
12. Mateen Cleaves, G, 6'1"
Michigan State; Flint, Mich. (Northern)
The Spartans longed for a point guard, and they found a good
one. Cleaves averaged 27 points and eight assists, losing out to
Walton in the closest vote ever for Mr. Basketball in Michigan.
13. Lucas Barnes, G-F, 6'6"
Miami; Miami (South Miami)
Barnes scored 3,160 points in his career and averaged 31 points,
11 rebounds and five assists as a senior. He should provide some
offense on a Hurricanes team that had only one player who
averaged more than seven points per game.
14. Loren Woods, C, 7'1"
Wake Forest; St. Louis (Cardinal Ritter)
Woods, who averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks last
season, has added a jump hook to his repertoire. He will learn
even more tricks of the trade as Tim Duncan's understudy.
15. Ramel Lloyd, G, 6'3"
Syracuse; the Bronx (Cardinal Hayes)
Lloyd, who is quick going to the hole and a good outside
shooter, averaged 24 points per game. His all-around tough play
has earned him the nickname Rock.
16. Richard Hamilton, F, 6'6"
Connecticut; Coatesville (Pa.) High
Hamilton, who averaged 23 points per game, has the ball-handling
ability and outside shot to play any of the three perimeter
17. Chris Carrawell, F, 6'6"
Duke; St. Louis (Cardinal Ritter)
A three-time all-state selection, Carrawell averaged 17 points,
eight rebounds and six assists as a senior.
18. Nate James, F, 6'6"
Duke; Frederick, Md. (St. John's at Prospect Hall)
James won the three-point competition at the McDonald's
All-America weekend and then had 15 points and eight rebounds in
the game itself.
19. Glendon Alexander, G, 6'4"
Arkansas; Carrollton, Texas (Newman-Smith)
A proven scorer--he had 3,627 points in his career and averaged
35 points per game as a senior--Alexander also plays stingy
20. Jerald Brown, F, 6'8"
Texas A&M; Houston (Aldine)
Brown, who averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds last season, is a
deft ball handler and has a more than competent jumper.
21. Willie Dersch, G, 6'5"
Virginia; Floral Park, N.Y. (Holy Cross)
As a lefthanded, crew-cut-coiffed guard from Queens, Dersch has
been compared to Chris Mullin. Like Mullin, Dersch is a deadeye
shooter; unlike Mullin, Dersch is a comet on the floor.
22. Jaraan Cornell, G, 6'3"
Purdue; South Bend, Ind. (Clay)
After averaging 22 points and nine rebounds, Cornell was named
first-team all-state for the second straight season.
23. Mike Chappell, F, 6'8"
Duke; Southfield, Mich. (Lathrup)
A lean 190-pounder, Chappell averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds,
five assists and three blocks.
24. Devonaire Deas, G, 6'5"
Florida State; Oakdale, Conn. (St. Thomas More)
Playing in the same backcourt as Cota, Deas averaged 18 points,
seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals last season.
25. Vincent Whitt, G-F, 6'6"
Clemson; Greensboro (Dudley)
Whitt--who averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and seven
assists--has developed an outside shot to complement his