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Thursday, May 6, 2004
Swift is 10th prep star to enter 2004 NBA draft

By Bill Hodge
CollegeSports.com

Top 100 center Robert Swift of Bakersfield, Cal., who signed with the Southern California Trojans, has made himself available for the NBA Draft. Swift, who is not expected to sign with an agent, is considered a late first round selection.

Swift was expected to be the keystone of the 2004 recruiting class for USC Head Coach Henry Bibby. Swift averaged 18.8 points, 15.9 rebounds and 6.2 blocks his senior season.

Forward Ivan Chiriaev of Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas, who recently entered the NBA Draft, has signed with Iowa State. He will remain in the draft and is not expected to obtain an agent.

Top 100 guard Sebastian Telfair of Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY., who signed with Louisville, announced for the draft on May 4. He has signed with an agent and has a multi-year shoe/apparel contract with adidas for $1-2 million annually. Telfair, who is expected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, averaged 33.2 points during the regular season in his senior year.

Three other top high school stars announced on May 2, including guard Shaun Livingston of Peoria-Central, Ill., who signed with Duke; forward/center Al Jefferson of Prentiss, Miss., who signed with Arkansas; and guard/forward J.R. Smith of Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ., who signed with North Carolina. None of the three prospects will sign with an agent and have until June 17 to withdraw names and opt for their college choices. The NBA draft is June 24.

Ten high school/prep school players have chosen to enter the draft, including Swift; Telfair; Livingston; Smith; Jefferson; center/forward Dwight Howard of Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted); forward Josh Smith of Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Indiana); center Jackie Butler of Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Tennessee); forward Ivan Chiriaev of Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Iowa State); and forward/guard Dorell Wright of South Kent Prep, Conn (DePaul).

Should Preps Jump to NBA? The most heralded high school player in years, forward LeBron James of Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio, was chosen No. 1 in the first round of the 2003 Draft by Cleveland. He averaged 20 points and was Rookie of the Year. The other three preps taken in the first round, all late picks, played a combined 86 minutes during the entire season: Forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville, Miss., 23rd pick by Portland; forward Ndudi Ebi of Houston-Westbury Christian, Tex., 26th pick by Minnesota; center Kendrick Perkins of Beaumont-Ozen, Tex., 27th pick by Memphis, then traded to Boston.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft; second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts)
High School/Prep School Entries
C/F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted). Has agent. Draft: Top two in first round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Signed with Duke). No agent. Draft: Three to five in first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Signed with Indiana). Has agent. Draft: Six to eight in first round.
F Ivan Chiriaev 7-1 Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Signed with Iowa State). No agent. Draft: 10 to 12 in first round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (Signed with NC). No agent. Draft: Middle first round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Signed with Louisville). Has agent. Draft: Middle to low first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-9 Prentiss, Miss (Signed with Arkansas). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (Signed with USC). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (Signed with DePaul). No agent. Draft: Late first to second round.
C Jackie Butler 6-11 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Signed with Tenn). Has agent. Draft: Second round, if selected.

*Check Class 2004 lists for Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences. Check Class 2004 Top 100 prospects who have made Commitmen ts or Signed. List of remaining Top 100 Prospects.

The 5/8 Rule
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to approve measures of academic reform that included a repeal of the controversial 5/8 rule limiting college basketball recruiting to no more than five recruits in a single class and no more than eight in any two-year period. With the rule rescinded, coaches can fill their 13-man rosters with the best eligible players who have yet to sign. NCAA Story

2004 McDonald's All American Game
J.R. Smith and Dwight Howard helped the East rout the West, 126-96, at the 27th McDonald's All American Basketball Boys Game in Oklahoma City, Okla. The John Wooden Award which is given to the most valuable player of the game was given to co-winners Smith and Howard. Smith led all scorers with 25 points, while Howard contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Story, Rosters.

McDonald's Games/All-Star Games/NBA Drafts
Search for Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Nike Hoop Summit
The 2004 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select team defeated World Select, 99-79, in the Hoops Summit game in San Antonio. Josh Smith led all scorers with 27 points, J.R. Smith added 17, while Rudy Gay and Al Jefferson had 14 and 13. Sebastian Telfair scored six. Luka Bogdanovic led the World team with 20 points. Churchill Odia and Juan Diego Palacios each scored 10. Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Jordan Capital Classic
Dwight Howard scored 18 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Black team to a 107-96 victory over the White squad in the Jordan Capital Classic and was named the outstanding player. Malik Hairston led the Black team with 23 points, while Robert Vaden added 21. Dorell Wright led the White team with 24 points, while Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stories/games/rosters

Class 2004 Basketball Database
*Search lists of Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*List of Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Signings/ Remaining Top 100 Prospects.
*More players projected to make an impact: Super Prospects.
*Top JC Prospects: Junior College List.
*Basketball Signing Periods: Early (Nov. 12-19) and Regular (Apr. 14-May 19).

*Indiana, Texas and Louisville lead the early 2004 Top Classes.

Class 2005 Basketball Database
*Search early lists of Prospects/Commitments

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database
Class 2004: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2003: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2001: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2000: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 1999: Database
Class 1998: Database/ Top Classes

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at CollegeSports.com. For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to CollegeSports.com's Recruiting Page.