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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Aldridge will take the court in Austin

By Bill Hodge

Top 100 forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge of Seagoville, Tex., who had signed with Texas, has officially withdrawn from the NBA Draft. He recently joined other Longhorn recruits in enrolling for summer school. A possible first round choice, he was suffering from a back injury that kept him from working out for pro teams.

Shaun Livingston of Peoria-Central, Ill., a Top 100 guard who had signed with Duke, has announced that he will remain in the NBA draft and sign with an agent. He is expected to be selected 2nd to 4th in the first round.

Freshman guard Omar Wilkes of Los Angeles-Loyola, Cal., who recently announced he would transfer from Kansas, has chosen the California Bears over Stanford. Wilkes played in 21 games for the Jayhawks last season. His father is Jamaal Wilkes, former UCLA and NBA standout.

The Auburn Tigers pledged Class 2005 forward/guard Rasheem Barrett of Atlanta-Marist, Ga., who averaged 23 points last season. Junior forward Marco Killingworth of Montgomery, Ala., has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will also transfer from Auburn.

Louisville junior forward Nate Daniels of Escondido, Cal/Notre Dame Prep, Mass/Fresno State/Broward CC, Fla., is transferring to NAIA Mountain State University.

Sophomore forward Marcus Arnold of Chicago-Morgan Park, Ill., is transferring from Illinois State to Illinois.

Manhattan signed Class 2004 guard/forward CJ Anderson of Cincinnati-Winton Woods, Ohio/Laurinburg Prep, NC.

Illinois-Chicago signed Class 2004 guard Robert Bush of Harvey-Thornton, Ill.

Florida A&M has signed sophomore forward Rome Sanders of Chicago-Curie, Ill., who is transferring from Northern Illinois.

Thirty-four Early Top 100 Prospects for Class 2005 have already made Commitments.

Top Available Transfers:
*Sophomore forward/guard Derrick Byars, transfer from Virginia.
*Sophomore forward/center Bernard Cote, transfer from Kentucky.
*Starting sophomore guard Armondo Surratt, transfer from Miami-Florida.
*Guard Elijah Ingram, transfer from St. John's.

Class 2004 Basketball Database: Signings/Top Classes.
*Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*Top 100 Prospects/Super Prospects
*Top Classes: Kentucky and Kansas made wild closing finishes to lead the rankings. Other top programs are Texas, Indiana, UCLA, Oregon, Louisville, Florida, Memphis and Alabama. Fans will also discover top talent arriving at Arkansas, Connecticut, Michigan State, Missouri and Arizona.
*Top Junior College Prospects.

Class 2005 Basketball Database: Prospects/Commitments
*Early Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Super Prospects.

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. A record 13 preps entered the NBA Draft).
Official High School/Prep School Entries
F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga. Agent. Predict Lottery: 2-4 in first round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Duke). Agent. Predict Lottery: 2-4 first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Indiana). Agent. Predict Lottery: 6-9 in first round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (USC Trojans). Agent. Predict: 15-19 in first round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (UNC). Agent. Predict: 17-18 in first round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Louisville). Agent. Predict: 23-26 in first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-9 Prentiss, Miss (Arkansas). Predict: 17-27 in first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (DePaul). Predict: 24 in first round.
C Jackie Butler 6-10 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Tenn). Agent. Predict: Second round.
F/C Jermaine Bell 6-11 Notre Dame Prep, Mass. Predict: Not selected.
F Maurice Shaw 6-9 Bridgton Academy, Maine. Predict: Not selected.
F LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 Seagoville, Tex (Texas). Withdrew from draft.
C Robert Rothbart 7-1 Sacramento-Natomas, Cal (Indiana). Predict: Probable withdraw.
Official Junior College Entries
G/F Donta Smith 6-7 Southeastern Illinois CC, Ill (Louisville). Predict: 26 in first round to second round.
C Randy Orr 6-11 Georgia Perimeter CC, Ga. Predict: Not selected.
F Jason Parker 6-8 Kentucky (2000-01). Predict: Not selected.
G Kelvin Pena 6-3 Southeastern CC, Iowa. Predict: Not selected.
C/F Tremayne Singletary 6-10 Southwestern CC, Cal. Predict: Not selected.
C Sani Ibrahim 6-10 Gulf Coast CC, Fla. Predict: Not selected.
2003 NBA Draft
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.

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

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database/Top 100
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 For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.