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August 27, 2007

Sleeper prospects: Ones to watch

Cast Your Vote: Who's the best sleeper prospect to watch?

Everybody knows about the five-star recruits.

Memphis' Derrick Rose isn't going to sneak up on anyone. USC's O.J. Mayo has been making headlines for years. One big reason for Indiana's presence in the top 10 of the Rivals.com Preseason Top 25 is Eric Gordon.

But there are sleeper prospects out there. Some won't emerge for a couple of seasons, biding their time and getting stronger while tutoring under the upperclassmen.

Some three-star guys, though, will make a splash as true freshmen. Perhaps it's a combination of not having been scouted as much as some others and having the opportunity to play right away.

It happened with Davidson guard Stephen Curry. Largely overlooked, he led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament and finished ninth nationally in scoring at 21.5 points per game.

We asked Rivals.com Basketball Editor Bob McClellan and staff writer Andrew Skwara to pick a prospect not among the top 100 who could make a major impact this season. Here's who was chosen by each:

Skwara's pick: Virginia Tech's Dorenzo Hudson

The ACC landed three five-star recruits from the class of 2007: Duke's Kyle Singler, N.C. State's J.J. Hickson and Florida State's Solomon Alabi.

Don't be surprised if Virginia Tech signee Dorenzo Hudson, who was just four spots shy of reaching four-star status, puts up better stats than each.

Unlike the recruits mentioned above, Hudson, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard, is stepping onto a very inexperienced team that is desperately lacking depth. The Hokies have just four returning scholarship players.

Moreover, their top two players last season were a pair of senior guards, leading scorer Zabian Dowdell (17.4 ppg) and the ACC's 2007-08 Defensive Player of the Year Jamon Gordon.

The Hokies may need Hudson to start. Even if he comes off the bench, they'll need him to help offensively.

Either way, Virginia Tech is going to have to wait a bit to see Hudson on the court. According to an interview on HokieHaven.com, Rick Taylor Hudson's uncle said Hudson won't be eligible until second semester.

"Once he enrolls his first game will be on Dec. 17," Taylor told HokieHaven.com. "He's definitely playing basketball this year; he just has to miss the first eight games of the season. We've already looked at it and he won't miss any ACC games."

Hudson, who was offered scholarships by most ACC schools, possesses a solid mid-range jumper and is constantly looking to shoot the ball. He scored 49 points in a game at the Boo Williams Invitational one of the nation's top AAU tournaments last year.

Hudson is also more physically advanced than most incoming freshmen. The big-bodied guard has a solid frame and the size to shoot over many defenders.

Put all those factors together and you have a three-star prospect who could make a legitimate run at ACC Rookie of the Year.

McClellan's pick: Vanderbilt's Andrew Ogilvy

Because he is from Australia, our scouts were not able to evaluate Andrew Ogilvy in person. He appears to be a big-time prospect at 6-10, 250 pounds with a solid skill set.

Ogilvy was dominant at the 19-Under World Championships in Serbia this summer. He averaged 22.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He also shot an eye-popping 68.6 percent from the field against top-level competition.

According to sources close to the Vanderbilt program, Ogilvy is very sound fundamentally. He works for good position offensively and blocks out on the boards. He displays excellent footwork and is a good passer for a player his size.

Commodores coach Kevin Stallings hasn't had a true post presence since he has been in Nashville, and he's trying to temper expectations for Ogilvy. But NBADraft.net lists the center as a first-round pick (16th overall) in next year's draft, and Vandy is thin up front. If Ogilvy is a bona-fide, SEC-type big man, just think of the room he'll create for Shan Foster & Co. on the perimeter.

If he hits even half of his averages from the U-19 Worlds, say 11 points and five rebounds per game, the Commodores will be in great shape.

Cast Your Vote: Who's the best sleeper prospect to watch?

Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at askwara@rivals.com.
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at bmcclellan@rivals.com.



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