Comparing Scout and Rivals

Last July, I talked to’s Dave Telep and’s Jerry Meyer for a story about how each organization puts together its national rankings and why they so often differ.

Well, consider this the new afterword. Both services have released their 2011 rankings (2012 should be out before the July evaluation period, if last season was any guess) and there are some differences.

Take a look:

What do the rankings mean? Honest, not a whole lot. We know that Telep and his group (including Evan Daniels) are high on Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee, but less so on Austin Etherington. Now, how much of that is Zeller and Plumlee having been nationally-known names for years, while Etherington was under-the-radar when he committed to Indiana and has, pretty much, remained so? Who knows.

We know Meyer and his team (including Peegs) seem to be less convinced on Jeremiah Davis. And that they did not rank Etherington in their 150.

The fact one service does 100 (Scout) and the other does 150 (Rivals) also insures that everyone wonders what Scout’s next 50 would look like.


  1. I just checked the Rivals site and they have Ehterington unranked. Not sure where you got the 46 from?

  2. If Rivals is trying to tell me there are 29 players more talented than Dawson in that class then I dont see how you can take it seriously.

    Zeller and Etherington have equal talent huh? Right.

    I have always leaned Scout for BB and Rivals for FB and I think the reason is because things like this.

  3. Dawson is the next Dwyane Wade. Zeller can make direct eye contact with a showerhead.

  4. Scout consistently over-rates people. I don’t trust them a lick.

    Plumlee at 32? Are you kidding me?

  5. Peegs has very little to nothing to do with the rankings. At least that is what he just posted on his site.

  6. The rankings mean nothing. Nobody ranked Calbert Cheney. The only thing that matters is a coaches experience and what he sees on the floor. If you average it out over hundreds of players the cream seems to rise to the top but you can’t pick individuals based on arbitrary rankings.

  7. To me, this simply proves, once again, that too much stock is consistently put in these ranking organizations, simply because they’re the only ones doing it — not necessarily because it’s top notch analysis.

    It seems that both organizations are obviously capable of identifying players who will play D1 basketball in college, but beyond that, they’re inconsistent and extremely arbitrary in how those players are actually ranked.

    And honestly, I really don’t know how they determine the difference between Nos. 60 – 150 and beyond. At some point, you’ve got to be splitting hairs.

  8. ^ Splitting hairs – great analogy. That is exactly what happens.

    Makes it all the more funny that 4guards was boasting that “Alford got a much better recruit (Alex Kirk) than Crean (Sheehey and Oladipo)”. They were all ranked between 100-150.

  9. Their senior year, Buzz Peterson was named the best player in North Carolina. He was selected over future roommate Michael Jordan.

  10. Hanner Perea – We have got to land this young man.He is one of the most athletic kids that I have ever seen.

  11. Kirk was ranked quite a bit higher than Oladipo and Sheehey, but the bottom line is that Kirk is just a lot better player than those 2 and I would love to have him here instead of what we ended up with.
    Do you think it is a coincidence that the best teams in the country get the highest rated recruits year in and year out according to Scout and Rivals? (and yes I know there are exceptions)

  12. Ranking players outside of the top 20 is not an exact science. Plus keep in mind that these guys don’t see every game the kids play. They might see one kid 10 times and he might have 3-4 bad games in there, while the other site might see a kid 8 times and he might play well in all of those games. That would make a difference. But to say that Scout consistently overrates players makes absolutely no sense at all. They can’t possibly overrate all the players unless they didn’t do rankings and just called them all 5 stars. If they are overrating people, then they must naturally also be underrating alot of other people.

  13. Excellent point Brad. If you accept that a true ‘top 100’ exists, and some players are overrated, then logically some must also be underrated. These rankings are like draft projections–a first round pick might be a bust while a 7th-rounder might end up a Pro Bowl player (forgive me for mixing hoops and gridiron). Look at NFL rosters–happens all the time.

    To Chet’s point, Calbert Cheaney was the most lightly-regarded player in his recruiting class. Chris Reynolds was considered a better prospect. I know Scout and Rivals weren’t around in the pre-internet days, but players were evaluated and rated pretty thoroughly. We could come up with other examples but it would be redundant. What matters is team chemistry and coaching within a system.

  14. Lets face it the rankings do not really mean that much, Especially if you can’t get a top 100. LOL Do you see my point without even saying it? The rankings do show where your program is at. If you are getting top 50’s consistantly your program is in great shape, granted you are not guaranteed any banners, but it does show your program is highly favored. If you cant land a top 125 (IU) your program is in shambles or has done some tings to turn players off(Like not supporting a black coach who went to the finals). Its time to quit crying that we are still in shambles because of Sampson. We have the best facilities (cook hall), hottest coach (Crean, so therefore maybe its the later is the reason a top 125 wont come to IU

  15. I’ll take Sheehey and Oladipo anytime and like it.

    Mike D’s diminishing returns got him run out of Bloomington. Actually the boot came three years late.

  16. Mike Davis career is not much better than Creans. He went to final game instead of getting beat by 33 in the final 4. He went to the second round 2 other times to Crean’s one.
    They both suck.

  17. Davis was the coach when I got to Bloomington, and I consider myself lucky to have witnessed one year of Hot Rod Wilmont, Calloway, DJ, Killingsworth, Ratliff etc. playing pretty good basketball and advancing to the second round against Gonzaga. I will always appreciate that team for hooking me on the Hoosiers and showing a competitive fire that more talented teams like Sampson’s never kindled.

    Davis was no slouch when it came to winning games in the postseason, either.

  18. Doug,

    The class before this included Creek, Watford, Hulls, Elston and Muniru (I include Bawa because he was ranked). How do you explain that? If top-rated recruits indicate the state of a program, how do you explain reeling in that class on the heels of a 6-25 season?

    If your argument is that it was only one recruiting class, and therefore doesn’t reflect a consistent influx of talent into our program, then I would counter with the fact that this too, is one class among many to come. One class void of top-ranked talent isn’t indicative of the direction of the program any more than one class full of well-ranked players.

    I think what will “show where our program is at” more than anything is how the aforementioned class develops between year one and two, and whether leaders emerge on the court.

  19. By the way, on the Rivals list, #7 Davis, #10 Chandler, #16 Caldwell, and #20 Cook each have IU on their list. Nice to see there is still plenty of faith in Crean amongst the elite players.

  20. That is great, but not one of those guys are coming here. Lets focus on Zeller and Davis who we have a shot at.

  21. I’m glad we have a fortune teller amongst us^^^. While your at it, can you tell me who will win the British Open? I plan on doing a little gambling when I’m in London next month.

  22. “Davis was no slouch…”

    That’s not fair. Davis was quite a slouch. (with thanks to Chevy Chase)
    On the Davis note, I think we all knew that he was in over his head. He wasn’t ready and nobody was in the mood for OJT. What infuriated me about him was the fact that he blamed the fans for EVERYTHING. That dude wouldn’t know accepting responsibility if it hit him in the face. Not once did I see a fan miss a shot or make a coaching error but he still blamed them. Then he was surprised he got no support. Personally, I might have been a little more patient if he would quit blaming me for his mistakes.
    I like having a coach who appreciates the fans.

  23. Chet,
    It is urban myth that Calbert was not rated. His average ranking was in the 60’s nationally. He was not as known as the McDonalds All Americans we were landing in those days (and he was hurt his senior year of HS) but being ranked in the 60’s is not exactly a diamond in the rough.

  24. Chet,
    It is urban legend that Calbert was not rated. His average ranking was in the 60’s nationally. He was not as known as the McDonalds All Americans we were landing in those days (and he was hurt his senior year of HS) but being ranked in the 60’s is not exactly a diamond in the rough.

  25. Which rankings were those?
    Cheaney made the Indiana All Star team following his senior year Harrison but he was lightly recruited and a late offer/signee by the Hoosiers. He was by no means considered a top recruit. I remember Hoosier fans were a bit puzzled by his signing. In all fairness, most Hoosier fans were also puzzled by the signing of Larry Bird.

  26. Almost nobody had heard of CC when signed just as Chet stated. If his pre-injury ranking had been so significant many would have known him.

  27. People who knew something about basketball knew him. High school recruiting obviously was not as big back then as it today. That is probably why the less knowledgeable fans didn’t know him. After the injury he tanked in the rankings because they didn’t think he would recover from it. Before the injury he was in the range DCdave stated.

  28. Recruiting was every bit as big then as today. The public domain for unsubstantiated chatter and BS was not there then as is today. CC was lightly recruited because he was not highly regarded outside of the conference he played in HS. He was thought of as only marginally better than his teammate Brad Brownell.

  29. Mike Davis was fired because he couldn’t recruit in Indiana. He blew off all the high school coaches around here and refused to recruit through them. He was forced to go down south for recruits. There was a reason Gordon didn’t want to play for him. And Samson comes along and gives Gordon’s high school coach a job. Eureka, Gordon becomes a Hoosier. Among other things. Davis burned bridges and couldn’t recruit in Indiana. And when you are the coach of IU and can’t recruit in Indiana, you are not going to last long as the coach. this wasn’t the only reason, but I think it was a big factor.

  30. Let’s compare that to Kentucky recruiting of rivals 150….Marquis Teague #2,
    Mike Gilchrist #3, Anthony Davis #6, Kyle Wiltcher #25. Kentucky’s 2008 Mr. Basketball Jon Hood is not even a starter. That is impressive recruiting.

Comments are closed.