Robinson, Fischer climb in latest Rivals.com rankings

Indiana commitment Stanford Robinson, a guard from Paul VI in Fairfax, Va.,  rose from No. 88 to No. 61 in the latest Rivals.com ratings for the Class of 2013 and forward Luke Fischer of Germantown, Wis., rose from 140 to 124. Warren Central forward Devin Davis is ranked No. 99, but Cathedral swingman Collin Hartman fell out of the top 150 after an injury-riddled spring AAU session.

Among other IU targets, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) center BeeJay Anya is rated No. 31. Forward Marcus Lee of Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., is rated No. 33. Ottawa (Kan.) swingman Semi Ojeleye is No. 36.

34 comments

  1. I don’t mean this to be rude or critical, but does anyone really care about how recruits are ranked before the end of their senior season in High School? It may be interesting trivia to read how high a program’s recruiting class is ranked after the recruits’ senior season is finished, but at this stage, it just seems kind of silly to even assemble this information (although I’m sure the really hard core college BB junkies eat it up).

    For example, Collin Hartman “fell out of the top 150 after an injury riddled spring AAU session.” That just seems stupid unless Mr. Hartman’s injuries were career ending. Does that mean because he was injured, he has suddenly lost his talent.

    It’s probably just me, but ranking HS players before their senior season just seems specious.

  2. Podunker,
    I think it serves some purpose if you keep it in perspective and don’t take it too seriously. As a reporter, it gives me something to point to to give readers some idea of what each commitment means. That’s not to say that the No. 150 player in the class can’t turn out to be the best and that the No. 1 player can’t be a total bust. That can absolutely happen. But ranking is an easy way to provide some perspective about at least how coveted a player is/was/would be if he hadn’t already committed. If you’re expecting it to be totally exact and if you’re looking at it to be definitive word, or if you think the rankings have actual tangible meaning to players or anyone else, you’re looking at them wrong.

    As for Collin Hartman, I was trying to be kind there and point out that he suffered a concussion in April and missed much of May. When he returned for the May Classic, he didn’t do much that stood out.

  3. But ranking is an easy way to provide some perspective about at least how coveted a player is/was/would be if he hadn’t already committed

    Isn’t that exactly where the deception could begin? Once a player is committed, it seems, depending on personal alliances and favorite college destinations, certain prejudices could come into the picture and turn objective into far more subjective eye with those that do the rankings/evaluations. I would trust the numbers more before a kid commits(which isn’t saying much because I believe the entire rankings process is more to do with the constant self-serving hype needed to feed the simpleton trend of ‘dumbing down’ sports for ease of numbers over substance, individuality, and beauty in the risk a dark horse).

    When teams like Kentucky win it all, it legitimizes the whole rankings process and sets the trappings in percentages our perceptions that talent in itself can always win over chemistry, composure, and a team’s complimentary pieces playing at a higher level/ranking by greater collective mastery of 40 minutes than any sum of its individual parts.

    And no matter the perfect science that allows for the unquestionable truth in putting five of the best on a Calipari team, is it best for the sport to lop-side talent to such few destinations that it takes nearly every other uniqueness in the game out of the equation? If the scientists behind all the rankings take all the mystery out of finding the next Larry Bird, where’s the future the tales that allowed for a hidden gem to put a tiny no-name Cinderella on his back and take a school/coach/team into the history books?

    We begin to have so much at our fingertips, we forget the all fun in digging.

  4. oops.

    …we forget all of the fun in digging.

  5. Seriously, if Steven Hawking committed to Kaintuck he’d rise to #31 and everyone would overlook that whole wheelchair thing. Once a kid commits, at least to my amateur observations, their rankings seem to be based on how many kids from their future college turn out to be one and dones.

    Once a kid commits it appears to have more to do with the historical brevity of player enrollment at a given institution than anything else.

  6. Chet-

    I have a sorta funny store involving a trip to the grocery store…I’ve got a pizza due at my door any minute so sit tight.

  7. Sorry, the pizza delivery guy got lost. Pizza was cold..Pretty tasteless stuff from one of the chains. Just didn’t feel like cooking(the grocery trip was for beer).

    Anyway, I pulled into a parking spot at the grocery…Upon popping out of my car, I’m greeted by a sign plastered to the side of the driver’s door a monstrous bus-sized behemoth of the road sitting in the spot next to me. I don’t drive a small car, but this sparkling new Infinity SUV was the size a one bedroom apartment..a true road hog that guzzles enough gas to guarantee astronomically rising prices at the pump until the not-so-distant day our children witness two trips to the pump more costly than the monthly payment their 30 year college loans.

    So what does the sign on the side of the Infinity driver’s door read?…..”Mitt Romney..Believe in America.” Ostentatious meets ostentatious. As if not perfect enough, while squeezing my way between this Carnival cruise ship of the highway and the small aisle left between its 8-ft tall wall of metal and my dwarfed modest machine(a relatively sizable family car), I decide to turn and give a glimpse at the stern of captain soccer mom’s vessel…I’m already snickering a bit on my insides the reassurance my preconceived notions a typical Mitt supporter…But then, what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a college logo, a sticker on the rear..For displayed in window to bring even more cheer this short outing unexpected comedy came with full moon and my six of beer…Romney on the doors and more asstonishing truth on the glass… This environmentalist soon to cast vote for corporate tax loopholes, endangered rain forests, and America’s team recently crowned in wholesome example the best of red, white, and blue in college sports…. How could I not think of Chet..Yup…University of Kaintuck graced my pivoting stare and then with cold return its one BLUE eye mocked my size and all tiny Hoosiers far less wise.

    The End…Sleep tight, my patient friend.

  8. Podunker-

    Sorry for jumping on your ass. It’s been kinda rough this week. And that picture of Pritch…? You were right..It wasn’t very nice and if more mature I would have thought twice.

  9. I think that Podunker has a very valid point. Beyond mention as a player Indiana may have a confirmed interest in or a list of the more recruited pre-senior high school players, the constant and often premature hype is unnecessary. It also contributes to giving recruiting its ‘meat-market’ atmosphere. As Dustin concedes, “…if you think the rankings have actual tangible meaning to players or anyone else, you’re looking at them wrong..”. Fair enough, so why do it?

    Dustin’s lead argument,… “I think it serves some purpose if you keep it in perspective and don’t take it too seriously”, further validates Podunker’s point.

    Lots of much more and relevant stories about Hoosier athletics, the Big Ten, the two Big Ten Divisions, the playoffs, the future of the bowls and the competition, the rancid environment at Penn State that should really give us pause about misguided priorities surrounding athletics, coaches, their influence on administrators, the criminal and degenerate destruction of young, vulnerable kids drawn in by the ‘Pied Piper’ atmosphere, etc.

    Rather than hype all this up, wouldn’t this be the time to step back, beginning with the 15 and 15 year olds who are literally still children? I do agree with Podunker, the present focus reaching down to 4th and 8th grade wonders to the high pressure pursuit of fifteen and sixteen year-olds is completely out-of-whack.

  10. Every step your life you are ranked..They give IQ tests in schools to box you in. They give the ISTEP test to give a teacher a measure your worth before they can have one bit reflection their efforts upon your gains in the system..You get to high school and you’re already in the lane the “experts” believe you belong…Soon your parents buy in and channel their expectations along the same road you’ve been told your group’s race…You set your sights on college knowing full well there are no surprises…Another exam soon to come your way to justify what education the system can perfectly predict the doctors of tomorrow in a 3-hour test given today.

    Oh, how lucky the athlete removed the slavery upon the mind for chance to hold high something else that makes them good in the eyes their judges. Put a ball through a hoop or catch a pass and soon forgotten the distinct lines now more blurred that still divides all others in subgroups a predestined level and predetermined class.

    We are all ranked. How often does anyone question the rulers behind the curtains that convinces a young mind a standardized measure is the appropriate yardstick their hopes and dreams?

    Just because it doesn’t make the print of sports tabloids should not blind anyone we are all numbered at earliest glance and there are plenty that rot in streets of slums and homes where learning is still primitive in tools. Where to turn when art or athleticism cannot deflect those that suffer far more cruelties and wrongs an “expert” in society convincing the parents and puppets the masses where expectations anyone’s value or oversimplified potential belongs?

    Yes, from the first days of grade school, the teacher’s penetrating eye is full of measures already set in stone the numbers given your worth. They have sold you out since sperm found egg. So afraid to be surprised in wonderment a glorious pegging somehow misplaced..So afraid we be blamed for our lack of effort a labeled lost cause.

    As long as we protect ourselves the decent value of every child, we shall live in our own hype the flawless systems our judgments. Sports is merely a reflection the same card cataloging and the ignorance of disregarding heart, desire, spirit, and tricks a brain capable all its mystery immeasurable, in every lazy system of valuing human existence.

    Sports a meat-market? Life is a meat-market. We are even taught to believe God will rank us depending our obedience a list of commandments. I’m currently not a very hot prospect for heaven.

  11. Harvard, without delving too much into politics, the guy is right out of central casting. He is his own stereotype.

    He will definitely win Kaintuck.

  12. HfH, My pickup is bigger than the Infinity SUV and also displays a Romney sticker. The difference is I park farther back in the lots for both the exercise and I won’t be inconvenienced by what I park next to. By the way neither are as big as an efficiency apartment let alone a one bedroom unit.

  13. Harvard, when I coached middle school sports I frequently had to talk parents out of pigeon holing their own kids. They might have a son who is playing football for the first time and hasn’t hit his growth spurt yet while the coaches have only had a couple weeks with him. After the first game of the season I’d have parents say, “Well, I guess football just isn’t their game.”

    I’d have to talk them back from the ledge. I’d use my own kids as examples. My oldest could barely find the field when he first played but ended up being pretty good. It took years, though.

    You are correct, though. Early on the ‘smart’ kids are labeled as such and the ‘dumb’ kids as well.

  14. Romney stickers and Escalades go together like obesity and heart disease.

    Romney is the John Kerry of the GOP. I hope he makes things interesting and picks Rubio as a VP; that might raise my eyebrow.

  15. I had a friend, a wonderful man full of widom who was also a great soccer coach (both as an assistant and with the New York Cosmos). He had a player (while in the US) who was a marvelous soccer player; a good athlete, very smart (including field smarts), skilled and with great field vision.

    The kid was 5’1″ when he was 14 and maybe 5’3 or 4″ at 16. He was a top notch soccer player, had a big college future if he stayed with soccer. In soccer a big issue is the height of your center of gravity; the lower the better because it gives you better balance, hip movement and of course in soccer you are trying to control and move quickly with a ball under or next to your foot.

    For the same reason the kid was a wonderful basketball player, Great dribbler and ball handler, vision, passer, quick foot movement. But, of course, his height played against him.

    Nevertheless, his father, a very famous scholar, was infatuated with basketball and badly- I mean badly- wanted his son to be a basketball player. So the boy, who would have probably been a major college player and perhaps beyond was taken out of soccer and ended up a great little (emphasize the word little as in small) player in the YMCA league. The father, all 5’2″ of him, was ohh, so proud of him.

    Lionel Messi, the greatest player in the world today, scored his 70+ goals last season wearing his 5’6″; Diego Maradona, with Messi one of the three ‘greatest ever’ candidates was between 5’4″ amd 5’5″. There is an argument about Pele’s, the third candidate, height. Some say he was 5’6.5″ and others 5’7″. All three were and/or are among the greatest athletes in the world; with the likes of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jim Ryun and John Carlos (220 champion).

    Pre-categorizing “athletes” on the basis of physical measurements alone is both ridiculous and counter. We should be expanding their goals, encouraging their competitiveness, developing their skills and making sure that before they are of working age, they are enjoying the games they practice. How often have I hear some coaches, particularly American college soccer coaches say…’I want a big guy in the middle’. Just let them play and determine their own future on the field or the floor and not at 14 y.o.

  16. It doesn’t take a genius to surmise that drivers of gargantuan vehicles are likely compensating for something.

    I’m currently driving a hybrid VW Beetle.

  17. What was Larry Bird’s national ranking after his sophomore season of HS basketball? Not sure if it was true or not, but legend has it Michael Jordon failed to make his HS BB team at some point. Why was Walter Peyton not recruited by top football schools out of High School? I could waste time and space recalling the many other great college players that were never highly ranked HS players, some of which were enormously successful Hoosiers, but you get my point.

    Basketball is a team game. As Bob Knight and other great coaches demonstrated for decades, you don’t have to have the best athletes on the floor in order to win National Championships. You have to have good athletes that play really well together. You need athletes who understand and play their roles in support of the team. Do the people involved in creating these rankings include criteria such as “team play,” or “selflessness,” or is it all about athletic ability, scoring, FG %, rebounding and etc? Does the ranking criteria include the team’s performance and success, or do they just install some individual’s subjective ranking of the player’s athletic performance? I really don’t understand what is being ranked with these players, therefore it seems specious to me?

    To me, ranking a HIgh School player before he completes his senior season means nothing. And frankly, it means very little even after he finishes his HS career. It’s useless and often totally subjective information that appears not to even attempt to measure some of the key attributes necessary for success in basketball.

    I have no problem ranking Track & Field or other individual sport athletes. Obviously, their performance is totally quantifiable and objectively compared to their peers in the sport. You run the 100 meter dash is 9.6 seconds, you are the #1 ranked sprinter on earth.

  18. With all due respect, Kentucky pretty much disproves the theory.

    Calipari recruited the best and taught them to play selflessly.

    There is a point when being stacked with top talent at every position on the floor nearly guarantees the targeted desire to monopolize winning.

    It’s nearly impossible to go deep without more than one 5-star, future NBA, talent. Knight always managed to land one of the best point guards or shooting guards in the Midwest..He also landed very skilled centers. Things started to slow down when he could no longer land recruits against the same coaches reaping the benefits his teachings(e.g. Coach K….and countless assistants).

    Next season we’ll have two legit 5-stars at key positions(point guard and post). The rest our depth and athleticism, along with the deadly accuracy our senior shooting guard, Jordan Hulls, should prove to be enough talent to make things very exciting.

  19. Crean is also building a tremendous amount of speed on the floor…It does little good to have a flashy point guard if everyone else is two steps slow…We have a center that can run the floor better than anything I’ve seen in a Hoosier uniform for decades..We should be able to run many teams right out of the gym.

    Wooden always believed speed(controlled speed)was one of the irreplaceable elements in a recruit.

  20. I’m a lot more Jed Clampett than I am Tom Cruise. The only thing I fly is a porch swing.

  21. There’s nothing completely objective about track and field…No way to quantify which athlete is attempting to beat the system, find just the right cocktail to be taken into the bloodstream at just the right time to elude detection, in order to get just enough the needed edge to put down three one-hundredths a second faster a shot at blue ribbon.

    You think there’s cheating in basketball recruiting…? I look at the bodies on swimmers and track stars and have a very difficult time believing the woman with disappearing bosoms and reptilian-looking extremities on men is due to only dedicated hours a body’s transformation.

    Sure, you can compare the numbers and times…You can’t compare the sneaky and despicable crimes that have infiltrated individual sports at similar levels seen in team games; athletes often capitalizing most where substances enhance size, bursts of power, and cat-like quickness (picking up the baseball, blowing out of the blocks in track, explosiveness off the wall in swimming, killer hits in football).

    I’m sure it’s in basketball as well(probably more at the early high school level to speed up muscular development), but when further refinement the skills begins to come into play, the “jacking-up” effect runs contrary the unique finesse required for hoops.

    Cheating in sports goes far beyond coaching. Parents are likely involved in their own children getting that extra edge. Before long genetic engineering will take over and only the biological “freaks” of select pools the optimal DNA selected before conception will rule the courts and fields.

  22. Podunker, great comment!! I think you are entirely right. I only question whether the college game itself is being changed to an NBA style game where the individual 1v1 matchups are replacing the team game based on skills such as intelligence, hard work and more important players willing and able to accept being role players in support of a star player, sometimes two.

    The classic players for me were the Jim Thomas’ and Tom Abernathys’ who were always the glue that held the banners on the walls of Assembly Hall together. In the end, teaching the value of team/group to accomplish feats otherwise unachievable individually may have been Bob Knight’s greatest contribution to us, basketball and sports in general. Just as likely, it is a lesson on how a society functions at its best.

  23. Wow..Just heard on the news that 15 people have been shot on Chicago streets since 5:00 p.m. yesterday. The other day CNN reported more deaths from gun violence has occurred in Chicago this year than U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Why are we fighting wars halfway around the globe when our own streets are more a barrier to freedom so many our children? Why are we not sending tanks into Obama’s home town? How can there be life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness if a child can’t walk down their own street without fear their brains blown to bits?

    Very sad. When you sit on your swing and gaze at the booms in sky tonight, contemplate the terror in the ears those same sounds can be to a helpless victim of circumstance the ignored neighborhood their fortunate birth into freedom. Who is fighting their war?

  24. I believe that Remy Abell was not a Rivals top 150, ask Purdue about that ranking after his 3 point shot. We all remember that Victor was #141 and Will #144. Crean has a great eye for talent and a clear plan on developing each player to his maximum. Verdell, Danny Moore, and Matt Roth each improved significantly each year in the program. The last that I read Hartman had led his team to the top of Indy area basketball, the best player on the best team in a competition among very good players and coaches, is always a very good recruit!

  25. BeatPurdue; your last sentence in post #31 is spot on. Great point.

    As for this recent Kentucky team disproving the theory, no way. The recent Kentucky and Memphis teams reinforce the hypothesis. For several years Calipari has had the best athletes on the floor but could not produce a Championship. Those freakishly gifted athletes could not get the job done, no matter how many NBA lottery picks he played.

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. No, although I hate to say it, Calipari’s accomplishment this year was getting that many talented players to play together as a unit and play unselfish basketball. Although he’s a scumbag, you must acknowledge that Calipari accomplished that in the 2011/2012 season. But for him, it was the exception rather than the rule.

    Does anyone doubt that if Knight had had that kind of athletic talent year in and year out that IU would have long ago surpassed UCLA’s record for NCAA BB Championships? Unfortunately for us Hoosier fans, but fortunately for the young men he coached, Knight emphasized education, getting a degree and following the rules. And yet, he was the winningest coach in college BB without having the best athletes on the floor year in and year out. Calipari can’t hold Knight’s clip board.

  26. Knight is not our coach anymore. And just because you’re a top recruit doesn’t necessarily make you are inherently selfish.

    Duke, NC, Kansas…They all stack their rosters with as many McDonald’s All-Americans as possible. I guess they’re all blind squirrels. NC had their point guard get injured at a very inopportune time.

    If the college game continues down the road of seeing top high school ‘draft picks’ flock to a handful of destinations, I doubt we’ll see banners hung from any team that isn’t an early season top five pick to win it all. There is no parity…The most elite talent is funneled down a very narrow road to very few schools.

    It’s a far more glaring problem(likely because of the hype machine behind rankings sites and stars next to a name) than it was during the Knight era. The dollars and enticements of the NBA make it very difficult for a top recruit to shy away from the program that will give him the best exposure..There are many acorns to be had in a 50 million dollar contract after only spending one blind year in college.

    In Knight’s era, I think kids generally cared about the name of the team on their backs. Do you really believe that is true today? It’s all about exposure and raising your stock as quickly as possible. We found a very unique young man in Cody Zeller that goes against the grain of the increasing trend the last decade. Crean did a marvelous job luring him in, but don’t take the rare and unique values away from a kid that chose a college for more than the illumination the giant billboard his name soon in NBA lights.

    I may be a blind squirrel, but I’m not sure how many unique kids are out there anymore.

    They weren’t inventing rock stars on an ‘American Idol’ show in the heyday of Bobby…Everyone wants to be the “it” overnight. I don’t think it’s any different in the current culture of sports. I truly don’t believe Knight could survive these times. It’s not hard to recognize how he basically wants to vomit just thinking of where the college game has gone. I doubt he anymore admires Crean than any other coach that is forced to kiss up to 16-year-old kids like they are gods. The old methods just don’t work.

    As far as team rankings go..? If we are ranked preseason #1, I feel it’s way too high. I would prefer more realistic assessments of talent on the roster compared to the schools still the primary hoarders. We need the underdog mentality. Knight’s teams(with the exception of ’75 and ’76) I always felt were far too high on the charts. You have more fire in your blood when not respected…And that is the “exception” to the rule that can take you very deep into a tournament when the talent equation is still somewhat stacked heavily against you.

    Next year’s Hoosier squad needs to be humbled. I hope Crean is up to the task of telling them the rankings are merely an illusion and the truth every Seth Davis pundit is they are expected to play like the usual slow Indiana dorks of the Knight era…because we all know he never had any talent.

  27. And let’s not forget that UK had a lot of fire in their belly when meeting us in the “revenge” match at the Sweet 16…Maybe we should be given a bit of credit for those guys deciding to play like a team that day. Maybe the NCAA should be given a bit of credit for conveniently placing them in a bracket that could ultimately see the rematch play out. I guess you could say they took our “exception to the rule” away. That Kentucky team would have been far easier to catch off-guard without that Watford shot finding the bottom of the nets four months prior. They still didn’t respect us, but their coach had a lot of ammunition to make them angry the theft of an undefeated season he could hang on Hoosiers in his locker room speeches..He used that ammunition to get some momentary unselfishness. He used than vengeance to mold five into one.

    NCAA puts us in any other bracket last year and I think it’s highly possible we’re already in possession a 6th banner..Kentucky would have stumbled..They had their sights on us and we were the perfectly timed momentum to allow them to see it through ’til the end.

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