Tomorrow is a big day for basketball recruiting, as four of the top five high school prospects—per the Rivals ranking, at least—will announce where they'll be going to college. 125 of the 150 players on the Rivals list, representing the best American high school players graduating next spring, have already committed, and all are on track to make an impact in college and (hopefully) beyond.
Making the Rivals list is no guarantee of making it to the big leagues. 150 kids are included each year, and, over the past decade, only an average of 56 U.S.-born players have debuted in the NBA each year. What's more impressive, in an era where pro talent is being recognized at younger and younger ages, is for a player who doesn't make the list to eventually advance to the NBA. The chart above shows the NBA's late bloomers: The 15 best U.S.-born players, by career PER, who didn't make their class's Rivals 150 list since it first appeared in 2003.*
This would be a very good squad, one that already includes three of the best players on the 8-0 Indiana Pacers. Who cares about that, though? Westbrook, Curry, and McGee? Hibbert, George, and Lin? They could lose 80 games, and I'd still watch this team all fucking day.
*I only used U.S.-born players because you can't search for country of high school in Basketball Reference's otherwise excellent play index. While foreign-born talent sometimes attends American high schools, this is still not that common, and when it does happen the players are generally highly-touted preps who are a lock for the Rivals list anyways.