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Decade Look Back Where To Scout Future College Players

As a follower of college sports, my interest in high school sports has been mixed. Part of the problem is something Luke Winn documented last summer. Far too many high school students change their minds for me to get too wrapped up in any recruiting decision.

ESPN managed to make a fairly compelling evening out of Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad deciding to attend Kentucky and UCLA. But I will be the first person to admit that I don’t closely follow the recruiting process until prospects formally enroll in college.

When I started writing about college basketball, my favorite columns were look-back columns that criticized the high school rankings. I loved to savage the McDonald’s All-American teams and make fun of Top 50 recruits who were busts. But now that I’ve entered into the business of making predictions, I realize how valuable that high school data can be. Yes, recruiting rankings are not perfect. Players are at a development stage and almost anything can happen. But there is real information in the detailed scouting that takes place.

Drew Cannon is one of the sports’ future recruiting experts, as he has demonstrated interest in both scouting high school players and improving our statistical understanding of these players. I recently spoke to Drew and he mentioned how easy it is to see most of the Top 100 recruits by attending only a handful of AAU events. Drew has been working to build data on these summer events and use it to predict college performance.

And while there is no question that the AAU circuit is the place to go to see elite high school talent in action, I was curious to see if there was any similar locus of talent among high school or prep school teams. Drew noted that the elite high schools are common knowledge among the recruiting experts. But for those of us who don’t study high school recruiting on a regular basis, I wanted to look back and see what we could learn from the last decade’s worth of data.

RealGM.com has a huge database of players from high school to the pro ranks, and while we do not have data on every player’s high school or prep school history, we do have data for a substantial number of players. Today, I decided to look at which high schools have been producing the most productive college players.

I started by calculating the Points Produced (PP) for every D1 player from 2003 to 2012. PP is the numerator of the ORtg formula. It is a metric that assigns value for points based on scoring, assists, and offensive rebounds. Then I added this total up by the last prep school attended by everyone to play D1 college basketball in the last decade. The next table shows the prep schools with the highest total points produced at the college level in the decade.

Reading the chart from left to right, graduates of Hargrave Military Academy produced 50,868 points in college while playing 235 individual college seasons in the last 10 years. That was 81 distinct players, 23 of which were ranked in the RSCI top 100, and 42 of whom played in a BCS conference.

     

Number of

 

Final High School / Prep School

PP

Seasons

Players

T100 Players

BCS Players

1

Hargrave Military Academy

50868

235

81

23

42

2

Oak Hill Academy

31304

150

58

32

41

3

Brewster Academy

28678

157

52

8

24

4

Notre Dame Preparatory

26386

126

48

8

25

5

St. Thomas More Prep

24232

131

46

6

14

6

The Winchendon School

22441

97

31

2

11

7

Bridgton Academy

22142

123

42

3

14

8

St. Anthony High School

21038

94

33

6

12

9

Australian Institute of Sport

20847

101

41

0

6

10

St. Mary's High School

20327

104

33

3

8

11

Laurinburg Institute

20222

123

43

4

16

12

The Patterson School

19310

107

36

7

14

13

Westchester High School

18569

82

32

6

10

14

Rice High School

18366

69

24

9

12

15

Saint Benedict's Preparatory School

18304

81

26

6

13

16

Montrose Christian School

17255

98

34

12

20

17

Jefferson High School

16556

90

38

5

17

18

Fork Union Military Academy

16299

127

40

0

9

19

Fairfax High School

16269

77

28

6

9

20

Columbia High School

16147

100

35

2

7

21

Centennial High School

15789

91

40

3

9

22

Worcester Academy

14676

104

36

2

12

23

South Kent School

14002

94

35

5

21

24

St. Raymond High School for Boys

13921

51

16

6

8

25

De La Salle High School

13599

84

30

1

9

26

Christ The King Regional

13313

64

21

1

5

27

Dunbar High School

13102

52

21

4

8

28

St. Patrick High School

13017

72

25

9

10

29

New Hampton School

12771

92

33

2

11

30

Mount Vernon High School

12696

65

24

5

7

31

DeMatha Catholic High School

12559

75

27

5

12

32

Stoneridge Prep

12413

82

28

2

10

33

Hillcrest High School

12408

60

23

2

6

34

Martin Luther King High School

12303

63

23

2

5

35

Joseph Wheeler High School

12299

56

21

6

9

36

Pike High School

11911

50

18

3

4

37

Lincoln High School

11678

73

36

6

12

38

St. Joseph High School

11608

60

23

3

7

39

Maine Central Institute

11185

66

26

2

9

40

Mt. Zion Christian Academy

11041

68

26

9

11

41

Rainier Beach High School

10955

57

21

5

13

42

Blair Academy

10927

82

27

2

12

43

Lutheran of Philadelphia

10850

55

20

2

3

44

Abraham Lincoln High School

10497

50

20

1

6

45

Madison High School

10057

58

28

1

3

46

Findlay College Prep

10037

52

23

8

11

47

White Station High School

9926

49

17

2

4

48

Moeller High School

9878

55

19

2

5

49

Whitney Young High School

9872

67

23

3

10

50

Gainesville High School

9752

36

18

1

1

51

Paterson Catholic High School

9747

42

15

2

5

52

Montverde Academy

9719

81

30

4

13

53

Northfield Mount Hermon School

9716

85

36

0

3

54

Lancaster High School

9620

52

20

0

1

55

National Christian Academy

9495

54

16

3

7

56

Chester High School

9476

44

14

2

2

57

Mountain View High School

9411

58

22

0

4

58

Florida Air Academy

9406

41

14

1

7

59

Klein Forest High School

9374

58

17

1

5

60

Renaissance High School

9352

33

12

4

4

61

Central High School

9352

45

20

1

6

62

William Howard Taft High School

9280

61

27

4

11

63

Benedictine High School

9198

47

18

2

6

64

Charlotte Christian School

9144

41

18

0

4

65

Christ School

8938

43

16

4

7

66

Hopkins High School

8921

50

20

2

10

67

Dominguez High School

8855

40

16

3

6

68

Mater Dei High School

8679

69

25

9

21

69

Simon Gratz High School

8621

38

17

0

0

70

Northwest High School

8507

29

9

0

1

71

Pontiac Northern High School

8481

33

12

2

1

72

Oakland Technical High School

8447

40

16

4

6

73

Charis Prep High School

8444

60

22

0

4

74

Lakewood High School

8397

51

19

0

2

75

North Crowley High School

8332

42

14

2

7

76

Brookhaven High School

8314

30

8

2

4

77

North Central High School

8303

52

18

4

7

78

Booker T. Washington High School

8263

56

25

1

3

79

Norcross High School

8232

34

15

4

8

80

Proviso East High School

8230

35

10

3

7

81

Paul VI Catholic High School

8188

32

10

1

2

82

Susan Miller Dorsey High School

8169

41

16

0

3

83

Gonzaga College High School

8155

46

18

0

1

84

Our Savior New American School

8137

48

16

1

2

85

Union High School

7999

41

15

1

5

86

Bowie High School

7988

39

15

0

0

87

All Hallows High School

7968

37

11

0

1

88

Hamilton High School

7963

56

20

3

4

89

Hun School of Princeton

7907

61

23

0

3

90

Ridgeway High School

7758

34

12

2

1

91

Long Beach Polytechnic 

7750

46

22

3

7

92

John F. Kennedy High School

7689

48

23

1

4

93

Northeast High School

7678

38

15

0

4

94

Christian Life Center

7502

39

18

2

8

95

Hightower High School

7491

43

15

1

3

96

Christian Brothers Academy

7426

58

23

3

10

97

Huntington High School

7415

42

16

2

4

98

DeSoto High School

7355

40

16

4

6

99

Seton Hall Preparatory School

7326

49

16

1

8

100

IMG Academy

7325

63

28

4

14

I was a little bit shocked at how prolific players from Hargrave Military Academy have been. DeShawn Painter had a pretty successful season for NC State last year, playing in 37 games for the Wolfpack, and producing 228 points over the course of the year. And yet Painter’s season ranked 100th on the Hargrave Military Academy List out of 235 single seasons.

Josh Howard might be the most famous player to come out of Hargrave Military Academy in recent years, and his situation explains why so many players have attended Hargrave. Howard didn’t have the SAT scores to get into Wake Forest, but by attending Hargrave for a year, he was able to meet Wake Forest’s academic requirements.

Hargrave’s most prolific single college seasons belonged to players like Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, West Virginia’s Joe Alexander, Pittsburgh’s Sam Young, Mississippi St.’s Dee Bost and Wake Forest’s Josh Howard. Loyola (MD)’s Andre Collins actually produced the most points in a single season after attending Hargrave Military Academy, but I’m guessing few people remember his brilliant 2006 campaign.

Despite producing a ridiculous number of high school players, Hargrave Military Academy hasn’t necessarily been the home of a number of elite prospects. PJ Hairston and Vernon Macklin are the only two RSCI Top 20 prospects to come out of Hargrave and play college ball in the last decade. (Josh Howard was ranked 87th by Dave Telep, and was not a consensus Top 100 player out of high school.)

Other Schools

If you had asked me before running the numbers which school I had expected to produce the most D1 players, I would have said Oak Hill Academy. Oak Hill has clearly been one of the leading prep schools for most of the last decade. From Carmelo Anthony to Ty Lawson, from Rajon Rondo to Doron Lamb, from Eric Devendorf to Nolan Smith, Oak Hill has always had its share of big name prospects.

I might have thought Notre Dame prep would have produced more points given some of the big names to go through the school. But Michael Beasley only played one season in college. Sometimes producing college talent isn’t the same thing as producing NBA talent.

Still, even if they aren’t NBA stars, many of these programs are good at generating effective college players. The Laurinburg Institute might not be one of the top schools you think of in terms of scouting elite prep school talent. There have only been a handful of super elite players at the school. Do you remember Memphis recruit Shawne Williams? But Delroy James became a star at Rhode Island. Draelon Burns was a key player at DePaul. Quantez Robertson was a key player for Auburn. And when you add up 123 seasons of college ball in the last decade, the Laurinburg Institute has seen its share of talented players stop in for a visit.

Perhaps my biggest question is when we will see some international scouting of prep school level players. Why hasn’t a single member of the Australian Institute of Sport been ranked in the RSCI Top 100? Hint: St. Mary’s would like me to stop mentioning this fact now. From Patty Mills to Matt Dellavedova, St. Mary’s has benefited tremendously from the fact that very few scouts evaluate the Australian players.

But in the end, it would appear high school ball is not quite AAU ball. According to the table, Top 100 talent is spread out among many high schools. Oak Hill is the exception, not the rule.

 

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