No. 3 Brandon Knight
6-3 / 185 / Guard
Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Headed to: Unsigned and uncommitted. Knight is considering Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse.
2009-10 season: Knight’s high school career ended on a disappointing note with a 24-point loss in Florida’s Class 3A state championship game, but it was one of the few negatives during an incredible five-year run at Pine Crest. Yes, five-year run as he started for the Panthers as an eighth-grader.
As a senior, the two-time Gatorade National Player of the Year averaged 32.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.5 steals per game in leading the Fort Lauderdale private school to a 25-5 record. He topped the 40-point mark six times, including a season-high 49 against Boca Raton Grandview Prep in late January. He also popped for 48 in an ESPN-televised loss to Austin Rivers and Winter Park on Feb. 5.
One of the nation’s top producers going back to his freshman season (he averaged 31.9 points per game in 2006-07), Knight finished second in Florida history with 3,515 career points. Those points translated to wins for Pine Crest as the school racked up a 128-24 record with him in the lineup.
Next-level analysis: He hasn’t picked a school, but it would be a surprise if Knight doesn't emerge as the leading scorer and offensive focal point wherever the destination may be. That’s a major testament to his talent and scoring ability given the impressive list of finalists.
Knight should be next year’s version of Derrick Rose or John Wall – the captivating, All-American freshman guard that makes his team a legitimate national title contender before departing to the NBA. The Sunshine State star doesn’t have the baggage that Rose brought to Memphis and Wall to Kentucky, however. He is a top-notch student sporting a 4.30 grade point average with no dubious connections to handlers or middlemen being reported.
10 to watch for 2011 countdown:
No. 10 Cory Joseph
No. 9 Perry Jones
No. 8 Tristan Thompson
No. 7 Will Barton
No. 6 Tobias Harris
No. 5 Kyrie Irving
No. 4 Joe Jackson