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Class of 2004

Posted on November 24 2019


The Class of 2004

In this ongoing series, The Chucker, High Volume Shooters’ resident historian, revisits the annual rankings of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects. Today, The Chucker studies the Class of 2004. 

The Class of 2004, the second-to-last draft in which prep stars were eligible for the NBA Draft, produced a mass exodus to the pros. Led by #1 choice Dwight Howard, eight high schoolers were selected among the 2004 Draft’s top 19 picks.

The Class of 2004 is perhaps most notable, however, for the number of solid NBA pros it produced. In addition to Howard, the Class of 2004 included LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyle Lowry, Al Horford, Al Jefferson, Andre Igoudala, Marvin Williams, Joakim Noah, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay, and Shaun Livingston.

The Chart Topper: Howard. The Atlanta native was the nation’s consensus top player, gifted with an NBA-ready body and elite athleticism. He put that talent immediately on display in Orlando, where he averaged a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) as a rookie with the Magic.

The Highest Rated “Who?”: While Juan Palacios might have been the highest-rated player to never appear in an NBA game, he nevertheless enjoyed a relatively solid four-year career at Louisville. By contrast, Robert Swift is largely lost to time. One of the eight preps-to-pros candidates in the Class of 2004, Swift was selected 12th in the 2004 Draft by Seattle. Tall and slender, Swift’s career never got off the ground much and he’s largely remembered today as a cautionary tale.

The Diaper Dandy: North Carolina’s Marvin Williams captured the Wayman Tisdale Award as the nation’s top college freshman en route to becoming the second pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. The Washington native was named ACC Rookie of the Year during his lone season in Chapel Hill.

The Best NBA Player: While Igoudala might be the sentimental pick here given his steady NBA career, Howard boasts the most NBA Win Shares – and it’s not particularly close. Through the 2018-2019 NBA season, Howard’s 128.9 Win Shares stands far beyond Iggy’s second-place 96.4 mark). While recent years haven’t been kind to Howard, he was a dominant force through his first dozen years in the league, especially during his time in Orlando. Howard earned eight All-NBA nods and captured the Defensive Player of the Year Award three times. It’s hard to argue that Howard didn’t deliver on the expectations once heaved upon his broad shoulders as a high school phenom.

The Sleeper: How about a pair of Florida teammates in Al Horford and Joakim Noah? Horford snuck onto a few top 50 lists, while most evaluators had Noah pegged in the 50-75 range. The tandem would help lead Florida to back-to-back NCAA Titles before embarking on NBA careers that have included seven combined All-Star nods. Notable players largely listed outside the top 100 on evaluators’ lists include: Roy Hibbert, Garrett Temple, Jeff Green, George Hill, Courtney Lee, Ramon Sessions, Rodney Stuckey, and DeMarre Carroll. 

 

19nine Connections: Had both stayed in college for four years, both Shawne Williams and Darius Washington would have been seniors on the Derrick Rose-led Memphis squad that made the NCAA title game against Kansas. Williams, however, spent but one year at Memphis, while Washington left the program after his sophomore campaign.

Class of 2004 Top 50 Basketball Prospects

*Courtesy of Hoop Scoop

1.

Dwight Howard

Atlanta (Southwest Atlanta Christian) GA

NBA


2.

Andray Blatche***

Syracuse (Henninger) NY

South Kent Prep


3.

Shaun Livingston

Peoria (Central) IL

NBA


4.

Josh Smith

Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA

NBA


5.

Sebastian Telfair

Brooklyn (Lincoln) NY

NBA


6.

Al Jefferson

Prentiss (H.S.) MS

NBA


7.

Marvin Williams

Bremerton (H.S.) WA

North Carolina


8.

Rudy Gay

Severn (Archbishop Spaulding) MD

Connecticu 


9.

Robert Swift

Bakersfield (H.S.) CA

Southern Cal


10.

Juan Diego Tellos Palacios

Centereach (Our Savior New American) NY

Louisville


11.

Malik Hairston

Detroit (Renaissance) MI

Oregon


12.

Glen Davis

Baton Rouge (University Lab) LA

LSU


13.

Darius Washington

Orlando (Edgewater) FL

Memphis


14.

Daniel Gibson

Houston (Jones) TX

Texas


15.

Mike Williams

Camden (Wilcox Central) AL

Texas


16.

A.J. Price

Amityville (H.S.) NY

Connecticut 


17.

Randolph Morris

Fairburn (Landmark Christian) GA

Kentucky


18.

D.J. White

Tuscaloosa (Hillcrest) AL

Indiana


19.

Joe Crawford

Detroit (Renaissance) MI

Kentucky


20.

Jawann McClellan

Houston (Milby) TX

Arizona


21.

DeMarcus Nelson

Sacramento (Sheldon) CA

Duke


22.

Gabriel Pruitt

Los Angeles (Westchester) CA

Southern Cal


23.

Jordan Farmar

Woodland Hills (Taft) CA

UCLA


24.

Arron Afflalo

Compton (Centennial) CA

UCLA 


25.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Dallas (Seogoville) TX

Texas


26.

Robert Vaden

North Bridgton (Bridgton Academy) ME

Indiana 


27.

Churchill Odia

Rockville (Montrose Christian) MD

Xavier


28.

Josh Wright

Utica (Proctor) NY

Syracuse


29.

Corey Brewer

Portland (H.S.) TN

Florida


30.

Kyle Lowry

Philadelphia (Cardinal Dougherty) PA

Villanova 


31.

Rajon Rondo

Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA

Kentucky


32.

Shawne Williams

Laurinburg (Charter) NC

Memphis


33.

Dayshawn Wright

Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA

Syracuse


34.

Jason Rich

Orlando (Dr. Phillips) FL

Florida State


35.

Brian Johnson

Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA

Louisville


36.

Roy Bright

Durham (Mt. Zion Christian) NC

Cincinnati

37.

Jason Horton

Cedar Hill (H.S.) TX

Missouri

38.

Bryce Taylor

North Hollywood (Harvard-Westlake) CA

Oregon

39.

Cedric Simmons

Shallotte (West Brunswick) NC

N.C. State

40.

Dion Dowell

Texas City (H.S.) TX

Texas

41.

Greg Steimsma

Randolph (H.S.) WI

Wisconsin

42.

Drew Neitzel

Wyoming Park (H.S.) MI

Michigan State

43.

Russell Robinson

New York (Rice) NY

Kansas

44.

Marshall Brown

Austin (Lyndon B. Johnson) TX

Missouri

45.

DeAaron Williams

Bartonville (Limestone) IL

Wisconsin

46.

Josh Shipp

Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA

UCLA

47.

David Pendergraft

Brewster (H.S.) WA

Gonzaga

48.

Al Horford

Grand Ledge (H.S.) MI

Florida

49.

Shane Foster

Kenner (Bonnabel) LA

Vanderbilt

50.

Marquis Gray

Flint (Beecher) MI

Michigan State


 

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