Today's golden-child prospect may become tomorrow's trivia question. The kid few bothered to notice can develop into Scottie Pippen.
That said, the Pac-10 Conference seems to have emerged from the summer recruiting season with reason to puff its chest.
"The Pac-10 is where it's at, at least at this stage of commitments, in the class of 2008," said Bob Gibbons, who publishes All-Star Sports and contributes his expertise to ESPN.com's ratings.
"UCLA is No.1, Arizona is No.2 and they're very close," Gibbons said. "It's definitely UCLA and Arizona and that's unlikely to change. Right now, 110 of the top 150 players have committed. I don't see anyone catching up with (those two)."
But they could get some Pac-10 company in the form of USC, which already has a verbal commitment from top-10 shooting guard Demar DeRozan and is among a handful of schools chasing Greg Monroe, a 6-foot-10 center from Harvey, La., who is regarded as the top big man in the country.
"If they get him, their class could jump to No.3," Gibbons said of the Trojans.
Commitments do not become binding until the fall letter-of-intent signing period, which begins Nov.14. But the heavy lifting was done over the summer, when coaches watch prospects at camps and tournaments in July, then players begin to respond to scholarship offers.
Acknowledging that king-sized grain of salt, here's how we rank the Pac-10's 2008 recruiting classes to date:
-1. UCLA: On the heels of signing current freshman center Kevin Love, perhaps the top newcomer in college basketball this season, the Bruins have landed four players in virtually everyone's top 60. Leading the way is guard Jrue Holiday, ranked No.3 by both rivals.com and scout.com. Gibbons said he's better at the same age than ex-Bruin star Arron Afflalo.
Along with shooting guard Malcolm Lee and point Jerime Anderson, UCLA also got San Jose-Mitty star Drew Gordon, whose rating slipped a bit last summer because of injuries.
-2. ARIZONA: Recruits clearly don't believe coach Lute Olson is ready to retire. Point guard Brandon Jennings is a consensus top-10 prospect, and Gibbons thinks he's better than that.
"I've got him No.1 in the nation," Gibbons said of the Oak Hill Academy star. "Brandon Jennings is just a phenomenal player. He can play shut-down defense. He can do it all."
The Cats also lured power forward Emmanuel Negedu, a rebounding specialist from Nigeria, and center Jeff Withey, along with shooting guard Brendan Lavender, the top in-state prospect. "Their best class in a long, long time," Gibbons summed up.
-3. USC: DeRozan, rated No.2 in the nation by rivals.com, is the Trojans' best prospect, but not necessarily their headliner. That distinction goes to Percy Miller Jr., aka Lil' Romeo, the son of rap mogul Master P, and already a TV and music star of some note.
The 6-foot point guard averaged 13.9 points and 5.6 assists last year at North Hollywood High, but is nowhere near a top-100 prospect. "He's close friends with Demar DeRozan ... need I say more?" Gibbons said.
-4. OREGON: The Ducks have three commitments, led by 6-9 center Michael Dunnigan of Chicago, rated as high as No.18 nationally by scout.com. Others are shooting guard Matthew Humphrey and small forward Drew Wiley, both top-100 prospects, according to scout.com.
-5. WASHINGTON: The Huskies have four players with top-100 credentials, topped by 6-7, 240-pound forward Tyreese Breshers of Price High in Los Angeles. Guards Isaiah Thomas, Scott Suggs and Elston Turner complete the quartet.
-6. CAL: The Bears' top recruiting prize is shooting guard D.J. Seeley of Modesto Christian, rated No.53 by rivals.com and No.56 by scout.com.
"He can shoot from the perimeter, can take it to the hoop, and he defends well," Gibbons said. "He's a very gifted player with a big upside."
With the addition of Oregon point guard Garrett Sim, Gibbons said, "They've got two good ones."
-7. STANFORD: The Cardinal has three commitments, including top-100 prospects in 6-4 guard Jeremy Green of Bowie High in Austin, Texas, and 6-9 forward Miles Plumlee of Christ School in Arden, N.C.
Gibbons particularly likes Plumlee, noting, "It's all ahead of him. He catches it well and has good range on his shot. I think he'll be a really good for Stanford."
Guard Jarrett Mann of Blair (N.J.) Academy completes Stanford's class.
-8. WASHINGTON STATE: Shooting guard Michael Harthun, rated No.97 by scout.com, is joined by guard Nick Witherill.
-9. ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils have commitments from forwards Johnny Coy and Taylor Rohde, neither of them on anyone's top-100 chart.
-10. OREGON STATE: So far, apparently nothing.
WCC KUDOS: Outside the Pac-10, two other Bay Area schools scored well over the summer.
New Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating, the former UCLA assistant, already has four verbal commitments, including shooting guard James Rahon and small forward Paul George, both Pac-10 caliber players, according to Gibbons.
"Kerry Keating has done a phenomenal job," Gibbons said. "If you look at the mid-major programs, he's had the best recruiting class in the nation."
Saint Mary's kept pace by securing 6-11 transfer Ben Allen from Indiana and shooting guard Collin Chiverton, Gordon's teammate at Mitty. "They got two gems," Gibbons said.