LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, 2004: NO. 13
The No. 13 player in his recruiting class and the No. 5 center overall, LaMarcus Aldridge, a Texas native, chose Texas over offers from Oklahoma and Florida in 2004, before spending two successful years in Austin prior to joining the NBA.
Over those two seasons, Aldridge, teaming up with current Houston Rocket PJ Tucker, averaged 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, helping Texas reach the Elite Eight in his sophomore season.
It would be easy to criticize the recruiting rankings for having Aldridge as merely the fifth-best center in the country for his class, especially considering the big man would go on to make seven All-Star rosters (and counting) as a pro, but two of the centers Aldridge was ranked behind were Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson, who both went on to enjoy long, fruitful careers in the NBA.
To be fair to Aldridge, though, we can’t really defend the recruiters ranking him behind Randolph Morris and Robert Swift in the 2004 class.