Inside the rankings

It's that time again. We've huddled and revised three sets of basketball recruit rankings: ESPN 100 seniors, ESPN 60 juniors and ESPN 25 sophomores.

The process of ranking, grading and assigning value to high school prospects is a tedious one. It requires multiple sets of eyeballs in gyms all over the country. On the high school level, you watch, listen, learn and assess much like an NBA general manager or college head coach. Information is vital. Making conclusive judgments often comes down to a small detail gathered from a brief conversation. Everything counts when you create lists of high school players.

During a six-hour rankings summit our staff held last week, we discussed in detail almost every prospect in our ESPN 100. Some required more conversation than others; a few required no conversation at all.

We haven't revised our player rankings since July and, frankly, it was time to roll out a new set based on everything we've seen since Aug. 1 through early February. We'll revise them again once the high school and all-star seasons end, but for now we're comfortable with what we think are the most complete compilation of scouting assessments and rankings you'll find in high school hoops.

Here's a quick primer on what to watch for in the new rankings.