We need to be patient with the high school basketball class of 2012

Let's be real here: the elite high school basketball players from the class of 2011 is incredibly underwhelming.

It's almost a sight unseen eye-test assessment - I feel like you can only fairly judge high school players if you're plugged into the recruiting trail and AAU circuit, and I'm not - but I also feel like I've seen enough to know the major story lines for the 2012-2013 college basketball season will not be about impact freshmen.

After watching the McDonalds All-American and Jordan Brand Classic games, as well as Nike Hoop Summit, I came away pretty unimpressed at the overall product.

This is a class that lacks players with sound overall games, and the ability to make a big defensive play at one end then follow that up with a big dunk at the other end.

I may be asking too much out of teenagers in games that often times turn into friendly scrimmages, but we've also come away incredibly impressed with some of these players after previous spring all-star seasons.

Think about it.

Depending on who you ask, Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon is the best shooting guard from the class of 2012.

Sulaimon, who seems like a heady kid that will fit well into the Blue Devils perimeter oriented offense, couldn't light a candle to Austin Rivers.

Or Bradley Beal.

Or maybe even Wayne Blackshear if you prefer a more physically imposing player.

I hate to pick on him, but had Sulaimon been a year older, you would have not seen him on either the McDonalds or Jordan roster.

And he's just an example I picked out of a hat. There's plenty more to make the case.

Is there a single incoming point guard that looks like a two-and-through, let alone one-and-done player?

Is Kyle Anderson really the type of superstar in waiting we've been hearing about for the past two years?

Just what is up with Mich McGary?

I understand these are kids. Every player we've seen this spring is clearly talented, and many just need time before they're truly ready to make a consistent positive impact at the college level. But this is a "down year" and it couldn't come at a worse time for these teenagers.

Fresh off the heels of a freshman-laden Kentucky squad that won the National Championship, there's sure to be a number of unruly fans from Raleigh to Tucson that expect the world from their incoming newbies.

In a sport that so often loses its most recognizable and skilled players from the season before, it's likely that many of these kids will be wise to stay in school for their sophomore and maybe even junior years.

Sure, anything can happen, and overall the forecast for next season looks grim in terms overall talent from early projected top 10 teams, but I don't see a lot of dominating freshman who will breeze through college and declare for the NBA Draft.

I mean seriously, Anthony Bennett. You can hold out if it's right for you, but from what I have seen and read about his approach to the game, the Canadian import is not a player we should be fixated on in the days leading up to when he announces his college choice. He truly does not deserve the attention.

We've seen some great groups of players enter the college game and make an immediate impact. Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad notwithstanding, this is not one of those groups.

Schools may just have to wait a few years to start getting a return on their investment.

Please be nice, fans.

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