Looking back through a recruiting lens at the recent history of Oklahoma high school basketball, you see that the state usually maxes out at two elite-level prospects per year.
Some years, there's only one, and in others, none.
In the last decade, there hasn't been a better pair than the duo of Putnam City's Xavier Henry and Bishop McGuinness' Daniel Orton in 2009.
The 2002 class continues to live on in legendary terms, and rightfully so. In case you forgot, that was the year that produced Shelden Williams, DeAngelo Alexander, Kevin Bookout, Kelenna Aziubuke, Marques Hayden and Julius Lampte — all of whom went on to sign with major college programs, and most of them had successful careers.
But since 2002, there hasn't been a class with more than two elite prospects, as in, the type of player who is being recruited on a national scale by multiple big-time programs.
That's why basketball fans need to be paying close attention to the state's current junior class.
The group of 2013 grads already includes three top-level prospects in Douglass point guard Stephen Clark, Edmond Memorial point guard Jordan Woodard and Tulsa Washington wing Juwan Parker, with a couple other fringe prospects who could work their way into major-college opportunities.
Clark and Parker each have double-digit scholarship offers on the table already. Woodard has three offers, from Oklahoma, Memphis and San Francisco, and Kansas coach Bill Self continues to show strong interest in his alma mater's point guard.
National recruiting rankings on the trio vary. Clark isn't in Rivals.com's top 150 — last updated in August, well before Clark's wild January scoring spree — but he's in the top 70 for Scout.com and ESPN.
Woodard and Parker both fall in the 100-125 range on Rivals, and Parker is No. 77 on Scout. ESPN's overall rankings stop at 60, but both are rated in the top 20 nationally by position.
Clark has offers from the likes of Connecticut, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Memphis, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Marquette has been on board since he was a freshman, and OU coach Lon Kruger has been showing much more interest lately. He was also selected for a U.S. junior team that will compete internationally in Germany this spring.
Parker has OU, OSU and Tulsa already chasing him, with offers from Baylor, Minnesota and a few more. As a player, he's the unique one of the three, as a 6-foot-5 wing with a strong mid-range game and a long body.
Beyond the top trio, there are players like Edmond Santa Fe big man Shaquille Morris, who already has some mid-major offers and could take himself up the ladder in the coming months. Bartlesville's Jakob Hartsock is getting attention from Brigham Young, where older brother Noah had a successful career.
And several other players fall into the category of “maybe,” waiting to see what they could develop into.
But the stars at the top have answered that question already. With a season-and-a-half left to watch them, fans can simply enjoy the show.