2011 Rankings Expanded New England
With 2011 rankings having been expanded in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine and only a few minor adjustments needed in Vermont and Rhode Island, it is now time to update New England’s class of 2011 as a whole.
Khem Birch makes his debut atop the class after signing his National Letter of Intent with Pittsburgh. Birch checks into the ESPN rankings as the 9th ranked player in the country and figures to be an immediate contributor next year in the Big East with his incredible athleticism and rapidly expanding skill set.
New England’s second ranked player is Michael Carter-Williams who has gotten off to another hot start to his senior season. The six-foot-five silky smooth guard is also on his way to the Big East where he will boost an already loaded Syracuse team with his full offensive arsenal.
Third ranked Naadir Tharpe is another homegrown New England product. The Worcester native is one of the best pick and roll guards in the country and has virtually an unmatched resume when it comes to winning games, both of which will be major assets for him next year at Kansas.
Tharpe’s Brewster Academy teammate Jakarr Sampson is tops among the newly arrived prep products. A six-foot-eight forward with high level athleticism, Sampson is one of the centerpieces of a St. John’s class that is ranked within the top three in the country.
South Kent’s Maurice Harkless will join Sampson at St. John’s next year as the New York native returns home to star for Steve Lavin. A six-foot-seven wing player with the size and athleticism of a prototypical NBA swingman, Harkless’ tremendous long term potential gives him our fifth ranking.
We go back to Brewster Academy for our sixth man where Markus Kennedy is spending his post-graduate season after making his New England debut at Winchendon a year ago. One of the best passing big men in the country, Kennedy will be a valuable addition at Villanova in 2011-2012.
Seventh ranked Derrick Wilson has bounced back from a disappointing summer just as we expected by putting up huge numbers during his final season at the Hotchkiss School before heading to the Big East where the powerful guard will play at Marquette.
Fresh off his breakout summer, subsequent commitment to Notre Dame, and debut among the ESPNU top 100 list, Pat Connaughton has his St. John’s Prep team off to an undefeated start as he puts up big numbers across the board.
New Hampton native Jordan Laguerre is our ninth ranked player. With a long history of production against the highest levels of competition, we believe the New Hampton guard flew under the national radar this summer but is a great addition for UMass.
Durand Johnson rounds out the top ten with another local prep product on his way to Pittsburgh next year. A six-foot-six swingman with a productive two way game and ability to make big shots on the offensive end, Johnson is one of the keys to this year’s Brewster Academy squad.
In total the updated NERR rankings feature the top 100 players in the class of 2011. The top of the rankings are reflective of the national class on the whole as 18 of the top 20 players in New England and 29 of the top 35 players have already made their college choice. But there are plenty of good options left on the board and steals still out there to be had as New England remains one of the deepest and most talent rich regions in the country.
To view the New England class of 2011 rankings in their entirety click here.