2013 Rankings Announced
The rising junior class has a strong talent base with four ESPNU Super 60 prospects and two others who have found themselves on other top 100 lists.
In terms of naming a top ranked player it isn’t much of a contest at this point. Nerlens Noel has solidified himself as the preeminent defensive player in all of high school basketball, regardless of class, and also continues to develop his complimentary skills with his face-up game on the offensive end and increasing strength and muscle mass along his frame.
The much more difficult question is who belongs at number two with three or four prospects able to make a legitimate claim. Kuran Iverson was the previous winner thanks to his mismatch abilities and long term potential while Goodluck Okonoboh and even Daquein McNeil have performed well enough to enter the conversation this summer. For now though, we’re moving up Deonte Burton who showed an improved skill set this summer and stood out as one of the top performers in Las Vegas. Okonoboh, Iverson, and McNeil follow to complete New England’s top five.
Iverson remains the top ranked player in Connecticut while a pair of big men, Samuel Dingba and Sean Obi, are next at two and three respectively. But the major story this summer was the emergence of two scoring guards in Kahlil Dukes and Cane Broome, both of whom proved their ability to put points on the board in bunches. They sit at four and five right now but are clearly making a hard push to continue climbing the ladder. The rest of the top ten is comprised of Bernard Brantley, Travis Berry, Christopher Campbell, Bryan Jones, and Danny Upchurch.
By far New England’s deepest class in 2013, Massachusetts has a multitude of division I prospects who didn’t even crack the top ten. There is also a new number one in town as Jaylen Brantley has taken over following his big summer. Former number one Rene Castro moves back one spot and remains firmly in striking distance at number two. Three summer stock risers complete the top five as Andrew Chrabascz, Aaron Calixte, and Pete Miller all separated themselves from the pack in July. John Powell, DeKeeba Battee, Jake Fay, Maurice Taylor, and Ikemefuna Ngwudo complete the top ten while Adrian Oliveira was an 11th Massachusetts product to crack New England’s top 25.
Garet Beal headlines the top five rising juniors in Maine as the six-foot-five forward possesses the skills and size to make both an immediate impact and have good long term potential. Tanner Hyland comes next as a true point guard who could see his stock rise down the road while big man Aaron Todd, guard Mitch Worcester, and swingman Quinn Leary round out the top five.
The class obviously starts with Noel, Burton, and Okonoboh as New England’s top three rising juniors all play in the same state. Maine native Chris Braley provides a strong fourth in the class as a sharp-shooting swingman new to Exeter’s attack. The battle for the final spot was well contested but ultimately Harrison Taggart earned the call by virtue of his strong summer while Devin Thomas leads the honorable mention list.
Charles Correa remains the top ranked player in Rhode Island’s class of 2013 and also cracks New England’s top 25 because of his abilities as a playmaking lead guard. Next up is Lee Messier, a skilled swingman with a high basketball I.Q, followed by another swingman in Ben Engvall. Big man Justin Bristol checks in at the fourth spot while Tom Hunt returns to the top five following Henri Bolton’s transfer to St. Andrew’s and subsequent reclassification.
McNeil is head and shoulders ahead of the pack in Vermont and after him it becomes a question of who is the top prospect in the state association. Matt St. Amour holds that distinction right now although Marcus Willingham continues to improve while possessesing the physical tools to have a higher ceiling than most others. Two hard-nosed lead guards round out the top five in Casey Tipson and Tre Pratt-Hysell.