2021 State Rankings Announced
After updating 2020 rankings last week, today it's time to continue our post-summer updates with a look at the class of 2021.
We begin by going through each of the region's six states before updating New England's rising junior class as a whole later in the week.
This is a group that is just starting to emerge and while a handful of prospects are already making a name for themselves with college coaches (check the YurView feature on ascending names in the classes of 2021), the group is still just half way through their high school career, with the most important basketball still to be played.
Right at the moment, Massachusetts has the deepest 2021 class in the region and accordingly we've included 15 prospects in our updated rankings. Bensley Joseph has taken over as the top ranked prospect in the state coming off a big summer both on the EYBL and then making his debut with USA Basketball but there are several prospects with the potential to play high-major college basketball. Casey Simmons continues to have as much long-term upside as anyone while Camaron Tongue came on as strong as anyone this spring and summer, asserting himself as one of the best rebounders in the class. Gianni Thompson and Alexis Reyes also had strong grassroots seasons, standing out for their respective u16 teams, while Jack Molloy and Aaron Cooley provide two more versatile and productive forwards. Gus Larson and Shea Doherty are two guys who are loaded with tools and have the potential to be major risers in the future as potential starts to turn to consistent production.
Mac Etienne had a breakout summer, couple by numerous high-major offers, and consequently sits comfortably as the top ranked prospect in Connecticut's 2021 class. Another big man, Jai Smith, had a similarly big spring and played his way into the number two spot as a result. Nate Santos missed the grassroots season with injury but remains a very talented long-term prospect with his combination of perimeter size and skill. Quron Zene, a power wing, saw his stock rise quickly this July while the tandem of Akim Joseph and Rassoul Abakar remain two of the best hidden gems in the region. Mason Jackson is another true local prospect ouf ot the CIAC who has early division I recruitment.
Terrence Clarke is unchallenged as the top ranked prospect in New Hampshire's 2021 class and remains one of the top ranked prospects in the national class as well. Sheer Akot falls into a similar category to the likes of Simmons, Larson, and Doherty in that he has massive tools and clear upside but is still working to put all the pieces together on a consistent basis. Matt McCool is trending up after a strong grassroots season despite being you for his grade. Jayden Brown and Robbie Stankard, two skilled bigs, both make their debuts in the class after transferring into the prep ranks at Tilton and Phillips Exeter respectively. Muhamed Kante, Lucas McEachern, and Yansel Reyes add to the class' overall depth.
Matt Constant retains the top spot after playing an important role down the stretch of his sophomore season but the battle for number one is an intense one in Rhode Island. Tyriek Weeks probably has the most long-term upside while Dominic Mello may be the most capable scorer at the moment. Even that though isn't a sure thing after the type of numbers that Sebastian Thomas put up in the second half of the grassroots season. Rounding out the top five is Dylan Ahearn, a skilled and cerebral wing, while Josiah Diaz is right on the cusp.
Maine has a good amount of under-the-radar talent, at least maybe to the rest of the region. 6-foot-8 Dom Campbell leads the way and looks to be on a clear division I track but he's not the only one with a chance to play his way to the scholarship level. Dylan Griffin, Brady Cummins, Peyton Jones, and Wyatt Hathaway are all talented prospects with a chance to make a name for themselves beyond their home state's borders in the coming year.
We continue to be confident that the state of Vermont has some under-the-radar talent of their own and are determined to find it (more on that later...) but for now the three names to know in the state's junior class are Nana Owuso, Josh Bascoe, and Michel Ndayishmiye. Owuso is a Canadian native who plays his grassroots basketball north of the border, but he's ascending as rapidly as any prospect in the class and is an elite defender already. Bascoe is a skilled lead guard who reminds us of Jaylen Brantley while Ndayishmiye is the top true local prospect who broke out at last year's Elite 75 Frosh/Soph.