Akok & Delaire Shine in CT 2019 Class
Up until this point, updated state rankings have included just five prospects in each state as we started north in Maine and gradually worked our way south through New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island.
The junior class has considerably more depth in Connecticut and Massachusetts though, not to mention plenty of potential star power.
As a reminder, post-summer 2019 rankings do not include incoming prep products (i.e. players that weren't in New England last year) and are based on assessing a prospect's potential for the next level, not his impact to date.
As we told you last week, Akok Akok's spot in the ESPN 60 all about guaranteed his place as the top ranked prospect in New England, and by extenion Connecticut, as he returns to Putnam Science Academy for his second season.
The competition for that top spot looks likely to be steep, both in Connecticut and beyond. If Akok was New England's biggest stock-riser in the spring with the Rivals, then Loomis Chaffee and CBC forward Jaiden Delaire was in the summer. The Connecticut native saw his recruitment explode with new offers from UConn, Kansas State, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, USC, and Providence. He's still just turning potential into production but his combination of size and skill on the perimeter is starting to make him a major mismatch problem.
Another guy who emerged in a big way during the recent grassroots season was St. Thomas More and New York Rens forward Jared Garcia. He's another one who blends size and skill with an almost unmatched abilitiy to take the ball off the glass and start the break. Consider the fact that he's a year younger than many of his counterparts and that's even more reason to like him.
Marianapolis Prep and Mass Rivals forward Tyler Burton is clearly ascending as well and currently the 4th ranked player in the state. A long and athletic budding wing, Burton spent the spring playing up against older competition and you could see it start paying off this summer as he had become more aggressive attacking the rim and consistently impactful.
Things get much more debatable after that first four. There are a handful of guards who are all in the mix for top ten status including Hamden Hall's Byron Breland, Master's Ben Eke, Woodstock's Daniel Dade, East Catholic's Joey Reilly. Greens Farms Academy's Cole Prowitt-Smith, and incoming Canterbury guard Isaiah Williams. Tanahj Pettway would be in that group as well but he's not expected to return to Putnam Science Academy and so not yet included in the rankings until he solidifies his school.
Incoming Hamden Hall forward Christian Adams finds himself in the top ten while incoming Master's forward Rakesh Tibby isn't far behind following his strong spring and summer. Cheshire Academy has a slew of frontcourt prospects in 2019 as well with Justin Allen returning and both Jamaal Waters and John Kelly coming on board.
While rankings may only officially include 15 prospects, the debth of the Connecticut's 2019 class extends beyond that. GFA forward Greg Lawrence, Notre Dame West Haven wing Connor Raines, Taft guard Connor Printz, Notre Dame Fairfield guard Joshua Reaves, Suffield Academy guard Nkosi Cooper, East Lyme guard Dev Ostrowski, Putnam Science Academy forward Dan Porcic, Fairfield Warde guard Matt Becker, and Loomis Chaffee big man Jake Glezen are all firmly on our radar, well within striking distance of the ranked field, and most importantly, have a legitimate chance to play their way into scholarship contention over the course of the next 18 months.