ESPN Releases New Rankings
Nerlens Noel has retained the title as the nation’s top ranked college basketball prospect. The Tilton big man made national headlines earlier this season when he reclassified from the class of 2013 to 2012. Now, he’s in the final days before making a decision between Kentucky, Syracuse, and Georgetown before he makes his announcement live on ESPNU.
Noel isn’t the only New England native ranked within the top five players in the country as St. Mark’s center Kaleb Tarczewski holds down the fourth spot. The New Hampshire native is coming off a monster season that saw him lead St. Mark’s back to the NEPSAC class AA championship, and punctuate his high school career in style.
Notre Dame Prep big man Steven Adams finishes as the sixth ranked player in the country. The New Zealand native became an international sensation of sorts with his highly anticipated arrival stateside this year when he debuted with Notre Dame Prep in January. He’ll be expected to be one of the top freshman post players in the NCAA next year.
South Kent School swingman Ricardo Ledo finishes his prep career as the 21st ranked player in the country. He’ll be returning to his hometown Providence next year where he’ll have every opportunity to assert himself as one of the top freshmen scorers in the country next year and likely be able to start from day one on the wing.
Kris Dunn gives New England its fourth resident and fifth player among the top 25 prospects in the country. Ranked 23rd overall, Dunn became just the third player from the state of Connecticut to ever be selected for the McDonald’s All-American game. He’ll join Ledo in Providence next year, forming arguably the best incoming backcourt in all of college basketball.
Mitch McGary’s ranking dipped down to 27th in the country but the Indiana native ended his prep career just the way he wanted – with a National Prep Championship. McGary is part of a celebrated recruiting class headed to the University of Michigan, where he could contend for a spot in the starting line-up from day one.
Just two spots behind at 29th overall in the country is another Brewster Academy product, T.J. Warren. The six-foot-eight forward is one of the most lethal scorers in the country and he put those talents on display one more time last week when he led the Derby Classic field in scoring. He’ll head to N.C. State next year s part of a great class for the Wolfpack.
Finishing as the 56th ranked prospect in the country is Tilton’s Georges Niang. The forward is leaving the high school ranks with a resume that is virtually unrivaled in terms of team success on both the prep school and AAU levels. Niang should be celebrated for exceeding expectations early in his career and raising the bar to become one of the best scoring forwards in the country.
Jake Layman made a big name for himself last summer showing his tools, talent, and plenty of still untapped potential. He put up huge numbers in the MIAA this year but it’s his upside that really has people intrigued. He finishes his high school career as the 67th ranked prospect in the country and is headed to Maryland next year.
Nikolas Stauskas checks in next as the 76th ranked player in the country. It was three years ago that he first arrived in New England and while he came with clear potential, few could have predicted that his career would have been quite this successful as he played a starring role for St. Mark’s over the last two years and was crucial to this year’s championship season.
In total, ten of the top 100 prospects in the country played their basketball in the New England region this year, and remember that doesn’t take into account post-graduates like Jakarr Sampson and plenty of others who weren’t eligible for the ESPNU100 because of their post-graduate status.