Final 2015 Rankings Announced
The final New England rankings in the class of 2015 have now been published, in all six states as well as New England.
Jalen Adams finishes the year right we he started, at the top of the class. Adams finishes his career with three NEPSAC championships and the 2015 National Prep Championship to his name, and so while he's rarely described this way, he's actually as big of a "winner" as we've seen in New England in a long, long time. As an individual prospect, Adams has continued to make the transition to the point guard position all while continuing to be one of the very best creative playmakers off the dribble to come through New England in years.
His Brewster backcourt mates, Justin Simon and Donovan Mitchell, finish second and third respectively and that's appropriate given that this was perhaps the best backcourt we've seen in the prep ranks in the last ten years. With so much talent in place, Simon didn't always stand out like he might have otherwise, but he's an almost totally unique prospect at the next level because he's a true six-foot-five point guard with terrific floor vision and facilitating ability as well as an extraodinary defender. Simply put, if he develops a consistent jump shot he's a very likely NBA player down the road.
Donovan Mitchell might not have the same long-term upside, but he was very possibly the second best player in New England this year. He'll be remembered for what was one of the most incredible July live periods in recent memory not to mention his explosive athleticism and equally impressive character.
NMH's Aaron Falzon, who took NEPSAC Class AAA MVP honors, and New Hampton forward Tyler Lydon round out the top five in the class. Tilton's Terance Mann, arguably the most versatile player in the class and a big point guard in the making, comes in at sixth while Marcus Derrickson climbed all the way up to seventh by virtue of his improved conditioning and consequent productivity at the end of the season. Josh Sharma finished as an ESPN 100 prospect and comes in at 8th while New Hampton swingman A.J. Turner, arguably the most under-rated player in the class, finishes at 9th and Steve Enoch 10th.
Steve Enoch was the run-away winner of Connecticut's top ranking and his journey was an impressive one over the last few years. A classic late bloomer who became an internet sensation in the spring of his junior year and really never saw consistent high level competition until this season, his true senior year, at St. Thomas More. While he wasn't always as dominant as his reputation suggested, Enoch showed skill both on the block as well as facing the basket and should develop into a consistent interior player at UConn. Connecticut was very likely the deepest of New England's six states this year. Final rankings include 25 prospects while there were other scholarship quality players in the Nutmeg State as well this season.
Falzon and Sharma lead the way in Mass as they have done all year, but next up is a trio of guys who could all make pretty significant contributions at the next level. Curtis Cobb should be an instant impact player for Fairfield in the MAAC as should Francisco Alonso be for UNC-G in the Southern Conference. Tabor Academy big man Jesse Bunting has made consistent contributions since first appearing on the scene two years ago and now looks to be a very solid piece in the Atlantic 10. 8th ranked Collin McManus was the biggest stock-riser since we last updated our rankings as he closed out his senior year playing the best basketball of his career. Like Connecticut, Massachusetts also had 25 ranked players and additional scholarship level prospects.
There are 15 players included in the final 2015 rankings in the state of Maine and ultimately the battle for the top spot turned out to be a little closer than initially expected. St. Louis bound four-man Elliott Welmer made consistent strides in his year at Bridgton but so did Lee Academy four-men Rudolfs Stradnieks, who has a similarly high ceiling once he puts it all together. Nicholas Mayo has similar inside-out talent in the local ranks, but he's going to need more time to adjust to the speed and physicality of the college level game. Two more international products from Lee Academy, Dusan Majstorovic and Ilija Stojiljkovic, round out the top five.
Seven of the top ten players in New England came from the prep ranks in the state of New Hampshire while the trio of Brewster Academy, New Hampton and Tilton accounted for the top 13 ranked players in the state. 8th ranked David Crisp was sometimes overshadowed playing next to higher profile guards like Adams, Simon and Mitchell, but he proved himself as a top-notch scoring guard this year and should be able to score in bunches next year for Washington. New Hampton's John Crosby will be another guard who will make an immediate contribution as he's the latest prep product to head to Dayton. Jarred Reuter is off to Virginia after a tremendous high school career and will be remembered as one of the beset passing big men to come through New England in a long time.
St. Andrew's has typically dominated the Rhode Island rankings in years past. This year was no different as they had four of the top five players in the state, but still missed out on number one as that distinction went to Corey Daugherty, who literally starred across the street at Barrington High School. The Brown bound guard put up big numbers in the RIIL and will be looked upon to provide some scoring punch while also serving as a more prototypical point guard in the Ivy League. J.R. Lynch is the state's second ranked prospect and the exception to almost all rules about the size necessary to play at the division I level. Shot-maker Chancellor Ellis is third in the state and one of the best remaining prospects left on the board in New England.
Vermont is very similar to Rhode Island in that it's a relatively small state, from a basketball perspective, largely dominated by the presence of one prep school. Vermont Academy had the top two prospects in the state in Corey Johnson and Ronnie Suggs. Johnson, who is headed to Harvard, could have well have been the best shooter in the prep ranks this year while Suggs is a highly versatile southpaw who should be an impact player at the mid-major level. Tristan Ross was tops among the local products while Joey Shehadi and Josiah Kimball round out the top five.