National Rankings Include Local Underclassmen
Following up on the release of the newly updated ESPN 100 on Tuesday, ESPN has continued to roll out new national rankings this week in the classes of 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The ESPN 60 of 2017 included four local prospects - Putnam Science Academy guard Hamidou Diallo, Cushing Academy point guard Makai Ashton-Langford, South Kent point guard Tremont Waters and Rivers School swingman Jermaine Samuels.
Diallo continues to be ranked among the elite prospects in the country, as he is one of only 21 five-star prospects in the national class and the second ranked shooting guard in the entire country. An explosive scoring guard who got off to a somewhat inconsistent start to his junior campaign, Diallo has been picking up his play as of late including a 30 point performance in front of Kentucky head coach John Calipari at last weekend's Hoophall Classic.
The needle didn't move much on Ashton-Langford, who shot up national rankings following his performance in Las Vegas this summer, but missed the first two months of the high school season after breaking his hand just prior to his first game. He made an early, and triumphant, return last week with 34 points against Putnam Science Academy in just his second game back. He's currently ranked 32nd overall in the ESPN 60 as the 7th best point guard in the class.
Tremont Waters sits immediately behind at 33, making him the 8th highest rated point guard in the country. Waters sits at the helm of a South Kent program that is off to their best start in recent years and has had some big individual games of his own, including a 41 point performance against against Cheshire Academy in a game aired live on CoxHub.
Samuels, not unlike Ashton-Langford, has been limited by injuries in recent months. In fact, he missed virtually the entire summer and fall, but he too made a quick impact upon his return when he dropped 20 points in limited minutes at the Scholar Roundball Classic.
All four prospects are receiving varying degrees of high-major recruitment.
While New England did not have any of the top sophomore prospects in the national class of 2018, as named by the ESPN 25, Cheshire Academy's Chol Marial was one of ten 2019 prospects named in Friday's Freshmen to Watch List.