New England 2018 Rankings Announced
2018 rankings are now live with the 30 top prospects in New England’s sophomore class currently included.
Our staff spent the fall evaluating the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph, various open gyms and the Zero Gravity circuit before finalizing this list but it was nonetheless not an easy task.
The battle for the top spot ultimately came down to four players with A.J. Reeves taking the title, for the time being at least. The Brimmer & May guard has both continued to grow and expand his skill set within the last year all while turning in top performances at both Elite 75’s and becoming an increasing early priority for high-major schools.
NMH forward Nate Laszewski is probably the most highly recruited sophomore in New England at the time being with Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Providence all among his early suitors. He’s a very close runner-up to the top spot, and likely to stake his claim before it’s all said and done with a terrific combination of perimeter size and skill.
Third ranked Cole Swider may be the most improved sophomore in New England within the last year. Arguably the best shooter in the entire class, it also doesn’t hurt that he’s grown another three inches since this time last year and become smoother and more fluid in the process.
Marlboro’s Chris Doherty is also in the mix for the top spot, especially when it comes to current production. He’s far and away the best sophomore in the MIAA and an absolutely bully in the paint who has the power and motor to score and rebound at will.
Rounding out the top five is Tilton point guard Marcus Zegarowski. Yes, he comes from good stock, but at this point he’s making a name for himself. He too has improved significantly in the last year and he’s proven himself against high levels of competition, most recently with a strong performance at the National Prep Showcase.
Bishop Hendricken’s Preston Santos comes in next and is still a prospect whose long-term upside is very high as a big perimeter player with long arms and a virtually ambidextrous skill set.
Redemption Christian’s Joel Mensah makes his debut at #7 after starring at the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph and this may prove to be just the beginning for him given his size, length and athleticism.
Speaking of size, there isn’t a player in the class with more of it than Emmanuel Umoffia, the 7-foot-2 big man who obviously has plenty of upside of his own.
Rounding out the top ten are two players who might not be as celebrated as others in the local basketball community, but have quietly proven themselves over the last few months. As an athletic six-foot-five wing, Belmont Hill’s Jovan Jones has a clear upside. There may be others that put more points up on the board right now, but his tools clearly translate to the next level, he continues to improve and he’s even shown a little bit of a passing instinct.
Lawrence Academy forward Martin Mann may be best known for being Terrance Mann’s younger brother but much like Zegarowski, he too is carving out his own path. While Mann is built like more of an interior player than his older brother, and more than willing to throw his body around inside, his face-up game has improved noticeably within the last year and so he has the makings of an inside-out four-man and increasing mismatch problem.
The next five players all could have found themselves within the top ten and will undoubtedly continue to make their claim in the coming months. Belmont Hill’s David Mitchell is as productive of a young player as there was on last year’s AAU circuit while Holderness’ Philmon Gebrewhit’s combination of size and budding skill earned him a spot at the Nike Elite One Hundred last year. Arashma Parks has returned to Commonwealth having grown into his body and improved his athleticism quite a bit in the last year while Brooks forward Keigan Kerby is a skilled stretch-four on his way up the rankings as well. St. Sebastian’s forward Dana Tate was one of the standouts at the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph, showing off not just his powerful body but a deceptive skill set of his own.
A trio of guards is up next. Cormac Ryan is a highly skilled and equally smart player for Milton Academy who has starred at both the Stars of Tomorrow Camp as well as the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph. Beaver Country Day’s Shandon Brown was another standout at the Elite 75 and as pure of a point guard as we’ve seen thus far. Bishop Stang’s Brycen Goodine and Central Catholic’s Tanahj Pettway are two talented playmakers who have both been limited by injury within the last six months but now appear poised to make their claim. The top 20 is rounded out by forwards Tommy ONeil, a skilled southpaw stretch-four, and Chuck Hannah, a physically mature sophomore who can already impact a high level game.
Other players who are included in the top 30 include Redemption Christian point guard Joel Bailey, East Boston guard Maurice Works, NMH shooting guard Calvin Whipple, Fairfield Prep forward John Kelly, NMH swingman Zach Light, Shrewsbury guard Paul Durkee, Holy Cross wing Nyzair Rountree, Wilbraham & Monson guard Chris Childs and St. Luke’s guard Jonas Harper.