New England 2018 Rankings Announced
If there is one word that describes New England’s 2018 class to date it might very well be parity.
Rankings are always debatable, and rightfully so, since they depend on both perspective and criteria among other things. But in 2018 they are especially debatable.
There are legitimately five different prospects that have made a case for the #1 ranking at some point in the last six months.
Nate Laszewski looked like the young man to beat last March, when he made 15 threes over the course of two NEPSAC play-off games and walked away with the tournament MVP award.
More recently, Eric Ayala’s production level has been unmatched as he put up big numbers while playing a starring role in the UAA and ultimately leading his team to a championship.
No one won more games or championships this summer than A.J. Reeves, who sacrificed individual stats to play behind a pair of older and more experienced guards, and he too has shown a consistent rate of improvement over the years.
If you’re looking at upside then the question becomes ‘who will be the best player of this group x years from now’ and that answer could very easily be Cole Swider given the way he continues to evolve.
Then there’s Cormac Ryan, who has improved more rapidly in the last year than any other player on the list and got to the point this summer where he was literally taking games over when needed.
The truth of the matter is that these five are, and are likely to remain, interchangeable and ultimately that’s what is going to make the next two years so interesting. More important though, is the fact that all five should be making New England proud as they all continue to assert themselves as growing national prospects in the class of 2018.
The challenge of identifying the class’ best point guard is no less challenging than picking a top overall prospect. Marcus Zegarowski has been the most consistently productive, over both the prep and grassroots season, while Shandon Brown is probably the purest floor general of the bunch and yet David Duke’s upside likely the highest.
In total, we’ve ranked 30 players in the class of 2018, a number that will continue to grow as we move deeper into the season. While the emphasis will undoubtedly be on the order of that 30, the bigger picture is that this is a class that defined by its parity and depth. It starts at the top of the class, where those first five all project as national top 100 prospects, and continues to the very end of the list, where there were players with legitimate division I offers that have yet to make the cut.