New England 2019 Rankings Announced
For the last week we've been rolling out updated 2019 rankings one state at a time, and now it's time to consolidate them all together in New England's junior class.
Rankings are always debatable and the younger you guy the less certainty there is. There are, however, some clear trends that have arisen with this class.
- Four in contention for the top spot - There are four prospects that currently have a legitimate argument for the number one ranking. That list includes Putnam Science Academy forward Akok Akok, Loomis Chaffee forward Jaiden Delaire, St. Andrew's guard Brycen Goodine, and MacDuffie wing Ismael Massoud. Catch any of those four on any given day and you could walk away saying they are the best prospect in New England. All four possess high ceilings as well as the ability to dominate a game right now. Akok is both an elite rim protector and a skilled floor spacer offensively. Delaire is an emerging skilled forward with mismatch tools. Goodine is an athletic playmaker with a vastly improved jumper. Massoud has tremendous perimeter size and length along with a polished skilled set.
- Three more have the tools - Following that big four, there are three more prospects that have the same high level potential but haven't yet shown the consistent ability to impose their will on the game. When that happens, they'll jump up into the top group. Dexter School big man Charles Coleman has done a remarkable job of transforming his body in the last year and has a budding inside-out skill set to match. MacDuffie guard Dalano Banton may actually be the most naturally talented guard in the class with tremendous size, length, and fluidity. NMH's Maxwell Lorca-Lloyd may be the most athletically gifted of the group with unmatched ability to run and jump.
- On the verge - It is still so early in these prospects' development that there is still plenty of time for them to emerge. Some are showing definite signs of putting it all together and could definitely emerge quickly in the next year. St. Thomas More forward Jared Garcia is one of the youngest players on this list and is coming off a big grassroots season. Cushing Academy's Daman Tate is a big guard who might have already made his jump if it weren't for a spring injury while Dexter's Noah Kamba is a breakdown style guard. Gould Academy big man Weldens Leveque has size, touch, mobility, and is just starting to put those pieces together. Bradford Christian wing Gob Gabriel showed his light bulb was starting to flicker this summer while things seemed to click for Marianapolis Prep forward Tyler Burton in June.
- It's basketball not track - Inevitably, there will be a group of prospects from this class who may not have the highest level athleticism, but whose skill set and understanding of the game differentiates them. Past New England products like Thomas Allen, A.J. Brodeur, Francisco Alonso, and most especially, Bonzie Colson are the prototypes. Who are the candidates in the class of 2019? It's guys like Worcester Academy's Mitch Doherty, Tabor Academy's Noah Fernandes, and Wilbraham & Monson guard Idan Tretout. They might not win any high jump competitions, but you'll want them on the floor if you're trying to win a basketball game.
- This story is only half written - The most important thing to remember with regard to the class of 2019 is that while they are already well known in New England, and to plenty of college coaches as well at this point, they are just getting started. The first half of their high school basketball career is over and the most important years are beginning now. If history is any indication, unfortunately some of these players will succumb to distractions and not seize the giant opportunity in front of them, either because they don't put the time in to take their games to the next level or they make poor decisions off the floor or in the classroom. Others have still yet to emerge. There will inevitably be players that make huge jumps in the coming months and years, either because they hit a late growth spurt or because they outwork the competition. We'll be waiting and watching because the class of 2019 is just getting started and the best is yet to come.