Summer Stock-Risers in the Class of 2017
ESPN has announced that they’ll release their updated national rankings next week and New England will follow suit immediately afterward.
Expect to see plenty of movement in these new rankings after a full travel season worth of basketball, but not necessarily at the top of the list as New England’s top ranked prospects did nothing but back-up their reputations in recent months.
But who is next in the class of 2017? Here’s a look at five local prospects that came away from this grassroots season as some of New England’s biggest stock-risers:
Anthony Gaines, New Hampton School, City Rocks – Gaines’ put up huge numbers this spring and summer and from a statistical standpoint, proved himself to be one of the best perimeter rebounders in the history of the EYBL, as our own Mike Yagmin has pointed out. Gaines saw his recruitment jump to the highest levels in the process as he also scored the ball in high volume and continued to distinguish himself on the defensive end of the floor. Combine that versatile floor game with his high character and intangibles and it is no matter so many college programs were lining up to get him.
Marcos Santos Silva, Vermont Academy, BABC – The BABC big man saw his recruitment take a drastic jump up almost immediately after the spring season began with an offer from DePaul. Sometimes quick high-major offers don’t pan out though, so perhaps what was most impressive about Silva’s emergence is that he was able to not only exceed expectations right away but then sustain that same high level of play throughout the next four months. The end result is a big man who is returning to Vermont Academy with his confidence peaked and his game at an all-time high.
Mike McGuirl, East Catholic HS, CT Basketball Club – While Silva was one of the biggest stories of the beginning of the grassroots season, McGuirl made more waves than almost anyone down the stretch of July, in the final week of the month to be precise. A true three range scoring threat, the CBC and East Catholic guard caught fire in Orlando and saw his recruitment jump several steps in the process. By the time it was all said and done, he hadn’t just become a mid-major priority, but had accumulated multiple Atlantic 10 offers and even one from Kansas State.
Sukhmail Mathon, Holderness School, DC Blue Devils – He may already be off the board following his recent commitment to Boston University, but you nonetheless have to acknowledge his game and consequent recruitment went to unprecedented levels before that pledge. The “Big Three” of the DC Blue Devils was well intact coming into the spring, but they were missing a man in the middle. They found one when Mathon joined the team in late April and both benefitted as a result. The Holderness big man is developing his frame at a rapid rate, has answered any questions about his motor, shown a willingness to anchor a team defensively while simultaneously diversifying his offensive attack.
Jerome Desrosiers, Northfield Mount Hermon, New England Playaz – Similar to Mathon, Desrosiers is already off the board. His commitment came even earlier though after pledging to Princeton before the July evaluation period. Early commitments often lead to decreased eye-balls, and so he probably didn’t get the recognition he deserved for elevating his game so dramatically in a matter of months. Desrosiers was a model of efficiency in the spring and then inherited even more responsibility as a leader and even a playmaker when Kellan Grady was lost for the summer.