Updated 2017 Rankings Released
The class of 2017 is up next as we continue to update rankings throughout New England.
The sophomore class has been celebrated early and often in their still young careers and while the depth of talent is undeniable, the collective production from this group hasn’t quite lived up to the hype during the course of the first two months of the season.
Jermaine Samuels, who last week retained his spot in the ESPN 25, continues to hold down the top ranking in New England. The Rivers sophomore is one of the few that has found a balance between potential and production as he has continued to expand his game and put up numbers in the process.
Tomas Murphy has made consistent contributions since joining a loaded Northfield Mount Hermon frontcourt and also retains his spot as the second ranked prospect in the class, but the guy who is both the biggest stock-riser in the class and also the one to give chase to the top two spots is Putnam Science guard Hamidou Diallo.
The New York native made his first appearance in New England last May and has come on strong ever since, standing out at virtually every opportunity and scoring high level scholarship offers in the process, most recently from UConn.
The class’ top two point guard prospects, South Kent’s Tremont Waters and Cushing’s Makai Ashton-Langford are two others that have been undeniably productive this season while also owning the long-term potential to command high-level recruitment.
After that first five, the balance between potential and production becomes a delicate one at best. Vermont Academy center Samuel Japhet-Mathias is still making the transition in his first year stateside from England, but is a true post player loaded with talent.
NMH forward Jerome Desrosiers had a terrific summer and fall and has risen his level of play in recent weeks after a relatively slow start to the season while Cushing forward Kimani Lawrence is a well-known talent who has also made strides in recent weeks.
Commonwealth Academy forward Hassahn French may be the most productive frontcourt player of the bunch while Cushing’s Jarrod Simmons has undeniable long-term upside if he develops his physical tools and fundamentals.
The depth of the class is best exemplified by the quality of prospects who currently fall outside the top ten. Aaron Wheeler is a long and athletic swingman who has made nice strides in his first season at St. Andrew’s while Greens Farms Academy big man Sunday Okeke has put up big numbers after missing the fall and opening of the season with injury. Bishop Hendrickn’s Justin Mazzulla already holds a high-major offer from Boston College and Beaver Country Day’s Javon Taylor is already committed to Providence.
Avon’s Nate Laszewski might not have the same early reputation but nonetheless possesses very clear, and rapidly emerging, talent while Commonwealth Academy’s Jordan Hardwick is a high level athlete who rounds out the top 15 in the region.
Other known prospects like Worcester’s Greg Kuakumensah, Suffield’s Garrett Stephenson, Hamilton-Wenham’s Marcus Zegarowski, Wilbraham & Monson’s Ryan Murphy, Cambridge R&L’s Jakigh Dottin, St. Andrew’s Keyshaad Dixon, and Rivers’ Azar Swain remain among the top 25 while Holderness big man Sukhmail Mathon and Lee Academy’s Anthony McNish headline the list of newcomers.