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Recruit Rankings

Final Class of 2011 Rankings Released (Final Update: April 19, 2011 and how Alex Murphy fits in)

It’s been a long journey for the class of 2011 prospects but the final class of 2011 recruit rankings are finally here. Being able to watch all of these prospects, including some who didn’t quite make this list, was a pleasure since there are so many elite players. Take a look below to see who the big movers were, which prospects are new to our rankings and most importantly, who the number one prospect in the class of 2011 is.

Who’s Number One? 

Out of all the spots in the rankings, this one was easily the most difficult to decide. On one hand, you have Austin Rivers (Duke) who has sat at the top of the rankings all year and has only gotten better. On the other hand, you have the magnificent story of Anthony Davis (Kentucky) who has had a meteoric rise after growing eight inches in one year and transforming from a guard into a power forward. Both players will have great college careers and NBA futures, but only one can claim the title as the best player in the class of 2011. We gave that honor to Anthony Davis, although it was a very tough decision, since he has unlimited potential and an un-matched versatility since he is 6’10” and has the skills of both a big man and a guard. He is a tremendous shot-blocker and rebounder and has the quickness and athleticism to guard smaller forwards on the perimeter. Davis also excels in transition and has the ability to score either facing the basket or with his back to the basket.

Although he fell out of the top spot, Rivers is still a great prospect who is easily the best scorer in the class of 2011 (although Beal is a prolific scorer as well) between his outstanding three-point range, spectacular mid-range game and excellent slashing abilities where he is one of the best finishers around the basket. He also has a deadly jab step which creates space for him on the perimeter and has great ball-handling skills when he’s driving to the basket. However, one of Rivers’ most attractive qualities goes beyond his skill set, it’s his confidence that separates him from a lot of other players. He is not afraid to do anything in the game of basketball which is one reason why he’s so clutch.

Movers

There were quite a few prospects who jumped a considerable amount of spots including Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) from #14 to #8,  Quinn Cook (Duke) from #23 to #16, Otto Porter (Georgetown) from #40 to # 27, Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s) from #46 to #30, Adjehi Baru (Charleston) from #44 to #35 and Marshall Plumlee (Duke) from unranked to #40. However, the prospect who has improved the most out of all these prospects is small forward Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech). Finney-Smith is a long, versatile and athletic forward who has a good face-up game and is a good offensive rebounder and shot-blocker for his position. He is also a great slasher and gets to the basket consistently and is one of the better ball-handlers at the small forward position. To see why the other guys moved up, check out their evaluations.

Welcome to the 

There were only three newcomers to our final class of 2011 recruit rankings and those were Plumlee, #46 D’Angelo Harrison (St. John’s) and #50 Myles Mack (Rutgers). Plumlee really emerged in the latter part of his high school senior and had a more consistent impact on the game. He is an athletic seven-footer who runs the floor very well. He is also a good shot-blocker and rebounder and often alters shots if he can’t get his hands on them.

Harrison’s performance in the All-American Championship game is what really pushed him over the edge and into our top-50. He was fearless in attacking the basket and showed great consistency and range in his three-point shot throughout the event. For Mack it was his performance against St. Patrick when he helped lead St. Anthony’s to a #1 ranking and eventual national championship and his play in The Capital Classic. He is very quick and fast with the ball and gets in the lane well. He also has a nice shooting stroke and good range on his shot and plays good defense.

2012: A different type of recruiting class (Last Update: March 12)

In an era of guards dominating the game of basketball, the class of 2012 completely shatters that image with seven of the top eight prospects being elite big-men.

Center Andre Drummond headlines the class who will likely replenish the small pool of elite big men in college basketball and is the prototype for the post-players of the future. Drummond is a big man who has the size, strength, and skill to be a great post-player but also has the ball-handling skills, shot, and athleticism to be an effective player on the perimeter. He is simply a big-man who can do it all and will be a joy to watch in the years to come.

Small forward Shabazz Muhammad is the odd man out in the top-eight as he is a wing player- and an excellent one at that. Louisville commit Rodney Purvis and Ricardo Ledo round out the top ten and are two elite guards in a class that lacks them. One guy to keep an eye on his Amile Jefferson who has the potential to even crack the top-five by the time he graduates.

Another interesting battle to look at in the class of 2012 is the fight for the best point guard title, in which Indiana-commit Kevin Ferrell, L.J. Rose, and future- Tar Heel Marcus Paige are essentially neck-and-neck.

When browsing the rankings, you’ll also notice that Duke has already picked up a pair of top-15 recruits who both play the wing in Alex Murphy and Rasheed Sulaimon, although in different styles. Baylor has also picked up another top-five player for the third straight year in Isaiah Austin and Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller is doing big things in Tuscon by getting yet another elite player in Grant Jerrett.

Make sure you check regularly on the rankings to see the latest updates and where players are moving in the rankings.

Updated Class of 2012 Rankings (April 26)

With the high school season ending and the first few AAU events wrapping up, we decided to update our class of 2012 rankings and put together a chart of the big movers and why they impressed us.

Big Movers

Player

New Rank

Difference

Notes

Perry Ellis

#10

10

Ellis simply dominated at the end of his high school basketball season as he helped guide his high school to a third straight state championship and 44 game win streak. He was also recognized by MaxPreps for the Junior All American 1st team, ESPN Rise for the All-American First Team and USA Today for the All-USA 2nd team, all in the past week.
Marcus Paige

#16

9

He had a very nice stroke at the Nike EYBL as he made the majority of his three-pointers and nearly every mid-range jumper he took at the top of the key. His passing was even better when he displayed excellent court vision and anticipation as he seemed to know exactly where and when his teammates would be open. He also played smart and used dribble-penetration consistently and effectively.
Jarnell Stokes

#17

9

After an impressive showing at the Nike EYBL two weekends ago, Stokes again played well at the Real Deal in the Rock. The most impressive aspect of Stokes’ improved play was the fact that he went up against two top 10 prospects in Grant Jerrett (#8) and Kaleb Tarczewski (#6) and was able to beat the two elite big men in two completely different ways. Against Jerrett, he went right after him in the low post and used his strength to control the paint and get up easy shots. Against Tarczewski, he used his perimeter skills to create shots in the mid-range and even hit the three-ball.
Alex Poythress

#25

5

He did a variety of things very well at the Nike EYBL such as blocking shots, running the floor, finishing, playing defense, and shooting. He also displayed good ball-handling skills as well as a nice spin move which got him some open looks in the lane where he converted. Poythress did an excellent job using his length too whether it was through changing opponents’ shots, shooting over defenders, or being able to pass in difficult situations.
Torian Graham

#30

8

Graham displayed his prolific scoring skills at the King James Shooting Stars Classic as he used his outstanding athleticism to consistently get by his defender and to get into the lane. Once he got into the paint, he finished around the rim extremely well whether it was through contact or around it. He also exhibited a tremendous mid-range game where he knocked down pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
Braxton Ogbueze

#37

5

Ogbueze put his full arsenal on display at the Nike EYBL as he showed good ball-handling skills, good shooting, and the ability to get to the bucket consistently. He also showed good range and had a nice spin move he used to get into the lane. Ogbueze had a nice floater and mid-range jumper he constantly used after he got by his initial defender as well.
Matt Costello

#36

8

Matt Costello dominated at the King James Shooting Stars Classic this past weekend by displaying superb offensive games and a variety of ways to score. He also showed the ability to knock down three-pointers and mid-range jumpers while scoring in the paint with their back to the basket as well. Costello ran the floor well too and exhibited an impressive skill set in the low post where he used spin moves, hook shots and up-and-under moves to get his shot off.
Devonta Pollard

#40

10 Pollard also dominated at the King James Shooting Stars Classic and displayed the ability to do many different things. He handled the ball well, made impressive passes and constantly blocked shots and scored in a plethora of ways. Pollard scored from the perimeter, mid-range game and from the low-post with both his back to the basket and while facing the basket.

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