Call it. It's early December and we have a whole season to play, but who’s one junior likely to blow up in the next few months and alter opinions about his game?
Evan Daniels: I'm going to cheat a little here. I was very impressed with Canada native Eddie Ekiyor (pictured above) at the National Prep Showcase two weeks ago. At 6-foot-9, Ekiyor is a big, strong frame that allows him to play physical inside. He's a competitor, too, who gets after it on both ends. He flashed some tools and ability on the offensive end and also showed himself as a good area rebounder. I think he will emerge nationally and as a clear high major post prospect.
Brian Snow: One kid who I think really has a chance to blow up over the next 12 months is Malik Crowfield. Crowfield is from Louisiana, which is typically an area of the country where younger prospects fly under the radar, and was impressive at the Adidas Uprising when I saw him in July. He has good size, good athleticism, and a very solid ability to score. Crowfield can play both guard positions, and he is someone who I think has a chance to really explode on the scene.
Josh Gershon: One of the most interesting ranked juniors on the west is Gavin Baxter, a 6-foot-7, 180-pound forward out of Provo (Utah) Timpview, who is currently slotted at 56th nationally.
Baxter's size, length, athleticism, budding skill set and physical immaturity have always made him a kid with a lot of upside and over the spring and summer, you could see him slowly transform from prospect to player. Word out of Utah is that Baxter is continuing to progress, and he's a guy who has the upside to be a highly recruited player.
Baxter will play on a national stage this December at the Tarkanian Classic, which could be a platform for him to take his profile to the next level.
Rob Harrington: When I peruse our rankings and see Mamadi Diakite at No. 100, I think he’s going to easily blow up past that ranking. The slender combo forward is one of the most improved players I’ve witnessed in the past six months, and by the end of the season he legitimately may enter the prep All-American conversation.
Diakite’s athleticism and fluidity are far advanced compared to the spring, though for perspective he plays more of a traditional big man role at Dyke (Va.) Blue Ridge and may not always produce big stats this season. Still, he’s already receiving high-major offers and might become a national story by the early spring.
Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report