After spending much of November, December and January at events across the country, Scout's basketball recruiting team updated their 2016 top 100.
, a standout at High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian, has reclaimed the top spot in the 2016 class.
During Giles’ freshman year and parts of his sophomore season he sat in the pole position of Scout’s 2016 top 100. But injures to his ACL, MCL and meniscus, set him back. Now Giles is at back at full strength and back at No. 1, after dominating performances at USA Basketball and throughout his junior season.
At 6-foot-10, Giles brings so much to the table. He’s a scoring threat, both facing the rim and with his back to it. He has developed post moves, a go-to hook and a consistent jump shot. Giles is also a tenacious rebounder, brings it on the defensive end and is a very good – although not explosive – athlete.
For the sake of transparency the pole position for the 2016 class wasn’t unanimous, as Josh Jackson
and Jayson Tatum
, who sat at No. 1 last rankings release, were right there in the discussion with Giles.
|Jackson has terrific junior season
Jackson, a 6-foot-7 wing, has had nothing short of a spectacular junior season. Jackson is an elite level athlete and my colleague Josh Gershon thinks he rivals Andrew Wiggins
’ athleticism. He’s explosive, a terrific passer, a lock down perimeter defender and is very effective in transition. It almost feels like a crime ranking Jackson at No. 2, but that speaks to how good the top players in this class are.
Similarly, Tatum has been nothing short of impressive during his junior season. At 6-foot-8, his ball skills, mid-range game and footwork are beyond advanced for a prospect his age and all that speaks to the type of work ethic he has. He’s changed the release point on his jumper (made it higher) and he’s shooting the ball with better consistency from mid-range out to three.
Giles gets the nod at No. 1 this time around, but this race is far from over.
Next tier is good too
Just after Giles, Jackson and Tatum, sits a group of impressive prospects.
, a 7-footer with a unique skill package and terrific shot blocking ability, checks in at No. 4 and explosive athlete and impressive all around scorer Malik Monk
rounds out the top 5.
Then there’s a run of point guards, as Derryck Thornton
, Dennis Smith
and Kobi Simmons
, sit at No. 6, No. 7 and No. 9 respectively. Each of the three is different, but effective in their own.
Thornton is the best of the three at running a team, as he’s very keen passer, has very good vision, but can score when needed. Smith has an extremely quick first step and is a very good athlete, while Simmons is a tremendous athlete that is very effective attacking of the dribble.
(No. 8) and T.J. Leaf
(No. 10) are also in the updated top 10. At 6-foot-6, Ferguson has good size for the perimeter and is one of the best shooters in the class. Leaf, an Arizona
commit, is a very good athlete with a versatile scoring package from the power forward spot.
Lot of newcomers
|Fultz is biggest mover in the updated top 100
The updated batch of 2016 rankings welcomes 10 newcomers to the top 100.
, of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic, made the biggest move into the rankings, as he went from unranked up to No. 36. At 6-foot-4, he’s athletic, has comfort from mid-range and is a very good driver.
The other nine newcomers are Rapolas Ivanauskas
, Tony Carr
, Eddie Ekiyor
, LeGerald Vick, Jay Huff
, Seth Towns
, Aric Holman
, Barrett Benson and Eli Wright
UVa has most commits
Of the 100 ranked juniors, 19 have already given a verbal commitment.
Tony Bennett and his staff at Virginia
are the only school with more than one commitment in the top 100. The Cavaliers currently have pledges from Sacha Killeya-Jones (No. 40), Kyle Guy
(No. 87) and Ty Jerome
The other committed players including Leaf, Brendan Bailey
, Mark Vital
, Oscar Frayer
, John Mooney
, Jordan Harris
, Anthony Cowan
, Nick Marshall
, Jon Teske
, D’Marcus Simonds, Mustapha Heron
, Matthew Moyer
, Lonzo Ball
, Justin Jackson
and JaQuori McLaughlin