After rigorous travel and covering the nation's best events from coast-to-coast during July and the early part of August, Scout's basketball recruiting team has updated the 2016 top 100. Harry Giles still sits at the top of the list, but there were a number of big movers.
Top tier is growing
For the longest time there have been three players – Harry Giles
, Josh Jackson
and Jayson Tatum
-- standing above the rest in the 2016 recruiting class.
And while those three players held on to the top three spots, the top tier appears to be growing.
De’Aaron Fox, Thon Maker
and a host of others are making their case to be included in that top group.
Fox, a 6-foot-4 point guard, has been nothing short of spectacular over the past six weeks and as a prospect he’s moved from the teens up to No. 4 overall and No. 1 at the point guard position. He’s athletic, fast, has terrific size for the position, is a very good on the ball defender and now his jump shot is coming around. He has elite upside at the point guard spot.
Although Maker has been rated highly for much of his high school career, the 7-footer re-established himself this summer. He played to his strength, spent more time in the paint and played with great energy. At his size, he’s mobile, skilled and one of the best shot blockers in the 2016 class. Maker moved up to No. 5 overall.
While Fox and Maker moved up to the top tier status conversation, players like Malik Monk
, Markelle Fultz
, Dennis Smith
, Jonathan Isaac
, Wenyen Gabriel
, Miles Bridges
and others certainly had a case as well.
Since 2007, I’ve had a hand in Scout’s player rankings and this is as deep of a recruiting class at the top as I can remember. You could even make a case that the players ranked one to 23 in our updated rankings would be top 10 prospects in normal classes.
Because of the depth we extended five-stars to more prospects than we usually do. Players ranked from No. 1 to No. 27 were awarded with five-stars.
It was mentioned above that De’Aaron Fox moved his way from No. 16 up to No. 4, so he was certainly a big mover in the updated rankings, but no one moved as much as new five-star prospect Wenyen Gabriel.
The 6-foot-10 forward jumped from unranked all the way up to No. 10 overall in the class. Playing for Mass Rivals, Gabriel showed serious upside with his mobility, athleticism, motor, to go with his skill and ability to score in a variety of ways.
In our last update, Markelle Fultz, who was the WCAC player of the year last season, made up his way up to No. 22. But he wasn’t done moving. In fact, Fultz has improved at a quicker rate than just about everyone in the class, not named Gabriel. Fultz checked in at No. 2 at the point guard spot and No. 7 overall in the updated rankings.
At 6-foot-4, Fultz is a versatile, combination guard. In this set of rankings, he’s being slid over to the point guard position. He’s quick and a tremendous athlete that excels in transition. He has potential as a defender, is an improving shooter and is comfortable scoring from mid-range. He’s also improving as a passer.
Another big mover in the updated 2016 top 100 is Andrew Jones
. Coming off a strong July playing for Nike Pro Skills, Jones, a 6-foot-4 combination guard, went from unranked up to the No. 30 player in the class. He’s athletic, has potential as a defender and is a talented passer.
Other News & Notes
Tony Bennett and UVa currently have the most top 100 prospects committed with four. They hold pledges from Mamadi Diakite, who could still reclassify to 2015, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy and Jay Huff. No other program has more than two top 100 commitments at this time.
UCLA, Florida State, Michigan State, Syracuse, Texas A&M and Arizona State all have a pair of commitments from top 100 players.
Of the top 100 players, 44 have already made verbal commitments. Those 44 players are committed to 35 different schools. Obviously none of them can sign Letter of Intents until the November signing period.
The state of Texas has the most prospects ranked among top 100 players with 10. California and Florida each have 9 players ranked, while Virginia has eight.