DeAndre Ayton remains Scout's top prospect in 2017

Scout's 2017 Top 100 has been updated and DeAndre Ayton remains the top prospect in the country. What makes the five-star post such a good prospect?

Scout's updated 2017 rankings have a familiar face at the top, as DeAndre Ayton remains the nation's number one prospect.

The 7-foot, 235-pound center from Phoenix Hillcrest has been terrific in multiple evaluations this season and the junior will have a pretty firm grasp on the top spot heading into the spring.

At 7-foot with a 7-foot-4.5 wingspan, Ayton has good size and long arms with broad shoulders which will allow him to put on plenty of strength.

Ayton is an effortless athlete with terrific hands and feet, who gets down the court seamlessly. His athleticism and mobility have only improved as he's gained strength and there are absolutely no concerns physically at this point.

If Ayton plays college basketball it will be as a five, but his face up ability and skill set along with mobility give him the chance to play the four in the NBA.

The junior is most comfortable facing the basket, as he has become a very good shooter for his position with range out to three. Ayton can not only hit threes off the catch but also off the pull.

While Ayton is best scoring with his jumper, he has a very good feel as an offensive rebounder and gets a decent percent of his points on putbacks. His footwork is improving and he's fairly consistent with his hook shot.

Ayton has soft touch around the basket and, if anything, should spend more time in the paint given his efficiency rate around the rim.

The biggest improvement to Ayton's game over the last several months has been his vision. Ayton wasn't known as a passer as an underclassman but has made a big jump there this season.

He's become very good at finding cutters from the perimeter or high post and will kick out of double teams down low.

Defensively, due to his size, length and athleticism, Ayton is a formidable rim protector, while he's also a solid man defender and does his job on the defensive glass.

The biggest area of improvement for Ayton moving forward will be his motor. He tends to take plays off and doesn't always give 100% effort.

If Ayton can consistently play hard and spent a little more time in the paint, he could become a dominant rebounder and post scorer.

As it is, Ayton is the nation's top high school basketball prospect regardless of class and with about a year and a half to go before final rankings, odds of Ayton leading this race end to end are high.

It remains unknown if Ayton will play college basketball, but sources tell Scout that Kansas has been recruiting him the hardest in recent weeks. In late December, Ayton told Scout that Duke, Kansas and Kentucky were the top three schools on his list.


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