If there was a No. 101 it would have been Matur Maker. After some heated debate the decision was made to drop him from the top 100, but it was far from a consensus, and there is no doubt that Maker remains a solid prospect.
At 6-foot-10 with good athleticism Maker has some nice physical tools to work with. Also he runs the floor well and will block shots and give solid effort on the glass. Hands remain a bit of a concern for Maker as he struggles to catch while on the move, and physically he can struggle with stronger players. Still this is a solid prospect and someone who will definitely be looked at closely and could find his way back in the top 100 with some quick improvements.
Coming out of the summer Kyle Young was one of the final players included in the top 100, and after a solid high school season he now finds himself just on the outside looking in. Young was one of the final cuts, and is someone who will definitely have every chance to prove himself this spring with the King James Shooting Stars.
A 6-foot-7 combo forward, Young shows good athleticism and is improving his ability to shoot the basketball out to three point range. Also Young will really rebound on the low block and is pretty good at taking advantage of taller and slower players off the bounce. The ultimate ceiling here isn’t super high, but still he projects as a very solid high-major player.
One of the most difficult players to leave out was Naji Marshall. He has had a very good junior season in the Washington D.C. area, and has a ton of upside. Marshall is near 6-foot-6, is an excellent passer for a wing, a good athlete, and someone with a ton of versatility on both ends of the floor.
It is going to come down to how well with Marshall shoot the basketball, as right now that is a bit of a struggle for him. If he shows improvement shooting the basketball while continuing to do everything else at the level he does, there is no doubt that Marshall will find his way in the top 100, but for now he is just on the outside looking in.
Finding true point guards isn’t easy, and Aaron Thompson is definitely one of them. He has grown to be almost 6-foot-3 and has gotten stronger and more athletic in the past 12 months. Add in that he is a very good passer with a solid understanding of the game, and it is easy to see why college coaches are so excited about his future.
Still we felt he was a bit better on the outside of the top 100 as opposed to in it because he can struggle badly shooting the basketball. He needs to make himself more of a threat in that regard while continuing to run a team and getting others involved at the level he currently does.
Easily one of the more divisive prospects in the class is Kobe King. King had some tremendous performances in the spring of last year, but was up and down during July leading to some differing evaluations. Word out of Wisconsin has been that the future Badger has been excellent as a junior, still he just didn’t make the top 100 cut.
What makes King an intriguing player is his ability to score. A very good shooter, King is dangerous beyond the three point line and then also is good getting to the rim and finishing. Added strength would be beneficial, and if King gains more consistency there is no question he has a lot of room for upward movement in this ranking.
A kid with a ton of natural physical talent, Oshae Brissett has always been one of the more intriguing players in the class. He is long, nearly 6-foot-8, a good athlete, and can finish around the rim fairly well.
The problem for Brissett is that he continues to be someone whose potential outweighs his production, and not enough progress has been made in that area. For Brissett to move bac into the top 100 he will need to continue and improve and show that he can be someone who impacts the game at the level that his physical tools suggest he should.
Someone who has been on the radar for a long time in this class is Xavier Tillman. Tillman is a stocky 6-foot-7 power forward who moves a bit better than his physique suggests, and can finish down low and is a very good rebounder.
With Tillman the question is simply as players get older and begin to physically mature, will he be able to be productive. At times he has struggled with length and athleticism on the low block, so this spring will be interesting to see at the 17-and under level. If Tillman shows that he has learned to play when he isn’t the biggest and strongest kid, he will work his way back into the top 100.
An intriguing prospect out of the state of Texas, Royce Hamm fell just outside the top 100 this time around. Hamm is a tough interior player with solid athleticism, though he is slightly undersized so there are a few questions about how highly he projects going forward.
Still Hamm is someone to like as a prospect, and has shown in the past he can be productive against some of the best in the country. He is one of the prospects who will get a very close look this spring, and a few slight improvements could have him back in the top 100.
Out of the city of Philadelphia, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree is beginning to really make improvements with his game. Cosby-Roundtree has always been an excellent rebounder, and now he is adding even more to that. He is running the floor better than ever, and showing some more signs with his back to the basket game.
While he has made improvements, Cosby-Roundtree still does have a ways to go on the offensive end. He is limited to finishing within five feet of the rim, and at times can get pushed around, and has shown inconsistent hands. The development and refinement of his offensive game will dictate where Cosby-Roundtree ends up in the post spring rankings.
A point guard on the West Coast with a lot of potential is .Jadé Smith. Smith has good size for the position at 6-foot-2 and also is a good athlete. Add in that he has very good floor vision, and Smith is someone who garnered significant top 100 consideration.
Even with those skills the reason Smith was left out of the top 100 is because of concerns regarding his decision making and just general consistency running a team. He has the physical tools for inclusion in the top 100, but still needs a little more refinement. If he does that, a spot in the top 100 will definitely be in his future.