The nation’s top recruits have performed on multiple circuits over the past two months with some raising their stock and others doing the opposite.
While there were a number of changes to Scout’s updated 2017 top 100, there weren’t changes at the top.
Heading into the spring, DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter, Trevon Duval, Michael Porter and Kevin Knox were regarded as the top six players in the class, and they remained in the exact same order after powering through the spring evaluation periods and events.
Ayton, a 7-foot prospect out of Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillcrest Hoops, has had a strong showing on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 21 points and 11 rebound a game.
Ayton has every physical gift imaginable and when he’s dialed in and focused on playing around the basket and protecting the rim, he’s a dominant post prospect and an elite level talent.
Although Ayton held off the competition, Bamba and Carter certainly made runs at him.
Bamba, a 7-footer with a 7-8 wingspan, has shown improvements every step of the way. His motor has improved, as has his rebounding ability. He’s also starting to add weight and strength, which has helped him considerably.
Bamba did miss some of the spring with an ankle injury, but in seven games with the PSA Cardinals he averaged 12.7 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks a game.
The 6-foot-10 Carter is a tremendous prospect in his own right. He’s consistently productive as a post scorer and area rebounder. His hands, touch, hook shots and scoring ability are top notch.
In EYBL play with Team CP3, Carter is shooting 71-percent from the field on 117 shot attempts. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a game.
18 newcomers make the list
The spring rankings release is usually full of new names to the list and this year isn’t any different, as there are 18 newcomers to the updated 2017 top 100.
A pair of AAU teammates were the biggest risers among the newcomers. DC Premier standouts Naji Marshall and Nate Watson jumped from unranked up to No. 51 and No. 58 overall.
Marshall, a 6-foot-6 wing, is a versatile, athletic wing prospect that impacts the game with his motor, ability to defend and scoring ability at the rim.
The 6-foot-8 Watson earned his way on to the list by being a post presence on the Under Armour Association circuit. Watson is averaging 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in UAA play.
The other newcomers include Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Savion Flagg, Kevin Samuel, Nathan Reuvers, Justin Smith, Kyle Young, Isaiah Washington, Alex O’Connell, Lance Thomas, Abu Kigab, Saben Lee, Chris Lykes, Myles Cale, Elias Harden, Bourama Sidibe and Dajour Dickens.
2017 has depth
Although the 2017 class doesn’t quite have depth in star power, it does have plenty of depth at the backend of the top 100 and beyond.
We rewarded 28 prospects with five-stars, but the list of four-star prospects is long.
The remaining top 100 prospects received four-stars, as did 37 players that were unranked.
Auburn, UCLA & UF have the most top 100 pledges
Early pledges used to be common, but the process has slowed down and just 21 players in the 2017 top 100 are currently committed.
Auburn, UCLA and Florida are the only schools with multiple top 100 commitments.
Auburn holds pledges from five-star big man Austin Wiley and No. 36 overall guard Davion Mitchell.
UCLA, who had a top five class last season, has five-star lead guard Jaylen Hands and No. 65 overall prospect Jalen Hill in their class, as well as unranked forward LiAngelo Ball.
Florida has commitments from top 50 recruit Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and four-star wing DeAundre Ballard.