From very early on in their high school careers, it was obvious that the players comprising the 2016 class were special. Sure some prospects emerged later on such as Markelle Fultz, but Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum Harry Giles, and Dennis Smith were all so good so early that it was obvious 2016 was going to be a special class nationally.
Now we could be looking at the same thing nationally in the 2019 class. That is being said, and everybody knows that current No. 1 prospect R.J. Barrett is likely to move from the 2019 class to the 2018, that is how special this group is shaping up to be.
Barrett is an all-around stud who is highly skilled and a big time athlete. He has been a dominant force on a very talented Montverde Academy team, and has completely earned his spot at the top of this loaded class.
While Barrett is a clear No. 1, others are nipping at his heels because of their combination of potential and production.
On the interior prospects such as Charles Bassey, Chol Marial, and Balsa Koprivica are all true post prospects who play like centers and are extremely talented. Bassey has a chance to be special with his size and athleticism, Mariol has extreme length, can block shots and really runs the floor, and Koprivica is super skilled to go along with having great size and good athleticism.
All three of them have the chance to be special prospects who make an impact on college basketball as a freshman and then being highly desired players at the next level as well.
As if that weren’t enough, prospects such as Vernon Carey, James Wiseman, and Matthew Hurt are each more versatile prospects who play power forward or down low with star potential. Hurt is the most skilled, Wiseman the most athletic with the most upside, and then Carey has a combination of both that makes him a potential superstar.
Not to be out done are the wings. Players such as Scottie Lewis, D.J. Jeffries, Cassius Stanley, Trendon Watford, Christian Brown, and Keion Brooks have all had big seasons on the high school level, and all project as big time players at the college level with potential to go much further with their basketball.
That combination of wings is special, and the fact that some of them can’t crack the top 10 just shows the star power of this class at the top.
When it comes to guards, talented scorers like Bryan Antoine, LaMelo Ball, and Andrew Nembhard all have potential to find themselves within the top 10 when push comes to shove. Ball is an elite scorer, Antoine is a big combo guard with size and skill, and Nembard has good point guard skills to go along with his ability to fill up a stat sheet.
Overall this class is looking like one of the best we’ve seen in recent memory, and there is no doubt many other prospects will step up before it is all said and done. While the 2016 is the recent standard bearer for top classes nationally, 2019 has a look that it could challenge for that crown.