After a terrific spring and summer, Jaylen Brown, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, moved his way to the top of Scout.com’s 2015 top 100.
Playing for Game Elite, Brown has shown constant and consistent improvement since his junior season ended and he’s progressively learned how to dominate games on both ends of the floor.
Brown’s physical gifts, elite athleticism, scoring ability, potential on defense and improving jump shot are among the many reasons we catapulted him to the top spot.
Brown’s trainer – Desmond Eastman – raved about his attention to detail and his steady improvement.
“The first thing he worked on was his body,” Eastman said. “When he realized he was stronger than everybody he started to attack the basket more. Which allowed him to finish with contact and get to the free throw line.”
“He’s always been a good shooter, but being young he’s always been inconsistent because of his mechanics,” he added. “He would change his release point and how he holds the ball. One of the things that we worked on was getting a wide base and getting his feet under him.”
The improvement in Brown’s shooting is clear. While still not a knock down long-range shooter, he’s certainly turned himself into a shot maker from three, which opens up the rest of his game.
“He’s actually become a student of the game,” Eastman said. “He’s learning how to be efficient with everything -- his shot selection and scoring opportunities. He understands what his strengths are.”
This time last year, Brown sat just outside Scout.com’s top 10. After a strong spring he moved up to No. 4. Now he holds the top spot and Eastman said Brown has gotten to this point by being thorough and working hard.
“He’s diligent,” Eastman said. “His mom actually had to shut him down last week because he doesn’t take any days off. He’s driven to not only be the best he can be, but to be the best player to play the game. That’s something he put on himself.”
SIMMONS, LABISSIERE MADE IT TOUGH
While we went with Brown for the top spot, Ben Simmons made it a tough call. In fact, there was heavy debate among the Scout.com basketball recruiting team regarding Brown and Simmons.
Simmons had a terrific summer and was especially impressive at the Nike Peach Jam. Simmons, who is pushing 6-foot-9, is a versatile combo forward that impacts the game with his skill, passing and scoring ability going towards the basket.
For a guy his size, Simmons is able to make plays with the basketball that many can’t. His vision and feel particularly stand out, as does his ability to drive by defenders, take contact and score with terrific touch around the basket.
Skal Labissiere was also brought up in conversations after a strong showing in July with M33M Let It Fly. He finished No. 3 in the rankings, which is up from No. 10.
At 6-foot-11, Labissiere has a tremendous upside. He’s mobile, athletic and skilled. His scoring package consists of hooks and moves on the block, as well as facing jumpers to the three-point stripe. He’s one we’ll be tracking closely during the high school season.
RANKINGS LOADED WITH NEWCOMERS
The updated 2015 top 100 includes a host of players making their rankings debut.
The highest rated newcomer and biggest riser in the new batch of rankings was Donovan Mitchell. The 6-foot-3 strongly built guard went from unranked to No. 20 overall in the 2015 class. An impressive athlete, Mitchell is tough, physical, defends the ball well and showcased an improved jump shot this summer.
Justin Patton, a Creighton commit, and Matt Heldt, a Marquette pledge, were also big movers in the new rankings. Heading into July not much was known about either, but Patton and Heldt both proved worthy of a lofty ranking.
At 6-foot-10, Patton is mobile, athletic, long and boasts the hands, touch and shooting ability to be effective as a scorer. Heldt, who also stands 6-foot-10, impressed on offense with hooks shoots and catch and shoot jump shots. Both are promising big men and good early pick ups for their respective schools.
The other newcomers in the top 100 are Chris Clarke, Matisse Thybulle, Dominic Green, Haanif Cheatham, Kerwin Roach, Kerry Blackshear, Drew Eubanks, Terance Mann and Jacob Evans.
NEARLY HALF OF TOP 100 COMMITTED
With the July evaluation periods over, college coaches are aiming to get recruits on campus and seal up commitments. Thus far 42-percent of Scout.com’s updated top 100 are committed.
At this stage, four schools have commitments from three or more players in Scout.com’s updated top 100.
Syracuse has the most ranked players committed, as Malachi Richardson (27), Moustapha Diagne (67), Franklin Howard (69) and Tyler Lydon (76) all made the list.
Arizona has three pledges – Ray Smith (12), Allonzo Trier (13), Justin Simon (17) ranked. All three recruits are regarded as five-star prospects.
Louisville, Ohio State and Washington each have three pledges ranked.
Louisville holds commitments from Deng Adel (18), Donovan Mitchell (20) and Raymond Spalding (39), while OSU has Austin Grandstaff (45), Daniel Giddens (49) and A.J. Harris (78) set to join their program. The Huskies currently hold commitments from Dejounte Murray (36), Marquese Chriss (46), and David Crisp (95). Duke, Georgetown, Marquette and USC each have a pair of top 100 commitments.