SEP. 12 -- Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf both factor into the top 15 in the updated 2016 rankings...
Perhaps the biggest storyline of the updated 2016 rankings is the battle at the top of the list.
Prior to July, Jayson Tatum
took over the top spot and his play during the evaluation periods in July did nothing but validate his position at the top of the rankings.
A 6-foot-8 wing, Tatum is equipped with a 6-foot-10 wing span and an impressive skill package. He is a talented scorer, especially from mid-range and in, but he’s also a good enough ball handler and passer to spend time with the ball in his hands.
His performances at the LeBron James
Skills Academy and Nike Peach Jam were eye opening. At LeBron he proved to be one of the best players in attendance, regardless of class, while putting up video game type numbers at the Peach Jam playing in the 16’s division.
With all that said, Tatum was pushed by the now healthy Harry Giles
. The 6-foot-10 power forward is starting to regain his mobility after suffering an ACL and MCL injury and missing nearly a year of basketball.
A healthy Giles is one heck of a prospect. At his size, he’s equipped with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, impressive athleticism and decent ball skills. Where he impressed the most in July and at the Elite 24 festivities was with his rebounding.
Just after Tatum and Giles in the 2016 player rankings are Josh Jackson
, Thon Maker
and Malik Monk
. All three are tremendous talents with exciting upsides, but all three are quite different.
Jackson, a 6-foot-6 wing, is a tremendous athlete that impacts the game not only with his offense, but also his defense. He’s equipped to score from all three levels, is a talented rebounder and passer and also has potential as a lock down defender.
|Maker checks in at No. 4
Maker, who recently transferred to Orangeville (Ontario) Athletes Institute, has an unreal skill set for his size – 7-feet. He’s mobile, has good hands and nice touch, is able to step away from the rim and make jump shots, plus is one of the nations best shot blockers.
A 6-foot-4 wing, Monk’s best attribute may be his athleticism. He’s elite in that regard. But he’s made significant improvements to his overall scoring package and has turned into a perimeter threat. He has significant upside and is showing consistent improvement.
The Point Guards
One of the more heavily debated topics in the 2016 class has been how to order the point guards in the 2016 class.
This go around, Derryck Thornton
, a standout at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, earned his way to the top of the list with his stellar play in July. Thornton dominated every step of the way. Thornton’s feel, passing and ability to run a team are top notch.
and Kobi Simmons
weren’t too far behind though. Smith and Simmons are both tremendous athletes with impressive quickness, especially for the point guard position. Both have some combo to their games and are very talented scorers.
native and UCLA
commit Lonzo Ball
landed at No. 4 on the point guard list and No. 13 overall, while Cassius Winston
rounded out the top 5 at the position.
To date, 13 of the updated 2016 top 100 are committed prospects.
is the only school with a pair of commitments, as they hold pledges from five-star wing Moustapha Heron and four-star forward Maverick Rowan
The other commitments are Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Jermaine Haley
), Frank Jackson
(BYU), Matt Moyer (Syracuse
), Oscar Frayer
(California), Jordan Harris
), Jon Teske
), John Mooney
), Nick Marshall
), Mark Vital
) and Ty Jerome