May 6 -- Aaron Holiday and Prince Ali both factor into the final Top 100...
It’s finally time to tie a bow on the 2015 recruiting class.
In doing so, Scout’s basketball recruiting team settled on a new No. 1 for the final batch of rankings. Kentucky
signee Skal Labissiere
moves from No. 3 in the class to the top spot.
So how did Labissiere, a 6-foot-11 center, out of Memphis get to the No. 1 spot?
Since his sophomore season there was reason to believe he could get to this position. But it wasn’t really under consideration until last July, where he started to show flashes of this type of potential playing with M33M.
Then in early December at the Marshall County Hoopfest, Labissiere put on what I thought was one of the premier performances of the season
, notching 33 points on 13-for-20 shooting against Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill.
At that time, it was suggested that he could end up in the pole position in the class. Fast forward to the Nike Hoop Summit and Labissiere made it clear, at least in our eyes, that’s the best long-term prospect in this class.
At his size, Labissiere is equipped with the tools you look for in an elite post player. He has a great deal of potential on the offensive end. He has terrific hands, nice touch around the goal, go-to jump hooks over each shoulder, plus the ability to face up defenders and make jump shots. He’s confident in his offensive ability and with added strength it will only improve.
On top of his offensive ability, Labissiere is athletic, has impressive mobility, good footwork and a nice frame, that will certainly add some bulk once he gets in a college weight room. Labissiere can impact the game on the defensive end as well. Throughout his high school career he’s improved as a shot blocker and for his size he’s fairly quick off his feet.
It should be noted that the top spot has been tough for the Scout team to figure out. Ben Simmons
, Brandon Ingram
and Jaylen Brown
all drew consideration at one point or another, but end the end it’s our belief that Labissiere possesses the most upside.
The next tier
After Labissiere, the Scout team opted to rank Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb
in order from No. 2 to No. 5.
|Ingram jumps to No. 3 (Getty Images)
Simmons, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward headed to LSU
, is a unique and special talent. At his size, his versatility stands out. He’s at best when he has the ball in his hands because of his tremendous passing ability. He’s also a good finisher at the goal, has good touch around the basket and has the potential to be a very good rebounder going forward.
Perhaps the guy that may be a surprise in the top five is Ingram. The Duke
-bound forward moved up from No. 13 into elite status due to his tremendous play and improvement during his senior year and postseason. He’s grown another inch and stands a legitimate 6-foot-9, he’s gained confidence in his shooting, both from mid-range and three, and he was the clear top performer at the McDonald’s All-American festivities. His upside is tremendous and if he continues to develop at the pace has, even No. 3 could be too low.
Brown, a standout at Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler, was tough to drop from the top spot because he holds such tremendous potential. He possesses very good size for the wing position (6-foot-7) to go with impressive athleticism. He’s a tremendous open court player, a strong driver, has potential to be a lockdown perimeter defender and is an improving shooter from three. He projects as a one and done candidate at the University of California
After a so-so last summer on the AAU circuit by his standards, Rabb returned to form during his final high school season. He led his high school to a state championship and showed his ability on both ends. At 6-foot-10, Rabb has a lengthy set of arms, good mobility and impressive athleticism, plus the ability to score on the block and facing the rim with a mid-range jump shot. As with Brown, the California-bound prospect will impact their program from day one.
It’s tough to call Derryck Thornton
a newcomer to the top 100, but he indeed is making his debut in Scout’s 2015 rankings.
|Derryck Thornton enters 2015 at No. 11
Thornton recently reclassified from 2016, where he was ranked as a top 10 player, to 2015 and signed with Mike Krzyzewski
and Duke. Thornton now checks in at No. 11 in the graduating class. A key pick up for the Blue Devils, he has a terrific feel for the game and fully understands the point guard position. While he’s a talented passer, he’s also a more than capable scorer as well. He may have been the biggest key to Duke’s recruiting class next season, given the departure of freshman Tyus Jones
to the NBA.
There were seven other newcomers to the final top 100: Keith Stone
), Tyson Jolly
(California), Paris Austin
) and Tacko Fall
) are making their first appearances in the 2015 rankings, while Matt Ryan
), Juwan Morgan
) and Shake Milton
) are making a return to the rankings.
Final Rankings Notes
Shockingly enough, 14 schools had three or more commits in Scout’s final top 100. Arizona, Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse and Washington each had four pledges on the list. California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Marquette, Michigan State, Oregon State and Texas A&M obtained three each.
Florida is the state with the most top 100 prospects with 11. California was a close second with 10 players on the list. Texas finished with eight, Nevada had six, while Illinois, New Hampshire (four from Brewster Academy alone) and Virginia each had five.
The shooting guard position is clearly the strength of this class, especially from a depth standpoint. Twenty-nine shooting guards made the top 100 and seven others were awarded with four-stars. Twenty-two centers, 17 small forwards and power forwards and 15 point guards also made the list.
There were 27 players awarded with four-stars that ranked just outside of the top 100. Georgios Papagiannis, Moritz Wagner and Federico Mussini are international prospects who have been evaluated by the Scout staff and were rated as four-stars, but because they don’t play in North America weren’t ranked.
The other players, in no particular order, that were rated as four-star prospects were: Derek Ogbeide, Trevor Manuel, Kevarrius Hayes, Kerry Blackshear, Traci Carter, Corey Sanders, Kevin Dorsey, David Crisp, Kyle Ahrens, Cameron Walker, Aaron Jordan, Josh Reaves, Mickey Mitchell, Jacob Evans, Terance Mann, Wendell Mitchell, Dupree McBrayer, Admon Gilder, K.J. Walton, Kenny Williams, Randall Broddie, Donte Divincenzo, Jesse Wade and Lindsey Drew.