Updated 2017 Basketball Top 100

Feb. 10 -- With the high school season nearing the end, Scout's basketball recruiting team -- Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon -- got together to update the 2017 top 100. While there was shuffling among the top five, it consists of the same five players. The list, however, does have a bunch of new names, including 18 newcomers...


Over the past two years, DeAndre Ayton has been touted as arguably the top overall prospect in high school basketball.

There’s stiff competition for that billing and after a so-so summer, Ayton, a 7-foot center prospect out of Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillcrest, raised his play, improved his game and proved himself as the top prospect in 2017 and likely in all of high school ball.

Ayton, who transferred from San Diego (Calif.) Balboa Prep in the fall, has all the physical gifts for an elite center. He has tremendous size, a ridiculous basketball frame with wide shoulders and lengthy arms, plus the athleticism and mobility that you rarely find in a post player of his size.

In multiple viewings this season, Ayton has showed impressive offensive tools. He has good hands, quality touch around the goal and now has added the ability to face up and make jump shots from not only mid-range, but also out to the three-point stripe. When motivated and playing hard, he gets to shots and has the ability to control the backboard from a rebounding standpoint.

There’s still a ways to go and plenty of ways he can improve, including playing hard on a consistent basis, but this is a special prospect and was the easy call for No. 1 in 2017 at this stage.

Next Tier

Although Ayton held on to the No. 1 ranking with relative ease, Mohamed Bamba opened up some eyes during his junior season.

Much like Ayton, Bamba has a ridiculous physical makeup with a 9-foot-6 standing reach and a 7-foot-8 wingspan. He’s mobile, athletic and reacts quickly to plays. Defensively, he’s an elite shot blocker with very good timing and despite his lack of strength rebounds well.

Offensively, he has very good hands and touch. He can make hooks shots, will run the floor looking to easy buckets in transition and is always a threat to catch an oop because of his size, length and athletic ability around the basket.

One noticeable improvement for Bamba has been his motor. This past spring and at times during the summer Bamba would wow you with a play and then go through the motions for half a game. It appears he’s gotten that out of his system and is playing significant harder.

Just after Bamba at No. 3 is Wendell Carter, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound post player that has drawn comparisons to a young Jahlil Okafor.

Like Okafor, Carter is an efficient scorer on the block. He has strong body that allows him to carve out good, low post position. He’s equipped with a host of post moves and is a very good finisher around the basket. Carter, of Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy, is also a very good area rebounder that competes and doesn’t mind physical play.

Carter was the starting center for USA at the FIBA Americas U16 Championships, where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.

Other Ranking Notes

  • Based on where the players attend high school, California has the most prospects on this with 10. Georgia finished with the second most at nine, while Florida landed eight prospects and Indiana landed seven on the updated list.
  • The updated 2017 top 100 consists of 17 committed prospects. Auburn and UCLA are the only two schools with multiple pledges. Auburn has commitments from five-star big man Austin Wiley and four-star guard Davion Mitchell, while UCLA holds pledges from Jaylen Hands and Jalen Hill.


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