2020 Rivals150 Roundtable: Analysts break down big decisions
NEW RELEASE: UPDATED 2020 RANKINGS
Thanks to his two-way play and size for the wing, Scottie Barnes from Florida – whose teammate Vernon Carey Jr. ranks No. 1 in 2019 – has made a jump to the No. 2 spot. He's followed by arguably the best point guard regardless of class, R.J. Hampton, and skilled combo forward Isaiah Todd.
Making the most significant move this time around is 6-foot-8 combo forward Jaemyn Brakefield, who moves from just outside of the national top 40 into the top 15. A scorer with skill, athleticism and inside/out game, he's got the tools to push for another bump in the rankings.
As we work to eventually build the class of 2020 rankings out to a true Rivals150, we've expanded to a top 75 from a top 50 in the sophomore class. Perhaps the most familiar name is Jamal Mashburn Jr., who is the son of former Kentucky superstar and longtime NBA standout Jamal Mashburn. Unlike his father who was ahead of the game as a sharp-shooting combo forward, the younger Mashburn is a combo guard but he has his father's high skill level.
The Rivals.com team of analysts – Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald – discusses the updated 2020 rankings.
THE TOUGHEST DECISION FOR ME IN THIS RANKING WAS ...
Eric Bossi: For me it starts at the very top where Jalen Green holds onto the No. 1 spot.. If picking the top spot was based just on size and potential overall skill level, Isaiah Todd has a leg up on the current competition. However, when deciding things at the top, consistent productivity has to factor into the equation. For that reason Green stays at the top with Scottie Barnes, R.J. Hampton and Todd on his heels. Green is a deluxe athlete who creates with ease off the dribble, entertains in transition and always puts up big offensive numbers, and for that reason he remains at the top. Circling back to Todd, he dipped a little this time around and it is simply because he's not as consistently dominant as the others. Pushing 6-foot-9 with skill and athleticism, he has all the tools to lap the field but has to find the same consistent production.
Corey Evans: What to do with Hunter Dickinson. The DeMatha product is one of the most polished frontcourt prospects in America, regardless of classification, and has gotten even better over the last year. Dickinson is an elite passer with elite hands and sports an elite feel in the post. You might be thinking then why is he just ranked No. 15? The concern is that he is not a great athlete, and may have less upside compared to his five-star peers. If he improves as an athlete, the questions about his long-term future get thrown out the door and Dickinson could then run up the rankings into the top 10.
Dan McDonald: I haven't seen as much of this class as Eric and Corey, but I think the top four prospects in the class will be fun to follow. I think we certainly have the right four prospects in those spots. I'm just curious to see how much shuffling around there is over the next few years. Right now, Isaiah Todd is at No. 4. When it is all said and done, it wouldn't shock me if he's the best player from this class after watching him last month, but he's a ways off from being a finished product. On the flip side, it wouldn't be a big surprise either Jalen Green hangs on to his spot at the top because he's unbelievable talent as well.
THE REASON I BELIEVE IN THIS PLAYER'S RANKING IS ...
Bossi: Today's game is all about versatility, skill and athleticism and I feel like Greg Brown is the kind of athletic and multi-faceted player who can play on the wing in a big lineup or as a four in a small lineup. Though he's got to get stronger and be a better jump shooter long term, he does things around the rim and in transition that leave you shaking your head. He always rebounds and I love his defensive versatility, and that's enough to make me like him as a top 10 player even though he's still a little raw overall off the dribble and with his jumper.
Evans: Justice Ajogbor, a 6-foot-10 center, is one of the top physical intimidators in the 2020 class and is not short for talent. We might have him ranked too low as the No. 45 prospect. He can score on the block, is a solid runner on the break and has exquisite hands on the glass as a vacuum rebounder. Ajogbar will be one of the most recruited prospects in America thanks to his elite grades and elite tangibles.
McDonald: I pushed for Corey Walker to get a little bump up in this set of rankings. I love his size and skill level for a wing prospect and he's having a great sophomore year down in Florida. It was just a six-spot jump for him, but it gets him closer to five-star range, which is where he could ultimately end up.
THE PLAYER I FEAR WE HAVE TOO LOW IS ...
Bossi: When I watch Marjon Beauchamp and project what he could be long term, I see a guy who has a chance to be a truly elite wing. He's pushing 6-foot-6 with a near 7-foot wingspan, plus athleticism and a nice-looking jump shot. However, he plays for a loaded Seattle (Wash.) Garfield team where he's not expected to be the man on a nightly basis so we don't know how he does in that role. But with his measurables, natural talent and size for position, he's a guy who could easily move up the ranks in what is a class loaded with West Coast wing talent.
Evans: Isaiah Jackson was someone that I first spotted in the spring last year and was immediately transfixed with his length, agility and instincts. The talk out of Michigan is that the super sophomore has grown another inch or so, properly putting him as a well-sized, 6-foot-8 power forward. Regardless, Jackson is the type of big man that can guard practically every spot on the floor outside of the point guard position and has similar tangibles to that of former Oregon forward Jordan Bell. He is an elite shot-blocker with a blooming offensive skillset that we currently have slated as the No. 35 prospect in the 2020 class. If he puts it all together, there is no reason why he can’t move up several spots and contend for a five-star ranking.
McDonald: This one is easy for me. Anthony Edwards should be a top-10 player in the class. He's a big, strong, athletic guard at 6-foot-4 with a very complete game. He's a wrecking ball attacking the rim, but he's also a very capable shooter from deep. He's a stat sheet stuffer. He'll be one of the best guards in this class at the end of the day.
THE PLAYER I HOPE PROVES US RIGHT AND HE'S NOT TOO HIGH IS ...
Bossi: Maybe the scariest thing about ranking young players is that you don't have the sample size of performance or near as deep a pool of talent to compare them with as you will when they are seniors. But every time I see top 10 shooting guard Josh Christopher play, he seems to crush it. He already has good size, can shoot from deep, is an explosive athlete and scores at a really high level. If I was going to check off the things I want from an elite shooting guard prospect, Christopher wouldn't leave many boxes open at this point so I hope we've made a good move picking him as a kid to shoot up the rankings.
Evans: Scottie Barnes is the basketball unicorn of the 2020 class. A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot plus wingspan, we think the highest of Barnes here at Rivals.com and for good reason. An infectious personality on the floor, Barnes is a phenomenal concoction of raw talent, abilities, toughness and motor. He might just be the most versatile defender in America as a sophomore. Barnes’ jumper remains his primary deficiency. However, even if he remains more of a 15-foot-and-in scorer throughout his playing career, his current strengths make him a cannot-miss prospect. I am hoping that he proves us right with his No. 2 overall ranking in 2020 as his playmaking skills, defensive prowess and motor are too good to not value in such a light.
McDonald: Sharife Cooper has been terrific so far this high school season. He received one of the bigger bumps in this cycle going from No. 41 to No. 22 overall. With smaller guards, it's always risky to move them up as high as we have Cooper now, but the kid plays with so much poise and with a massive chip on his shoulder. He has the perfect combination of being a facilitator as a lead guard as well as the ability to score with the best of them. I think we have this one right, but it's certainly an aggressive move.