basketball Edit

Ayton, Porter remain atop updated 2017 Rivals150

RELATED: Full 2017 Rivals150 Rankings

After a long and eventful summer we’ve updated the 2017 Rivals150. While there is plenty of change, things stayed the same at the top where big man DeAndre Ayton and wing Michael Porter kept a firm grip on the top two spots.

AYTON AND PORTER A CUT ABOVE

DeAndre Ayton (Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYB)

Overall the class of 2017 is a good, though not great, class and after watching them over the past two years, near seven-footer DeAndre Ayton and skilled wing Michael Porter are trending just a cut above the rest.

A native of the Bahamas who attends Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillside and is being vigorously recruited Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky, Ayton is the ideal new age center. He moves very well, he has a frame that easily carries 250 pounds without costing him flexibility and he has the ability to play on the block or facing the rim from the free throw line area. The biggest question about Ayton has been the consistency of his effort level but he looks to have answered that after a monster spring and summer playing for California Supreme in Nike’s EYBL.

Right on the heels of Ayton and closing with each month that goes by is Porter who has already committed to Washington. Pushing 6-foot-9, he’s got plus athleticism and he’s continued to fill out and add strength with physical maturity. While his size translates to the highest level, it’s his skill level that really sets him apart. Porter is a skillful shooter with deep range and he can put the ball on the floor with some proficiency for a guy his size.

After attending Columbia (Mo.) Father Tolton for his first three years of high school, he’ll attend Seattle (Wash.) Nathan Hale as a senior after his father, Michael Sr., joined Lorenzo Romar’s staff at Washington.

DUVAL MAKES MOVE INTO NEXT TIER

Trevon Duval (Under Armour/Kelly Kline)

Making the move from No. 5 to No. 3 like Trevon Duval did isn’t a big move in terms of total spots, but when you are ranked that highly any move up is a significant. The top point guard in the class, he leapfrogged big men Wendell Carter (now No. 5) and Mohamed Bamba (No. 4) because he has the ability to change and control the game with the ball in his hands. His first step and the power he has in relatively wiry frame remind us a lot of a young Derrick Rose. Duval recently posted a top nine of Arizona, California, Seton Hall, Maryland, USC, Oregon, Kansas, Villanova and St. John’s.

As for Bamba and Carter, it was a very tough call. Carter is currently a bit more productive and skilled on the offensive end and has more strength, however Bamba has a defensive upside and size advantage that give him a slight edge in our eyes.

SEXTON AND ROBINSON MAKING THEIR MARKS

Collin Sexton

Though they just missed the top five, 6-foot-11 center Mitchell Robinson (No. 6) and 6-foot-2 combo guard Collin Sexton (No. 7) left indelible marks on the summer of 2016. Perhaps the biggest recruiting steal in Rivals.com history, the Western Kentucky-bound Robinson is battling it out with Bamba for top defensive big in class honors and he’s made huge strides offensively. He’s looking more and more like a potential lottery pick.

A dynamo with the ball in his hands who has a fearless, attacking style reminiscent of Allen Iverson’s, Sexton may be the best pure scorer in the class. He simply doesn’t care who is in his way because he’s going to attack and find a way to score. Whether it was grassroots ball or leading USA Basketball’s World Champion 17U team in scoring, Sexton was reliable. He’s seen Georgia Tech unofficially, just wrapped a visit to N.C. State and has Kansas scheduled for later this month while Alabama has been considered a leader by many.

BY THE NUMBERS

Jalek Felton (Under Armour/Kelly Kline)

There are now a total of 27 five-star prospects in the class of 2017 which is up from 26 headed into the summer. The new five-star prospect is North Carolina-bound scoring guard Jalek Felton who found some consistency this summer while rising from No. 27 to No. 24 overall.

Just as we expanded our five-star prospects, we decided to expand the four-star prospects all the way out to No. 127 in the ranking. In addition to those in the rankings, we have a pair of non-ranked four-star prospects. On is Clemson commit A.J. Oliver who has announced his plans to enroll early which would put him back in the class of 2016. If he ends up not enrolling early, he would move back into 2017 as a top 100 player. The other non-ranked four-star is St. John’s-bound center Zach Brown. Off the floor issues have kept him out of the rankings for a while and we’d like to evaluate him again before placing him in the Rivals150.

A total of seven players made their debuts in the rankings as four-star prospects. Entering with the most lofty status is Texas shooting guard Jase Febres at No. 63 overall. He’s followed by tough point guard Wabissa Bede (No. 66), skilled Stanford-bound wing Kezie Okpala (No. 70), Maryland combo guard Darryl Morsell (No. 93), USC-bound wing Jordan Usher (No. 97), Utah big man Branden Carlson (No. 113) and Texas A&M-bound point guard T.J. Starks (No. 123).

The biggest riser in the updated rankings is Texas-bound power forward Jericho Sims from Minnesota. The bouncy forward rose 92 spots from No. 146 to No. 54 overall. The next biggest climbs came from TCU big commit Kevin Samuel (144 to 102) and Illinois bound point guard Trent Frazier (142 to 101). Others making jumps of 20 or more spots include California-bound Jemarl Baker (110 to 79), Wisconsin commit Brad Davison (119 to 92), athletic wing Chaundee Brown (64 to 39), Duke-bound shooting guard Alex O’Conell (69 to 44), flashy point guard Isaiah Washington (86 to 62), Wisconsin-bound big Nate Reuvers (108 to 84), Texas-bound high flyer Royce Hamm (138 to 115), Villanova-bound big Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (105 to 85) and Alex Barcello a combo guard committed to Arizona (123 to 103).

Sixty-four members of the Rivals150 have already made their college decisions. Of those who have already committed only six are five-star prospects and only 15 are ranked in the top 50. Auburn, Washington, Illinois and Xavier each have three ranked players committed while Creighton, UCLA, Louisville, Arkansas, Villanova, Florida, TCU, California, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida State each have a pair of Rivals150 commitments.

Finally, based on where the prospects attend high school a total of 37 states plus the District of Columbia are represented in the 2017 Rivals150. California leads the way with the most ranked players with 15. Right behind them is Georgia with 14 while Texas (12), Florida (10) and Virginia (10) each placed double-digit prospects in the rankings. Impressively, all five players who attend high school in Indiana ranked in the top 31.