basketball

Bagley retains top spot in new Rivals150

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Heading into the April live evaluation periods and grassroots basketball season, there isn’t a lot of change at the very top of the updated Rivals150 for the class of 2018. Power forward Marvin Bagley of Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon still lays claim to the top spot, with YouTube sensation Zion Williamson of Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School hot on his heels.

MORE: Updated 2018 Rivals150 | Risers in new rankings | 2017 Rivals150 | 2017 team rankings

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BAGLEY RETAINS TOP SPOT

Make no mistake about it, forward Zion Williamson of Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School may be the most popular athlete in all of high school sports. His insane YouTube highlight reels attract millions of clicks, and his social media accounts have exploded with followers.

Social media presence doesn’t factor into rankings, however, and as good as Williamson is, 6-foot-10 power forward Marvin Bagley III is still the No. 1 player in the class of 2018 and gets the edge as the better prospect.

Down to a final six of Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC, Bagley has an incredible blend of size, skill, athleticism and feel for the game. In many ways, he reminds Rivals.com of a young Amar’e Stoudemire, only Bagley is more skilled at the same age.

As impressive an athlete as the high school ranks have seen in some time, Williamson is a violent dunker and punishingly physical player. The 6-foot-7 wing counts Clemson (where his stepfather played), Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and UCLA among the many programs that have offered him scholarship.

There isn’t a lot of change behind Bagley and Williamson either, as the top six remains entirely unchanged. The nation’s best shooting guard, Romeo Langford of New Albany (Ind.) High, checks in at No. 3 overall. Holding on at No. 4 is athletic power forward Jordan Brown of Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek, while small forward Cameron Reddish of the Westtown (Pa.) School and center Moses Brown of Queens (N.Y.) Archbishop Molloy hold steady at Nos. 5 and No. 6.

Making a big move into the top 10 is 7-foot-1 center Bol Bol. The son of ex-NBA player Manute Bol, Bol has flourished since a junior season transfer brought him from Kansas to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.

The nation’s highest-ranked point guard and another son of a former NBA player (Winston Garland), Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy’s Darius Garland slides in at No. 8 overall. Arizona committed small forward Emmanuel Akot of Wasatch (Utah) Academy and big man Simisola Shittu of the Vermont Academy -- who both hail from Canada -- round out the top 10.

BY THE NUMBERS

Along with Akot, four other players have been elevated to five-star status in this update. High-scoring combo guard Quentin Grimes of Texas (No. 12), big man Jalen Smith (No. 13), athletic power forward Emmitt Williams (No. 17) and the younger brother of 2017’s No. 1 player Michael Porter Jr., power forward Jontay Porter (No. 23), all make the move to five-star status.

It’s hard to look through the rankings and not notice the presence of sons of former NBA players. In addition to Bol and Garland, Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, checks in at No. 16, while Larry Nance’s son, Pete Nance, whose brother, Larry, Jr., plays for the Lakers, makes the highest debut of anybody in the rankings at No. 39 overall.

The highest-ranked player who has made his college commitment is the aforementioned Emmanuel Akot. He is one of five members of the top 30 who has taken himself off the board and is joined by Auburn-bound power forward E.J. Montgomery (No. 19), Saint Louis-bound power forward Carte’Are Gordon (No. 24), Arkansas-bound power forward Reginald Perry (No. 25) and Louisville-bound point guard Courtney Ramey (No. 29).

A total of 22 members of the 2018 Rivals150 have made commitments. Arkansas and Ohio State lead the way, having each landed three. Louisville, North Carolina and Michigan State have each landed two early commitments from players ranked in the updated Rivals150.

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