Bossi's Best: Potential five-stars in 2022
2021 Rankings: Rivals150
Rivals' initial ranking of the class of 2022 is still months away, but Emoni Bates already looks like a potential star. In this week's edition of Bossi's Best, National Analyst Eric Bossi takes an early look at 10 prospects from the class of 2022 who could be on the short list to be listed as five-star prospects when the first ranking of the class is unveiled after the summer.
Why he could be a five-star: An athletic southpaw, Bailey has a nice and balanced inside/out game. He is at his best in transition, where he can soar for big-time jams. But don't sleep on his ability as a jump shooter. Last week at USA Basketball he showed the ability to make clutch shots and lock in defensively.
Early recruitment: Bailey committed to UCLA during the winter and has remained committed despite the coaching change.
Why he could be a five-star: Make no mistake about it, Bates is hands down the top prospect in the class of 2022 and he's as much a lock to debut at No. 1 as somebody can be. He's got elite size for the wing, is a big-time athlete and more than that his skill level and competitive fire are off the charts. He's as complete a player as a 15-year-old can possibly be.
Why he could be a five-star: I've yet to see a better combination of size, skill and toughness in a class of 2022 big man than I have with Duren. He's got great hands, doesn't get moved around and plays both ends with passion. If we ranked the class today, Duren probably checks in at No. 2 behind Bates.
Why he could be a five-star: I've had a chance to see Johnson in a few different environments this spring and his feel for the game and clever offense stands out. He is more scorer than pure shooter, but he's got such a slick handle to go with every change of pace in the book that he's an almost impossible cover for his classmates. With Findlay Prep shutting down, the New York native will have to find a new high school.
Why he could be a five-star: A native of Tennessee who was originally in the class of 2021, Huntley-Hatfield is the same age as most in 2022, so the plan is to graduate with his group. He's a skilled four-man with a pretty shot, the ability to put the ball on the floor and he's a fluid athlete.
Early recruitment: Auburn, East Tennessee State, Florida, Georgia, Seton Hall, South Carolina, St. John's, Tennessee and West Virginia have all made early offers, according to his summer coach, Bobby Maze.
Why he could be a five-star: One of the most naturally gifted scorers in the class of 2022, things come easy for Livingston. He's very athletic, he's got long arms and he has a world of confidence when it comes to scoring via the jumper or drives to the rim. He's a little rough around the edges, but the talent is all there.
Early recruitment: Not surprisingly, home state power Ohio State has offered.
Why he could be a five-star: Mitchell is a versatile wing with size, athleticism and feel for the game. He's already got a terrific frame, can play in an uptempo or halfcourt setting and has built a strong body of work for a young player. He's missed some time this spring with a knee injury and how he bounces back will play a large part in any initial ranking.
Why he could be a five-star: You simply don't see many young big men who are as fluid and coordinated as Nganga is. Add in that he's a pretty good athlete, has touch on his jumper and can make some plays off the dribble and you have a great looking long-term prospect.
Why he could be a five-star: What I love about Rice is that he blends power and skill. When I first saw him last October, he was mostly all athlete and simply ran through guys. Since then, he's become a much better jump shooter, has tightened up his handle and is playing a more versatile offensive game.
Why he could be a five-star: If you looked at Walker you would assume he was a projected five-star as a football player. This kid is a freak of nature physically with strength, speed and bounce in tight places. He handles the ball very well, is a good passer, has added a viable jump shot and could be one of the most versatile defenders in the country.