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Class of 2018 Position Rankings: Centers

We’ve brought back the position rankings to basketball and we reintroduce them this week by ranking the best point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers in the class of 2018.

NEW RELEASES: Centers | Power Forwards | Small Forwards | Shooting Guards | Point Guards

MORE RANKINGS: 2018 Team | 2018 Rivals150 | 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150

Today, we finish up the week with the centers, who are led by the nation’s No. 4-ranked player, Oregon-bound Bol Bol of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. What stands out about the 2018 crop of centers as a whole? Who is the best fit for his college destination, and who might be getting a bit overlooked? National basketball analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans weigh in with their thoughts.


Nazreon Reid
Nazreon Reid (AP Images)

Eric Bossi: “If we are looking at the center group relative to the other positional groups in 2018, there’s not nearly the same level of depth. Part of that is the phasing out of traditional big men and a lot of it has to do with it just being a down year for big men prospects in general. Bol Bol could fit the prototype for the direction that the center is headed, and he’s had a ridiculously good senior year as his vast potential has been paired with consistent production. But after Bol and the first few guys up top, there are a lot of guys who fit more into the project mold than there are those that look ready to rock from Day One.”

Corey Evans: “The 2018 class is a bit lean on top-to-bottom talent at the center position. I get that the NBA and college game has skewed away from the low-post, interior-based big and has opted more toward the skilled and athletic frontcourt prospect. Bol Bol, Nazreon Reid and Moses Brown carry the baton for the class, but even these three elite prospects have a few questions about their longevity at the next level and beyond. Could there be a few surprises at the college level? Sure. I could see Ryan Young, George Conditt and Jake Walter developing into crucial pieces for their team’s success. But where we stand now with the center position, well, these guys have some stuff to prove.”


David McCormack
David McCormack (AP Images)

Bossi: “Two stand out to me as great fits, top-ranked Bol Bol, who is headed to Oregon, and near five-star David McCormack, who is going to Kansas. The last couple of years Oregon had a guy named Chris Boucher, who was a long, slim and athletic big who lacked physicality, blocked shots and wanted to face up to do his scoring. He could also run. That’s Bol. Only Bol is bigger, more skilled and more versatile. As for McCormack, Bill Self loves to have a big, strong and and tough grunt who can handle doing the dirty work around the rim, and he’s got that in McCormack. McCormack can eat space in the lane, sets monster screens and can really run for a kid his size. He is also mean and nasty on the glass.

Evans: "Greg Marshall has hammered home the 'play angry' mantra in every face of the Wichita State basketball program in recent years, and he found the ideal, gritty and hard-playing center in Morris Udeze. A product of the Montverde (Fla.) CBD program, Udeze is more skilled than he lets on, but he will always be known primarily for just how tough he is in the paint. Replacing Rashard Kelly and Shaquille Morris was always going to be difficult task, but Udeze could not have been a better remedy for some of the questions that the Shockers will be facing entering the 2018-2019 season.


Colin Castleton
Colin Castleton

Bossi: “He’s still very thin and may even need a redshirt year at Stanford, but Keenan Fitzmorris has huge upside. Fitzmorris can shoot all the way out to the three-point line, he runs very well, is developing as a rim protector and - despite his lack of strength - he’s got a surprising mean streak in him. In college, Fitzmorris could develop into a really unique matchup for the Cardinal and could be a guy that surpasses a few ahead of him in the rankings before his time in the Pac-12 is done.”

Evans: College basketball has fallen in love with Moritz Wagner over the past few months, and while Michigan will see the big man leave for the NBA after this season, the Wolverines are bringing in another big man with high potential in Colin Castleton. The Florida native brings the same nastiness as Wagner to the frontcourt and is just as good of an athlete. The talent and ceiling are tremendous for the late-blooming Castleton and he should see his game continue to improve each year he's at Michigan.