basketball Edit

I've Got Five On It: Five prospects that should rise in the rankings

Dariq Whitehead
Dariq Whitehead (Rivals.com)

With rankings for the classes of 2022 and 2023 set to update next month, there’s plenty to say about how the shuffling of the deck will unfold. New names will emerge, sure, but a number of already highly touted prospects are also set to move up either further as part of the refresh.

This week in I've Got Five On it, we take a look at five prospects that will likely improve on their already lofty rankings when the dust settles.

*****

Florida Man: Five-star Jahki Howard, Miami, 2022 guard RJ Luis

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

*****

Current rank: No. 9 in 2022

How high he could climb: One of very few contenders for the No. 1 spot in 2022, Whitehead is the best player on arguably the best team in the country. He’s looked like the top prospect in America for stretches of his senior season and is better than anyone in the discussion when he’s at his best. He’s had some efficiency lapses as of late but that’s nitpicking. Whitehead’s combination of size, athleticism and skill is almost impossible for anyone in the 2022 class to match and he’s spent the last year proving it against truly top-flight competition at Montverde Academy and with Team Durant on the EYBL circuit.

Recruitment: Whitehead is signed with Duke.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH DUKE FANS AT DEVILSILLUSTRATED.COM

*****  

Current rank: No. 5 in 2022

How high he could climb: It’s no secret that Filipowski has played himself into the conversation for the top spot. It’s been discussed for weeks and we’ve written about it a time or two already. The 6-foot-10 forward comes with a wide range of skills that includes a jumper from range few players of his size and build can match. He recently got the better of fellow five-star Dereck Lively in a head-to-head matchup, which flies in the face of the weak-competition knock Filipowski has faced in his pursuit of the top spot. The Duke commit will almost certainly land somewhere in the top three. Exactly which slot he’ll occupy is the only question left to answer.

Recruitment: Filipowski is signed with Duke.

*****  

Current rank: No. 10 in 2023

How high he could climb: DJ Wagner's stranglehold on the top spot in 2023 has loosened a bit, and Jackson is the main reason why. The 6-foot-9 forward’s ascent began during the July live period and has continued through the high school season thus far. A strong and impressive athlete that can handle the ball and score at all three levels, Jackson has few holes in his game, as he’s a ferocious rebounder in addition to being one of the country’s premier scores. His recent performances at the Tarkanian Classic and the Chick-Fil-A Classic have made him a surefire bet to move up significantly in February.

Recruitment: Jackson has offers from all over the country but seems focused on North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke is also in the mix and shouldn't be counted out.

*****  

Current rank: No. 27

How high he could climb: Buzelis has eyes on the top five, which isn’t out of the question. An ascent into the top 10 is more of a foregone conclusion, however, as the 6-foot-9 wing comes with pro upside and a wide range of different translatable skills. Buzelis handles and shoots the ball incredibly well for his size and finishes through contact with regularity despite having room to add significant weight. His profile translates well to today’s NBA.

Recruitment: The bluebloods are in pursuit of Buzelis. Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky are involved. He has already visited Florida State and Wake Forest.

*****

Current rank: No. 24 in 2023

How high he could climb: Holland has played like a top-10 prospect for the majority of his junior season. The major knock on his game used to be the lack of a consistent jumper from range, a hole Holland seems to have addressed. He hasn’t become an elite shooter, but the improvement is obvious to anyone that has watched him in the past few months. A key cog on one of the best teams in the country, Holland is clearly deserving of ranking higher than where he currently sits. He’s a threat to add a star come rankings week.

Recruitment: Memphis and Texas are heavily involved with Holland and should be seen as threats to eventually land his commitment. Kentucky has made preliminary contact but is yet to make things official with an offer. UCLA and others are also involved.