Jackson remains No. 1 for 2016
The month of July is here and that means that it's time to update the Rivals150 for the class of 2016. There is little change at the top as wing Josh Jackson is still in command of the top spot while others give chase.
Stability at the top
A Detroit native who plays his high school ball for Napa Valley (Calif.) Prolific Prep, 6-foot-7 shooting guard Josh Jackson had a spring strong enough to keep a strong group of competitors in check.
Jackson is a big-time athlete with an uncanny ability to make plays happen in the open floor. While he still needs to improve the consistency of his jump shot, Jackson is remarkably productive across the board. He scores, he rebounds, he is an elite defender and he shares the ball. What's most scary is that he still seems to be just scratching at the surface of his vast potential.
Right behind Jackson, there is no change in spots 2-4. Six-foot-10 forward Harry Giles from High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian is a skilled big man who continues to push Jackson for the top spot. At No. 3, 6-foot-8 swingman Jayson Tatum from St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade continues to add strength and plays a skilled game on the offensive end. At No. 4, 6-foot-2 point guard Dennis Smith from Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian is an explosive floor general who puts pressure on defenses.
Moving up one spot to No. 5, UCLA commitment Lonzo Ball is one who sparks a lot of debate. The 6-foot-5 point guard is incredibly skilled and a legitimate triple-double threat each time he takes the floor, but the product of Chino Hills (Calif.) High doesn't play on any of the big shoe company circuits, so he doesn't travel the country playing against other top prospects in the same fashion that most others do.
Also making one-spot gains inside the top 10 are shooting guard Malik Monk and power forward Edrice Adebayo. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Bentonville (Ark.) High, Monk is a ridiculous athlete who explodes for big numbers when his jumper is falling from deep. Adebayo is an athletic, powerfully built big man from Washington (N.C.) Northside who dominates on the glass and has made big developments with his offensive game.
Making the highest debut in the top 10 is 6-foot-5 point guard Kobi Simmons from Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis, who checks in at No. 8. However the speedy scorer didn't have to move to far up from his previous spot of No. 12 in the class. Right behind Simmons at No. 9 is another point guard. De'Aaron Fox of Katy (Texas) Cypress Lakes moved up a spot and is just as dynamic a defender as he is a playmaker.
The final spot in the top 10 belongs to yet another talented point guard. Some might call 6-foot-3 Frank Jackson more of a combo guard because of his scoring, but he is at his best with the ball in his hands. The product of Highland (Utah) Lone Peak began the spring at No. 31 overall and has made huge leaps in his game.
The new five-stars
Including Frank Jackson, there are a total of eight newly minted five-star prospects in the updated Rivals150 for the class of 2016.
Making the biggest leap into five-star territory is Jonathan Isaac. A silky smooth 6-foot-8 wing from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG, Isaac has moved his way up from his spring starting point of No. 46 all the way up to No. 13.
Also making double-digit climbs up the rankings and moving from four to five-star prospects are Marques Bolden and Rawle Alkins. One of four Texans regarded as five-star prospects, Bolden is a 6-foot-10 center from DeSoto (Texas) High who climbed from No. 29 to No. 14 overall. Alkins is a tough, powerful two-guard from New York who climbed to No. 15 from No. 26.
Other prospects who made the move from four to five-star status are shooting guard Mustapha Heron (No. 19), power forward Dewan Huell (No. 22), shooting guard Markelle Fultz (No. 23) and tough as nails forward Miles Bridges (No. 24).
Debuts and high-risers
A total of 16 prospects make their debut in the Rivals150 this time around. Of those prospects, six of them enter the rankings as four-star recruits.
The highest debut is made by Kentucky commitment Tai Wynyard, who appears for the first time in the rankings at No. 43. The big man from New Zealand is strong, plays tough on the glass and shows good hands around the hoop.
Also making debuts as four-star prospects are Arizona State-bound shooting guard Sam Cunliffe (No. 77), power forward Taurean Thompson (No. 85), combo forward Kostas Antetokounmpo (No. 86), combo guard Jacob Young (No. 103) and Texas A&M-bound power forward Robert Williams (No. 107).
The biggest climb inside the rankings was made by UCLA-bound center Ike Anigbogu. The big man from Corona (Calif.) Centennial climbed an impressive 107 spots from No. 144 all the way up to No. 37 overall.
In total, 22 players made what would be considered major climbs in the rankings by climbing 20 or more spots since the last full update to the 2016 Rivals150 in early spring. Of those 22, an impressive 10 of them were point guards.
Making the big leaps were shooting guard Kameron McGusty (No. 71 to No. 36), point guard Alterique Gilbert (No. 77 to No. 39), point guard DeJon Jarreau (No. 72 to No. 44), point guard Shamorie Ponds (No. 99 to No. 45), Michigan State-bound big man Nick Ward (No. 69 to No. 48), power forward Sacha Killeya-Jones (No. 73 to No. 51), point guard Tony Carr (No. 76 to No. 53), small forward De'Riante Jenkins (No. 120 to No. 63), Virginia-bound point guard Ty Jerome (No. 103 to No. 68), center James Banks (No. 100 to No. 79), shooting guard Kevin Huerter (No. 101 to No. 80), combo forward Wenyen Gabriel (No. 112 to No. 84), Mississippi State-bound point guard Lamar Peters (No. 135 to No. 87), point guard Xavier Simpson (No. 122 to No. 88), Butler-bound center Joey Brunk (No. 138 to No. 99), point guard Bryce Aiken (No. 130 to No. 101), combo forward DeAndre Hunter (No. 132 to No. 105), combo forward Cameron McGriff (No. 139 to No. 112), shooting guard Lindy Waters (No. 137 to No. 117) and Florida State-bound point guard C.J. Walker (No. 148 to No. 118).
A pair of omissions
Notably missing from this edition of the 2016 rankings are five-star center Thon Maker and four-star wing Maverick Rowan.
Formerly the No. 1 player in the class of 2016, the seven-foot Maker announced during the winter that he would move to the class of 2015. As a 2015 prospect, he finished No. 9 in the final Rivals150. However, he has decided to move back to the class of 2016. In the past, Rivals has not re-ranked prospects who were already included in the final ranking of another class and sticking by that standard, Maker is viewed as a non-ranked five-star prospect in 2016.
Also switching classes is Rowan. Previously ranked No. 43 in the class of 2016, Rowan has announced that he will finish up his coursework early and head to college as a member of the class of 2015. Similar to Maker but in reverse order, Rivals has not previously moved players who move up a year into final rankings that have already been completed, so Rowan will be considered a non-ranked four-star prospect in the class of 2015.
Not so long ago, changes of graduating class after final rankings were infrequent. However, with more and more players being initially classified in one class but electing to finish in another (often times because they are forgoing a year of prep school that they had planned to take before college), Rivals will examine the policy of not changing final rankings moving forward.
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