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McDonald's Nuggets: Prospects who'll outplay rankings in college

In this week’s edition of McDonald’s Nuggets, Dan McDonald addresses five young players who will be even better than their Rivals rankings in college because of the way they'll fit in at their future programs.


MORE: Rob Cassidy checks in on top five college freshmen

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40


STARTING FIVE: Five prospects in 2022 class who will outplay rankings in college

Dillon Mitchell
Dillon Mitchell (Nick Lucero/

When the Rivals analysts go through the rankings process, we’re rankings prospects on the talent we see in them and how we think they project going forward. What isn’t always factored in is a prospect’s college decision. We always see prospects who outplay their ranking based on where they go to school, and I think we’ll see a few prospects do that in the 2022 class.

Let’s start with Dillon Mitchell. Chris Beard has proven to be one of the best in the country at developing prospects into NBA players. He’s done it with under-the-radar prospects out of high school at Texas Tech, and now he’ll get his shot to do it with highly ranked prospects at Texas. Mitchell is one of the more talented wing prospects in the 2022 class with ridiculous athleticism and ability to finish in the paint. With some development from a coach like Beard, don’t be surprised if he turns into a lottery pick.

Bill Self and his staff at Kansas do as good of a job as any in the country with post players. Ernest Udeh will be next on that list. He’s always getting better as it is, but with the tutelage of a great staff, it’ll only expedite his growth. He’s another prospect I think has an NBA future.

You could make a strong argument we have Rylan Griffen too low as it is, but I think he’s an absolutely perfect fit at Alabama to play for Nate Oats. The Crimson Tide want to play fast and with spacing, which will allow a super-gifted scorer like Griffen to flourish. He could be another prospect we see getting long looks from the NBA.

I’ve seen Malique Ewin play at a level that not a lot of post players in the country, regardless of class, can play at. It’s just a matter of getting it done consistently. I’m going to bet on Kermit Davis and the Ole Miss staff to get it out of him and turn him into a dominant player in the SEC, with a potential NBA future.

Otega Oweh was one of the top players at the Peach Jam this past summer. Prospects who can do that tend to have bright futures. He’ll be a perfect building block for Porter Moser over the next few years because he’s not just a really talented prospect on the wing but also really good for building a culture of toughness as the Sooners transition to the SEC.


2023 COMMIT OF THE WEEK: Robert Dillingham to NC State

It doesn’t get much bigger for a program that doesn’t traditionally land five-star prospects scoring a commitment from one where it beat out Kentucky. That’s exactly what happened this week as NC State was able to convince five-star guard Robert Dillingham to come back home for college ball after he’s done playing for Kanye West’s Donda Academy in California.

Currently No. 12 in the 2023 Rivals150, Dillingham has star potential for the Wolfpack. The 6-foot-2 guard can score with the best of them, but he’s also a very capable set-up man for his teammates. He plays the game with a certain flare that should help NC State sell out PNC Arena while he’s around.