Basketball Recruiting - New class of 2023 rankings: Top storylines
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New class of 2023 rankings: Top storylines

DaJuan Wagner Jr.
DaJuan Wagner Jr. (https://basketball.rivals.com)

The 2023 rankings have expanded to include 100 prospects and include names both new and familiar. Below, Rivals.com has a look at some of the major storylines at work in the newly refreshed rankings.

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MORE: Rivals Roundtable on rankings, coaching hires, more

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 100

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STILL TOP DOG: DuJuan Wagner Jr. 

Wagner did nothing but solidify his stranglehold on the top spot in recent months and it seems the gap between him and the field is growing. Wagner is becoming a truly elite defender, which complements his well-earned reputation as a lethal offensive weapon. His length, athleticism and polish are obvious every time he sets foot on the court, and his basketball IQ is off the charts. It’s hard to imagine somebody overtaking him for the top spot at this juncture.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Wagner and his camp say college is a legitimate option for him and are encouraging schools to recruit him. But while the five-star guard is considering attending college on some level, the pro route remains the most likely outcome. If Wagner decides to play college ball, it’ll likely be for Kentucky head coach John Calipari, with whom Wagner and his family have a close relationship.

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NEW AT NO. 2: Omaha Biliew 

Biliew recently announced his intentions to transfer to national powerhouse Montverde Academy, which should help the five-star continue his trajectory. Biliew recently turned in one of the top performances at the CP3 Memorial Day Classic, which was simply the exclamation point to an impressive year for the long, athletic forward. The No. 2 spot will certainly be contested in the year ahead, as a number of prospects have a case for the slot, but Biliew’s upside and trajectory give him a leg up for the time being.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Biliew recently visited Kansas and will tour Iowa State soon. Kentucky, Iowa and Oklahoma State are also heavily involved.

MORE: Biliew speaks with Rivals

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HIGHEST DEBUT: JJ Taylor

Taylor made a name for himself long before this month’s Pangos All-American Camp, but the performance he turned in at the event helped solidify his spot in the rankings. The Chicago-based Taylor debuts at No. 4, the highest spot of any newcomer to the rankings, and he did so on the back of his consistent and well-rounded performances against some of the top players in America at Pangos. Taylor is an elite slasher that finishes well through contact, and his jumper is becoming more reliable by the month.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Illinois offered the in-state star early in the process, and Texas has inserted itself as well. Kentucky recently made things official as well. Taylor’s offer list is sure to grow exponentially this summer, but the Illini, Wildcats and Longhorns have the look of real players in his recruitment.

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WELCOME TO THE TOP 10: Caleb Foster 

Foster checked in at No. 22 in the previous rankings but made the jump to No. 10 this time around. Foster is a well-rounded guard that can score and facilitate at a high level. There’s a reason a number of schools made him a priority on the first day coaches were permitted to contact 2023 players. Foster finishes well at the bucket with either hand, but he will need to become a more consistent shooter from range to hang on to his spot in the top 10.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Louisville, NC State and Memphis recently offered Foster, who had a busy first day of the contact period. Auburn, Illinois and Tennessee are also in the mix.

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STOCK (WAY) UP: Marvel Allen 

Allen has shined in every setting in which he’s found himself this year. A star on a loaded Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Calvary Christian squad and one of top players in the loaded E1T1 Elite Grassroots program, the newly minted five-star manages to stand out against top-flight competition week in and week out. Allen is a hyper-athletic slasher with a sneaky consistent jumper and court vision that allows him to make the right pass on most occasions.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Georgia, Florida State, Alabama and Stanford are all involved with Allen, who is likely the top 2023 prospect in the Sunshine State. In-state Florida, which called him the minute the contact period began, is also making him a priority.

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ONE TO WATCH: Matas Buzelis

Buzelis grabbed plenty of attention with his performance at Pangos All-American Camp earlier this month. And while he debuts at No. 42 in the rankings, it feels like his ceiling could be much higher than that. The 6-foot-8 wing has the length of a slasher but also shoots the ball from distance and can function as a facilitator. Our sample size on Buzelis is small for the time being, but he certainly has the feel of a player that could improve his stock as he continues to showcase his game against top competition this summer and into next season.

WHERE HIS RECRUITMENT STANDS: Schools such as Kansas, Syracuse and Illinois have already offered Buzelis. Duke made contact with him on the first day of the contact period and there seems to be plenty more college interest where that came from.