All around the country, most basketball players from the class of 2015 have either just finished or are about to finish their sophomore seasons. As they transition from high school to grassroots basketball and what is always an important summer from a development standpoint, it is time to release an initial top 50 ranking for the class.
While Andrew Wiggins and Jahlil Okafor have grabbed pretty firm grips on the number one spots in the classes of 2013 and 2014, respectively, 2015 has been a bit of a tossup to this point. After careful consideration, Ivan Rabb holds the top spot in our first ranking of the sophomore class.
A 6-foot-9 power forward from Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd, Rabb is an excellent all-around prospect and leads a strong contingent of eight Californians in the first top 50. He has good size, is a plus-athlete and has a well-developed array of skills. He can play power basketball at the rim, he runs the floor, rebounds at a high rate and has the ability to step out and make 15-foot jumpers. While he's shown the ability to stand out among his peers, Rabb has also proven that he is capable of playing against older players while more than holding his own.
While Rabb begins the journey in the top spot, there are no assurances that he will go the distance at No. 1. The separation between Rabb and those right behind him is minimal, and the fact of the matter is that these guys are still quite young with plenty of development still to come.
Nipping the closest at Rabb's heels for the moment is another West Coaster, 6-foot-11 big man Stephen Zimmerman from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Zimmerman is a highly skilled big man who can run the floor, handle the ball and shoot with some range. Right after Zimmerman is the highest ranked guard in 2015, combo guard Malik Newman of Jackson (Miss.) Callaway. A scoring machine who can run the point or play off the ball, Newman has established himself early.
Rounding out the top five are two more big men with skill. Similar in style to a young Kevin Love, 6-foot-10 Diamond Stone of Whitefish Bay (Wisc.) Dominican makes his debut in the No. 4 spot. He's a big kid who establishes and holds position, has great hands and super touch. A recent import from Australia, 6-foot-8 Ben Simmons has arrived at powerful Montverde (Fla.) Academy and has a diverse game. Simmons has the skill level and athleticism to develop into a big wing, or he can cause big matchup problems as a faceup four-man.
Another international import, No. 6 Skal Labissiere, is a native of Haiti who has shown tremendous promise at Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian School just outside of Memphis. At No. 7, Daniel Giddens is still developing on the offensive end, but the 6-foot-10 center from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler has great size and is a high-level defender and rebounder. A skilled guard who can score or run the show, Tyler Dorsey checks in at No. 8, while Chicago combo guard Charles Matthews and Texas big man Elijah Thomas complete the top 10, and are all five-star prospects.
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