Rivals Rankings Week: Analysts weigh in on 2021 Rivals150
Heading into the summer, just 14 prospects boasted a five-star rating. Now, 18 hold the prestigious label. After a tremendous run on the travel circuit, Devin Askew, Kennedy Chandler, Khristian Lander and Harrison Ingram made the leap into the elite category.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
TUESDAY: 2020 Top 10
WEDNESDAY: 2020 Rivals150
THURSDAY: 2020 position rankings
FRIDAY: 2021 Rivals150
SATURDAY: 2021 position rankings
MONDAY: 2022 rankings
The biggest mover of them all was Daimion Collins, who barely made his way into the previous Rivals150 but he jumped 76 spots to the No. 20 overall slot. The prospect to make the highest appearance who was not previously ranked is Peyton Watson, who had his national emergence in July at the USA Basketball Junior National Mini-Camp. Watson begins at 31st overall, while JD Davison (51), Ryan Nembhard (59), Bryce Hopkins (66) and Shane Dezonie (78) are four others that catapulted their strong showings this summer into national rankings.
The best of the class can be found in the frontcourt. Five of the top seven prospects can be labeled as power forwards, while the nation’s top-ranked junior, Kuminga, can even play the 4-man role.
Just five members of the Rivals150 have made their college decision. Ohio State is the lone program to secure more than one Rivals150 commitment, while Gonzaga, NC State and Notre Dame boast the remaining three.
Rivals.com analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald share the thought process behind some of the most discussed issues in compiling the final rankings.
The toughest decision for me this rankings update was ...
Bossi: Where to make the cut between four- and five-stars was a tough call for me. It's still so early with these guys just getting ready to start the second half of their high school careers that I like to move slowly before declaring too many five-stars. The kids deserve time to develop and we all need more time to evaluate them. I'd much rather give a star than take it away down the road. But, I feel good about our decisions. The guys who have five-stars now, ending at Max Christie at No. 18, have proven themselves enough to merit that rating.
Evans: What to do with Chet Holmgren? There are only a handful of prospects during my time covering the sport that hit the unique scale as profoundly as Holmgren.
What is his true position? Is he the perfect small ball/big man for today’s playing style, someone who can make shots to the perimeter and also guard in space? Is he a legitimate wing? Your guess is as good as mine, but just because our eyes are not trained to see what Holmgren does should not undercut just how talented, versatile and how far he can go in the sport. He has to get stronger, anyone can see that, but it also wouldn’t be that big of a surprise if, in five years, Holmgren is the best player to come out of the 2021 class.
McDonald: From what I've seen, the top spot in this class isn't really that tough of a call right now. Jonathan Kuminga deserves to be at the top these rankings right now. The next four spots, however, aren't as easy. You could probably justify putting them in any order and have a pretty good argument. That's where I'll be curious to see how this class plays out, although there is a good chance Terrence Clarke isn't a member of the 2021 class much longer.
The reason I believe in this player's ranking is ...
Bossi: We are being aggressive with the ranking of Arizona power forward DaRon Holmes. He checks in at No. 29 nationally and I feel that he will be recruited at the highest level when all is said and done. He's certainly on that track, with offers from programs such as Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Texas Tech, USC and many others. He's got very good size at around 6-foot-9, runs the floor very well and is going to be a pretty skilled 4-man when it is all said and done. I really like his long term potential.
Evans: I am amped that we were able to get Devin Askew into the top 10 of the 2021 Rivals150. The kid did it all this summer, whether it was helping lead Team WhyNot to the Nike Peach Jam finals, dominating the Nike Top 100 Camp or proving that he belonged going up against the elite at the Nike Skills Academy. I have not covered many as tough, competitive and outgoing as Askew. Throw in the strides that he continues to make and the five-star rating and his position as the best point guard prospect in the 2021 class is more than deserved. If there is one guy that I am going to bet the house on, it is Askew.
McDonald: Kennedy Chandler made a pretty nice jump from No. 27 up to No. 13 in this update, and I am completely on board with it. I watched him match up with five-star 2020 point guard Caleb Love on the first night of the April live period at the Nike EYBL and he played really well. I love his ability to score, make plays and his athleticism and energy. He has star potential at the next level.
The player I fear we have too low is ...
Bossi: I really wish I had more firsthand experience watching Duncan Powell from Texas. He's productive, has skill and has a real edge about him and confidence that I really like. I've just not had opportunity to see him as much as some others, so my first inclination is for us to go conservative with him and that's why he's a four-star ranked in the area of the top 100. But, he's got a chance to move up the ranks quickly as we grow more familiar with his game.
Evans: I wouldn’t be surprised if - by the time we come around to the next ranking update - Jusaun Holt is much higher than where he currently sits, at No. 99 overall. Finding good-sized wings with fluid athleticism and knockdown shot-making abilities remains vital for any successful team. If Holt can get a bit stronger and refine various portions of his skill set this fall, he could absolutely break out this winter.
Holt first caught my eye this summer at the GHSA Camp in June, and he has only gotten better. I guess that he needs to prove his national standing a bit more this high school season, but he is a bit too low and could be on the cusp of the next leap with his game.
McDonald: I'm going to reach down to No. 120 overall and go with Peyton Daniels. I've watched him play quite a bit over the past year with both his high school team and his travel team. What I like most about him is that he appears to be equally comfortable playing on the ball and off the ball. He's a lights-out shooter and a really efficient player. He's the type of player you start to appreciate more the more you see him.
The player I hope proves us right and is not ranked too high is ...
Bossi: I will go with Florida big man Ernest Ross. We have him at No. 31 overall and if you watch him with his size, athleticism and energy, he can quickly jump out at you. He's also got a nice-looking stroke on his jumper and can be a menace on the glass. He can also go stretches where he's very quiet and doesn't put up quite the numbers you might expect, given his physical gifts. I think we'll see a much more productive player over the next year, and he's one of the biggest upside guys in the class of 2021.
Evans: Did we jump the gun on Zach Clemence, or is he deserving of a top 50 ranking? I am going to say that he is definitely one of the best power forward prospects in the 2021 class, as evidenced by his showing in Houston during the NCAA Regional Camp. The Texas native is a good-sized, athletic and heady forward who can really, really shoot the ball. I don’t know how great he is around the basket but I do know that when his motor is revved and he is engaged Clemence is one of the more difficult stops in the frontcourt. I am hoping that he proves us right with his No. 42 ranking and that his new digs at Sunrise Christian Academy treat him well this fall.
McDonald: Jabari Smith went from being relatively unknown this time last year to No. 6 overall in this update. He's another prospect I've seen quite a bit over the past year, even before he started receiving high-major offers. He's really talented and has a lot of upside. My biggest concerns with him right now are consistency and how tough he is. I'd like to see improvement in both areas, because if he does, he's going to make a lot of money playing basketball.