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Rivals Rankings Week: Roundtable on position rankings

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150


It's Rivals Rankings Week for basketball, and we've updated the positional rankings for the class of 2020. Analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald discuss some of the themes they see at each position.

RELATED: Roundtable on the overall rankings updates

What is your impression of the point guard group, and whose long-term potential stands out relative to his current ranking?

Cade Cunningham
Cade Cunningham (Nick Lucero/


Bossi: I really like the versatility, size - in most cases - and overall skill level of the top 10 of this group. I also like that it appears to be a group full of multiple-year college players and not too many obvious one-and-done types – Cade Cunningham is certainly the exception. Right at the end of those top 10, I really like Zeb Jackson. He’s got length, he can shoot, he is still growing into his body and he has late-bloomer written all over him. Hanging on to his commit will be very important for Juwan Howard and Michigan.

Evans: There is quality depth when it comes to future college standouts, but, at the top, there is a limited amount of immediate star power. With this in mind, schools were smart to strike early, as already there are handful of prospects that have come to their college decisions. Duke, Michigan and Purdue are just a few that have struck early, which should pay major dividends down the road.

Whenever we are talking about long-term potential, it has to start at the top. Cunningham is not just the best point guard in 2020, but is also in the conversation for being the best overall prospect. While some might not see the upside with him, his recent track record of progression and just how versatile he is point to the fact that he has the chance to get much better as he gets older.

McDonald: I like this point guard class a lot. There is a lot of star power at the top with Cunningham, Cooper and Nix, but then I look all the way down 20th overall and see Jamal Shead, who I think will have a great college career at Houston. One prospect I was really impressed with earlier this travel season was Caleb Love. I like his size at the position and I like that he's both a scorer and a really good set-up guy. I'm not surprised in the least his recruitment took off over the past couple months. I wouldn't be shocked if he's the best from this class outside of Cunningham when all is said and done.

What is your impression of the shooting guards, and whose ranking do you believe most strongly in?  

Bryce Thompson
Bryce Thompson


Bossi: Top to bottom, I could argue that the shooting guards are the strongest group in the class of 2020. Many of them can play point in a pinch and a lot of them - like new five-star Bryce Thompson - are just starting to find their sea legs and really take off. It’s hard to believe that D.J. Steward - who just wrapped an official visit to Texas - only checks in at No. 11 in this group despite being a top 35 player. But that’s how stacked this group is. I’m really keen on Steward because of his quickness, ability to create a shot and because he can be a mad bomber from deep. Guys like him are crushing it in college right now.

Evans: This is where we find some of the top spring breakthrough performers. Thompson, Steward, Matthew Murrell and Ian Martinez are just a few players who have made the shooting guard position arguably the deepest position in the 2020 class. Whether you want college-ready stars, NBA prospects or four-year guys, the off-guard spot is where to find them.

One of those that I am really intrigued by is Niels Lane. The 6-foot-4 guard has packed on close to 20 pounds since last summer, has become better with his ball skills and is now a legitimate three-level scorer that must be accounted for each time that he hits the floor. He wasn’t ranked in the Rivals150 prior to this past update, but he is someone who is seeing his stock pick up. Florida, Providence and Virginia are already making him a priority.

McDonald: Looking at the very top of this list, I see two prospects with a ton of upside in Jalen Green and BJ Boston. Right behind them, I see a handful of prospects that I wouldn't be surprised to see pass those two at the top in the long run. I really liked what I saw from Josh Christopher at the EYBL back in April. He's such a gifted scorer with the ideal size and athleticism combination for the position. He screams NBA lottery pick.

What is your overall impression of the small forward group, and who stands out to you as someone to keep a close eye on moving forward? 

Jalen Johnson
Jalen Johnson (Darren Lee/ Photographer)


Bossi: This is another strong group. What really stands out with this group is the number of big and skilled guys who can play some shooting guard, small forward or even as small-ball four men. Since the winter, Josh Hall has risen from just outside of the rankings all the way to the national top 25. He’s a legit 6-foot-8, has arguably the best-looking jump shot in the class and just seems to be scratching at his overall potential.

Evans: There are a number of giant bodies that can really be deemed more of small-ball four men, but have the tenacity to guard on the perimeter and the requisite ball skills to play at a similar spot on the offensive end. Jalen Johnson, Corey Walker, Hall and Jabri Abdur-Rahim are all throwback-style players who also possess tremendous skill sets and the potential to get much better in the coming years.

There is something about Mwani Wilkinson that has me deeply intrigued. The combo forward out of Las Vegas just picked up his first power conference offer from TCU over the weekend, and while he has been overshadowed on the travel and high school circuits, the fact that he is younger for his grade level, plays with a tremendous motor and uses his elite instincts to impact both sides of the floor makes him a prospect worth keeping tabs on.

McDonald: What I like most about this small forward group is the variety of the style of players at the top. Johnson has the "point forward" type game. Ziaire Williams is more what you think of when it comes to long, athletic small forward with a ton of skill. Greg Brown is the freaky athlete of the bunch whose game is starting to catch up. It's another really good group.

I'm really intrigued to see where Hall's development goes this summer and beyond. I'm not sure he doesn't need to be higher on this list than No. 5, but we'll have a chance to rectify that this summer if need. He was mighty impressive in my viewings.

What is your overall impression of the power forwards and who might be underrated?

Scottie Barnes
Scottie Barnes (Nick Lucero/


Bossi: A few of these guys like the No. 1 at the position, Scottie Barnes, could just as easily be listed as small forwards and it’s not the most college-ready group. But, for those who are willing to be patient and develop a player, there is some real value on the back end. Take for example Osasare Ighodaro, Montreal Pena and Kiyron Powell. They all just snuck into the Rivals150 and rank 26, 27 and 28 positionally. I don’t think any of these three is particularly college-ready and they all need strength. But they all have serious athletic and skill upside and in the right situation could be the types of players who significantly outplay their rankings.

Evans: It is just really limited. There is a lack for elite level prospects and the drop off after that is even more severe. College programs who have not figured that out and need at least one big body in the 2020 class might be hurdled some if they miss on their top targets this summer.

However, that doesn’t mean that there are not some underrated forwards that could use a few days in July to enhance their recruitments. One of those is Donte Houston, who has led a rather minimal recruitment so far but has caught my eye a number of times this spring with Drive Nation out of Dallas. He competes, rebounds and finishes, all assets that high-majors eye whenever they’re looking for potential frontcourt prospects.

McDonald: This is another unique group with a lot of different types of power forwards. There is some of the more traditional big men in the group and some more modern "stretch 4" type prospects in here, but keeping with the theme of the class I like this group too.

I'm going to reach down to No. 40 overall here for my sleeper in Patrick Iriel. He has some developing to do for sure, but he has the size you can't teach, great hands, and finishes well. I think ACC and SEC schools need to keep close tabs on his development this summer.

What is your overall impression of the centers? Bigs tend to develop at a slower pace. Whose recent improvement has caught your eye?

Jaylin Williams
Jaylin Williams (Jon Lopez/Jon Lopez Creative @NikeEYB)


Bossi: I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with this group. For the most part the guys up in the top 10 have been pretty well known for a while and they’ve backed up the early hype. Moving down the list a little, Ryan Kalkbrenner is one that I’m very high on. The 7-footer can run the floor, has very good hands, is a big-time rim protector and he’s showing that he will be a capable scorer. He just needs more strength and more experience playing against top competition.

Evans: There is a dividing line between the elite in the 2020 class at the center position and everyone else. The top six players have separated themselves, while everyone else has either tapped out from a development perspective or has some more work to do to catch the rest of the pack. One of those who has improved is Jaylin Williams. The native of Arkansas has grown a little more, and he should actually be a member of the 2021 class, because of how young he is. But he has the modern-day skill set that should translate well to higher levels and he is definitely someone worth keeping an eye on as he completes his senior summer next month.

McDonald: Center seems to be the position not many prospects want to play any more and they certainly don't like be labeled that way, but this is a pretty nice group overall. I see a lot of early impact guys on this list. Dylan Cardwell is one who really caught my eye playing for AOT recently. He is in much better shape now than a year ago after spending a season at Oak Hill and you can see how much it's helped him become a better player. He's always had the great hands and soft touch. He needs to be a priority guy for high-majors.