Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2020 position rankings
As #RivalsRankingsWeek continues the 2020 positional rankings have all been updated. National analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald give their impressions of each group and point to various reasons that top players stand out.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
TUESDAY: 2020 Top 10
WEDNESDAY: 2020 Rivals150
THURSDAY: 2020 position rankings
FRIDAY: 2021 Rivals150
SATURDAY: 2021 position rankings
SUNDAY: 2022 rankings
What is your impression of the point guard group, who do you most want to know more about?
Bossi: It’s a good group, though not overwhelming. Clearly Cade Cunningham is a bit ahead of the pack but I really love the direction that Jalen Suggs is going with his game, too. The guy we all need to know more about is Duke commit Jeremy Roach. He’s been out with injury for the last year and while we’ve avoided penalizing him for injury, there is going to be pressure on him to perform to that five-star level when he makes his return.
Evans: Outside of a select few, there are not many elite to choose from but that is not a bad thing with the college game in mind. By the time Cunningham and Daishen Nix are having their NBA rookie contracts extended, Jalen Cook or Chuck Harris could be completing 100-plus win college careers.
Speaking of winning, I wish that I knew even more about Dallin Hall. The Utah native has stood out each time that I have seen him play in recent months. Many of the best mid-majors out west have placed a high value on him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he led his team to more than one NCAA Tournament berth throughout his college career.
McDonald: I like this group of point guards a lot. It's strong at the top and it's pretty deep. You get down to No. 30 and see Butler commit Myles Tate, who will have a really nice college career. I'm really curious to see how the recruiting process plays out for Caleb Love. He has visits set and it feels like multiple schools feel good about their chances of getting him. His recruitment could have an impact on several other point guards in the 2020 class.
What is your impression of the shooting guards, and whose ranking do you believe most strongly in?
Bossi: What stands out to me is that, for the most part, this is a group with good positional size and they do a very good job of creating for themselves off the bounce. On the other hand, as a group these guys could improve their shot selection and efficiency quite a bit.
Going a bit further down the list, I believe in Kerwin Walton’s jump shooting and was pretty vocal about making sure that we moved him fairly high on the list and I feel good about us ranking him higher than most of the recruiting industry. Keep an eye out for Colorado shooting guard Dominique Clifford at No. 43 as well. He really earned his spot on this list and if anything he’s one guy that could see his stock soar as we get to see more of him.
Evans: There is no shortage of high-level scorers in the off-guard spot. Whether it is Jalen Green, Josh Christopher or Bryce Thompson, the college game will be graced with a bevy of scorers that will make an impact as soon as they set foot on campus. Go down the list and even Tramon Mark, Darrius Maddox and Nick Blake should have an early turn at putting the ball through the basket.
McDonald: This is the group I'm really curious to see how college careers play out. I have a feeling we're going to see some guys not live up to the ranking and others outplay their ranking. I'm a big fan of Matthew Murrell. I feel really strongly about him being a top-50 prospect nationally and he'll be a difference-maker early wherever he ends up. He's a natural scorer and he has a lot of winning qualities to him.
What is your overall impression of the small forward group, who could surprise some down the road?
Bossi: These guys have good size, are athletic and they are versatile. At the top end, dudes like Jalen Johnson, Ziaire Williams and Greg Brown could all just as easily be considered small ball four men and there are many others like them that can play and defend multiple positions. I really want to keep an eye out for Russian wing Samson Ruzhentsev who is a top-75 prospect overall and No. 17 in the position rankings. He’s got size, he’s athletic, he can shoot and I felt he was on his way to a breakout summer before injury slowed him down.
Evans: You can go big or you can go small. Johnson, Brown and Corey Walker might be best classified as power forwards with today’s game in mind but, regardless, their versatile, mismatch qualities are off of the charts. If it is the throwback 3-man, look no further than Earl Timberlake, Jabri Abdur-Rahim or Moses Moody. There is some high-end firepower in this class at the small forward position.
One prospect that I continue to keep an eye on is Eugene Brown. There are durability concerns but if he can stay on the court, he's a very interesting prospect as a 6-foot-6 wing that can really shoot.
McDonald: It's getting harder and harder to define which prospects are small forwards and which prospects are power forwards because there is so much crossover now with teams playing smaller power forwards. Of the guys we have listed as small forwards, I like this group. The top four prospects all have serious NBA potential. If he can get back to full strength and stay there, Eugene Brown has the potential to outplay his ranking and surprise some people. He's a shot maker and a high level defender with his length and athleticism.
What is your overall impression of the power forwards and who might have the most upside relative to current ranking?
Bossi: If you are looking for ready-made, college stars there aren’t a whole bunch of them in the 2020 class of power forwards. But, it should also be a group that college fans get a chance to know for a while which is a good thing if you are a college hoops fan. If we are talking upside relative to current ranking, give me Arizona product Osasere Ighodaro. He already made a 50 spot or so climb into the overall national top 100 and earned his spot as the No. 17 ranked four man. As he gets stronger and more consistently productive, he could end up producing like you would hope a top 10 guy at his position to do.
Evans: There is a giant drop off from the elite and into the solid college producer category. We all know about Scottie Barnes, Isaiah Todd and Isaiah Jackson, and while each have their warts, their chances of finding high-level success is within reach. However, there are way more questions once you get past the few first names on the list.
If we are going off of upside, JJ Traynor might have the most out of any other power forward in the 2020 class. The 6-foot-8 power forward boasts a 7-foot-2 wingspan and might not be done growing yet. Traynor has just now begun to lead a high-major recruitment and is a late-bloomer to watch in this class.
McDonald: I don't see this group as being strong as some of the positions, but it goes back to which position we decide to label certain prospects as. Regardless, there are still good players on this list. I know we have him at No. 3 on this list, but don't be surprised if Jackson becomes the best of this bunch long term. I love his upside.
What is your overall impression of the centers? Are there many guys who are game-changers as soon as they arrive on campus?
Bossi: After the first 10 or so centers there is a pretty big dropoff. Big guys need longer to develop anyway so I don’t think there is as much pressure on them to produce. While Evan Mobley is deservedly ranked No. 1 at the center position and No. 1 overall, I actually believe that Day’Ron Sharpe is in the best position to make a huge impact as a freshman. Each time I see him he’s a little bigger, a little stronger and shows off a little more game. Roy Williams and North Carolina are a perfect fit for Sharpe, too, so I’m expecting big things from him in Chapel Hill.
Evans: Similar to the power forward list but where are the immediate producers that the college coaches can lean on immediately in college? Mobley is going to be awesome, Sharpe will be a beast at North Carolina and Mady Sissoko will terrorize opponents in the paint. Get past the first group of nine or 10 and consistency remains hard to come by.
Whenever game-changers come to mind from the center position, the top four of Mobley, Makur Maker, Sharpe and likely Walker Kessler fit the bill. Beyond that, maybe Sissoko thanks to his defensive prowess.
McDonald: I really like this group of big man. I see several early impact big men in this class. You always expect the top prospects in each class to produce early, but I can go down as far as No. 15 with Dylan Caldwell and see a guy that can help a program early. It's a really strong top 10.