Rivals Rankings Week: Updated Rivals150 for 2020
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
TUESDAY: 2020 Top 10
WEDNESDAY: 2020 Rivals150
THURSDAY: 2020 position rankings
FRIDAY: 2021 Rivals150
SATURDAY: 2021 position rankings
SUNDAY: 2022 rankings
Joining the five-star ranks for the first time are two players. Point guard Caleb Love from St. Louis moved up from No. 32 to No. 20 overall while DC wing Earl Timberlake moved up a few spots inside the top 30 to earn five-star status.
There were several prospects who made big moves inside the rankings, but nobody made a bigger move than undecided shooting guard Kerwin Walton. Walton entered the rankings late in the summer at No. 135 and rises 52 spots to No. 83 overall. UNLV-bound shooting guard Nick Blake also entered the rankings late in the summer and is next in line climbing 48 spots from No. 137 to No. 89. Also making moves up 40 or more spots in the rankings were Arizona forward Osasere Ighodaro who went from No. 141 to No. 94 and point guard R.J. Davis, who rocketed all the way up to No. 63 from No. 105.
Players moving from class to class since our last rankings update in June allowed for us to move some players like Caleb Murphy (No. 53), Jordan Geronimo (No. 75) and the previously mentioned Walton and Blake into the rankings between updates. Even with those moves happening over the last two and a half months, there are still another 11 prospects who have cracked the Rivals150. Making the highest debuts are combo forwards Chibuzo Agbo and J.J. Traynor, who come at No. 85 and No. 86 respectively.
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.
1. The toughest decision in this ranking update was ...
Bossi: Figuring out the best order from Scottie Barnes at No. 8 through Caleb Love at No. 20. I don’t see much separation at all among the 13 players in that range and I could see them going in almost any order. Seriously, if somebody told me they preferred Day’Ron Sharpe (No. 12) to Barnes or that they preferred Walker Kessler (No. 19) to Sharpe, I wouldn’t have much disagreement. It’s going to be a group we have to keep watching very closely.
Evans: How to rank the centers given how their role in the game is changing. In this past June’s NBA Draft, we saw just two centers taken in the first round and only Jaxson Hayes went in the lottery. Centers are not being completely phased out, but the back-to-the-basket big, though they are still needed in specific systems, are nearly obsolete for where the game is headed, which makes evaluating low post players like Mobley, Sharpe, Kessler, Mady Sissoko and Hunter Dickinson that much more difficult.
McDonald: I'm going to be very interested in seeing how the top two prospects in this class progress over the next few years. It's always tough to determine which prospect to go with at No. 1 when deciding between a guard and a big man. Mobley's upside is really high. Cunningham is really good right now. I'll be curious to see how this one plays out.
2. The reason I believe in this player's ranking is ...
Bossi: Jalen Suggs was the best player that I saw in the Under Armour Association during the summer and I was also extremely impressed while watching him with USA Basketball. He is as good as it gets defensively in the backcourt, can score, has wiggle off the bounce and is a way more explosive athlete than he’s gotten credit for. He can be a little moody on the floor at times, but he was one I felt really deserved his move from No. 16 into the top 10.
Evans: Niels Lane, who moved up to No. 61, is special. Point blank. He didn’t have any power conference offers prior to the spring, but once he got onto the floor with the Team Final bunch, Lane exploded.
He is everything one looks for in an off-guard. He is tough, explosive, competes on both ends and can touch various portions on the final stat sheet. Maybe it is crazy to say or a little hot take-ish, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he tests the NBA Draft waters following his sophomore season as long as all things align. Florida, Miami, Providence, Texas or UConn will receive one of the better upside guards found along the east coast when he commits.
McDonald: I was pretty adamant about making sure Chris Youngblood made an appearance in these rankings. I watched the Kennesaw State commit play at least a dozen times over the past year and watched him help both his high school team and travel team beat teams with more talented rosters. He has great size for a wing at about 6-foot-4 with strong build and he's very skilled. He will be one of the best players in the Atlantic Sun the day he steps on campus at Kennesaw State.
3. The player I fear we have too low is ...
Bossi: Four or five years from now, I’m pretty sure Ryan Kalkbrenner is going to find a way into one of those “we ranked him too low” lookback articles. Now ranked No. 67 nationally, the seven-footer is a big-time shot-blocker with great hands, touch and mobility. The one thing he isn’t, though, is overly productive just yet. At the end of the day, I’d still like to see a little more scoring and rebounding from him. But, he’s a bit of a late bloomer and one to track very closely in college, perhaps at either Purdue or Stanford.
Evans: Cade Cunningham. I am not sure there is anything else Cunningham could have done this summer in his fight for the first overall ranking. He was the leader of the Texas Titans that finished the Nike EYBL circuit with the most wins, took home gold with the United States under-19 squad, and continued to dominate whoever was placed in front of him at his summer stops.
Some will slight his shot-making skills, but he did hit over 37 percent of his perimeter attempts in Nike play. A 6-foot-7 lead guard that can pass, rebound, score and defend…he has it all which goes to show just how good Mobley is. If Oklahoma State does win out in his recruitment, the Cowboys will be must watch TV practically each time they hit the floor.
McDonald: This one is easy for me. Granted I haven't seen him as much as Eric or Corey, but I absolutely loved Isaiah Jackson in the few times I have seen him. If it were completely my call, he would probably be approaching and possibly be inside of the top 10. He's a great athlete with a ton of length and plenty of skill to go along with it. He has a really high ceiling.
4. The player I hope proves us right and is not too high is ...
Bossi: Believe it or not, No. 1 Evan Mobley. There were plenty of good reasons to move Cunningham ahead of Mobley after the incredible summer Cunningham had while Mobley was mostly held out due to injury. However, when it comes to the No. 1 spot, I don’t want to make a move unless I’m 100% sure and the bottom line is that while healthy, I’ve never walked away from watching Mobley feeling anything other than he was the most impactful player on the court.
However, if Cunningham keeps up the production and Mobley stumbles out of the gate or isn’t healthy during his senior season, it will be hard to justify keeping Mobley in the top spot.
Evans: Jordan Geronimo was one of the top breakout performers during the month of July. He showed tremendous athleticism, versatility and further upside to tap into that could make him one of the better wing prospects in the 2020 class. He made a giant leap going from not even ranked as a three-star to No. 75 overall. Is it too high or too low?
It is practically boom or bust with Geronimo but I think he’ll prove us right and be a boom after what he did in the summer with the Mass Rivals. Can he be the second coming of OG Anunoby? He has all of the physical traits and the late blooming nature similar to the former Indiana standout and will play his college ball for the Hoosiers as well.
McDonald: I'll go with Bryce Thompson. I watched him a few times this summer and have been watching him the last few travel seasons. Don't get me wrong, he's really good. He'll have a nice college career.
My biggest concern with him as high as No. 18 overall is that he struggled to create much separation to get his shot off and he tries to bully his way to the basket, which won't work against high-major competition. Now the good news he's capable of hitting the tough jump shots, but the defense he sees will only get tougher at the next level and beyond.