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Starting Five: NBPA Top 100 kicks off this week

The annual NBPA Top 100 kicks off this week and like every year should have a big impact on rankings. In this week's Starting Five column, national analyst Eric Bossi previews what he's looking forward to at the camp and much more.

MORE BOSSI: Holtmann should be good hire for Ohio State


Javonte Smart
Javonte Smart (Jon Lopez/Nike @NikeEYB)

Each year, the NBPA Top 100 Camp plays a very important role in setting the pre-July rankings. We've had the spring and grassroots events to evaluate players, but the NBPA eliminates much of the fat leaving mostly high-end players to compete. This year, I can't wait to see the battles between the point and combo guards.

Twenty of the top 25 point and combo guards from the classes of 2018 and 2019 will be on hand. What that means is that there's going to be some seriously fierce fights at the point of attack and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

Unfortunately, two of the main competitors for the heavily contested top point guard in 2018 slot – Darius Garland and Tre Jones – won't be there. But five-stars Javonte Smart, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Jahvon Quinerly will all be on hand. Also participating will be Ayo Dosunmu, Courtney Ramey and David Duke, who are trying to push for a bump from four- to five-star status.

In 2019, five-star Cole Anthony will be looking to strengthen his hold on the top spot while four-star Ashton Hagans, who has had a huge spring, continues to make his case for five-star and perhaps top point in the rising junior class status.

Looking at the camp roster, there are a few matchups that I'm really hoping happens once team rosters are set. I want to see Quinerly vs. Quickley because they are both high level decision makers who can score. The other one I would like to see is Dosunmu vs. Ramey. I saw Dosunmu, who recently picked up a Kansas offer, and the Louisville-committed Ramey go at it during the 2016-17 high school season and it was a memorable matchup. A rematch could be even better with both pushing for five-star status.


Just in case people weren't sure he meant it before, top 30 forward Taeshon Cherry released his top eight schools via Twitter on Friday.

The smooth inside/out scorer with terrific size and athleticism is down to a final group of Arizona, Florida State, Gonzaga, Oregon, San Diego State, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC. For those scoring at home that's the same group of eight that Cherry released in mid-May. So, those programs have clearly solidified themselves.

In the spring, Cherry told that the idea of playing with fellow San Diego star Miles Norris, who recently committed to Oregon, was very appealing. Arizona has done some early heavy lifting with this one. Florida State and Texas A&M appear to be regional outliers due to the general thought that Cherry would like to stay on the West Coast. But, Leonard Hamilton seems to land a surprise player each year and maybe Cherry could be that in 2018.


When Lorenzo Romar was let go and Mike Hopkins took over at Washington, there was some serious talent leakage in the Huskies' 2017 class. Three-star guard Nahziah Carter should help to soften that blow.

A non-ranked three-star prospect doesn't seem like that big of a deal on paper, but Carter is a potentially significant pickup – and it goes far beyond him being Jay-Z's nephew.

Originally signed with Dayton, Carter got his release when Archie Miller left for Indiana. During the spring, Carter has been very impressive playing for the Albany City Rocks in Nike's EYBL. Pushing 6-foot-5 he has good size, he's a high-end athlete, he is capable of creating off the dribble and playing multiple backcourt positions. Is he as good as DeJounte Murray, who Washington lost to the 2016 NBA Draft? No, but he has some similarities to his game and had Carter ended up moving to the class of 2018 as he had planned for a bit, he would have easily made the next edition of the Rivals150.

With Carter in the mix, Hopkins now has a pair of recruits in the 2017 class after four-star wing Jaylen Nowell re-affirmed his commitment during the spring.


Boise State and Harvard both had significant backcourt pickups over the weekend. Tommy Amaker and the Crimson got things started off on Friday by landing floor general Spencer Freedman while the Broncos and Leon Rice followed up on Saturday with Rivals150 shooting guard Trey'Von Hopkins.

A true point guard who gets the ball to his teammates in position to score, Freedman has backed up a strong junior season at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei with a very nice run in Nike's EYBL with California Supreme. He doesn't turn the ball over very often, he makes open jump shots and he leads from the point guard position. His future in the Ivy League is bright.

One of the more athletically explosive wing players in the class of 2018, Hopkins could end up a huge steal for Boise State. His first step is tremendous, he thrives in transition and he has the tools to develop into a big-time, multi-positional perimeter defender. Everything is there for Hopkins to be an impact player.



Each year, a player seems to come out of nowhere and see his recruitment take off at the Pangos All-American Camp. A week removed from the event, big man Vincent Lee seems to be experiencing the biggest boost in his recruitment.

A solid spring on the travel circuit with Lone Star Elite had already helped Lee to turn some heads. But things went crazy over the last week.

On an unofficial visit to TCU, Lee picked up an offer from Jamie Dixon and the floodgates opened. Also offering in a 24-hour span were Cincinnati, BYU, San Diego State, Houston, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Lee will visit the Sooners on Wednesday and is looking into a possible trip to LSU next week.

Also showing interest are Virginia, Illinois, Georgetown, SMU and Iowa State.