Ten spring risers poised to make big jumps in the rankings
At Rivals.com, we look at the Grassroots basketball system and break it down into three different legs. There is the first leg of the spring and summer where prospects spend most of April and May playing with their summer teams. The second leg is June which has traditionally been a month for individual and team camps. Things finish with the third and probably most important leg, the July live period.
Now that we are into the second leg of the Grassroots season, Rivals.com analysts Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald have decided to take a look back at the first leg and hand out some awards. Today, we discuss 10 spring risers who are in line to make big jumps in the next set of rankings in early July.
Why he’s on the rise? Mobley is already ranked quite highly and has backed up his five-star status. However, he’s easily outplayed his current ranking and with his combination of size, fluid athleticism, rapidly expanding skill he may have as much long term upside as anybody in the country. As we’ve already written this spring, he’s a legitimate contender for the No. 1 spot in 2020.
Who is involved? Mobley's father is on staff at USC and his brother Isaiah Mobley is committed to USC, so the Trojans are the overwhelming favorite.
Why he’s on the rise? McDaniels used the 2018 Nike EYBL season as the launch pad for him to vault into five-star range in the next rankings update. At 6-foot-9, he has legitimate perimeter skills that will make him a matchup nightmare in college, and they could eventually make him a lot of money playing in the NBA.
Why he’s on the rise? Part of this is us at Rivals.com being a bit too slow to recognize just how good Whitney is, the rest is the super athletic 6-foot-6 wing taking his game to an entirely new level in Nike’s EYBL with the Mac Irvin Fire. He’s added a jump shot, is a much better ball-handler and he’s not taking possessions off.
Who is involved? Whitney is turning into one of the most heavily recruited players in the country with Illinois, Syracuse, Oregon, LSU, Seton Hall (where his father played), St. John’s, Louisville, Georgetown, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Florida and Florida State among those involved. He should be narrowing things after July.
Why he’s on the rise? Lewis had a really good start to the travel season. He's always been a high-level athlete and a tough guy to stay in front of when he starts going to the basket, but he became a more complete scorer this year. He'll be a high level combo guard in college.
Who is involved? Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are involved with offers on the table. He has an upcoming visit to Kentucky, and an offer could be a game-changer there.
Why he’s on the rise? Armstrong’s talent has never been in question. Tracking him down to evaluate him due to high school transfers has been the issue. Armstrong had a big spring playing on Nike’s EYBL circuit and he’s a big and physical two guard who can score at the rim or from deep. Physically, he’ll be ready to go at a high major the day he steps foot on campus.
Why he’s on the rise? Primarily because we were able to see Sharpe against top shelf competition. He looks the part and plays like it as he is a well-built center with tremendous hands, passing skills and finishing abilities around the basket. More of a throwback in the post, Sharpe is one of the best frontline prospects in the 2020 class and is good for close to double digits in the points and rebounds column each time he hits the court.
Why he’s on the rise? Walton will be a major riser in the next update because he's a talented wing scorer with some size to him at 6-foot-7. He's been one of the best scorers in the country so far this travel season playing Team Thad on the Under Armour circuit.
Why he’s on the rise? The talent level and potential with Walker has never been a question. Blessed with great length, quality feet and good two-way skills, Walker has sometimes resorted to playing a more skill-based game compared to the high energy guy that placed him onto the scene originally. This spring, Walker has put it all together, relying on his motor first and then using his improved offensive game to cause havoc, of which has placed his E1T1 team back into the Nike Peach Jam.
Who is involved? Tennessee, Florida, Louisville, Arkansas and LSU are his primary five although new programs are looking to jump in.
Why he’s on the rise? Bishop was one of the toughest off-the-dribble scorers that we saw all spring and he also has to be respected as a jump shooter. With 6-foot-4 size, he can play as either a point or shooting guard and he’s equally versatile on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. He’s been a bit undervalued.
Why he’s on the rise? Newman looks like a Big Ten guard and played like in in the Nike EYBL. He is 6-foot-4 and can make shots from all three levels, distribute as a secondary playmaker and defend either wing position. He averaged 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in the EYBL, displaying a fairly polished skillset and a high understanding of the game.