Basketball Recruiting - Who deserves the top spot after GG Jackson's reclassification?
{{ timeAgo('2022-07-27 07:45:45 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Who deserves the top spot after GG Jackson's reclassification?

The trend of top prospects reclassifying isn't going anywhere. A year ago, three different players that held down the No. 1 spot in the Rivals150 bounced from the 2022 class into 2021 and joined the teams with which they signed a season early.

South Carolina signee GG Jackson is simply following in their footsteps.

Jackson departs the class of 2023 in favor of the class of 2022, leaving the top spot vacant and putting us here at Rivals in a familiar pickle.

The situation is a toothache. Everyone knows something has to be done about it, but nobody is particularly excited to do it. There’s simply no slam-dunk candidate to claim the top spot.

To be honest, even discussing it makes me want to walk into the sea or vanish into the woods like a more stylish Henry David Thoreau. Sadly, my bosses tell me that neither is an option, so let’s take a deep, calming breath and examine the possibilities.

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RELATED: GG Jackson to reclassify, sign with South Carolina

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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XAVIER BOOKER 

Xavier Booker
Xavier Booker (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

WHY BOOKER: Booker, who currently sits in the No. 2 spot, might have the highest upside of any player in this class. His combination of length and athleticism is rare and his physical tools are unmatched. If he develops from a skill standpoint and becomes more consistent on the effort front, he could become truly special.

WHY NOT BOOKER: His standing as a late bloomer makes Booker’s sample size against truly elite competition smaller than the other prospects on this list. He also has a tendency to take stretches of games off. He’s a bit of a high-risk, high-reward option at the top spot because he’s not as battle tested as other candidates.

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JUSTIN EDWARDS 

WHY EDWARDS: Edwards’ trajectory is encouraging, as he seems to get a little better with each passing month. He led his team somewhat deep into Peach Jam this year and is shooting the ball better than he was at this time a year ago. He’s as well-rounded as any player in the class and impacts games on the glass as well as attacking the rim in transition.

WHY NOT EDWARDS: Edwards isn’t always as assertive as he should be in the half court. He also tends to shut down if his shot isn’t falling early. Making a player No. 1 when he plays like No. 51 on some occasions is a big risk. Edwards has a very high floor, but his ceiling might not be quite as high as some other prospects.

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ROBERT DILLINGHAM 

WHY DILLINGHAM: A quick and dynamic point guard that scores as well as he dictates the speed of the game, Dillingham never seems out of control despite being capable of playing at an absolutely breakneck pace. He’s a confident passer with an incredibly tight handle that allows him to make something out of nothing on the offensive end.

WHY NOT DILLINGHAM: Despite his effectiveness as a high school point guard, Dillingham’s slight stature is a concern when projecting him through college and into the pros. Denying that is being intentionally obtuse, even if his production at this level is off the charts. His defensive ability and versatility leave something to be desired.

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DJ WAGNER 

WHY WAGNER: Wagner has been No. 1 before and looked like the safe bet not long ago. He has the pedigree and, when he is at his very best, can absolutely take over games from a scoring standpoint. He’s a true three-level scorer that has an impressive level of creativity in his game. He has some versatility as a defender and the effort on that side of the ball is almost always there. He’s a hyper-skilled prospect with an undeniable pro future, making him a safe option.

WHY NOT WAGNER: Wagner sometimes has trouble impacting games when he isn’t at his best from a scoring standpoint, which has led to some seriously inefficient outings in the past year. His performances were uneven from a statistical standpoint at Peach Jam, where one solid outing was followed by a less-than-stellar one.

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GG JACKSON PLACED AT NO. 6 IN 2022 CLASS

South Carolina fans won’t mind that Jackson’s reclassification cost him his No. 1 ranking. They still have their most talented recruit in years and optimism for the upcoming season and the Lamont Paris Era is off the charts. It’s hard to imagine a better start to a new era.

As a 2023 recruit Jackson was undoubtedly the best prospect in the class and would have held on to his top billing after an impressive performance at this year’s Peach Jam. As a member of the 2022 class, he seems less polished than a handful of his peers and has been slotted at No. 6, one spot below Duke signee Kyle Filipowski, who was very much in the discussion for the top spot in the class by the end of the cycle.

There will likely be some early-season growing pains for Jackson, especially when it comes to rebounding and defense, as he attempts to adjust to the college game, but he remains a top-flight prospect with an NBA future.

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