Friday, August 31, 2012

Newest Rivals150 Rankings: The Best HS Player Since LeBron No Longer Best In His Class

Jabari Parker (left) and Julius Randal (right) are two of the class of 2013's best talents. (hthoops)

Strong statements have been made about this 2013 college recruiting class. Many are about the depth of the class overall, with another about of the class' elite players.

So with the latest 150 rankings coming out this week, here is who climbed spots, who dropped off and who to watch out for. 

Let's start at the top, where Jabari Parker, the 6'8," 220-pound forward from Chicago, fell from his rank as the No. 1 player in the class. This came as a shock to many, especially after Sports Illustrated dubbed Parker the "best high school basketball player since LeBron James." Like I said, strong statements were made. The dubbed "best recruit" in nearly a decade is no longer the best in his class, which shows how quick we are to label. Parker hasn't even played his senior season yet.
Julius Randal, the 6'9," 240-pound forward from Plano, Texas, has argued SI's claim, as he drove past Parker for the spot as king of the class. Both of these players are great power forward talents with Randal having a slight height and weight advantage over Parker that any team would fight to have.
A large exclamation point should come up next to the No. 3 and No. 4 players on this list. Andrew and Aaron Harrison are twins from Fort Bend, Texas. Aaron, a 6'5" shooing guard, is the No. 3-ranked player while his brother Andrew, a 6'5" point guard, is No. 4. Both players have Baylor, Kentucky and Maryland at the top of their wish lists, and bringing the twins in together would be a monumental pickup for any of those programs. Successful twin combos have happened in the past; just look at what the Morris twins did for Bill Self at Kansas two seasons ago. Go a little further back and see what Robin and Brook Lopez accomplished at Stanford. All four players are now in the NBA after helping their college programs succeed nationally.

The 2013 class has been called the most talented since 2007, and is so because of its depth. The top 20 are all five-star recruits, and you have to scroll down to No. 111, Kevin Johnson, before you find the first three-star recruit. Although it's nearly impossible to predict a high school player's future at this point, there should be quite a few future pros high on this list.

If you're looking for player growth, a name you might want to know is Demetrius Jackson, a 6'1" point guard from Indiana, who jumped from No. 70 in the last Rivals rankings to No. 27 this time around. Florida State, Louisville and Notre Dame are among the schools high on his list, but with a jump like this, don't be surprised if others keep calling.

With an entire senior season remaining for all these players, it's hard to tell how the final rankings will end up, regardless of the order, don't expect a lack of talent.

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