After spending the past six months crisscrossing the country watching the nation’s best players compete with their high school and grassroots teams, 247Sports’ rankings for the Class of 2023 have been updated and a lot has changed during this time. period.
Jackson has a fight on his hands if he is to retain that No. 1 spot and the 2023 update saw major changes throughout.
JACKSON TAKES FIRST PLACE AT THE MOMENT
Recent engagement in North Carolina GG Jackson is the new #1 player in his class, but this isn’t a situation where he runs away and hides from the rest of his class.
A 6-foot-9 power forward from Columbia (SC) Ridge View, Jackson has the size, athleticism and versatility working in his favor. He can run on the ground, he plays over the rim, he rebounds, he has the ability to play in front of the basket and he can be an effective shot blocker on the defensive end. However, if he wants to hold on to the top spot, he will need to take all of those tools and be more consistently dominant as he finds the right mix between playing on the block and playing on the perimeter.
As the only player in the class to hold the top spot before being passed by Jackson in this cycle, DJ Wagner will definitely be motivated. There were some real ups and downs during his junior season at Camden (NJ) High and if an update had been completed in February or March, Wagner might even have been a few spots lower than the n 2. During play in Nike’s EYBL, though, Wagner really turned things around and if he continues his dominating scoreline, he might just be able to reclaim the top spot from Jackson. Recruiting-wise, it was long thought he would end up in Kentucky, but now that Kenny Payne is Louisville’s head coach and Wagner’s grandfather, Milt, has been added to the staff, the Cardinals appear to be the favorites.
Registration at No. 3, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Imhotep small forward Justin Edwards also has a chance to make a run for first place. Previously ranked No. 12 overall, the 6-foot-7 wing’s rise is notable and there’s a lot to like about his game. In addition to size, he’s got a deep bag of perimeter skill, length and budding athletics. He has a field of finalists that includes Auburn, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Villanova and the G League and the Volunteers could become a favorite.
Next in line with a legit first-place shot is Xavier Booker. A 6-foot-11 power winger from Indianapolis Cathedral, Ind., Booker’s rise to prominence was the biggest story of the grassroots season. Buzz started building at the end of the high school season and after a series of revealing outings in the spring where he showcased an elite combination of size and skill with plenty of room to improve, Booker made a comeback. dazzling 87 places up to No. 4 in the general classification. Michigan State worked very hard to establish a strong base early on, but the rest of the Big Ten and others like Duke and Kansas are starting to get tough. If he can replicate what he’s done for the past three months all summer long, Booker is a viable contender for No. 1.
COMPLETE THE TOP 10
While the top four of Jackson, Wagner, Edwards and Booker seem to have created a bit of separation with the peloton, it wouldn’t be out of the question for another top 10 member to make a run, so we have to discuss spots five to ten.
Committed to play in Oregon, versatile and athletic wing Mookie Cook lands at No. 5. He showed flashes of brilliance on both ends of the floor as a junior at Compass Prep in Arizona. His time on the floor was limited in the spring as he starred as LeBron James in a drama called Shooting Stars which is set to air on Peacock in 2023.
Headed to Duke, combo forward Mackenzie Mgbako is part of a very strong group from New Jersey in the class of 2023 whose game is highlighted by his ability to post or stretch the floor. At number 7, Matas Buzelis is a tall, skilled striker with the ability to make plays for himself and others off the dribble.
At number 8, Kwame Evans Jr. is as naturally gifted as any player in the class. Standing 6ft 10in, he glides on the floor, can make plays on both sides and makes things easy. Because of this, he had been ranked No. 2 overall, but his production as a junior did not match that level. He’s recently shown signs of things picking up speed and if he continues down this path, there’s no reason why he can’t jump straight back into the group of first-place contenders.
One of three five-stars headed for Duke (guard Tyrese Overseer at No. 11 is the third), athletic power forward Sean Stewart lands at No. 9 while the nation’s highest-ranked playmaker Isaiah Necklace rounds out the top ten and joins Stewart and Booker as a new five-star.
WAGNER AND BRONNY ARE NOT ALONE WITH PRO BLOOD LINES
When it comes to NBA bloodlines, no one can top Bronny James. Because his father is the one and only LeBron James, Bronny — a shooter from Chatsworth, Calif.’s Sierra Canyon — has been as scrutinized as any player in the country. Now ranked No. 55, James is really starting to come into his own as a shooter who defends and passes.
Along with James, Wagner came under even closer scrutiny because in addition to being No. 1 in the class for a time, his father, Dajuan Wagner, also played in the NBA and was a high school superstar. . They’re not alone when it comes to prospects with dads who played in the NBA.
One of the biggest players in the rankings, rising from No. 103 to No. 25, is a small forward Andrej Stojakovic, the son of sweet All-Star Peja Stojakovic. Andrej seems to have inherited a lot of his dad’s shooting ability. Ranked #30, guard bound for Kentucky Reed ShepardJeff’s father spent time with the Atlanta Hawks and is a legend in Lexington.
No. 61 Jace Posey#69 Carey CabinNo. 71 Sebastien Mac and the previously mentioned five-star Stewart all have dads who played in the NBA. In addition to these guys, the ringleader jizzle james, who jumped 75 spots to No. 70 overall, is the son of multiple-time NFL Pro Bowler Edgerrin James.
If we take things another step, No. 26 Cody Williams and No. 112 Cameron Christie each has older brothers (Mark and Max, respectively) who are up for the NBA Draft in June.
That’s a lot of connections to the highest level in a class.
MAJOR MOVEMENTS AND AWESOME DEBUTS
At Booker and Stojakovic, we’ve already covered some of the biggest climbers from this update in the updated leaderboard. Also making a huge upward move is perhaps the tallest player in the class, 7-foot-1 center Denis Evans. Evans is one of the youngest members of the Class of 2023 (he won’t turn 16 until later this month) and based on the mammoth strides he’s made on the offensive end, his dominance as a shot blocker and his relative youth he gained a huge bump up to #22 from #108. Due to the time between updates this one features several other huge climbers and he is one of the 10 players in total to have climbed 50 places or more in the ranking.
When it comes to debut, no one had a more impressive one than big man Ugonna Kingsley. A great shot blocker, he debuted just outside of five-star status at No. 23 overall. Powerful attackers Zayden High School (#46) and Tafara Gapare (#46) and small forward Kaden Cooper (No. 50) also made impressive debuts and of the newcomers, 17 entered the updated rankings as four-star prospects.
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