Big Tim's Top 10 prospects in High School Basketball
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
These are my Top 10 prospects in high school basketball regardless of classification:
1) Emoni Bates: 6'9" Class of 2022 wing from Lincoln HS(Ypsilanti,MI) is tops on my list. This young man can shoot the three from 30 feet out and in. He can create his shot off the dribble and rise over most high school kids to get off his jumper. He rebounds well on both offensive and defensive boards. He can pass the ball and defend all positions on the court when willing. He needs work finishing at the rim, this is a result of needing to get stronger. He also has problems shaking defenders off the dribble, partly because he takes too many dribbles to beat his man to the basket. His skill level at his age is off the charts on the offensive end of the court. He led his school to the State Title in Class A(highest division) in Michigan. He was dominant at the 15U level on Nike EYBL Circuit for Bates Fundamentals. He showed he could play against older players at the Team USA Camp last Fall, Nike Elite 100, and Nike Skills Academy this past summer. He has a motor and a no back down attitude on the court. He is very intense and confident basketball player with an edge to him. The NBA is trying to let high schoolers back in the NBA Draft by 2022 which Bates would be a no brainer number 1 pick in that Draft. If not then Michigan and Michigan State are his leaders for college.
2) Cade Cunningham: 6'7" Class of 2020 point guard from Montverde Acacdemy(Montverde, FL) by way of Arlington, Texas. He can create off the dribble, pass the ball, is an improving three point shooter, and rebounds his position well. He's a very good finisher at the rim with either hand, and will dunk on you. He's very efficient using his dribble to get to spots on the court. He needs work on his defense in guarding quicker point guards, but he can guard wings with no problem. He also does not have blazing speed to beat guys off the dribble. He beats them more with his strength than anything else right now. He was MVP of the 17U Nike EYBL regular season on the circuit. He also played well as the 2nd youngest player on Team USA U-19 World Championship Gold Medalist. He has a great motor and plays hard all the time on the court. Oklahoma State is the leader for his services on the college level, but he has 4 other schools on his Final list.
3) Evan Mobley: 7'0" Class of 2020 forward from Rancho Christian(Temecula,CA) is a do everything Big on the court. He can shoot out to the three point line, can create off the dribble, finish at the rim, and is a good rebounder. He's also a good rim protector blocking shots and making it tough in the line for players to finish. He needs to work on his motor in playing hard all the time. He is a tantalizing talent, enough of one that he could move up on this list. He can run the floor well for his size, and is a good rim runner to finish above the rim. He had a back injury this summer that limited him to 2 games with Team USA U-19 World Championship Gold Medalist. It also affected him being on the court for the Compton Magic on the Adidas Circuit. He has committed to Southern California where is father is an Assistant Coach, and his brother Isaiah is an incoming freshman there. He has a good chance to be the number one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
4) Jonathan Kuminga: 6'8" Class of 2021 wing from Our Savior Lutheran(Bronx, NY) is a do it all wing. There was some thought he'd transfer to a school in Texas but nothing has materialized at this time. He's the best two way wing in high school basketball. He's a slasher with a killer first step, and superior finisher at the rim, will dunk on anyone(witness two hand dunk on Chet Holmgren), is an improving three point shooter, and can handle the ball in a pinch. He's a good defender who will guard the other teams best player, and moves his feet well. He needs to work on his mid range game and floater, also needs to tighten his handle and not be careless with the ball(turnovers). His brother just transferred to Texas Tech from Nevada Las Vegas. Texas Tech will figure in his recruitment as will Kentucky, Duke, Memphis, TCU, Alabama and many others.
5) Jalen Green: 6'5" Class of 2020 wing from Prolific Prep(Napa,CA) is called the Unicorn for a reason. He's a high flyer who can finish at the rim(has dunked on a few opponents), and hit the occasional three pointer. He has a great first step to the basket, and his hang time helps him finish with ease at the high school level. He has potential on the defensive end with his athleticism and footwork. He needs to get stronger, work on his left hand dribble and finish at the rim, and his floater/mid range game. He's just like most elite high school players in needing to commit more to the defensive end. His upside comes from his elite athleticism and if he improves some of his skills, he can be an absolute superstar at the next level and beyond. He played for Team Why Not on the Nike EYBL Circuit most of the summer. He's announcing on December 25th. I think it will be between Memphis and Kentucky along with the overseas option.
6) Chet Holmgren: 7'0 Class of 2021 forward from Minnehaha Academy(Minneapolis,MN) can play anywhere on the court offensively. He can shoot the three, take defenders off the dribble, and has a nice floater/mid range game. He's the best rim protector in high school basketball as he blocks shots with both hands most of the time. He blocks shots without fouling, has great timing in this area, and the best thing is he keeps his blocked shots inbounds to start a fast break(Bill Russell was great at this). He obviously has to get stronger being 190 pounds. This means he has to work on finishing at the rim, though he is not bad in this area right now. His upside is when he gains strength and posts up with his back to the basket, he will be even tougher to deal with than he is now. His dribble move and finish on Steph Curry has gone viral, he used Curry's own move to get by him and dunk. He plays for Grassroots Sizzle 17U on the Under Armor Circuit. He does not duck competition as he went to the Nike Elite 100 this Summer and tore it up. He also outplayed Top Class of 2020 Big Makur Maker at the recent Slam Classic at Dykeman Park in New York. Some of his current schools are: Minnesota, Arkansas, Ohio State, Georgetown, Kansas, Gonzaga, West Virginia. I think the other blue bloods will come calling soon.
7) Chris Livingston: 6'5" Class of 2022 combo guard from Buchtel(Akron,OH) is a slasher extraordinaire who can get to the basket and finish with the best of them. He has an emerging three point shot and mid range game. He needs work on the defensive end as most high schoolers do, but he has potential in this area. He's a very good athlete with the ability to move his feet, and get into position to cut off drives to the basket. He's a good rim protector and rebounder for a wing. He needs to get stronger but his upside is off the charts. He'll be an elite player in his class even if he does not grow another inch. He was Most Valuable Player in the 16U Team USA World Championships which they won Gold. This young man does not duck competition either as he has gone right at Emoni Bates(my #1 prospect) more than a few times. He has offers from Ohio State, Akron, and Alabama Birmingham. Look for a lot more offers to come his way as he moves up the ladder. He plays travel ball for We All Can Go 15U on the Nike EYBL Circuit.
8) Jalen Duren: 6'10" Class of 2022 forward from Roman Catholic(Philadelphia, PA) is a monster in the paint. He has a jump hook over either shoulder, a spin move in the post with as two hand dunk finish. He rebounds, rim protects, and blocks shots at a high level. He needs to work on his perimeter game as basketball is going to the stretch fours. He plays strong on the interior but will need to get stronger to battle in the paint. He has a decent mid range jumper already in his game. He plays for Team Final 15U on the Nike EYBL Circuit. He played for the 16U Team USA World Championship Gold Medalist. He made All-Tournament in that event. He has offers from Maryland and Penn State. More will come for this young man. His upside will be developing the perimeter game, specifically a three point shot, and if he does he will compete for best player in the class with Emoni Bates and Chris Livingston.
9) Terrence Clarke: 6'7" Class of 2021 wing from Brewster Academy(Wolfeboro, New Hampshire) is a prototypical wing who is very versatile. He can shoot the three, slash to the basket and finish with both hands. He can run the point at certain times. He can handle the ball well enough to get to his spots on the floor. He's an above average athlete who can become a good defender. He needs to work on his mid range/floater game on offense. He's an explosive scorer who rebounds well from the wing position. He's thinking about a reclassification up to Class of 2020. He needs to get stronger and get a killer instinct with his game. He plays for Expressions Elite 17U on the Nike EYBL Circuit. His schools are: Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, UCLA, Oregon, Memphis, St Johns among others.
10) Andre Casey Jr: 6'8" Class of 2022 wing from Tinley Park(Tinley Park, Illinois) is a transfer from Chicago Public League Powerhouse Simeon. He's a versatile wing who can shoot three pointers, post up and score off the left shoulder, is a rim protector, can rebound, and block shots. He also has a good mid range jump shot from the free throw line area. He needs work on his moves off the dribble, develop a floater in the mid range, and move his feet to guard the pick and roll. He also needs to get stronger but that will come. He can score in a number of ways and is a versatile player who plays both ends of the court. He plays for Meanstreets 15U on the Nike EYBL Circuit. His upside will be when he puts all his skills together, he will be Top 5 in his class when it's all said and done. His schools are: Illinois, Tulane, and DePaul. Look for a lot more offers to come his way.
There you go my Top 10 prospects in high school basketball. I look to hear a lot from these young men in the future.