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Posted On: 10/7/17 12:58 PM
We’ve now had three years of high school and AAU basketball to break down the 2018 class, and things look much different then our first rankings of them two years ago. While rankings are always subject to change, especially with the reclass and transfer rate as it is, almost all of the players have improved whether they dropped or rose in our rankings.
When taking rankings into consideration, the Vantage Hoops team spends about a month contacting coaches and experts across the state to compile the list. There were over 250 kids we considered for the top 150, and the rankings reflect the next level potential of the prospects. Things taken into consideration include upside, high school production, head-to-head matchups, skill set on both sides of the ball and include intangibles such such as how recruitable a kid is based on grades, attitude and how coachable they are.
We will spend the next few weeks breaking down our new rankings from 2018 through 2020. Here’s a look at part two of our 2018 bigs breakdown. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more breakdowns moving forward!
Nate Spurlock | 6’7” | WT Woodson (#38 Overall)
Spurlock is your classic pick-and-pop stretch four man that can really stroke it from deep. He’s long, allowing him to get his shot off over smaller players. He’s a threat in transition and in the half court, he rebounds really well for a perimeter oriented big man, he plays with a high IQ and can make plays for others, and his skill set allows you to do a lot of different things offensively when he’s in the game. He doesn’t look it, but he’s actually pretty strong and tough in the paint, and while it isn’t his forte he can score in the paint when needed. He still has a lot of room to grow physically and get stronger, and that will only open his game up even more moving forward.
Chris Ford | 6’8” | LC Bird/River City Reign (#43 Overall)
Arguably the most improved player in the entire state, Ford has only been playing basketball for about four years now and he signed a full division one scholarship to play at Norfolk State next season. Looking at him in April and looking at him in July you would believe you were watching an entirely different player. He’s an all out effort guy whose impact starts on the defensive end where he’s an elite and fearless rim protector. He’s going to try to block every shot, rebound every missed shot and dunk everything he can when he touches the ball. His conditioning got better over time, allowing him to play in transition and play more minutes as the summer went on. He still is a work in progress offensively, but his effort and high motor gets him to the line a lot where he’s a good foul shooter, and he’s a clean up guy who keeps plays alive for his offense. Most importantly, he doesn’t take bad shots and he never backs down from competition. He could be one who pans out long term and will be better in college than he is in high school.
Malik Jefferson | 6’8” | Hopewell/Team Richmond Garner Road (#44 Overall)
Jefferson had a breakout season for Hopewell last year, and his success continued through the summer with TRGR where he showed a high motor, versatility and good production. At 6’8”, he’s comfortable playing out to about 18 feet, he’s quick on his feet and battles in the paint for extra possessions. He’s a catch and finish guy that also has a number of post moves and can step out and shoot the midrange jump shot. He can get up and down with the guards, protects the rim defensively and his improvement over the past two years means he’ll only get better moving forward.
Dimitri Georgiadis | 6’8” | Benedictine/Team Richmond Garner Road (#46 Overall)
Georgiadis has the physical tools and work ethic to be a dominant post player, but some things just haven’t clicked as we expected resulting in him being inconsistent at times. He rebounds well and plays hard on both ends, has touch out to 18 and is a willing passer, but he isn’t the toughest or strongest kid to be able to bang in the block. He has a solid jump hook in the post, is nimble on his feet and has a great frame to build upon. He had his best moments of the summer playing in FIBA competition, where he averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game for the Romanian National team in the FIBA U18 European Championships. If he can find a nice niche roll for him in his high school he should be able to continue that success moving forward.
Jarvis Vaughan | 6’8” | Robert E. Lee/VA Blaze (#48 Overall)
Vaughan had a breakout state championship game where he scored 31 points in Robert E. Lee’s victory in the 2A VHSL State Championship game. That’s where he really thrives as a big man, he’s a versatile bucket getter. He’s really good in the midrange, as he can shoot it out to 18 feet, and he finds his way to the free throw line often where he’s a very good free throw shooter. He’s a good trail option in transition, and in the half court he can run the offense from the high post or use his size to finish on the block. Playing in a smaller market has kept him relatively under the radar, but a number of division one and division two schools have been inquiring about him lately.
Emmanuel Aghayere | 6’5” | South Lakes/TTO Grey (#51 Overall)
Aghayere is starting to get a lot of division two interest, picking up an offer from Shepherd University earlier this fall, and it makes sense with his high motor and high level of productivity. He’s a bull in the paint, strong enough to bully even bigger post players and he’s a double-double machine despite his lack of height in the post. He can finish with both hands around the rim, gets off his feet very quickly and is surprisingly nimble for his size. He plays much bigger than his 6’5″ frame, as he’s all over the glass on both ends of the floor and he can finish in traffic with the best of them. He’s one of those players that may be overlooked by a lot of schools because of his height, but will make them regret it by his ability to put up big numbers against the best of competition.