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Posted On: 12/8/17 10:34 PM
Recently, we released our updated class of 2018 prospect rankings. It’s important to note that these rankings are not a simple measure of “who’s better right now” or “who will have a better college career.” Instead, the rankings were developed by taking into consideration a player’s production in their current situation as well as their potential ability to play college ball, with the latter holding slightly more weight. It is also important to note that these rankings aren’t the determining factor in a player’s success both at the high school level and the college level. With this being said, let’s take a look at the top 5 guards in this year’s 2018 prospect rankings:
Brown has gone from virtually unknown to a Michigan State signee over the course of a year or so. Despite this accomplishment, the lefty wing has just begun to scratch the surface of his potential. He’s long and tall, standing in at 6’7″, Brown has the height and length that coaches love. As far as ability is concerned, he’s a really good shooter who can hit from a variety of spots on the court. Brown’s ability to hit the pull-up jumper makes him tough to defend given his height and ability to get off the ground quickly. After his great AAU season was shortened by injury, Brown is healthy and set to have a huge season for Belleville. He’ll be the leader on what is a loaded squad – most have Belleville ranked as 2nd in Class A, only behind Clarkston. If Brown performs to the best of his ability for the majority of the season and leads Belleville to a successful season, he could win this year’s Mr. Basketball award.
Like Brown, Hastings is a guy who’s blown up over the past year or so. Hastings has been known for his toughness and motor, but in the past year, especially this AAU season, he proved that he’s more than just an energy player. In the past he was purely a big, but Hastings has developed an ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. Not only that, but he’s also developed a respectable catch-and-shoot jumpshot. Combine this with his elite abilities to defend and rebound, and it’s not hard to see why Hastings received a bunch of offers this spring/summer. Over the offseason, he’s somehow managed to get stronger and more athletic in addition to developing his skills. Hastings is due for a monster senior campaign and will look to lead Godwin Heights to a deep run in the Class B playoffs. He’s signed with Butler.
Jackson is another guy who had his coming out party this AAU season. In the past, Jackson has been listed as a PF, but seeing his jumpshot and ability to penetrate from the perimeter develop, it appears as though Jackson is more of a wing now. When he’s locked in and aggressive, there are few players that can match his combination of height, length and athleticism, making it easy for Jackson to thrive at the rim. Like Brown, he’s a guy who’s just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. Expect a big season from Jackson.
The William and Mary commit has steadily been one of the top wings in the 2018 class, however, this past AAU season saw Blair receive a flood of D1 offers. In fact, there was one day in the summer where Blair received 3 D1 offers in a single day. Before deciding on William and Mary, he had totaled around 20 D1 offers. Blair is versatile player who has one of the purest jumpers in the state. The 6’6″ wing is a matchup problem due to his strength (football player) – he’s got a couple nice post moves that he can use in combination with his strength/size on smaller defenders. Blair has a soft touch around the rim that allows him to finish well in traffic. Also, he excels at hitting midrange pull-ups. Time and time again defenders close out too hard in an effort to contest his jumper, to which Blair responds by giving a simple pump-fake or jab step which frees him up for said midrange pull-ups. All around, he’s a very efficient player – William and Mary got a steal.
Millner was one of the most pleasant surprises in the 2018 class this past year. Last high school season, he was the number 4 option on Grand Rapids Christian, so his touches were very limited. Even then, however, he impressed with his abilities to defend and hit key shots. In the spring/summer, Millner had a fantastic AAU season, establishing himself as more than just a role player. While still maintaining his effort on the defensive end, he displayed a lethal triple threat game, featuring a level of footwork that many college players never achieve. Millner also showed an ability to hit jumpers from all over the court. His stellar play earned him multiple D1 offers.