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Posted On: 05/17/18 3:53 PM
With any new ranking update comes players who rise and fall from previous spots based on how they performed throughout the high school and spring club sessions.
One of the best ways to project future high school and next level productivity is digging deep into how a prospect improves over the course of a season.
Below are some of the players who consistently improved their game compared to a year ago, and thus, climbed the rankings ladder.
Ian Martinez, Cantwell-Sacred Heart (SCA)
Martinez checks in just outside the top 10 at No. 11 and a lot of that has to do with his freakish athleticism. The 6-foot-2 combo guard is explosive off the floor, has a quick second jump, and has impressive blow-by speed in both transition and half-court settings. Martinez could work his way into the top 10 in our next update if he improves the consistency on his jump shot, especially from 3-point range.
Judah Brown, Pacifica Christian (The Truth)
Brown was ruled ineligible for his sophomore high school campaign due to a violation of CIF-SS transfer rules, but the No. 14-ranked sophomore has shown this spring that he used his free time wisely. Brown, a 6-foot-6 forward, has all the length and athleticism you’d want in a budding wing prospect. As of now, Brown is projecting as a stretch four type of prospect who can hit an open catch-and-shoot 3-pointer or attack a hard close-out and put someone in the rim.
Bradley Ezewiro, St. Anthony (Pump-N-Run)
Ezewiro had an extremely productive season at St. Anthony and has continued that progression into the spring. The 6-foot-7 big has tightened his frame up, which has resulted in more explosion off the floor and more consistent finishing around the basket. Ezewiro is a powerful two-footed leaper who looks to dunk everything around the basket, which is why he’s risen to No. 15.
CJ Woods, Brentwood
Woods is probably the least “glamorous” name on this list, but his defensive and rebounding contributions to the CIF-SS Division 2AA championship didn’t go unnoticed. The No. 27-ranked prospect is as high motor as they come and is a double-digit rebound threat every game no matter how many minutes he plays. Woods is a fundamental paint defender who thrives on creating and playing off of contact.
Deshawn Johnson, View Park (The Truth)
Johnson is another gritty and physical type of guy who doesn’t get his full due because he makes most of his impact in the trenches. The No. 39 prospect helped lead View Park to the CIF State Division IV championship because of his ability to guard multiple positions, contest shots in the paint, rebound and finish off transition opportunities with momentum-changing dunks.
Nick Bowden, Jr., St. Bernard (Compton Magic)
Bowden is one of the elite 3-point shooters in all of Southern California. He’s got a quick, repeatable trigger, doesn’t need much time or space to get it off, and is consistent both off the catch and off the dribble. What Bowden has shown during the spring is some playmaking ability as a primary ball handler in transition with good vision, timing and placement on his passes, which is why he checks in at No. 43.