2020 Rankings Update: No. 1-25

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Posted On: 06/16/18 8:53 AM

Even after a couple months of springtime scouting, there’s not a ton of change to the top 25 players in Ohio’s 2020 class. While many have moved a few spots here or there, only four stock-risers have jumped into the category for the first time.

This Much is Clear

As we were sifting through our notes and making calls, we came to realize that identifying the top ten players was rather easy. It gets murky at no. 11 down and the top ten has adjustments within itself, but we know the ten.

The spring has helped us come to those conclusions, as Eller (previously no. 11), Davis (no. 12), and Matt Allocco (no. 14) previously fell short of this status.

Point Guard Rankings

The update trims to the number of top 25 point guards by two.

  • No. 3, Garvin Clarke — Up from second place on the point guard list. He has secured his spot with an improved outside jumper, which needs to remain a confident shot for Clarke. He’s a special finisher, athletic defender, and high-IQ game manager.
  • No. 5, Dominiq Penn — Our former top point guard recently was offered by Saint Louis after his appearance at the Nike Elite 100. It’s been an inconsistent spring for Penn, but he remains high after a couple memorable showings in the winter.
  • No. 7, Matt Allocco — Up seven spots in the overall rankings, Allocco has a chance to rise to the top of the PG rankings. Being recruited by various LM/MM programs but has offers from nearly half of the MAC. Outstanding court sense, presence, facilitating chops, and perimeter defense.
  • No. 12, Montorie Foster — Foster has maintained his burst of speed and verticality while playing a fundamentally sound style of ball. Despite dropping one spot in the PG rankings, we love his activity level off the ball when he shares the floor with other point guards on Red.
  • No. 14, Mark Wise — The new addition to the top five hardly made our top 25 overall after the winter. We were too low on Wise, who has thrived in a featured role with EG10 on the Gold Gauntlet and received his second D-I offer from Florida Atlantic. Strengths include size, poise/vision on the drive, rebounding in traffic, and power.
  • No. 16, CJ Anthony — Up to the no. 6 spot is CJ Anthony — a mature winner whose game we’ve really took a liking to. Unlike the top five, Anthony had made his rise against local competition this spring, which is the only red flag. Regardless, his combination of physicality, shot-making, and unselfishness is outstanding.
  • No. 18, Joey Holifield — Holifield is a natural leader who has taken on the third guard spot on C2K by finding his role as a defensive stopper. This spring, Holifield proved that he can rebound, lock-down, and finish against big wings.

Josiah Fulcher and Jake Younkin both have point guard qualities and can be used as primary ball-handlers. Younkin is much more likely to show those abilities at Moeller this season than Fulcher at Pick Central.

In that role, Younkin’s range as a shooter forces defenses to pick him up from about 25-30 feet from the basket. He has a size advantage against points at this level and has become shiftier with his handle. Younkin will also impress with a high-IQ and keen understanding of Moeller’s offensive sets.

Variety of Forwards

Part of the reason Zach Loveday remains the no. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class is his versatility as a 7’1” forward/center. He runs the floor, has efficient post moves on the block, can stretch out for a 3-pointer, and shows rim protection potential.

Otherwise, the top 25 forwards in this class will likely be recruited for more specific roles. The specificity of these prospects brings up an interesting question: Is no. 11 Mo Njie (a rim protector) really better/worse than no. 9 Luka Eller (a stretch forward)? We’d say, “No.” However, in our opinion, shooting is slightly more valuable than rim protecting. Eller gets the nudge for that reason. But a college looking for interior defense will have Njie higher on their board than Eller.

Now, within the categories there is a hierarchy, but that’s a different thought experiment altogether.

Rim Protectors

  • No. 11, Mo Njie — The kid is long as hell and has the necessary amount of bounce to deflect shots against guards or opposing bigs. Njie doesn’t get into much foul trouble and shows natural defensive instincts. Needs to grow in other areas.
  • No. 20, Hayden Stone — Protects the rim with shot blocking and below the rim physicality/intimidation. Stone plays with an edge and something to prove. Much better passer and scorer than the other rim protectors in Ohio.

Interior Scorers/Space Rebounders

  • No. 6, John Hugley — The true big man is climbing charts after a strong performance at the Nike Elite 100 on a national stage. Rebounds by dominating others physically and has shown significant improvements to his build by trimming down.
  • No. 21, Jackson Ames — A sturdy big with a D-I build. Uses power to get boards but needs to grow in terms of court awareness, assertiveness, conditioning, and overall impact. Miami Ohio was the first to offer.

Stretch Forwards

  • No. 9, Luka Eller — We’ve seen Eller be effective as an outside shooter on spot-ups or long step backs where he retreats in a direct straight-line from the mid-range. Also has grown as an interior finisher over either shoulder. Underrated strength and ability to put it on the deck for an efficient move.
  • No. 13, Grant Whisman — Comparable player to 2019 graduate Javin Etzler, but lacks the same fluidity. Whisman has improved his verticality and therefore interior scoring ability. One of the prettiest jumpers in Ohio and shot 39 percent on 97 3-point attempts as a sophomore.

Combo Forwards

  • No. 15, Nekhi Smith — The former Aiken forward is showing combo forward abilities these days in the way he gets to the rim and his general fluidity. Rebounding and inside shooting touch remain his strong suits. Stretching out his jumper and improving his handle will be crucial.
  • No. 22, Evan Prater — One of two athletes likely to opt for football in this category. Prater is a straight-line driver who tends to operate the baseline and shoot corner threes. Uses athleticism in the paint to rebound and score. Impressive passer.
  • No. 23, Luke Lachey — Very comparable to Prater in terms of style. Lachey plays a faceup game and can get by slow-footed forwards with his first step. Solid athlete who needs to handle and shoot it better to draw D-I basketball offers.