Posted On: 06/25/20 12:11 PM
Typically I wait until after the summer to put out my first freshmen class rankings, but with AAU and the travel season up in the air right now I decided to put out a watch list featuring some of the kids I saw during the high school season that deserve to be mentioned. I chose not to go with a rankings system because I don’t believe I have seen enough of most of them to fairly evaluate and rank them, however I do believe it’s time to start getting their names out in order to get fans and coaches familiar with them. Take a look at our free preview, and stay tuned for positional breakdowns of the 2023 class as well.
At the Top
While I don’t want to rank them because I’m sure I haven’t seen everyone, there are some standout guys that have firmly cemented themselves at or near the top of what will become the 2023 rankings. To get started, John Marshall guard Dennis ParkerDennisParker6'6" | SFJohn Marshall | 2023#21NationVA Jr. will likely come in at number one and be a nationally ranked kid in the class with his blend of size, athleticism and skill set that is well beyond his years.
Other guys who will be considered for the top 10 include but aren’t limited to:
DeShawn Harris-SmithDeShawnHarris-Smith6'4" | SFPaul VI | 2023VA | 6’4” WF | Paul VI
Carter LangCarterLang6'8" | CSt. Anne's Belfield | 2023VA | 6’7” PF | STAB
Curtis Blair IIICurtisBlair III6'6" | PFSteward School | 2023#42NationVA | 6’6” F | Steward School
Steven StinsonStevenStinson6'5" | SFTrinity Episcopal | 2023VA | 6’4” WF | Trinity Episcopal
Kaleb BrownKalebBrown6'3" | SGNansemond Suffolk | 2023VA | 6’3” WG | Nansemond-Suffolk
Yuri MannsYuriManns6'2" | CGLC Bird | 2023VA | 6’3” G | LC Bird
Ty MasonTyMason6'7" | PFBishop O'Connell | 2023VA | 6’7” PF | Bishop O’Connell
Brock ViceBrockVice6'8" | CBlacksburg | 2023VA | 6’8” PF/C | Blacksburg
Trevor SmithTrevorSmith5'11" | PGWoodside | 2023#48NationVA | 6’0” G | Woodside
Small Markets Well Represented
There’s been a trend across the state and across the nation for the most part of more and more players coming from small markets and suburbs compared to the past where many come from urban areas and inner cities. While there are still plenty of players in the big markets, the 2023 watch list shows that trend as there are plenty of kids who come from the central and western parts of the state, as well as some small towns many people don’t know about or have been to. Guys like Brock ViceBrockVice6'8" | CBlacksburg | 2023VA (Blacksburg), Xavier ButlerXavierButler6'3" | SFEast Rockingham | 2023VA (East Rockingham), Chance BriggsChanceBriggs6'3" | SFChatham | 2023VA (Chatham), Kam RobertsKamRoberts6'4" | SFHalifax County | 2023VA (Halifax County), Eli McCoyEliMcCoy6'5" | CEastside | 2023VA (Eastside), Kaiden SwortzelKaidenSwortzel6'3" | PFFloyd County | 2023VA (Floyd County) and Ryan StegerRyanSteger6'1" | SGJames River (Buchanan) | 2023VA (Buchanan) are all guys who had big freshmen seasons in small markets, and would be able to compete at a high level wherever they were at.
Timetable for Rankings
This is still up in the air, as we’re still not sure when we can get back in the gym for AAU and high school events, although things are starting to look up with some states in the south getting the okay to go ahead and put on events. This makes it very tough for us to do rankings because watching young kids at the 15 and 16U level gives us an opportunity to see how they stack up with other guys around their age, instead of relying solely on high school where they’re playing with bigger, stronger and more experienced players. We typically put out our first freshman class rankings after the AAU season in August or September, but with the loss of an entire season it may have to wait another year if we can’t get in the gym to evaluate an see new players.
Where to Send Tape
With us not being able to check out guys live this summer, watching tape and highlight films has become our main source of finding new talent and evaluating guys while we’re at home. As far as where you can send tape to us, feel free to follow the Prep Hoops guys on twitter whether it’s Jack Herron (@jwherron10), Adam Ayalew (@AyalewAdam) or Houston Wilson (@houston_wilson1). You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.