After updating the 2023 rankings on the website, some players saw themselves move up in the rankings. This article will feature five guards who shot up the rankings after a strong spring and summer.
Smith impressed during both June and July, showing his ability to perform with his high school and grassroots team. Smith has a good frame for a guard and has long arms. Smith is a tough shot-maker from the mid-range and has the ability to create for himself when he needs to. Smith picked up an offer from Notre Dame College (OH) in June and I expect more scholarship programs to get involved soon.
Ruffolo impressed for both Dayton Elite and Wildcats Select this grassroots season, showing his ability to perform as a team leader and in a smaller role on the 3SSB circuit. Ruffolo is an elite shooter who can knock down shots from distance with the best of them. After a very productive Junior season for Kettering Alter, Ruffolo is going to be a team leader after Jacob Conner is Marshall bound. Ruffolo also has elite grades, making him a high priority for high academic programs.
Hardewig is another shooting specialist who had a big time June for Turpin at various shootouts. Hardewig picked up an offer from Mercyhurst due to his shooting skill, ability to control the pace he plays at and competitiveness on the defensive end. I’m a big fan of the skills Hardewig brings to the court and think he’s going to pick up a few more Division II and NAIA offers before it’s all said and done.
McCollum is the tallest player featured in this article and uses that ability to his advantage by seeing over the defense and making passes that smaller players can’t make. McCollum is another deadeye shooter who had some huge games for Ohio United this July. McCollum is a prospect who seems to produce every time I watch him play, which is tough to do. McCollum picked up an offer from Ohio Dominican recently and will likely attract more and more Division II and NAIA interest as the winter comes around. Expectations are high for Olentangy Orange and McCollum is a big reason why.
The final player spotlighted in this article, Thompson is the best at attacking the basket and using his quickness to break down the defense. Thompson had a really strong July with Ohio Buckets-Miller, allowing the floor spacing that his teammates provided to allow him to attack the rim and find success. Thompson also hit some big shots at the end of games for his team, showcasing his ability to come up clutch.