The first rankings for the Class of 2026 have been released and freshmen around the state will be making their high school debuts this season – including a number immediately at the varsity level. While the current list is very much a work in progress, we’ve been able to see a number of these newcomers in action this summer to get a feel for their current talents and upside. Additionally, after talking with coaches and others in the basketball scene we have been able to come up with this initial top 5:
Montague comes into high school already armed with a nickname – Fuzzy – and there’s no question he will make an impact from day one. He’s a natural floor leader both with his play and vocally and even at his young age, you can tell he has full command of the court. Montague has a crafty dribble that helps him get where he wants to where he can finish with a floater or get it to teammates for scores. He could start from day one at Jefferson.
, Central Catholic
Another young backcourt talent is Paschal, who is another freshman who plays with a maturity beyond his years. Both at summer league in June and recently at the Prime Time Top 40 Showcase, the point guard showed great poise with his play, handling defensive pressure confidently while making good decisions. Paschal has good range on his shot and is a pest on the defensive end.
We saw Adell play at the PrepHoops Top 250 Expo and came away impressed first and foremost with his court sense and passing ability. While he’s extremely unselfish, the freshman can score the ball as well where his strengths currently lie in utilizing his strong body to get to the bucket and score over and through defenders. A consistent jumper will only add to his skill set.
Yet another freshman who impressed us with his poised play this summer was Lake. Currently standing only 5-foot-9 and typically physically overmatched, that didn’t stop him from attacking the basket and stepping up to hit big shots in clutch situations. Like his older brother Josiah, the best basketball for Lake is yet to come but he’s really good already.
Rounding out our top five for now is Crane, who figures to make the Benson varsity his very first year in the program. At 6-foot-3 he’s got good size to play on the wing but may start out down low for the Techmen. He runs the floor well and showed a propensity for rebounding at the recent Prime Time Top 40 Showcase.