BOZICH | Okafor, Jones Bumped As Top 2014 Hoops Prospect
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – There is a new leader in the discussion for the best high school basketball player in the class of 2014.
It is not massive center Jahlil Okafor, even though he leads the updated rankings by Evan Daniels of Scout.com. It is not Tyus Jones, the flashy point guard from suburban Minneapolis, who has been considered the next great thing for more than a year.
It is not Cliff Alexander, another Chicago product who was the consensus choice of a group of college coaches and scouts that I talked with earlier this summer.
The new leader is Emmanuel Mudiay, a point guard from suburban Dallas who has Kentucky on his list of five finalists.
How did I make that call? Magic? Hash-tag analysis?
Easy. I pulled together the post-summer evaluation rankings from four sources – Scout.com, 247Sports, Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy and West Coast scout Frank Burlison.
Mudiay actually led two of the rankings – Burlison's (click here) as well as 247Sports (click here). He had the lowest consensus score, topping Okafor by two points, primarily because 247 ranks Okafor only the sixth best prospect in the country. Burlison called Mudiay his ''player of the summer," while 247Sports ranked Mudiay ahead of Stanley Johnson and Cliff Alexander.
I'm waiting on the updated rankings from ESPN's Dave Telep as well as Rivals.com. When I get those numbers, I'll provide an update. Until then, here are the consensus Top 20 players from Scout, 247Sports, DeCourcy and Burlison.
If you're looking for local names, you'll find several. Former center star D'Angelo Russell made the list at Number 15. He's bound for Ohio State. Ballard High School guard Quentin Snider didn't make the consensus Top 20, but Burlison ranked him on his third team. Burlison said he did not include Jones on his Top 25 list because he did not see him play during the summer, only last spring.
Nine players on the list have made their decisions public, although they cannot sign national letters of intent until November.
1. Emmanuel Mudiay, guard, Dallas.
2. Jahlil Okafor, center, Chicago.
3. Cliff Alexander, center/forward, Chicago.
4. Myles Turner, center, Euless, Texas
5. Stanley Johnson, forward, Los Angeles
6. Karl Towns Jr., center, Metuchen, N.J. Committed to Kentucky.
7. Tyus Jones, guard, Apple Valley, Minn.
8. Kelly Oubre, forward, Henderson, Nev.
9. Rashad Vaughn, guard, Minneapolis
10. Justin Jackson, forward, Spring, Texas. Committed to North Carolina.
11. Devon Looney, forward, Milwaukee
12. Trey Lyles, forward, Indianapolis
13. Justise Winslow, forward, Houston
14. Chris McCullough, forward, Wolfeboro, N.H. Committed to Syracuse.
15. D'Angelo Russell, guard, Montverde, Fla. Committed to Ohio State.
16. Daniel Hamilton, guard, Bellflower, Calif. Committed to UConn.
17. Joel Berry, guard, Orlando, Fla. Committed to North Carolina.
18. Theo Pinson, forward, High Point, N.C. Committed to North Carolina.
19. JaQuan Lyle, guard, Evansville, Ind. Committed to Louisville.
20. Craig Victor, forward, New Orleans. Committed to Arizona.
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