Nobody knows how this season will end—or if it will do at all—but at least we’ve made it to its starting point. Games are rolling, and colleges all around the nation are playing basketball games these days, something that felt highly improbable just a few months ago. March Madness is still ways away, but after we missed it last season it already has all of us highly excited and NBA teams scouting the landscape in anticipation of what could be the last draft not to include HS players.
Speaking of high school basketball... the truth is that the last two months of the year didn’t generate a lot of fireworks-worth commitments. In October we had to cover up to 11 HS players ranked inside the top-100 of the nation. This month, though, we’re back to single digits with just nine players making the cut. That being said, though, the worst of them ranked a high 80th overall, which makes up for the lack of names.
Not the bulkier of months, but definitely one when top-quality talents chose their next stops on their way to making it to the Association come 2022 if they want to.
Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?
As I just wrote, up to nine players inside the 100 best of the 2021 class (as per 247Sports Composite ranks) made their decisions during the last 60 days. That group was comprised of four top-40 talents (three of them 5-star prospects and top-25 players), and four more ranked between the 60th and 67th spots. Not bad for such a reduced group of players.
Those players ranked inside the top-100 are listed next, including their national ranking, position, current high school, bio, and star/ovr rating per 247Sports:
2021 HS Class November/December Decisions
|2021||19||Aminu Mohammed||Greenwood Laboratory School (Washington, DC)||SG||6'5||190||5||9.938||Georgetown|
|2021||20||Moussa Diabate||IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)||PF||6'10||215||5||9.931||Michigan|
|2021||25||Bryce McGowens||Legacy Charter (Greenville, SC)||SG||6'6||175||5||9.903||Nebraska|
|2021||39||Arthur Kaluma||Dream City Christian (Glendale, AZ)||PF||6'8||205||4||9.840||UNLV|
|2021||60||Roosevelt Wheeler||John Marshall (Richmond, VA)||C||6'10||220||4||9.753||Louisville|
|2021||61||Trey Alexander||Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, OK)||SG||6'4||185||4||9.752||Auburn|
|2021||65||Mason Miller||Houston (Germantown, TN)||PF||6'9||180||4||9.726||Creighton|
|2021||67||TyTy Washington||Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ)||PG||6'3||185||4||9.720||Creighton|
|2021||80||Jonas Aidoo||Liberty Heights Athletic Institute (Charlotte, NC)||C||6'11||215||4||9.680||Marquette|
Looking at the table above, you can see how even on a smaller group of prospects than we usually tackle, the quality is there to find in bunches. Three no. 1 players in their state (no. 19 Aminu Mohammed, no. 25 Bryce McGowens from SC, and no. 61 Trey Alexander from OK) picked places, and another top-20 player and 5-star prospect (Moussa Diabate) also joined the group by giving his word to Michigan to join the Wolverines next season.
With the exception of no. 67 TyTy Washington and no. 80 Jonas Aidoo, all of the other players in this month’s roundup ranks either first or second in their state ranks, which is pretty good all things considered. And not only that, but we also got a very varied group of youngsters ranging from the point guard position and a 6’3 height to the center spot with Aidoo’s 6’11.
Creighton was the only college to land a couple of top-100 kids this month, and no real top-tier/blue-blood university (up to you to put Michigan/Georgetown up there if you’re a die-hard) made it to the list.
Have Those Prospect’s High Schools Any Track Record Of Top-Player Production?
If you read this column monthly, you know about IMG Academy (FL) in Bradenton. And most probably, you know that we have pretty much covered everything about it in the past entries. If you’re new to this thing, though, here are just a few of the names IMG has produced as of late: Trevon Duval (2017), Jonathan Isaac (2016), Anfernee Simons (2018), Josh Green (2019), and Dwight Powell (2010). No big deal, right? IMG has been around since 2002, but the prep has definitely leveled up in the past five to ten years and between their 2021 and 2022 classes they currently have nine players ranked inside the top-35 prospects of their respective years.
The 25th-best player of 2021 belongs to Legacy Charter (SC), and that is something new to the school as they have never produced even a top-100 player with no. 139 Jalyn MCreary (South Georgia commit) being their best talent ever coming out a couple of years ago. Ike Cornish (no. 102) is virtually a top-100 player, though, and if he makes the cut that would mean Legacy has two high-ranked prospects in the 2021 class.
A little over a year ago, in August 2019, MarJon Beauchamp opted to skip college to enter an NBA-development program. MarJon (no. 53) was the best prospect to ever come out of Dream City Christian (AZ), along with no. 59 Alex Tchikou. This year, though, Arthur Kaluma has bested both of them ranking 39 on 247Sports Composite ranks entering December. No more top-175 players in the short prep’s history, though.
John Marshall (VA) was very close to putting Travis McKie (no. 53) inside the top-50 players of the 2010 class, but they ultimately missed on it. Considering that it’s been more than 10 years since that happened and that John Marshall’s best prospect in that span has ranked 426th overall, having the 60th-best kid in town shouldn’t be bad news for the Virginia-based prep.
One spot below John Marshall’s Roosevelt Wheeler we find no. 61 Trey Alexander from Heritage Hall (OK). And that’s pretty much all the school has to be proud of, as their only other kid to make the 247Sports ranks was Cort Hoge (no. 709)... who did so back in 2008.
Both Jerrell Colbert (no. 46) and Mason Miller (no. 65) are part of the 2021 HS class coming out of Houston (TN), while also being the first two players getting ranked by 247Sports hailing from this school.
While it is true that Compass Prep (AZ) has developed multiple ranked-kids from 2018 to this date, TyTy Washington is the best they have put in the prospect leaderboard to this point in time. Also true, 2022 prospect Sadraque Nganga looks much better than TyTy, currently ranking as the 15th-best player of next year’s HS class.
Finally, the two players to commit during the month of December (no. 19 Aminu Mohammed and no. 80 Jonas Aidoo) come from Greenwood Laboratory School (DC) and Liberty Heights Athletic Institute (NC) and none of those preps have ever put another talent in a 247Sports ranked list. We’ll see if those foster a brighter future for the two schools.
And The Most Important Thing... Where Are They Going To Play College Ball?
Here is the recruiting leaderboard from the past five years—which includes the senior HS classes from 2017 to 2021 and only accounts for top-50 players in their respective years, updated to include this month’s decisions:
- 24 Commits - Kentucky
- 20 - Duke
- 9 - North Carolina
- 8 - Arizona, LSU
- 7 - Kansas, Oregon, UCLA, USC
- 6 - Texas, Villanova
- 5-to-1 - 52 Combined Colleges
Kentucky and Duke are clearly the top two universities at getting (top) talent. On average, Kentucky has gotten more than four top-50 players per class in each of the past five years, including 2021. And Duke, well, pretty much the same.
So, have things been different during the past few weeks when it comes to college commitments? Here is how the last month ended looking like:
- Creighton (2 top-100 commits)
- Georgetown, Michigan, Nebraska, UNLV, Louisville, Auburn, Marquette (1)
The addition of top-20 prospect Moussa Diabate has fostered Michigan (2 five-star players, 3 four-stars, 1 three-stars) all the way up the team rankings at 247Sports, making the Wolverines the no. 1 team in the nation after six (!) months of Florida State dominance. The FSU Seminoles are now ranked second (2-1-1), with Kentucky (1-2-0) closing the top-three. Last month’s other top-three teams were Villanova—now 4th—and Memphis—now 13th.
Of the other teams involved in this month’s column, Louisville has jumped up to the 5th spot, and Craighton is up to the 9th thanks to the couple of commitments they got from two top-60 kids. Georgetown (11th), UNLV (16th), Marquette (20th), and Nebraska (23th) are all top-30 teams at this point but none is inside the top-10, while only Georgetown and Nebraska have gotten a 2021 five-star commitment through the end of 2020.
As was the case back in October, no top prospect opted to turn pro this month among 2021 HS seniors.