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Assessing The Top 2022 Senior High Schoolers’ September Decisions

Forget everything we’ve discussed up to this past month because the recruiting train got off the rails. As many as 17 (!) top-100 players picked places, the top-2 players in the class did so among those in that group, four top-10 prospects overall choose their next destination... and we’re here to cover everything related to those decisions in the second monthly installment related to the 2022 HS class.

Shaedon Sharpe/Canada Basketball
Canada Basketball

If you’re one with bad memory, fear nothing. You can pretty much start from zero with this month's crop of prospects. Not only did as many as 17 kids pick places during the past 30 days, but most of them (11 of the 17) are also ranked inside the top-75 best players to come out of the 2022 class at this point in 247Sports Composite Ranking.

The average rank of those 17 players comes out at a sky-high 47. Yes, that’s lower from August’s mark of 38, but it is also true that back then only 11 players made it to the column. In other words, all 11 top-100 players to commit in August were as many as those ranked in the top-75 to appear in this month’s column, with six more to spare between the 76th and the 100th top spots. Not bad for a 30-day span if you ask me.

And it is not that we will get many more months like September going forward. The top-2 players in the class already committed during the past four weeks, joining six other top-10 prospects and leaving two other such players still uncommitted. There are 32 players still available in the top-100 of the 2022 class, but only nine of those are currently top-25 prospects. We’re past the peak of the recruiting season, upcoming classes are more than outlined, and it’s just a matter of ironing out some details now. Get ready, because this last month truly came as packed as ever.

Who Are The Players And Where Do They Come From?

The five top-25 players to commit in August, which seemed like an absolutely unreachable mark going forward, were fewer than the six to pick places in September (and that doesn’t include no. 26 Malik Reneau). Quite the curveball, but nothing we hate around these places.

The players themselves are listed next, including their national ranking, position, current high school, bio, and star/ovr rating per 247Sports:

2022 HS Class - August 2021 Commitments

Yr Rk Name High School Pos Hgt Wgt Stars Avg College
Yr Rk Name High School Pos Hgt Wgt Stars Avg College
2022 1 Shaedon Sharpe Dream City Christian (Glendale, AZ) SG 6'5 185 5 9.994 Kentucky
2022 2 Dereck Lively II Westtown School (Bellefonte, PA) C 7'1 220 5 9.996 Duke
2022 6 Chris Livingston Buchtel (Akron, OH) SF 6'6 200 5 9.975 Kentucky
2022 9 Nick Smith North Little Rock (North Little Rock, AR) CG 6'4 185 5 9.953 Arkansas
2022 12 Vince Iwuchukwu Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) C 7'0 220 5 9.933 USC
2022 18 Jaden Bradley IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) PG 6'3 185 5 9.934 Alabama
2022 26 Malik Reneau Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) PF 6'8 210 4 9.834 Florida
2022 40 Terrance Arceneaux Beaumont United (Beaumont, TX) SF 6'7 190 4 9.797 Houston
2022 53 Aidan Shaw Blue Valley (Stilwell, KS) SF 6'8 190 4 9.789 Missouri
2022 67 Jaxon Kohler Southern California Academy (American Fork, UT) PF 6'8 250 4 9.706 Michigan State
2022 69 Richard Isaacs Coronado (Henderson, NV) PG 6'2 180 4 9.743 Texas Tech
2022 82 Justyn Fernandez Virginia Episcopal School (Lynchburg, VA) SF 6'5 200 4 9.493 George Mason
2022 83 Tyler Nickel East Rockingham (Elkton, VA) SF 6'8 210 4 9.628 North Carolina
2022 84 Cameron Corhen Sunrise Christian (Allen, TX) C 6'9 205 4 9.593 Florida State
2022 86 Rowan Brumbaugh Northfield Mount Hermon (Northfield, MA) PG 6'4 180 4 9.601 Northwestern
2022 87 KyeRon Lindsay Guyer (Denton, TX) PF 6'8 205 4 9.502 UNLV
2022 88 Daniel Skillings Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, PA) SG 6'5 180 4 9.496 Cincinnati
2022 HS Class - September 2021 Commitments

With such a large crop of talents, it makes sense to find a little bit of everything among those in this group. There are three centers, three power forwards, three lead guards, a combo guard, a couple of shooting guards, and five small forwards on top of everything. All things considered, six of the 17 kids are labeled as five-star prospects while the other 11 are four-start talents.

Perhaps most impressively, only Montverde Acadamy put more than one player in a college this past month, with 16 different preps making the cut. Sadly for the blue-blood haters, Duke and Kentucky led the pack with one and two commits respectively... only all of them ranked between the no. 1 and no. 6 spots of the 2022 class and were the top-3 players to choose their next step this past September.

Have Those High Schools Any Track Record Of Top-Player Production?

The folks from Dream City Christian (AZ) don’t know how not to produce high-level talent. Yes, it’s been only three years at it, but in the span covering the 2020-to-2022 senior classes, they have put five players inside the top-60 of 247Sports Composite ranks. Doubling on that, this year’s class features the freshest Wildcat and no. 1 prospect in the nation Shaedon Sharpe, and the no. 10 nationally-ranked kid (still uncommitted) Yohan Traore.

It’s been 10 years since we got to meet Daniel Ochefu—the first player to make the ranks from Westtown School (PA)—and the prep has been able to steadily maintain their production up till this day. Two top-3 prospects adorn now Westtown’s resume with no. 2 of this year’s class—Dereck Lively II—joining 2017 no. 3 Mo Bamba and 2018 no. 2 Cam Reddish in school’s lore.

If Buchtel (OH) rings a bell, that’s most probably because you’re too deep into LeBron James’ high school days. LBJ, back in the early aughts and playing at St. Vincent-St. Mary had to face Buchtel often in an Akron inner-city rivalry. Nobody made it out of Buchtel on their way to a prospect ranking, but it’s now Chris Livingston’s time to shine as the kid is no less than the no. 6 talent in the country and headed to Kentucky as the second-best SF of the class.

Rough stretch that of North Little Rock (AR) in the past seven years, as the school has not put any single player in the Composite ranks. That has most definitely changed this year, as two players of the 2022 class of seniors made it to the top-25 with no. 9 Nick Smith and no. 21 Kel’el Ware raising the NLR pipeline banner for the first time since KeVaughn Allen ranked no. 6 in 2015.

I’m running out of words to write about Montverde Academy (FL), so here are some more silly numbers about the prep. It has pumped three no. 1 players (Ben Simmons, RJ Barrett, and Cade Cunningham), one no. 2 is coming in 2023, two kids ranked no. 5 (Jalen Duren and Dariq Whitehead), and four more top-10 prospects between 2013 and 2021. Of the 85 players to come out of Montverde that are in my database, their average rank sits at 172 although almost half of them (40 of the 85) ranked inside the top-100 prospects of their respective classes.

Pretty much the same goes on down at IMG Academy (FL) on a yearly basis. The prep has been pumping talents out forever, starting with Renaldo Balkman in 2003 and already having two top-60 players in the fold and ready to graduate as part of the 2023 class. The best player to ever ball at IMG? That’d be this year’s graduate Keyonte George (no. 4) followed by three more top-10 players back in their days: Trevon Duval, Jonathan Isaac, and Anfernee Simons.

Not quite a large track record that of Coronado (NV), but definitely one packed with flashy names. Jarrett Culver went completely under the radar back in 2017 ranking a ridiculous 312th in his class, yet eventually making it to the L after playing college ball in Texas Tech. Last year both Jaden Hardy and Frankie Collins entered the top-50—and Hardy became part of this upcoming season’s G League squad—and they have now another top-70 talent ranked in Richard Isaacs, who will also play for Texas Tech.

Although the best player story to come out of Virginia Episcopal School (VA) was that of no. 23 Sacha Killeya-Jones, the truth is that ultimately he never reached the NBA after his stint in Kentucky yet he went on to play overseas and he’s still doing it—now in Israel. This year’s no. 82 Justyn Fernandez is the best (in terms of his rank) player to ever play at VES so far outside of Sacha in 2016.

As many as 60 prospects appear on my DB when filtering by Sunrise Christian (KS) in the HS field. Not bad, for sure, and even better considering the school has been adept at pumping out talents inside the top-100 of their classes since around 2019. Back then, three kids made it to the top-100 led by no. 14 N’Faly Dante, and although 2020 didn’t yield any gem, Sunrise was back at it last year with the highlights of no. 8 Kennedy Chandler paving the way for two other top-50 teammates. Now, speaking of the 2022 class of seniors, Sunrise has put three more kids inside the top-85 and has the no. 122 player on the outside looking in.

Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) has at least one ranked player in 15 of the past 20 HS classes of seniors. No joke, that feat. While the school has never nurtured a top-50 prospect, it has pumped out four top-100 players already with no. 65 of 2018 Nate Laszewski leading the pack.

There is no arguing in the fact that Guyer (TX) is far from a powerhouse when it comes to hoops prospects. But man, when they go at it, they know their business. Guyer has just five players ranked in the history of 247Sports Composite ranks starting as late as in 2019, but four of their five kids ranked as top-165 prospects including three inside the top-100 and one top-50 player—2019 no. 47 De’Vion Harmon, who after two years in Oklahoma just transferred to Oregon to play for the Ducks once the 2022 season tips later this fall.

Although Roman Catholic (PA) had better days in the past (four players ranked inside the top-100 of their respective classes from 2007 to 2016), the Philly school is slowly but surely getting back on track with the likes of 2022 no. 88 Daniel Skillings featuring as the most recent success coming out of Roman. The first player to make that top-100 cut back in 2017? No. 90 prospect Brad Wanamaker, former Pittsburgh Panther and current Free Agent (lastly played for the Charlotte Hornets in 2021).

No prospect had come out of Beaumont Academy (TX), Blue Valley (KS), Souther California Academy (CA), East Rockingham (VA), before Isaac Traudt made the cut as a top 2022 senior.

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 2018 to 2022 and only accounts for top-50 players in their respective years, updated to include this month’s decisions:

  • 20 Commits - Duke, Kentucky
  • Prep-to-Pros - 10 players
  • 10 - North Carolina
  • 9 - Oregon
  • 8 - Kansas
  • 7 - Florida, USC, Michigan, Memphis
  • 6 - Gonzaga, Texas, Tennessee, LSU
  • 5-to-1 - 49 Other Colleges

Kentucky and Duke are clearly the top two universities at getting (top) talent. On average, they have gotten four top-50 players per class in each of the past five years and are leading the way, as they have done for most of the last couple of decades. Not even Coach K’s departure seems to be affecting that, not at least for now. We’ll keep an eye on how this thing progresses, though.

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:

  • 1 Prospect added — Kentucky
  • 2 — Duke, Arkansas, USC, Alabama, Florida, Houston, Missouri, Michigan State, Texas Tech, George Mason, North Carolina, Florida State, Northwestern, UNLV, Cincinnati

Ohio State was finally cooked by Duke, folks. It’s the world we live in, and it was going to happen sooner or later. The Blue Devils ascended to the top spot in the 2022 class ranks and grabbed hold of the no. 1 with their four newcomers, three of them five-star players. OSU, still having the no. 2 class, improved a fantastic 46 spots compared to its 2021 rank; no small feat considering the Buckeyes have not landed a single five-star caliber prospect ahead from this class. The same—even more—can be said of no. 3 Arkansas, now 53 spots above their 2021 rank thanks to landing a five-star player and three more four-star ones.

As impossible as it sounds, no. 18 Michigan is the first college to have a negative change in its rank for the 2022 season dropping 17 spots from last year's no. 1 spot—not that they need any more firepower, obviously.

In a similar fashion to Ohio State, both no. 5 and no. 6 colleges in the ranks (North Carolina and Virginia respectively) are the only other institutions ranking inside the top-10 while having landed no five-star prospects from the 2022 class. At the opposite end of the recruiting spectrum, no. 4 Kentucky (3) and no. 12 Oregon (2) have only landed five-star players from the same class of seniors.

Only Penn State and Ohio State have handed five scholarships so far, with five other colleges handing out four. No. 13 Cincinnati has the highest rise from 2021 (+128 positions in the ranks), followed by no. 32 Texas Tech (+83) and no. 6 Virginia (+73). Not so good for the likes of no. 73 Gonzaga (-71 positions, worst decline), no.61 Tennessee (-58), and no. 86 Wisconsin (-55).