ESPN has updated their player rankings for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes, respectively, and we see a number of Australian prospects that have had their stock rise.
As expected, Ben Simmons remains #1 on the 2015 Player Rankings, subsequently retaining his 5-star rating. His Montverde squad has been inconsistent at times but has still managed to hold a 22-1 record. Simmons has been the most significant cog for Montverde and solidified his spot as the #1 player in high school basketball with an impressive 36-point/9 rebound performance at the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, MA this weekend.
Australian Louisville signee Deng Adel comes in at #31 on the 2015 Player Rankings, a small decline as he was the #29 ranked player in the previous ranking. It is, however, an impressive effort considering he was ranked in the 60’s as early as last year. Adel is the go-to player for Victory Rock Prep, with the Florida-based program hosting a number of Sudanese-Australian athletes.
Another Aussie that’s on the rise is Isaac Humphries, who comes in at #41 on the 2016 Player Rankings and has gained a 4-star rating. Having only been in the United States for just over 1 month, it’s very respectable to see the 7-footer as a top-50 player in the nation. This is Humphries’ first time being ranked by ESPN so as he becomes more accustomed to his new surroundings at La Lumiere School, look for his stock to rise further.
Some notable omissions from the rankings include Thon Maker (2016), Matur Maker (2017) and Daniel Mading (2017). The Maker brothers are ineligible to be included in the rankings due to their move to Canada (the rankings only take into account prospects playing high school basketball in the United States). Daniel Mading has shown that he has the talent to be a top-50 prospect for the Class of 2017 but, because ESPN only ranks the top-25 prospects for the 2017 Class, he unfortunately missed out.
The ESPN Rankings, along with the rankings put together by Rivals and Scout.com, are considered to be one of the more credible recruiting sources – with their content put together by the likes of Paul Biancardi, Jeff Borzello and Reggie Rankin, among others.