In today’s issue, the Phenom Hoop Report will take a look at our final rankings for the class of 2012. The rankings are a barometer of where the class of 2012 is today and like college basketball rankings throughout the course of the season, it has a tendency to change.
Our rankings are based more on the 3 P’s philosophy of performance, production and potential. We have often stated in our Phenom quote of the day, “playing hard should be the norm rather than the exception” and when one calculates the number one player in the country, we personally feel this statement should be used heavily into the equation.
In our opinion, there is no question that the number one player in the country and the most talented player is 6’6 Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad has the unique blend of athleticism and skill plus the most important ingredient of all is his overall competitive spirit. No one and I mean no one plays the game harder than Muhammad and no one is more deserving of this ranking than him.
Right behind Muhammad is 6’11 Nerlens Noel who recently reclassed to the 2012 class. While the Phenom Hoop Report was spot on in our evaluations on Noel from his performances last summer, we even had him ranked number one in the 2013 class over the consensus pick by others in 6’7 Jabari Parker. We also stated Noel early in his career as being the best shot blocker in his class, but was still somewhat raw offensively. While Noel may become the better professional prospect a year from now, the best player in the 2012 class right now is Shabazz Muhammad.
Making the jump into the top 5 is 6’4 SG Rodney Purvis. Purvis was previously ranked #9 in our spring rankings but after his performance and production in the McDonald All American and Jordan Brand Classic, there is no mistake that Purvis should be considered as one of the top five players in the country. While Purvis possesses tremendous strength and speed in attacking the basket, it is his outstanding body control that makes him nearly impossible to stop in the open court. More importantly, Purvis simply has the “it factor.” Like Muhammad, Purvis plays with a passion and purpose and plays to win!
Another player making the jump into the top 10 is 6’8 T.J. Warren. Warren enjoyed a solid McDonald All American game, but was simply sensational in the Derby Classic has he tallied 27 points going 11-16 from the floor and 5-6 from the free throw line for 27 points. In addition, Warren knocked down two free throws with 3 seconds remaining with his team up by one to secure the victory. Although Warren did not win the MVP for the game, many will agree he was most deserving. The Phenom Hoop Report first reported about TJ Warren during his sophomore year at Durham Riverside. We were ahead of the bell curve on his potential and without question; Warren may be the most talented player offensively at the small forward position in the 2012.
Another player that made a jump and impact in our new rankings was 6’7 wing forward Sam Dekker. In the Derby Classic, Dekker showcased his all around game by tallying 14 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and even dishing out 7 assists. Dekker has sneaky athleticism, but has outstanding fundamentals and a high basketball IQ.
The next biggest jump was 6’3 Omar Calhoun going from 41 to 24. Calhoun was somewhat out of the limelight, but re-introduced himself to America with his outstanding performance at the All American Classic in New Orleans during Final 4 week. Calhoun finished with 26 points going 8-12 from the field and made a living off the free throw line. More importantly, he exhibited a tremendous midrange game which is nearly non-existent in today’s high school game.
6’2 PG Semaj Christon jumped from #64 to #35. The fifth year senior has a strong and study frame and has outstanding athleticism. He enjoyed a double-double in the Derby Class with 10 points and 11 assists.