The updated 2018 rankings were released and we saw lots of changes. Some players moved up the top 100, while others saw their positions slip after subpar spring performances.
This class has many prospects who will go on to be extremely productive at the next level. To give a little retrospect, majority of players in the top 50 are receiving strong interest from D1 programs across the nation. Depth and versatility will ultimately define this class, as the headliners have major ceilings but further down the list are tons of well-rounded guys who play hard and know how to win. We’ll examine some risers and sleepers on the list. Get to know these guys now because they’ll be making serious noise in the collegiate ranks.
- Coby White
It’s only right we start with the top dog when analyzing the NC 2018 cycle, already signed to join the defending national champs (UNC) at the next level, White has lit the EYBL up this travel season.
Considered a five-star prospect in most scouting circles, White is a walking bucket no matter where he is on the floor and the young guard is a threat to score it. White has a quick release on his jumper, couple that with his handle and slashing ability on offense, you have the full package. A guy who will get his own shot within the offensive flow, White takes high percentage shots but also possesses the capability to get tough buckets with the defense draped over him.
Currently in the EYBL, White is the top scorer for Team CP3 averaging almost 20 points per game. Aside from scoring, White is a winner and no matter what the task is, he’ll get it done. Mentally, his toughness separates him because no matter the situation, he never seems to get rattled; he’s the guy you want with the rock during crunch time. The top spot was never in question because White never allowed it to. Still a year away from arriving at Chapel Hill, White has the goods to lead all his peers in scoring when those heralded freshmen do hit campus in 2018-19.
2. Hunter Tyson
Tyson broke into our top five after the latest rankings and he is one of the more intriguing prospects. He’s also a member of the loaded 17U Team CP3. At 6’8 Tyson has the length and versatility to play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. Known as a deadly shooter, the potential stretch four has shown added depth to his game. During the spring period, he has looked more comfortable putting the ball down and attacking the paint.
A player who’s seen his game steadily progress each year, Tyson seems to have everything clicking now and his effort on defense is admirable, as he has been displaying good instincts and lateral quickness on that end. The Monroe product is a solid passer and crashes hard for boards at this point, Tyson looks like a more athletic version of former Maryland star Jake Layman. He could have a similar type impact for some lucky program.
In the EYBL he has done a little of everything to contribute to his squad’s impressive run. Tyson’s play catapulted him over Aaron Wiggins and Ian Steere, two talented guys in their own right. At the next level he’ll continue to be a mismatch nightmare. It’s impossible to say where exactly Tyson’s ceiling lies but one thing is for sure he’s BIG time!
3. Jarren McAlister
Buzz Williams is building the future of his Hokies program around talent from NC. Over the next two years, he’ll welcome four players bred in the Tar Heel state. McAllister will be the first to hit campus next year and the rising senior has potential to earn a starting spot early on. For Heritage high, McAllister was a program pillar at a school with relatively no basketball history.
After he helped the school win its first ever conference championship, McAllister put on a strong postseason performance. At 6’3 the youngster possesses the size and skills of a true combo guard offensively and he is a talented scorer. The mid-range pull up serves as his bread and butter but can also stop and pop. From deep, McAllister’s jumper has improved every year and with a long athletic frame attacking the basket comes natural.
Over the next year, McAllister may continue his rise in the rankings and it’s special when talent meets hard work. Look for this guy to continue adding muscle which will only enhance his game McAllister can be a real gem at the next level.
4. Jimmie Sanders
Not sure anyone had quite the jump Sanders had and it was well deserved with his play over March and April. The NC Red Bulls lead guard has stood out in both Phenom Hoops Showcases this spring. A true team first guy, Sanders is a floor general that commands respect every matchup. He’s in the mold of an old school point guard and does a good job distributing the ball and establishing the pace.
When the Red Bulls need their point guard to get a bucket, Sanders does well penetrating the lane and getting high percentage looks. As far as range he is accurate from college territory if the defense is caught lacking and he’ll pull the trigger. His confidence continues to grow against stiff competition, as he is a poised player with a high basketball I.Q.
Recruitment activity has been limited to this point but if Sanders keeps up this level of play on the big stage colleges won’t have any choice but to take a chance on him. Whatever coach and program does land, Sanders he’ll be a great addition on and off the hardwood.
5. Maverick LaRue
Another guy who’s really put extra time in the gym and is now seeing the rewards on the court, LaRue was mostly effective as a spot up shooter earlier in the year but with the NC Spartans, he’s been one of the top scorer’s at all three levels. LaRue is a crafty player with the ball he utilizes ball fakes to freeze defenders or get opponents off their feet.
LaRue has shot the ball at a high percentage and over the last month showed an improving array of moves down low. A committed defender who can guard multiple positions, LaRue is a mismatch problem majority of the time and at 6’5 he impacts the game in many ways.
When you catch him in action, anyone can see his love and passion for the game and he comes from a basketball family so hoops are embedded. LaRue’s locked in attack mode during travel ball has brought the best out of him and like the Spartans program, is on the rise get your seat on the bandwagon before it’s too late.
Isaiah Wilkins- made his debut on the list at (37). Phenom Hoops believes the Mt. Tabor product will continue to rise, after a breakout junior campaign, he has continued to progress in the EYBL this spring. Wilkins has the capability of putting a team on his back.
There is a lot to like here, as Wilkins is a volume scorer. The two aspects of his game that stand out are movement without the basketball and his post play. Playing off the ball, Wilkins is constantly moving to find open spaces on the floor. In the paint, he’s excellent posting up on smaller guards and shooting over them or finishing through contact.
Drayvon Magnum- was outside the top 100 in last editions rankings. After a growth spurt and all around improvement on his game, we saw him climb more than 40 spots into the top 70 in the latest. Magnum is a combo forward with the skill to excel inside and out a true multifaceted scorer, but is also an underrated passer and has shown his playmaking ability in the post.
Recruitment has really picked up for Magnum as well, as he is a late bloomer. At the next level, he projects as a skilled four, Magnum’s athleticism sets him apart from other big men. Defensively, he is a solid shot blocker and gives high effort on the boards; he’s everything you want in a new area big man.
Daivian Williamson– big time potential at the collegiate level and a testament to how deep 2018 will be in NC. A proven scorer for Team Winston, he’s completely taken over games and no matter who’s matching up Williamson is always in attack mode.
Against top players from all over the southeast, he has displayed a deadly first step which makes him hard to stay in front of. ESPN National Director of Recruiting Paul Biancardi described Williamson as “a quick crafty guard, one of the quickest at Big Shots Charlotte.” This past weekend at the HoopSeen ATL showcase, Williamson led his squad to a second place finish.
John Newman- jolted up into the top 8, the Greensboro Day product is one of the best prospects in the entire 2018 class. He’ll continue to gain national traction after a superb season in the EYBL for Team CP3. Although Newman plays with some higher profile teammates, he seems to always stand out in front of recruiters. Scoring though is just the tip of the iceberg as he can impact the game in every statistical category. Surrounded by great coaches, he’s continued to learn the game and obtain a mature feel for it. Newman is a real winner and glue guy and he holds a long list of offers the nation’s best, which will all continue to have reps checking in on him.
Jairus Hamilton– recently included in the top six, Hamilton could very well play himself into the top five by the end of all this. Over the last year, Hamilton has played well for Cannon High catching the eye of Roy Williams and Sean Miller of Arizona. Since then his play on the EYBL has catapulted him to a four star recruit nationally. Not quite settled into a position, Hamilton is an elite scorer with an unselfish mentality.
Tre Turner– A situation to monitor here on the recruitment trail, Turner is an exceptionally gifted athlete he can jump out the gym and runs the floor well on breaks. His offense has caught up with his defense and he projects as a productive two-way wing. The only problem is Turner is also a highly touted football recruit and has several offers to play wide receiver at some major programs. The Guilford native has the talent to be a star in whatever sport he chooses.