Final 2020 Rivals150 rankings: Cunningham stays No. 1
Oklahoma State-bound Cade Cunningham retains the No. 1 spot in our final edition of the 2020 Rivals150. Cunningham edged out G League-bound shooting guard Jalen Green and USC-bound big man Evan Mobley who complete the top three.
In a normal year, we may have seen more movement at the top of the class, but without the usual end of season All-Star game and some states shutting down their playoffs, there was pretty minimal change at the top of the rankings. There are two new five-star prospects though as Indiana-bound point guard Khristian Lander reclassified from 2021 and debuts in 2020 at No. 24. Also earning five-star status is Duke-bound center Mark Williams, who moved up six spots overall to No. 29 and secured the final five-star spot.
In addition to Green choosing the G League over college, several other players are pursuing the professional ranks. Headed to the G League with Green are five-stars Daishen Nix (No. 13) and Isaiah Todd (No. 18) and four-star big man Kai Sotto (No. 67). Five-star Makur Maker (No. 17) has entered the NBA Draft but will keep his options open while N.C. State signee Josh Hall (No. 21) has hired an agent and is staying in the Draft. Also entering the Draft is four-star Kenyon Martin Jr. (No. 51). Four-star Marjon Beauchamp (No. 55) will spend the next year training for the Draft rather than attending college.
The biggest climber in the final edition of the rankings is Iowa-bound point guard Ahron Ulis, who rose 32 spots from No. 141 to No. 109. Almost making notable climbs were Cincinnati-bound power forward Tari Eason who moved up to No. 54 from No. 78 and Pittsburgh-bound big man John Hugley ,who rose from No. 101 to No. 77.
Joining Lander as newcomers to the rankings due to reclassification are Texas A&M-bound shooting guard Jaxson Robinson (No. 58) and Connecticut-bound big man Adama Sanogo (No. 80). The highest debut of a player who isn’t switching classes is Colorado signee Dominique Clifford who debuts at No. 131 overall.
1. The toughest decision in this rankings update was ...
Bossi: For me the hardest decision was deciding on where to make the five-star cutoff. Over the past few years we’ve gotten a bit too generous in giving out five-star status and I felt it was important to dial back. Making the decision to leave players like Miami-bound wing Earl Timberlake at No. 30 and Kentucky-bound guard Devin Askew at No. 31 outside of the five-star realm wasn’t an easy one.
Evans: What to do with the guards ranked between Jalen Suggs at No. 10 and Cameron Thomas at No. 25. You could honestly tip the rankings in reverse fashion and it wouldn’t be difficult to see someone in the mold of Lander or Jeremy Roach having a better career than Suggs or Josh Christopher. If I may, though, keep an eye on North Carolina-bound Caleb Love. In five years, I really wouldn’t be surprised if he was among the five best from the 2020 class.
McDonald: The top spot is still the toughest for me between Cunningham, Green and even Mobley. They are all very different and I've had moments where I thought each one of them was the best I had seen in the class. I think Cunningham is the right choice, but it will certainly be interesting to track over the next several years, especially with the path Green chose.
2. The reason I believe in this player's ranking is ...
Bossi: I remain sold on Marcus Bagley as a five-star prospect who is very deserving of his No. 28 overall ranking. I actually would have liked for him to be even a little higher, but it’s a collaborative effort and sometimes moving guys as high as you think you may be able to isn’t possible. At Arizona State, I can see him playing both the three and the four because he’s big and strong and the Sun Devils like to play fast. Eventually, I expect him to join his older brother Marvin Bagley in the NBA.
Evans: No one, and I mean, no one, is a bigger fan of Florida State signee Scottie Barnes than yours truly. I get that his jumper remains a concern which is a scary proposition in today’s game that is reliant on shooting above else. However, might we be underappreciating his ability on defense where he can guard the 1-5. He can also dice up opposing defenses as a giant playmaker and competes like his tail is on fire. FSU is practically the perfect situation for his abilities. I believe in Barnes as a top-six prospect and potentially someone even better than that.
McDonald: We went a few spots with Love this time around and we could have potentially gone up a few more spots. He played so well every time I saw him over the past year and I think he picked a great spot to help his game flourish. Roy Williams has had a ton of success with point guards his entire career as a head coach, and Love could be his next star at the position.
3. The player I fear we have too low is ...
Bossi: Caleb Murphy at No. 60 intrigues me as much as almost any guard in this class. Headed to South Florida, he’s as explosive as anybody in the class and I’m big believer that he’s going to emerge as a playmaker to go along with the ability he’s shown as a finisher during his high school days. I’m not saying he’s Ja Morant, but he gives me some of the same vibes that Morant did once I got to see him play as a freshman at Murray State.
Evans: Andre Jackson. The UConn bound forward ascended the Rivals150 Rankings during the final update, but is No. 68 high enough? Jackson needs to improve his ball skills category and shot-making, but what an athlete! Jackson is among the elite of the elite in that category and not just at the high school level but really, within the high-major realm and maybe even in the NBA. To get to that level, he must polish practically every other portion of his game but his physical tools may be that of somebody who is ranked in the top 70 range.
McDonald: I'm going to go with Reece Beekman. Just about everything I said about Love applies here. Beekman had such a good travel season when I saw him last year and Virginia is the perfect fit for his style. There is no doubt in my mind he'll excel under Tony Bennett and continue the winning ways in Charlottesville.
4. The player I hope proves us right and is not too high is ...
Bossi: Tari Eason made a big jump thanks to an incredible run culminating in his Seattle (Wash.) Garfield team winning a state title. He’s a mobile four man that can put the ball on the floor, he rebounds and he has responded each and every time he’s been challenged. He could stand to add some more muscle, but he has everything needed to make an instant splash at Cincinnati.
Evans: I love the way that Dwon Odom goes about playing the game. He is an elite competitor that has one of the best first step’s in the class and is a tremendous athlete who scores through contact. He is a legitimate point of attack defender that causes havoc in the backcourt. The question is how much may an inconsistent jumper take away from that elite burst? He has a hard worker’s mentality so there is no doubt he is going to do everything in his power to improve upon any weaknesses, which is why I have great hope that he proves us right and performs like a top-50 prospect.
McDonald: Jalen Johnson is going to be an interesting one in my opinion. There is no doubt about his talent, but I'm really curious to see how it goes for him at Duke and how Coach K uses him. Every time I've seen him, he's had the ball in his hands in some sort of "point forward" role. Can Duke make that work with all the other ball-handlers they have? Can Johnson effectively play off the ball? I'll be really interested to see how Coach K makes it work, but he's done it before.