Rival Views: Previewing next week's rankings refresh
Rivals Rankings Week is set to kick off on Monday and will include updates to the 2022, 2023 and 2024 classes. As we head toward the reshuffle, Rivals national analysts Rob Cassidy and Travis Graf discuss a handful of the topics that will impact the week ahead.
2023 Rankings: Rivals150
2024 Rankings: Top 40
1. WHICH PROSPECT THAT YOU PUSHED FOR IN THIS UPDATE WILL MAKE YOU LOOK SMARTEST DOWN THE ROAD?
Cassidy: I’ve been advocating for Dillon Mitchell for a long time based solely on upside and tools. Admittedly, a bet on Mitchell is a bet on potential, as he’s yet to become a reliable shooter. Still, his defense and truly elite athleticism will keep him on the floor until he becomes a good enough shooter to get serious NBA looks. When the Texas signee puts it together on the offensive end, he could become a truly special player. I think he has long-term first-round potential, and he moved up the rankings because of that.
Graf: I was a huge advocate for Dariq Whitehead to take over the No. 1 spot when Shaedon Sharpe reclassified. There were plenty of worthy options including his fellow Duke signees Kyle Flipowski and Dereck Lively, but at the end of the day the Montverde Academy forward’s body of work and production are things that you just can’t ignore. He’s been towards the top of the class and consistently outplayed other top talents for over half of a decade. His size and versatility will allow for an easier transition to the college game than most and he has the potential to be a great two-way player at the professional level.
2. WHICH PLAYER MANAGED TO CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION OF HIM THIS SEASON?
Cassidy: I was previously skeptical of UCF signee Taylor Hendricks because he seemed to shy away from using his length in the paint and looked to be a streaky shooter at best prior to his senior year, but my opinion of him has slowly been evolving and has come a long way in the last year, as Hendricks has shown a willingness to mix it up underneath and rebound at a high level. He showed off a more reliable and confident jumper at this year’s Hoophall Classic event and has been a more complete prospect for the last few months.
Graf: Heading into his senior year, I always looked for things to nitpick about Michigan signee Tarris Reed Jr. His consistent production against every opponent standing in his way eventually made me stop looking for the negatives and to start really focusing on the positives of his game. It’s hard to remember the last time he wasn’t the best big man on the floor of any game he played in. His motor, rebounding, touch, physical strength, and developing shooting should have the Wolverine fan base very excited.
3. WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST RANKINGS DECISION THIS TIME AROUND?
Cassidy: I absolutely hated trying to sort things out at the top of the 2022 class. The sheer number of reclassifications by top-ranked players have caused us to scramble for a new No. 1 on multiple occasions this cycle, and this last refresh was the most difficult one. I don’t think there’s much to separate the top three we settled on, and a case could be made for all three. In the end we went with who we thought was the safest pick to find himself near the top of the draft. Do I feel great about it? Not particularly, but somebody had to be No. 1.
Graf: For me, it’s going to have to be somehow leaving Marquis Cook out of the top three in 2023. Cook has a very strong case for being number one in the class, as he’s playing some of the best basketball of his high school career as of late. The AZ Compass Prep junior has been fantastic at both ends of the court, and really coming into his own as a spot-up shooter.