Rivals Rankings Week: New Rivals150 for 2022 released
More Rivals150 release: Big man Jalen Duren vaults to top
2023 Rankings: Top 30
A NEW NO. 1
The change at the top headlines this rankings refresh, and rightfully so. Longtime top dog Emoni Bates is still seen as a hyper-elite prospect and may still have the highest NBA ceiling of any player in this class, but at some point rankings need to favor the more developed and complete prospect. Thus, the ascension of Jalen Duren.
You can read the details of what Duren brings to the table and why we made the switch here, but suffice to say the 6-foot-10 big man is a rare commodity in the high school ranks. His size and athleticism grab the attention, but Duren has progressed exponentially from a skill standpoint this year. He’s also an elite rim protector and rebounder that flirts with a double-double nearly every time he takes the floor.
Admittedly, there’s not much to separate Bates and Duren at the top. There’s a full year between now and the day the 2022 rankings are set to finalize, so another switch at the top is certainly a possibility. This race is obviously much closer than it looked at this time a year ago.
HELLO, YOHAN TRAORE
Yohan Traore made a splash by debuting at No. 64 in the Rivals150 after consistent spring that saw him compare favorably to a number of bigs previously ranked in front of him. The 6-foot-10 forward gets up and down as well as nearly any prospect his size and has shown off a nice shooting touch as well.
What’s been most surprising about Traore’s development, however, is his ball handling. He’s stunned onlookers with occasional coast-to-coast drives that end in dunks and is rounding into a more complete prospect by the month. Traore is thought to be extremely high on Tennessee, Kansas and Texas. Gonzaga may be close to entering his recruitment with an offer.
GORTMAN CRASHED THE TOP 20
Jazian Gortman entered quarantine as an unranked point guard but began to boost his stock by dominating at the invite-only pick up runs at the Savage Academy. Now, the lengthy Gortman has reached five-star status and carries more than 20 offers.
Gortman is an electric lead guard who has a sharp, crafty handle with great footwork. Off the bounce, his bag is as deep as any prospect over the past five to 10 years. He is better than a 40-percent shooter from three and a rugged on-the-ball defender with the competitive fire to pick up full court for an entire game. Gortman is truly a unique prospect, and his confidence is rising every day.
LIVELY IS A LIVE ONE
Duren gets most of the shine when the Team Final Grassroots program takes the floor, but the guy with whom he shares a frontcourt has spent the spring showing he’s a top-flight prospect as well.
Few players anywhere have had a better two months than Derek Lively, who has looked like a five-star prospect each time he’s taken the court at recent events. He is as mobile as 7-footers come and boasts off a full range of offensive skill on the perimeter and the block while shining as a rim-protector. It’s totally unfair to compare a high schooler to an NBA pro, but there’s at least a flash of Anthony Davis in the 7-footer’s game.
MITCHELL MAKES ANOTHER JUMP
Dillon Mitchell has also made another big jump in the Rivals150. The Tampa (Fla.) Bishop McLaughlin jumps off the page at you with his ability to run the floor and finish high above the rim, as a vertical floor spacer, a dive man or in transition. He is also an excellent passer and, at the next level, could act as a primary initiator in a pick-and-roll system.
With his size, length and athleticism, Mitchell would be an invaluable piece for a championship-caliber program.