by Franklyn Calle / @FrankieC7

After averaging 28 points and 8 assists per game as a sophomore at Apple Valley (MN), Tyus Jones seemed to have slowed down a bit during his junior year when his numbers dropped to 20 points and 7 assists this past season. But then the spring came, aka the start of the AAU circuit, where Jones has been flat-out dominating the scene. When looking at his numbers in the Nike EYBL, where it’s safe to say most of the nation’s best players converge, as of last week in 13 games played through the first three sessions, he was leading the entire league/nation in points (301), assists (6.8 per game) and steals (3.0 per game) and was second in scoring average (23.2 per game).

And although the stats for this past weekend’s fourth session haven’t been added yet, it can be expected that not much has changed as far as where Jones stands in the aforementioned categories, especially considering that he went 4-0 during the weekend and included a 25-point, 8-asssist, 5-steal performance, all around his off-season average. Obviously, numbers don’t mean everything, but they never lie. At this point, the 6-0 guard out of Minnesota has emerged as the smartest and most efficient player in his class, with the greatest feel for the game and most superb court vision. He can consistently sink the jumper from downtown with the best of them and can also finish at the rim over anyone with the best of them—not to mention his defensive tenacity, as reflected in his steals count. Long story short, there hasn’t been a single player who’s been performing as well as Jones has in this young AAU season, and thus for the time being, he is well deserving of the top spot. He continues to draw Chris Paul comparisons, and while it might be a little early for that, he’s most definitely on his way.

The word is that Jones and Jahlil Okafor are a package deal when it pertains to their college selection, with rumors being that Duke seems to be leading all suitors, although there isn’t much that confirms those claims. Nonetheless, their recruiting is definitely worth keeping a close eye on.

UNC has been the biggest benefactor from this class thus far with three of the top-15 prospects in this list, and still counting. But with the summer on the horizon, and most of the bigger names not expected to commit until the fall at the earliest, the list is bound to change.

RANKPLAYERHTPOSSCHOOLWHY?
1Tyus Jones6-1PGApple Valley (MN)Savvy beyond his years; the epitome of a point guard.
2Jahlil Okafor6-10CWhitney Young (IL)Strong and dominant in the post and on the glass.
3Emmanuel Mudiay6-4PGPrime Prep (TX)Explosive point guard with ample athleticism.
4Karl Towns Jr7-0CSt. Joseph (NJ)A Kentucky commit, as well rounded as you’ll find for someone his size and age.
5Trey Lyles6-8PFArsenal Technical (IN)Features one of the most impressive multi-faceted games in the class.
6Cliff Alexander6-9CCurie (IL)The paint is his and when anywhere near it, he’s looking to dunk. He’s been extending his game to the outside slowly.
7Kevon Looney6-8SF/PFMilwaukee Hamilton (WI)A threat from outside the paint as much as from inside.
8Rashad Vaughn6-6SG/SFRobbinsdale Cooper (MN)Strong wing whose stock just continues to rise.
9Chris McCullough6-10PFBrewster Academy (NH)Verbally committed to Syracuse, McCullough is an athletic forward who uses his agility and speed to do damage at the rim.
10Justise Winslow6-6SFSt. John’s (TX)Explosive lefty wing who can get to the rim or sink it from distance.
11Leron Black6-7PFWhite Station (TN)A former Baylor commit, he’s a terrific athlete who has been expanding his game out to the perimeter.
12Stanley Johnson6-6SFMater Dei (CA)Uses his relatively bulky physique to overpower opponents; has extended his game outside.
13Justin Jackson6-6SFHomeschool Christian (TX)A Tar Heel pledge, the kid can shoot from anywhere, whether a mid-range jumper or out on the perimeter; averaged 30 points and 12 rebounds.
14Theo Pinson6-6SFWesleyan Christian (NC)Another North Carolina commit, he’s pure scorer who can put up points in all types of ways.
15Joel Berry6-1PGLake Highland (FL)Also a UNC commit, known as a pure point guard who can score at will.
16JaQuan Lyle6-4PGBenjamin Bosse (IN)Can play either guard position with his ability to create for others, as well as his own shot.
17Malik Pope6-8SFLaguna Creek (CA)Thanks to his speed and range, this lanky forward can excel at the guard position as well as at the forward.
18Dwayne Morgan6-7SFSt. Frances (MD)A UNLV commit, he can hold it down at either forward position.
19Devin Booker6-4SGMoss Point (MS)Looking to follow in his dad’s footsteps, Melvin Booker—a former NBAer—Devin is one of top scorers in the country, having averaged 29.7 points per game this past season.
20D’Angelo Russell6-4SGMontverde (FL)A natural scorer who has some point guard skills in him.
21Jalen Lindsey6-6SFHuntington Prep (WV)Transferring to Huntington Prep in the fall, he flourishes in transition and has a respectable jumper.
22JaKeenan Gant6-8SFEffingham County (GA)Averaged about 17.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 blocks, earning Class 5A Player of the Year.
23Ahmed Hill6-4SGAquinas (GA)Out on the perimeter or in the lane, Hill can sink it.
24Keita Bates-Diop6-7PFUniversity (IL)A Ohio State-commit, he moves great around the basket and has begun moving his offense outside as well.
25Goodluck OkonobohC6-9Wilbraham & Monson (MA)Good shot blocker who’s expanding his offensive game.
26Daniel Hamilton6-7SG/SFSt. John Bosco (CA)A UConn pledge and brother of 2013-ranked senior Isaac, Daniel is one of the most versatile wings in the country.
27Jordan McLaughlin5-11PGEtiwanda (CA)Explosive point guard who can attack the rim with the best of them.
28Quentin Snider6-1PGBallard (KY)A Louisville-commit, with great handle, court vision and just all-around feel for the game.
29Isaiah Whitehead6-4SGLincoln (NY)Natural scorer who can especially shoot it.
30Parker Jackson-Cartwright5-9PGLoyola (CA)An Arizona commit, his offense comes from the quickness and craftiness he possesses.
31Craig Victor6-8PFSt. Augustine (LA)Nice touch around the rim.
32Grayson Allen6-4SGProvidence (FL)A Duke pledge known for his range beyond the perimeter.
33Shelton Mitchell6-3PGCuthbertson (NC)A Wake Forest commit, he stands out as a great floor leader.
34Kelly Oubre6-5SG/SFBush (TX)Known as a shooter with range.
35Dion Wiley6-4SGPotomac (MD)Has been putting work at Nike’s EYBL; known for being explosive off the dribble and having range.
36Isaac Copeland6-9PFMiller (VA)A Georgetown pledge, he’s shown the ability to knock down jumpers consistently.
37Caleb Martin6-6SFDavie County (NC)Having already given NC State a verbal commitment, he has impressed with his attacks to the rim.
38Ben Bentil6-8PFSt. Andrews (DE)Does most of his work in and around the paint thanks to his strength and quickness.
39Reid Travis6-7PFDe La Salle (MN)A great rebounder who has excelled in the AAU circuit playing alongside Tyus Jones.
40Shaqquan Aaron6-7SFRainier Beach (WA)A Louisville commit, he can handle the ball and thus score in multiple ways.
41Josh Perkins6-2PGHuntington Prep (WV)From Colorado but transferring to Huntington Prep in the fall, averaged 25.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game as a junior.
42Kameron Chatman6-7SFLong Beach Poly (CA)Long, lefty forward with promising upside.
43Payton Dastrup6-9PF/CMountain View (AZ)Whether it be behind the arc, midrange or in the paint, Dastrup is always putting in work.
44Trevon Bluiett6-5SFPark Tudor (IN)Just came off a monstrous year where he averaged 27.8 points and led his team to a 21-3 record.
45TJ Haws6-3SGLone Peak (UT)Stands out for his shooting abilities.
46James Blackmon Jr6-3SGMarion (IN)Verbally committed to Indiana, Blackmon is a pure scorer who can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. Second in scoring nationwide among juniors.
47Victor Law6-6SFSt. Rita (IL)Averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds this past season.
48Kaleb Joseph6-3PGCushing Academy (MA)Long and versatile point guard.
49Trayvon Reed7-0CShiloh (GA)As he continues to build out his game, his upside is currently his biggest strength.
50Paul White6-8SF/PFWhitney Young (IL)Has expanded is offense out to the perimeter, causing many match-up issues.