SLAM Fresh 25 – 2014

by Franklyn Calle / @FrankieC7

Just as with the 2013 class, this junior Class of 2014 witnessed some major player movements atop of the list since our last ranking in September after Andrew Wiggins, Noah Vonleh and Dakari Johnson officially reclassified one grade up to the senior class, while Kentucky-commit Karl Towns Jr also moved one grade up to join this 2014 group.

Towns, the highly versatile junior, earned the top spot right away. How versatile he is, you ask? The quadruple-double kind. The kid finished with 16 points, 17 rebounds, 11 blocks and 11 assists in a game just a couple of weeks ago. He followed that game up with an easy triple-double (23 points, 17 rebounds and 11 blocks). Let’s keep in mind that there’s only been four quadruple-doubles in NBA history. Towns is only 17 years old and has already played against Team USA’s 2012 Gold-winning London Olympic squad. So yeah, we think he’s made his case.

Players who experienced some notable upward mobility in this latest ranking include Justise Winslow, Justin Jackson, Joel Berry and Jalen Lindsey. Among the prospects making their top-25 debut is James Blackmon Jr, who leads all juniors nation-wide in scoring with over 37 points per game. Blackmon Jr has given Indiana a verbal commitment. His father is a former McDonald’s All-American who once starred at Kentucky. Devin Booker, Quentin Snider, Ahmed Hill and Craig Victor are also among the other new members added to the top-25 list.

1 Karl Towns Jr. 6-11 SF St. Joseph (NJ) A Kentucky-commit, you won’t find many who can do what he does at his size and age.
2 Tyus Jones 6-0 PG Apple Valley (MN) The epitome of a very good point guard. Savvy beyond his years.
3 Jahlil Okafor 6-9 C Whitney Young (IL) Strong and dominant in the post and on the glass.
4 Emmanuel Mudiay 6-4 PG Grace (TX) Excels at either guard position.
5 Justise Wislow 6-6 SF St. John’s (TX) Explosive lefty wing who can get to the rim or sink it from distance.
6 Trey Lyles 6-8 PF Arsenal Technical (IN) The former Indiana-commit holds one of the most impressive multifaceted games in the class.
7 Kevon Looney 6-8 SF Hamilton (WI) Is a threat from outside the paint as much as from inside.
8 Cliff Alexander 6-9 C Curie (IL) The paint is his.
9 Joel Berry 6-1 PG Lake Highland (FL) Who doesn’t love a pure point guard who can score at will?
10 Theo Pinson 6-5 SF Wesleyan Christian (NC) Pure scorer who can put up points in all types of ways.
11 D’Angelo Russell 6-3 SG Montverde (FL) A natural scorer who has some point guard skills in him.
12 Rashad Vaughn 6-6 SG/SF Robbinsdale Cooper (MN) Strong wing whose stock has taken flight.
13 Chris McCullough 6-8 PF Salisbury (CT) Verbally committed to Syracuse, Chris is an athletic forward who uses his agility and speed to do damage at the rim.
14 JaQuan Lyle 6-4 PG Benjamin Bosse (IN) Can play either guard position with his ability to create for others, as well as his own shot.
15 Leron Black 6-7 PF White Station (TN) A former Baylor commit, he’s a terrific athlete who has been expanding his game out to the perimeter.
16 Dwayne Morgan 6-7 F Baltimore City (MD) Can hold it down at either forward position.
17 Justin Jackson 6-6 SF Homeschool Christian (TX) The kid can shoot from anywhere, whether a mid-range jumper or out on the perimeter.
18 Jalen Lindsey 6-6 SF Christ Presbyterian (TN) Flourishes in transition, has a respectable jumper.
19 James Blackmon Jr. 6-2 SG Bishop Luers (IN) Verbally committed to Indiana, Blackmon is a pure scorer who can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. Leads all juniors in points.
20 Devin Booker 6-3 SG Moss Point (MS) Booker is he’s averaging 28.9 points, following in his dad’s footsteps, Melvin Booker—former NBAer.
21 Malik Pope 6-7 SF Capital Christian (CA) Thanks to his speed and range, this lanky forward can excel at the guard position as well as the forward.
22 Quentin Snider 6-1 PG Ballard (KY) A Louisville-commit, with the great handle, court vision and all-around feel for the game he possesses, coach Pitino is going to love him.
23 Ahmed Hill 6-4 SG Aquinas (GA) Out from the perimeter or in the lane, Hill can sink it.
24 Craig Victor 6-8 PF St. Augustine (LA) Nice touch and feel around the rim.
25 Daniel Hamilton 6-7 SG/SF St. John Bosco (CA) The brother of 2013-ranked senior Isaac, Daniel is one of the most versatile wings in the country.