SLAM Fresh 50 – 2013

by January 17, 2013

by Franklyn Calle

So much has changed since our last Class of 2013 rankings in early September of 2012. The top junior in America officially announced he was reclassifying to the senior class in Andrew Wiggins. So did another highly touted former 2014 class member, Noah Vonleh. Additionally, our No. 1-ranked senior in September, Julius Randle, fractured his foot at the very start of the season and isn’t expected to be back on the hardwood until sometime in March, at the earliest. In other words, Randle never got the chance to defend his top spot. Speaking of the defending the top spot, Jabari Parker, who lost the top slot after missing much of the offseason with a nagging heel injury, returned to the floor last month and has been steadily regaining his touch.

There are always a few new names that join the top-50 list for the very first time. For this mid-season ranking, aside from the aforementioned Wiggins and Vonleh, Dakari Johnson is also among the reclassified seniors who joins the list, and is ranked among the top-12 in his new class. Deontate Burton and Kendrick Nunn are the two other players who have made their top-50 debut. Kansas-bound Conner Frankamp, who is averaging 34 points per game, according to MaxPreps, is fourth among all seniors in the nation. It has become evident that Frankamp’s jumper is the real deal and he has therefore jumped up the rankings 11 spots. Other players who saw their names jump considerably up the ranks include Austin Nichols, Isaac Hamilton and Zakarie Irvin.

As expected, the early signing period officially took many of the players listed below off the recruiting market. On another random note, notice how compared to previous years, almost all seniors in the top 50 have already chosen a college—45 out of 50. We usually have a good 20-25 players who wait until the spring signing period before choosing a school, strategically preferring to wait and see who declares for the NBA Draft at the schools they are considering. For some weird reason, that was not the case with the Class of 2013. Out of the five remaining names, three are in the top 5.

Meanwhile, Kentucky will be welcoming one-third of the top dozen players in this list (as of now), and with the top three undecided players in the class in Wiggins, Randle and Aaron Gordon all still considering the Wildcats, Kentucky might not be done adding to what many have debated as the greatest incoming freshman class ever.

1 Andrew Wiggins 6-8 SF Huntington Prep (WV) Undecided Canada’s finest is averaging over 22 points and 11 rebounds, proving his tenacity and versatility on both ends of the floor.
2 Jabari Parker 6-8 SF Simeon (IL) Duke Back from injury, Parker is slowly returning to his old self and reminding everyone why gained national notoriety.
3 Julius Randle 6-9 PF Prestonwood (TX) Undecided When he attacks the rim, it’s wise to just get out of the way.
4 Andrew Harrison 6-5 PG Travis (TX) Kentucky Complete point guard on both ends of the floor.
5 Aaron Gordon 6-7 PF Archbishop Mitty (CA) Undecided Blake Griffin-type highlights reels when attacking the hole.
6 Aaron Harrison 6-5 SG Travis (TX) Kentucky Andrew’s twin can score in every way imaginable.
7 Noah Vonleh 6-8 PF New Hampton (NH) Indiana Nice touch around the rim and aggressive post moves in the paint.
8 Kasey Hill 6-0 PG Montverde (FL) Florida A nice mix of Kyrie Irving and JWall.
9 Chris Walker 6-10 PF Holmes County (FL) Florida Great athlete who loves playing above the rim.
10 James Young 6-6 SG Rochester (MI) Kentucky Strong and explosive wing who can finish above the rim or from distance.
11 Anthony Barber 6-2 PG Hampton (VA) N.C. State Highly crafty guard.
12 Dakari Johnson 6-10 C Montverde (FL) Kentucky He still has lots of upside, which is scary for someone his size.
13 Jarrell Martin 6-7 PF Madison Prep (LA) LSU Athletic forward who still has much upside.
14 Bobby Portis 6-9 PF Hall (AR) Arkansas Although he gets his in the paint, he can step out and be a threat with range.
15 Isaiah Hicks 6-8 PF Webb (NC) North Carolina His explosiveness makes him tough to stop in the lane.
16 Austin Nichols 6-8 PF Briarcrest (TN) Memphis Post moves and mid-range jumpers in his repertoire.
17 Rondae Jefferson 6-6 SF Chester (PA) Arizona Lefty forward who can also create for others.
18 Jermaine Lawrence 6-8 PF Pope John XXIII (NJ) Undecided Multifaceted big man.
19 Isaac Hamilton 6-4 SG St. John Bosco (CA) UTEP Shooter who also possesses some PG skills.
20 Wayne Selden 6-5 SF Tilton (NH) Kansas Explosiveness, speed and hops.
21 Keith Frazier 6-5 SG Kimball (TX) Undecided Good shooter with deep range.
22 Jabari Bird 6-6 SG Salesian (CA) California Explosive wing with impressive finishes at the basket—and can shoot it too.
23 Marcus Lee 6-9 PF Deer Valley (CA) Kentucky Stands out as a rebounder and shot-blocker.
24 Demetrius Jackson 6-1 PG Marian (IN) Notre Dame The type of PG they will love at South Bend.
25 Xavier Rathan-Mayes 6-3 SG Huntington Prep (WV) Florida State Also a Canada-native, Xavier can create room for his own shot or path to them rim.
26 Kuran Iverson 6-8 SF Fishburne Military Memphis Very versatile scorer.
27 Zakarie Irvin 6-6 SF Hamilton Southeastern (IN) Michigan Averaging over 25 points this season, he’s a wing who can sink it from distance, or put the ball on the floor and make his way to the rim.
28 Tyler Roberson 6-7 PF Roselle (NJ) Syracuse Active defender who can score inside or out.
29 Brannen Greene 6-6 SG Tift (GA) Kansas Great shooter who can also take it to the hole.
30 Tyler Ennis 6-2 PG St. Benedict’s (NJ) Syracuse Canadian native who can create his own shot easily, as well as for others.
31 Conner Frankamp 6-0 PG North (KS) Kansas As the intro mentions, he’s fourth in the nation in scoring among seniors, so yeah, he can really shoot—as you may have heard already.
32 Nick King 6-6 SF East (TN) Memphis Lefty with nice multifaceted game.
33 Troy Williams 6-6 SF Oak Hill (VA) Indiana Slick forward who uses his athleticism and explosiveness to his advantage.
34 Matt Jones 6-4 SG DeSoto (TX) Duke He’s a shooter, and that’s all you need to remember.
35 Kennedy Meeks 6-9 C West Charlotte (NC) North Carolina Nice touch in the paint.
36 Semi Ojeleye 6-6 SF Ottowa (KS) Duke A tough and strong wing who has deep range.
37 Ishmail Wainright 6-6 SF Montrose Christian (MD) Baylor Unselfish forward known for being a facilitator and great defender.
38 Beejay Anya 6-9 C DeMatha (VA) NC State Has the tools to become a dominant big man.
39 Derrick Walton 6-0 PG Chandler Park (MI) Michigan Your ideal savvy point guard with range. His 26 ppg demonstrate his scoring ability is just as well as his PG skills.
40 Jonathan Williams 6-8 PF Southwind (TN) Missouri Forward who can handle the ball and make plays for teammates.
41 Aquille Carr 5-8 PG Patterson (MD) Seton Hall The most exciting player to watch play in this class.
42 Roddy Peters 6-4 PG Suitland (MD) Maryland After a breakout summer in 2012, Peters’ versatility is now well known.
43 Robert Hubbs 6-5 SG Dyer County (TN) Tennessee High-flying, crowd-pleasing athlete.
44 Anton Gill 6-3 SG Hargrave Military (NC) Louisville Versatile scorer who also takes care of business on the defensive end.
45 Jordan Mickey 6-7 SF/PF Prime Prep (TX) LSU Can contribute differently every night: on the boards, the paint or from mid-range.
46 Sindarius Thornwell 6-4 SG Oak Hill (VA) South Carolina Versatility that allows him to succeed at both guard positions.
47 Karviar Shepherd 6-9 C Prime Prep (TX) TCU The paint is where he controls.
48 Zach LaVine 6-3 PG Bothell (WA) UCLA Can score but also distribute.
49 Deonte Burton 6-4 SF Vincent (WI) Marquette Lefty wing with impressive athleticism.
50 Kendrick Nunn 6-2 PG Simeon (IL) Illinois Versatile guard who can play either the 1 or the 2 position.