SLAM Fresh 50 – 2016

Introducing the senior class is exciting every year, but when it’s one of those “super” classes—you know, the ones touted as the best in years—it makes it much more special.

The Class of 2016 has been highly regarded for years, with many comparing it to the Class of 2013 (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, etc.) and Class of 2007 (Derrick Rose, James Harden, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, etc.). And the praises are all well-deserved.

The top-three players could make a case for the No. 1 slot in the senior rankings as well as in the 2017 NBA Draft. Then you have some jaw-dropping explosive guards in Dennis Smith and Malik Monk. It’s not far-fetched at all to say that the top-15 players in this class all have the makings to be future lottery picks.

Check out the list below, which will be updated twice more throughout the season and expanded to 75 in the spring.

1 Harry Giles PF 6-10 Oak Hill (VA) Still the most dominant big in the nation.
2 Jayson Tatum SF 6-8 Chaminade (MO) (Duke-commit) Most versatile swingman in the land.
3 Josh Jackson SF 6-7 Prolific (CA) Arguably the top scorer in the country.
4 Dennis Smith Jr PG 6-2 Trinity Christian (NC) (NC State-commit) Most explosive guard in America.
5 Malik Monk SG 6-4 Bentonville (AR) The most talented pure 2-guard in the class.
6 De’Aaron Fox PG 6-3 Cypress Lakes (TX) Elite prototypical point guard.
7 Edrice Adebayo PF 6-10 High Point Christian (NC) Possesses an NBA-ready physique and loves playing above the rim.
8 Miles Bridges SF 6-6 Huntington Prep (WV) Explosive and sturdy lefty wing.
9 Lonzo Ball PG 6-5 Chino Hills (CA) (UCLA-commit) Carries out the role of a point guard as well as anyone.
10 Rawle Alkins SG 6-5 Word of God (NC) Fresh off one of the top performances in the summer youth circuit.
11 Terrance Ferguson SG 6-6 Advanced Prep (TX) (Alabama-commit) Versatile wing who can fly just as impressively as when he lets the ball fly from distance.
12 Jonathan Isaac PF 6-9 IMG Academy (FL) (Florida State-commit) Athletic big with a nice touch around the rim and from mid-range.
13 Frank Jackson PG 6-3 Lone Peak (UT) (Duke-commit) High IQ guard who can shoot it or take it in on anyone.
14 Markelle Fultz PG 6-4 DeMatha (MD) (Washington-commit) Combo guard that can create and score with the best of them.
15 TJ Leaf PF 6-10 Foothills Christian (CA) Explosive and lengthy big who moves well with the ball.
16 Joshua Langford SG 6-5 Madison Academy (AL) (Michigan State-commit) Excel from behind the perimeter and when playing through contact.
17 Marques Bolden C 6-10 DeSoto (TX) Great on the post and on the boards.
18 Kobi Simmons PG 6-5 St. Francis (GA) Long, nimble guard who’s assertive on both ends of the floor.
19 Omari Spellman PF 6-9 MacDuffie School (MA) (Villanova-commit) Strong, powerful big who can step out.
20 Jarrett Allen PF 6-9 St. Stephens Episcopal (TX) Soft touch around the paint and active on the glass.
21 Wenyen Gabriel PF 6-9 Wilbraham & Monson (MA) Blew up this summer after showcasing tremendous upside.
22 Dewan Huell PF 6-9 Miami Norland (FL) Lengthy, athletic forward with great mobility on both ends.
23 Mustapha Heron SG 6-5 Sacred Heart (CT) (Auburn-commit) Bulky guard who’s always in attack mode.
24 Udoka Azubuike C 6-11 Potter’s House (FL) Tough, powerful big who loves muscling his way around the basket and playing above the rim.
25 VJ King SF 6-7 Paul VI (VA) (Louisville-commit) Versatile wing and exceptional shooter.
26 Tony Bradley PF 6-10 Bartow (FL) (UNC-commit) Impressive shot-blocker and working on the low block.
27 Cassius Winston PG 6-0 University of Detroit Jesuit (MI) Great basketball IQ, shooting abilities and all-around knack for scoring.
28 Sacha Killeya-Jones PF 6-10 Virginia Episcopal (VA) (Kentucky-commit) Impressive soft touch and mid-range game.
29 Alterique Gilbert PG 6-0 Miller Grove (GA) (UConn-commit) Assertive scorer who can get on the board in every kind of way.
30 Tyus Battle SG 6-6 St. Joseph (NJ) (Syracuse-commit) Renowned for his terrific perimeter game.
31 Mario Kegler SF 6-7 Oak Hill (VA) Your ideal wing who can do it from the arc or in the post.
32 Juwan Durham PF 6-10 Tampa Prep (FL) (UConn-commit) Agile big with great motor on the defensive end.
33 Kyle Guy PG 6-2 Lawrence Central (IN) (Virginia-commit) Terrific shooter with high basketball IQ.
34 Andrew Jones SG 6-4 MacArthur (TX) Explosive off the dribble and high-flyer.
35 Bruce Brown SG 6-4 Vermont Academy (VT) Strong guard who can score in a variety of ways.
36 De’Ron Davis PF 6-9 Overland (CO) Skilled post player who can step out and sink it from 15-18 feet away.
37 Shomarie Ponds PG 6-0 Thomas Jefferson (NY) Explosive and crafty guard.
38 Nick Ward PF 6-9 Gahanna Lincoln (OH) (Michigan State-commit) Impressive low-block player.
39 Javin DeLaurier PF 6-9 St. Anne’s-Belfield (VA) Superior athlete who can do damage in the post.
40 Amir Coffey SF 6-7 Hopkins (MN) (Minnesota-commit) Shooter with high basketball IQ.
41 Kameron McGusty SG 6-5 Seven Lakes (TX) (Oklahoma-commit) Versatile scorer.
42 Seventh Woods PG 6-1 Hammond (SC) Explosive guard with awing athleticism and much upside.
43 Justin Jackson SF 6-7 Findlay Prep (NV) (UNLV-commit) Nice mid-range game in his repertoire to accompany physical gifts.
44 Jaylen Fisher PG 6-2 Bolton (TN) Great scorer off the dribble.
45 Zach Collins C 6-11 Bishop Gorman (NV) (Gonzaga-commit) Has the size and tools to contribute at the next level.
46 Payton Pritchard PG 6-1 West Linn (OR) (Oregon-commit) Elusive guard with great motor.
47 Matthew Moyer PF 6-8 South Kent (CT) (Syracuse-commit) Quick, tenacious big who can put the ball on the floor.
48 Tony Carr PG 6-4 Roman Catholic (PA) (Penn State-commit) Fast, crafty ball-handler who can create with the best of them.
49 Schnider Herard C 6-10 Prestonwood Christian (TX) High-ceiling prospect on the rise.
50 DeJon Jarreau SG 6-5 McDonogh 35 (LA) Combo guard who excels off the dribble.

(Photo credit: Jon Lopez, Nike)