SLAM Fresh 75 – 2013

by Franklyn Calle / @FrankieC7

It goes without saying that this class is the deepest in a long time—to most, the best since 2007. The basketball world seems to already be looking forward to the 2014 NBA Draft more than this year’s. Canada should have a lot to be proud of with this class, as Tyler Ennis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes will have an immediate impact on their respective collegiate teams, just as much as Andrew Wiggins will.

Overall, one player who really needs to be acknowledged is Joel Embiid. He has transformed from an unranked, unknown prospect into one of the nation’s premier centers. He’s only been playing basketball for about a year-and-a-half, and although his offensive game is still on the raw side, he’s shown that he can protect the rim with the best of them.

One player that you’ll see on this list who has been booted from most others is Aquille Carr. Truth be told, it baffles me why the “others” have bumped him out of their rankings. Something tells me that folks are judging him based on his legal troubles instead of his on-court production. I mean, it has to be. Why else would someone who averaged about 30 points and 6 assists this past season somehow not be worthy of a ranking spot? How many guys of his size do you know who can put up those numbers? Of any size, for that matter. And he’s done it against the cream of the crop, including a game-high 24-point outing against Andrew Wiggins’ Huntington Prep. All I’m saying is it doesn’t add up to me. It’s funny though, because when Lance Stephenson got in trouble back in HS, his name also dropped in the rankings. But he was 6-5, so they obviously couldn’t just simply wipe him off the list. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I do think it’s safe to say that we’re all rooting for Aquille here in his future overseas endeavors.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Back to these rankings. Kentucky is obviously the most well represented in here with six of the top 18 prospects. But Kansas isn’t too far behind—they have five out of the top 41 players, including the most sought-out in Wiggins. Duke and Memphis are also well represented with the Blue Devils having three out of the top 36, while the Tigers feature three out of the top 42. All in all, if you’re a college basketball fan, then you have a whole lot to be excited for come fall.

1 Andrew Wiggins 6-8 SF Huntington Prep (WV) Kansas His athleticism is just too much for opponents to keep up with.
2 Jabari Parker 6-8 SF Simeon (IL) Duke Skill sets beyond his years.
3 Julius Randle 6-9 PF Prestonwood (TX) Kentucky Beast-mode when attacking the rim.
4 Andrew Harrison 6-5 PG Travis (TX) Kentucky Great tempo and pace as court leader.
5 Aaron Gordon 6-9 PF Archbishop Mitty (CA) Arizona High-flyer whose game continues to expand.
6 Aaron Harrison 6-5 SG Travis (TX) Kentucky A pure natural scorer.
7 Noah Vonleh 6-8 PF New Hampton (NH) Indiana Versatile big with lots of upside. Can play multiple positions.
8 James Young 6-6 SF Rochester (MI) Kentucky Strong and explosive wing who can finish above the rim or from distance.
9 Chris Walker 6-10 PF Holmes County (FL) Florida Great athlete who loves playing above the rim.
10 Kasey Hill 6-1 PG Montverde (FL) Florida Quick guard who loves working off the dribble.
11 Wayne Selden 6-5 SG Tilton (NH) Kansas Explosiveness, speed and hops.
12 Dakari Johnson 6-10 C Montverde (FL) Kentucky When he’s on it, very tough to stop in the paint.
13 Jarell Martin 6-8 PF Madison Prep (LA) LSU Athletic forward who still has much upside.
14 Bobby Portis 6-10 PF Hall (AR) Arkansas Although he gets most of his work in the paint, he can step out and be a threat with range.
15 Austin Nichols 6-8 PF Briarcrest Christian (TN) Memphis Post moves and mid-range jumpers all-day.
16 Isaiah Hicks 6-8 PF Webb (NC) North Carolina His explosiveness makes him tough to stop in the lane.
17 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 6-7 SF Chester (PA) Arizona Lefty forward whose athleticism gives him an edge on most opponents, but can also create for others.
18 Marcus Lee 6-9 PF Deer Valley (CA) Kentucky Stands out as a rebounder and shot-blocker.
19 Rysheed Jordan 6-3 PG Robert Vaux (PA) St. John’s Explosive guard who gets to the rim in a hurry.
20 Isaac Hamilton 6-5 SG St. John Bosco (CA) UTEP Shooter who also possesses some PG skills.
21 Zak Irvin 6-6 SF Hamilton Southeastern (IN) Michigan Wing who drastically improved over the last year; can sink it from distance, or put the ball on the floor and make his way to the rim.
22 Anthony Barber 6-2 PG Hampton (VA) South Carolina Highly crafty guard with a seemingly natural feel for the game.
23 Jabari Bird 6-6 SG Salesian (CA) California Explosive wing with impressive finishes at the basket—and can shoot it too.
24 Jermaine Lawrence 6-9 PF Pope John XXII (NJ) Cincinnati Multifaceted big man.
25 Nigel Williams-Goss 6-3 PG Findlay (NV) Washington Very efficient on both ends of the floor. Plays smart.
26 Joel Embiid 7-0 C Rock School (FL) Kansas Started at the bottom, now he’s one of the top-ranked centers in the nation.
27 Kuran Iverson 6-8 SF Fishburne (VA) Memphis Pure scorer, streaky shooter.
28 Demetrius Jackson 6-1 PG Marian (IN) Notre Dame The type of PG they will love at South Bend.
29 Robert Hubbs 6-5 SG Dyer County (TN) Tennessee High-flying, crowd-pleasing athlete.
30 Tyler Ennis 6-2 PG St. Benedict’s (NJ) Syracuse Canadian native whose floor-leading skills can create for himself and others.
31 JaJuan Johnson 6-5 SG Southwinnd (TN) Marquette Averaged over 20 ppg, won 3A Tourney MVP after state championship.
32 Keith Frazier 6-5 SG Kimball (TX) SMU Good shooter with deep range.
33 Derrick Walton 6-0 PG Chandler Park (MI) Michigan Your ideal savvy point guard with range.
34 Matt Jones 6-4 SG DeSoto (TX) Duke All you need to remember is the he can shoot it.
35 Tyler Roberson 6-7 PF Roselle (NJ) Syracuse Active defender who can score inside or out.
36 Semi Ojeleye 6-6 SF Ottawa (KS) Duke A tough and strong wing who has deep range.
37 Xavier Rathan-Mayes 6-6 SF DeSoto (TX) Florida State Great offensive talent.
38 Brannen Greene 6-6 SG Tift (GA) Kansas Shooter who can also take it to the hole.
39 Eric Mika 6-9 C Lone Peak (UT) BYU Very efficient on both ends of the floor.
40 Jordan Mickey 6-8 PF Prime Prep (TX) LSU Can contribute differently every night: on the boards, the paint or from mid-range.
41 Conner Frankamp 6-0 PG Wichita North (KS) Kansas One of the nation’s top scorers, shooters.
42 Nick King 6-6 SF East (TN) Memphis Lefty wing who does a little bit of everything.
43 Sindarius Thornwell 6-5 SG Oak Hill (VA) South Carolina Versatility that allows him to succeed at both guard positions.
44 Deonte Burton 6-4 SF Vincent (WI) Marquette Lefty wing with impressive athleticism.
45 Zach LaVine 6-3 PG Bothell (WA) UCLA Can score but also distribute.
46 Anton Gill 6-3 SG Hargrave Military (VA) Louisville Versatile scorer who also takes care of business on the defensive end.
47 Roddy Peters 6-4 PG Suitland (MD) Maryland Great at breaking down the defense and creating room.
48 Troy Williams 6-7 SF Oak Hill (VA) Indiana Slick forward who uses his athleticism and explosiveness to his advantage.
49 Brandon Austin 6-6 SF Imhotep Institute (PA) Providence Can handle the ball and out at the guard positions.
50 Duane Wilson 6-3 PG Dominican (WI) Marquette Athletic scoring guard that also find the open man.
51 Matt Thomas 6-3 SG Onalaska (WI) Iowa State Can hit the J from all distances.
52 Devin Williams 6-8 PF Montverde (FL) West Virginia His game stretches out to a few feet away from the perimeter offensive and is just as effective crashing the boards.
53 Moses Kingsley 6-9 C Huntington Prep (WV) Arkansas Most impressive past is his upside.
54 Christian Wood 6-10 PF Findlay (NV) UNLV Impressive shooter whose game extends well beyond the perimeter.
55 Ishmail Wainright 6-6 SF Montrose Christian (MD) Baylor Unselfish forward known for being a facilitator and great defender.
56 Kennedy Meeks 6-9 C West Charlotte (NC) North Carolina Defenders got their work cut for them in the paint with him.
57 Johnathan Williams 6-8 PF Southwind (TN) Missouri Forward who can handle the ball and make plays for teammates.
58 Kendrick Nunn 6-2 SG Simeon (IL) Illinois Versatile guard who can play either the 1 or the 2 position.
59 Beejay Anya 6-9 C DeMatha (MD) North Carolina State Has the tools to become a dominant big man.
60 Kendall Stephens 6-5 SG St. Charles East (IL) Purdue Possesses great length as well as range.
61 Luke Fischer 6-9 C Germantown (WI) Indiana Wisconsin POY after doing 21 ppg, 9.4 rpg.
62 Malcolm Hill 6-6 SG Belleville (IL) Illinois Averaged 25.3 points and 6.1 rebounds.
63 Marc Loving 6-8 SF Saint John’s (OH) Ohio State Mr. Basketball for Ohio; range beyond perimeter.
64 Nick Emery 6-2 PG Lone Peak (UT) BYU A natural scorer with a deadly jumper.
65 Kameron Williams 6-3 SG Mount Saint Joseph (MD) Ohio State Loves to shoot it and can sink in all types of situations.
66 Aquille Carr 5-7 PG Princeton Day (NJ) Overseas Explosive guard with fearless instincts.
67 Stevie Clark 5-9 PG Douglass (OK) Oklahoma State Just like Aquille, another under-six feet guard who’s a fearless competitor.
68 Reggie Cameron 6-7 PF Hudson Catholic (NJ) Georgetown Deadly jumper.
69 Jimmie Taylor 6-10 PF Greensboro (AL) Alabama Known for his shot-blocking abilities, but can also do damage in the post.
70 Karviar Shepherd 6-9 C Prime Prep (TX) TCU The paint is where he controls.
71 Jordan Bell 6-7 PF Long Beach Polytechnic (CA) Oregon Although still raw offensively, he gets it done on the glass and contesting shots.
72 John Egbunu 6-10 C Fort Walton Beach (FL) South Florida Despite visibly talented, loads of upside is what makes him an interesting prospect.
73 Kris Jenkins 6-5 PF Gonzaga (MD) Villanova DC’s Gatorade POY, double-double just about on a nightly basis.
74 Tim Quarterman 6-5 PG Johnson (GA) LSU Rose is stock and game throughout the last couple of years.
75 Allerik Freeman 6-3 SG Findlay (NV) Baylor Multifaceted wing.