Men’s basketball recruiting has not stopped since March 2020, despite the COWID-19 pandemic and the NCAA recruiting period.
The ESPN 100 (Class of 2021), ESPN 60 (Class of 2022) and ESPN 25 (Class of 2023) rankings were all updated after the high school season, meaning some prospects moved up significantly in their respective class rankings.
As with any list, it also means that some players have moved down the rankings, which can often be misunderstood. Many of the players who drop down the rankings are still elites, but they are just overlooked in a highly competitive environment. As a player moves up the rankings, he must maintain that high level and work to further develop his talent. If a prospect drops out, it’s only temporary if they process the feedback constructively.
Here are 10 players who have moved up in the rankings, dropped slightly, or upped their game to increase their stock and move higher in the rankings.
Who has moved up in the standings?
PG TyTy Washington
6-foot, 175 pounds
AZ Compass Prep
Class of 2021. Rating: 12 (previously 34)
Washington has been making progress all season. He has a natural feel for the game and a strong ability to score. He can make his own shots and also has the confidence to score from a teammate’s penetration or cut a screen for stacking.
He also knows very well when to play the ball to a teammate and when to be aggressive and take the ball into his own hands.
As a shooter, defender or playmaker, Washington leads his team with determination at crucial times and strives to make the right decision. His performance level is impressive and his potential is starting to show. He recently released the final list of six schools: Arizona, Baylor, Kansas Kentucky, LSU and Oregon.
SG Tamar Bates
5-foot-8, 185 pounds
class of 2021 ranking: 23 (previously: 53)
Bates approaches the game with an entrepreneurial spirit and plays with a sustained commitment. His frame is long and angular, and he demonstrates vertical ability with lateral foot speed and positioning length.
The Hoosiers are the best at driving, closing and defending. He grew noticeably in his final season and took a hit on the outside. His overall development at both ends of the field is clear. Bates knows how to slow down and read the floor on offense, using a fake shot against an out-of-control defender, but he continues to play fast, aggressive defense.
His confidence on the defensive end helps him capture the ball and make deflections and interceptions, as he can defend most balls on the perimeter. The left-handed Bates makes the decisive play and puts the team in the lead.
SG Keyonte George
5-foot-8, 180 pounds
iSchool of Lewisville
Place in the rankings of the class of 2022: 5 (previously: 12)
If someone gets into the top 10, it means they’ve gotten much better. The competition at the top is fierce and George has proven he can be there.
George can score easily, whether it’s with a long three-pointer or with his very productive mid-range game. He is often the primary target of opposing defenders, but he still scores effectively in the flow of ball possession against a half-court defense. His body control and drive game also allow him to draw fouls, and thus make free throws.
George is supple, graceful and balanced in his movements. He doesn’t take many contested shots, but he has the talent to make a difficult shot, a sign of next-level ability. His overall defensive skills need to match his offensive efforts to take the next step in his development, but he has shown he can take the lead.
Who fell in the rankings?
SG Jalen Warley
5 feet 3, 190 pounds
, class of 2021. Rating: 59 (previously: 46)
Signed on: State of Florida
Who is the best player in college basketball for men today? Class 2021 2022 2023
Worley remains a great long-term prospect, but Seminoles fans should lower their expectations for now. He has excellent length, the versatility to play at multiple positions and the ability to play in open space, but he’s still not as consistent in the passing game, so it will take some time for him to physically adjust to the next level, especially in a conference like the ACC.
Give his body and game a year or two to recover and he has a lot of potential both in and out of the state of Florida.
PG Bryce Griggs
6-foot-3, 190 pounds
Hightower High School
Class of 2022 rating: 49 (previously: 28)
In his youth, Griggs was a prolific and talented scorer with great range, a mid-range game and finishing ability in the open field. His grip is low, tight and compact, with a pull that takes him where he wants to go.
Griggs shows a range of shots with clever movement and instant driving ability as a resourceful scorer. During the offseason, he should become consistent on both sides of the ball and improve his conditioning. Nevertheless, the 2022 candidate has ample time to make these adjustments, and he has the opportunity to do so.
PF Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
6-foot-3, 215 pounds
Scottish Campus Prep
Class of 2021: 19 (previously: 4th in class of 2022)
After committing to Tennessee, Huntley-Hatfield returned to his original class of 2021. Huntley-Hatfield previously ranked fourth in the ESPN 60 Class of 2022, but retains his five-star status in the Class of 2021 and is ranked 19th overall.
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has been reclassified to the class of 2021 and is working with the Tennessee Volunteers. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Sportswire Icons.
Huntley-Hutfield of Clarksville, Tennessee, is equipped with tools. He is long and strong with a broad build, versatility to play indoors and outdoors, good hands, agility, passing instincts and a quick second jumper. But maybe a year from now he’ll need a little more patience than he does now.
What he hasn’t done yet is learn to use these tools consistently so that his products live up to their potential. Current Vols coach Rick Barnes has a long history of developing young talent, from Kevin Durant to Michael Beasley to Keon Johnson. Watching Huntley-Hatfield mature next year should be interesting for college basketball fans and NBA scouts.
PG Ryan Nembhard
6 feet, 165 pounds
Class of 2021: 60
Signature c : Creighton
Nembhard, a freshman in the ESPN 100, is a true point guard who played on the best high school team in the country this year, Montverde Academy in Florida.
The younger brother of Gonzaga guard Andrei Nembhard, Ryan doesn’t have his brother (6-5, 193 pounds) at the position, so there were some questions about his long-term career development. But what was unmistakable in each of his performances was his maturity and composure.
His experience and proven ability to lead a game at a high level make the Ontario native a unique player who can contribute at the next level, which will be important for Creighton next season after Marcus Zegarowski decided to apply for the draft.
SF Brandon Murray
6-foot-5, 220 lb
class of 2021: 93
Signature c : LSU
The Baltimore native is a versatile, high-volume scorer for the IMG Academy postseason team, also making his debut in the ESPN national rankings.
Murray will transfer to LSU next year. He is best suited to make an immediate contribution in the scoring column in a class that includes Jerrell Colbert and Bradley Ezeviro.
Other notable names in the ESPN 100 rankings are SG C.J. Noland (Oklahoma) and SG Shane Dezonie (Arizona).
PG Amarr Knox
6-foot-2, 170 pounds
Bartlett High School
grade 2022 rating: 38commits : Memphis
The most notable new name on ESPN 60 is Knox, who recently committed to Memphis. Knox is a hairy player with an aggressive style, agile handle and creative finish. He has been coming on strong in recent months and should get more attention this summer against national caliber competitors.
SF Tyrell Ward
DeMatha Catholic High School
Class of 2022, 5’11, 175 lbs : 54
Ward is another player in the class of 2022 who deserves more attention. He played a prominent role in the legendary DeMatha Catholic program this winter and has already seen his recruitment rise to the top. He’s a great winger with obvious talent, but he’s also started to turn his potential into production more often.
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