2018 class July takeaway...Is there star power?
The summer has come and gone and with it, the members of the 2018 class have become the veterans of high school basketball. They are no longer considered young bucks and if the word potential continues to surround the respective ballplayer, that untapped upside becomes a scary term where this is the time that potential must turn into production.
Looking back, there has been a lot said about the lacking crop of talent in the now junior ranks. We were a bit spoiled with the 2016 class bringing us a bevy of potential one-and-done talents along the likes of Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Markelle Fultz, and Josh Jackson. Even the 2017 class has its firepower atop showcasing Wendell Carter, Mo Bamba, Michael Porter, and DeAndre Ayton. What about the 2018 class? That elite recruits lead the class just is not as strong and even the depth that the senior crop provides isn’t as sturdy as the year directly below it.
The main takeaway from the 2018 class? It is lacking with talent, star power, and depth. Sure, Marvin Bagley is a special talent. The lefty is the top dog in his group as the lefty has developed his ball skills in leading the break, finishing around the basket, rebounding his area, and implementing some inner-dog into his package of abilities. What else is there beyond Bagley atop? There is Zion Williamson, maybe the most productive prospect in his class nationally, along with intriguing ones along the lines of Romeo Langford, Jordan Brown, Javonte Smart, and a break out from international play in Immanuel Quickley. Beyond the top five to ten, it is time someone steps forward and makes a name for both himself and his class as a whole.
The two that have made a statement this spring and summer have been Zion Williamson and Immanuel Quickley. Williamson, a 6-foot-7 combo forward type that our Justin Young tabbed as the next Larry Johnson, has cemented his elite level status with his utter dominance on the adidas circuit and recently pulled in an offer from UNC. Quickley, a guy that has shades of John Wall to him due to his unreal burst and play making off of the high ball screen, used the platform that the USA Basketball U17 trials and overseas play gave him in creating his own case as a blueblood recruit. Beyond these two, who else might be capable of making the next step ahead in the coming months?
Reggie Perry is already listed among the top-15 of our 2018 rankings but if he can provide the play that he showed off in Las Vegas on a consistent basis, then watch out. The 6-foot-9 big man has some Amare Stoudemire to him but already might be an even better passer than STAT ever was. A facilitating big man with range to 17-feet but a well-oiled motor in the lane, Perry has the looks of a primetime big man.
While he is relatively unheralded by other outlets, Luguentz Dort is highly thought of here at HoopSeen. The top-30 guard has the looks of Arizona freshman Rawle Alkins as the 6-foot-3 guard is a brute force on the downhill drive to the basket. He doesn’t shoot it great just yet but is able to touch every part of the stat sheet. A combo guard type that is a native of Canada, Dort has the makings of a high level producer moving ahead.
Looking further down the list, it was Prentiss Hubb, the number-47 ranked prospect in his class, which made some major moves in Vegas over the weekend. The lefty guard has become much more athletic near the basket and has really developed his off-hand. He put it to the Indy Hoosiers squad going for over 25 points as he converted at all three levels on the floor as the DC Premier guard looks to be the second coming of Marcus Paige.
A recent UNC offer was dished out to Coby White as the 6-foot-3 combo guard has the looks of a tad less athletic Antonio Blakeney but a much more efficient scorer of the ball. The bouncy bodied guard can play on and off the basketball and scores it from all three levels on the floor. He has continued to round out his game and skillset as the Carolina native could be the next guy up from the Tar Heel State.
From the sounds of it, the 2018 class would seem to be on solid ground in the coming years. However, there is still a lot to be decided. Marvin Bagley has a vice grip hold on the top spot but with the 2019 class looking better by the day, the primary motto and question at hand for the 2018 class might just be…Will someone please stand up?