The Class of 2017 is just a few weeks away from turning the tassel and beginning a new chapter in their basketball careers. After another exciting high school basketball season in the books, our final rankings for Alabama’s 2017 rankings are now complete.
STARPOWER AT THE TOP
Much has been made about the overall talent Alabama’s 2017 class has at the top. With four top 125 players, this class is one of the most talented classes the state has produced in recent memory.
Mae Jemison wing John Petty holds onto the top overall spot in the rankings after another impressive high school season. The Alabama signee was named Mr. Basketball in the state and was also named to the Jordan Brand All-American All-Star game last month.
Herb Jones led Hale County to its first state championship in school history back in March. The hometown boy will stay home to play for the Crimson Tide and he lands at No. 2 in our final rankings. Jones put together an impressive performance in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game last month, reminding fans of his talent and true potential. Jones is one to watch at the next level – he’s only going to get better.
Auburn big man Garrison Brooks recently switched his college pledge to North Carolina from Mississippi State. The 6-foot-9 big man is one of the few players that will have the opportunity to sport the baby blue and play in the ACC at the next level. He also led Auburn High School to a state championship appearance, averaging a double-double on the way.
Versatile big man Alex Reese comes in at No. 4 in the updated rankings. The future Alabama big man impressed basketball minds with his skill-set and shooting ability for a prospect his size at 6-foot-8. Reese helped Helena make a deep run to the 6A regionals, where they were ultimately defeated by eventual champion Paul Bryant.
Spain Park and future Memphis guard Jamal Johnson rounds out the top five. Playing in one of the toughest areas in all of Alabama high school basketball, Johnson was a constant triple-double threat each night out.
NEW TO THE RANKINGS
After productive senior campaigns, seven new faces find themselves in our last installment of the 2017 rankings.
Charles Henderson’s Josh Roberts leads the charge in this department after coming on strong to end his high school career and landing at No. 14. After playing throughout the spring on the travel circuit with Southern Stampede, the 6-foot-9 big man landed several scholarship offers, including Auburn, UAB, and Wichita State. He is expected to take a post-grad year next season.
Midfield’s Shy Cunningham capped off a stellar senior year with a state championship. Before that, he stood out at the Alabama Fall Preview. He comes in at No. 17 overall.
Jamel Cleveland and Anthony Mason, two of the best pure big men in the state, debut at No. 22 and No. 29, respectively.
Drew Jones distanced himself as one of the best offensive prospects in the state throughout the year. He comes in at No. 30 following a strong senior year. Chris Rollins made the most of his senior season and went from zero college interest to several scholarship opportunities. He lands in at No. 31. Wanya King lit up the scoreboards in north Alabama and should be a quality pickup for Bevill State Community College. He rounds out the list of newcomers at No. 39.
Aside from the new faces in the top 40, several other prospects did enough during their last year of eligibility to make a jump in the rankings.
D.J. Heath jumped to No. 8 after an exceptional season for Sacred Heart. Fayette County’s Corey Bowen fought injuries for much of his junior and senior years, but with a strong run in the state playoffs, the 6-foot-7 forward solidified himself as a top 20 prospect. Brandon Mahan continues to trend upward, as he finishes up at No. 19.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Many of the head coaches in the state of Alabama have stressed the importance of keeping the talent in-state. With 18 of our top 40 players currently signed with in-state institutions, those coaches should be ecstatic. Alabama has signed three of the top four prospects in the class, while Troy boasts two top 10 players. North Alabama and Coastal Alabama Community College did a nice job of snagging a pair of players, too.
- Eleven members of our top 40 are still uncommitted to this point. D.J. Heath, Bradley Belt, Myles Parker, and Josh Roberts are all top 15 prospects and lead the way as undecided players, but it looks like all four may be headed to prep school to enhance their college interest for another year.
- Alabama’s junior colleges did a nice job of identifying the in-state talent and pursuing them. Nine players are currently headed to two-year schools in the state, headlined by Shy Cunningham to Coastal Alabama, formerly known as Faulkner State Community College.
- Three members of our top 40 are headed to college on the gridiron. Henry Ruggs is a blue-chip prospect headed to Alabama, while Jamal Turner (Toledo) and Jalen Wayne (South Alabama) are also expected to be productive football players at the next level.