2017 HoopSeen Top-20 class rankings

With less than five weeks to go before the early signing period begins, we give an update on the 2017 HoopSeen class rankings as Auburn, Washington, and Illinois lead the pack early on.

We are now less than five weeks away from the early signing period and while there is still much to be done for some of the better programs across the nation, there is no better time to give a quick look-in as to where schools stand within the 2017 HoopSeen class rankings. Auburn, Washington and Illinois have remained atop for the past several weeks but others such as Arizona, Western Kentucky and Virginia Tech are beginning to nip on the trios heels in pursuit of a top-three recruiting class.

1 – AUBURN

  • AUSTIN WILEY, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER – RANKING: 29
  • CHUMA OKEKE, 6-FOOT-7, FORWARD – RANKING: 34
  • DAVION MITCHELL, 6-FOOT-1, POINT GUARD – RANKING: 57

There hasn’t been much noise with Auburn of late, which is if you’re talking about the 2017 class. After landing the commitments of EJ Montgomery and Jared Jones from the classes that follow the senior ranks, the SEC crew still sits nicely at the top overall spot within the current senior class. Landing one of the most skilled back to the basket big men in Austin Wiley along with super versatile and playmaking forward Chuma Okeke, the duo give great optimism about what can be ahead in Auburn. Don’t forget about explosive lead guard Davion Mitchell where Bruce Pearl and his staff have gathered a solid trio of top-60 recruits as they remain in the hunt for one more in 2017 as they hope to land the likes of either Garrison Brooks or Herb Jones, both of whom can be found with the top-125 of our rankings.

2 – WASHINGTON

  • MICHAEL PORTER, 6-FOOT-8, SMALL FORWARD – RANKING: 3
  • JAYLEN NOWELL, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD – RANKING: 100
  • BLAKE HARRIS, 6-FOOT-2, POINT GUARD
  • MAMOUDOU DIARRA, 6-FOOT-8, POWER FORWARD

Not a whole lot has changed since the first time that we released our 2017 class rankings. Washington has landed the best wing prospect in Michael Porter, HoopSeen’s number three ranked prospect. The 6-foot-7 small forward is another potential one and done recruit for Lorenzo Romar as he will be joined by fellow top-100 recruit Jaylen Nowell. The Seattle native is a fine scorer off of the ball and will be aided in the backcourt by lethal playmaking guard Blake Harris. The wildcard of the bunch and someone that the staff is very high on is Mamoudou Diarra, a 6-foot-8 forward that could become a surprise from the class, a group that sits firmly within the top-five of our rankings.

3 – ILLINOIS

  • JEREMIAH TILMON, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER – RANKING: 26
  • TRENT FRAZIER – 6-FOOT-1, GURD – RANKING: 123
  • DA’MONTE WILLIAMS, 6-FOOT-2, GUARD
  • JAVON PICKETT, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD

There hasn’t been a ton of talk about Illinois recruiting of late where the staff in Champaign did most of their work early on as they landed three natives of the state before the month of August. The biggest splash of them all came in Jeremiah Tilmon, a top-30 center that Illinois faithful have been clamoring for after years of missing out on some of the top talent from the state. The 6-foot-10 center is a fine low post asset moving ahead and is joined by three quality pieces on the perimeter in Da’Monte Williams, JaVon Pickett, and top-125 guard and Sunshine State native, Trent Frazier. Together, the foursome gives the Illini a top-five recruiting class nationally.

4 – ARIZONA

  • DEANDRE AYTON, 6-FOOT-11 POWER FORWARD – RANKING: 2
  • ALEX BARCELLO, 6-FOOT-1, POINT GUARD, - RANKING: 98

The last go around, Arizona was nowhere to be found. A month late, dues need to be given to the staff out in Tucson especially after landing the top in-state guard in Alex Barcello and receiving the surprising commitment of DeAndre Ayton. The second ranked prospect from the 2017 class, many believe the Bahamian native was to call Kansas his home. Arizona thought not and with a top-five class already in the loop and quite possibly the best NBA prospect in the hopper, expect for the Wildcats to remain atop of the class rankings as they are in a good spot for top-60 recruits Hamidou Diallo, Lonnie Walker, Brandon McCoy and Daejon Davis.

5 – WESTERN KENTUCKY

  • MITCHELL ROBINSON, 7-FOOT, CENTER – RANKING: 10
  • JOSH ANDERSON, 6-FOOT-5 SHOOTING GUARD – RANKING: 83

What Rick Stansbury has done during his inaugural year on campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky is nothing short of stupendous. First, the Hilltoppers head coach went out and landed a top-10 center and one of the top shot blockers in all of high school basketball in Mitchell Robinson. The one time Texas A&M commit will be joined by Josh Anderson next fall, another top-100 recruit and someone that can play all three spots in the backcourt. Talent like this rarely ever plays within Conference USA but don’t expect for WKU to be done just yet as they continue to heavily track the likes of Devontae Shuler, Cedric Russell, and Jay Jay Chandler. Regardless of if they do land another piece, this looks to be the best class ever assembled by a staff at Western Kentucky.

6 – LOUISVILLE

  • MALIK WILLIAMS, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER – RANKING: 23
  • DARIUS PERRY, 6-FOOT-2, GUARD – RANKING: 88

The Cardinals entered the month of August in need of a playmaking guard that can make shots and a big man that can stretch the defense with the jumper but also mix it up down low. While another piece or two is needed in finishing things out, the staff in Louisville have come up with answers to both of their needs. First, the ACC squad landed a top-25 forward in Malik Williams, an Indiana native that boasts great upside and is someone that has his best basketball ahead of him. He will be aided out top by the Darius Perry, an explosive guard from Georgia that can really get up and defend the basketball. The best class within the ACC thus far, the Cardinals have jumped squarely into the mix for Jordan Nwora, one of the best shooters from the 2017 class, a prospect that they should be seen as a viable threat for.

7 – UCLA

  • JAYLEN HANDS, 6-FOOT-1, POINT GUARD – RANKING: 41
  • JALEN HILL, 6-FOOT-8, POWER FORWARD – RANKING: 52
  • LIANGELO BALL, 6-FOOT-7, FORWARD

The Bruins started out with a bang in the 2017 class as they received three commitments before the beginning of the 2016 calendar year. While the Pac 12 bunch will soon strike again as they stand in a good spot with top-50 forward Cody Riley and also are right there in the mix for Charles O’Bannon, the talent in store is already enough for future success to be achieved out in Westwood. Led by top-50 guard Jaylen Hands, the super quick and aggressive guard will be joined by his travel teammate, big man Jalen Hill. The duo will fill some holes at Steve Alford’s program as they will be aided by stretch forward and tough senior, LiAngelo Ball.

8 – VIRGINIA TECH

  • NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 30
  • WABISSA BEDE, 6-FOOT-2, GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 76

Boasting arguably the best backcourt of talent from the 2017 class, the work that Buzz Williams has done in the past on the recruiting trail continues to better itself as the years progress. Harping on hard-working kids that love to compete, this year’s talented crop is quite special. Led by top-30 guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, possibly the most talented recruit Williams has ever landed as a head coach, is joined by Wabissa Bede in the backcourt. Both are capable of playing either guard spot and both are also capable of scoring the ball in heavy amounts. Don’t expect for the Hokies to be done just yet as they remain heavily involved for top-125 guards Jay Jay Chandler and Darryl Morsell, while they look to be in a good spot for Antwan Walker, a 6-foot-7 versatile and tough forward out of Virginia.

9 – XAVIER

  • NAJI MARSHALL, 6-FOOT-6, SMALL FORWARD – RANKING: 32
  • ELIAS HARDEN, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD – RANKING: 101
  • JARED RIDDER, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD
  • KENTRAVIOUS JONES, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER

The last time that we rolled out our rankings, the Musketeers had put together a quality group of talent in the backcourt headlined by top-50 wing Naji Marshall. The tough-nosed slasher will be surrounded by quality shooters of the basketball in Jared Ridder and top-125 wing Elias Harden. The Musketeers remain in a dead heat for top-50 combo guard Paul Scruggs along with remaining in the hunt for top-25 forward Kris Wilkes and improving big man Sterling Manley. However, the Big East bunch has already cashed in with a big man of their own coming in the form of Kentravious Jones. The big bodied center is a space eater at its finest and with good hands and a solid motor, should indoctrinate himself well into the blue collar league that is the Big East.

10 – FLORIDA STATE

  • ANTHONY POLITE, 6-FOOT-5, GUARD – RANKING: 82
  • RAIQUAN GRAY, 6-FOOT-7, FORWARD – RANKING: 108
  • WYATT WILKES, 6-FOOT-7, FORWARD – RANKING: 124
  • BRYAN TRIMBLE, 6-FOOT-2, SHOOTING GUARD

If you went on vacation for a week in time back in September, you may have missed a string of commitments coming in favor for the Florida State Seminoles. The ACC program went out and snagged some of the top prospects from within the state, two coming in the frontcourt and one coming in a jumbo, playmaking guard with much upside. While Bryan Trimble was already in the hopper, Leonard Hamilton and his staff went to work in a major way landing two talented and versatile prospects in the form of RaiQuan Gray and Wyatt Wilkes. The duo should get easy looks at the basket due to the services of Anthony Polite, a 6-foot-5 guard that can play all over the perimeter. A fine athlete and versatile prospect in his own right, FSU will hope to finish its class off with Kevin Knox, a top-10 forward and a recruit that has bloodlines that draw back to the Tallahassee based institution.

11 – MICHIGAN STATE

  • JAREN JACKSON JR, 6-FOOT-10, POWER FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 25
  • XAVIER TILLMAN, 6-FOOT-8 CENTER – NATIONAL RANKING: 105

Tom Izzo and his staff had been a bit silent for a bit but after scooping up two of the top frontcourt prospects from the Midwest region, Michigan State sits nicely within the top-15 of the HoopSeen class rankings. Jaren Jackson is the prized recruit of the Spartans as the 6-foot-10 power forward has all of the qualities of a future NBA prospect. He has great length, can guard close and far from the basket, and has a major perimeter jumper weapon that he uses nicely off of the pick and pop. Xavier Tillman, a top-125 center from the state, joins his travel teammate in East Lansing next year as the duo have already created good chemistry playing alongside each other. In the meantime, the Big 10 juggernaut will stick to the trail as they look to be in a good spot for top-50 recruits Brian Bowen and Nojel Eastern, along with top-10 center Brandon McCoy.

12 – VILLANOVA

  • JERMAINE SAMUELS, 6-FOOT-6, SMALL FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 31
  • DHAMIR COSBY-ROUNDTREE, 6-FOOT-8, CENTER – NATIONAL RANKING: 103

A very solid and sturdy two-man class early on for the defending champs, Villanova fans have to like what Jay Wright and his staff have accumulated early on this fall. First, the Wildcats snagged one of the hardest playing centers from the 2017 class in Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree. The rim running big man is joined by top-50 wing Jermaine Samuels. The Massachusetts native has a bevy of upside in front of him as he gives the Big East bunch a giant bump up into the top-15 of the class rankings. Look for Villanova to fight for another guard commitment as they remain deep in the hunt for the likes of top-60 talents Lonnie Walker and Darryl Morsell. 

13 – BUTLER

  • CHRISTIAN DAVID, 6-FOOT-6, SHOOTING GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 68
  • KYLE YOUNG, 6-FOOT-8, POWER FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 110
  • JERALD BUTLER, 6-FOOT-6, FORWARD
  • COOPER NEESE, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD

In what might be the most talented class ever assembled at Butler, the Bulldogs are set up for much success moving ahead. Each member of the class should fill a nice role in Indianapolis but no two should have better college careers than Christian David and Kyle Young. The former being a 6-foot-6 guard that can play every spot on the floor outside of the center position, is coming back from an ACL injury and could become a tremendous contributor at Butler. Young joins the Canadian as the tough and engaged forward is a giant rebounder of the ball and someone that will buy in to the Butler Way straight out of the gates. Finishing out its 2017 class, BU will also welcome in Cooper Neese, an elite shooter of the ball, and a much underrated forward that can playmake with the best of them, Jerald Butler.

14 – UCONN

  • MAKAI ASHTON-LANGFORD, 6-FOOT-1, POINT GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 53
  • TYLER POLLEY, 6-FOOT-8, FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 116
  • JOSH CARLTON, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER

The top class within the AAC, UConn gets the nod within the top-15 of the class rankings thanks to the commitments of two members of the HoopSeen Top-125, Makai Ashton-Langford and Tyler Polley. Ashton-Langford is the gem to the class as the super quick and aggressive floor general was highly tracked early on and should immediately leave a fingerprint in Storrs beginning next fall. Polley, a 6-foot-8 mix and match forward from Florida, is someone that can step out and shoot the perimeter jumper but is also someone that can be used nicely as a small ball power forward that causes havoc out of the high post. Finishing off the class is Josh Carlton, a space eating center and a tip top rebounder and passer of the ball from the center position.

15 – FLORIDA

  • SHAI ALEXANDER, 6-FOOT-4, POINT GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 51
  • DEAUNDRAE BALLARD, 6-FOOT-5 SHOOTING GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 117
  • CHASE JOHNSON, 6-FOOT-9, POWER FORWARD

The Gators went to work early as they quickly landed the talents of top-125 guards Shai Alexander and DeAundrae Ballard. The former is a primetime lead guard that makes others better and brings fine size to his spot on the floor standing at over 6-foot-4. Ballard is one of the top scorers from the mid-range area and displays fine versatility on the defensive end. Florida recently added a solid upside forward in Chase Johnson, someone that should excel as a face-up power forward and hopefully will flourish within the quick and up-tempo system that Mike White has become known for. The SEC bunch isn’t done just yet as they continue to chase a center but already, Florida has a quality, top-20 class with more than a month to go before the early signing period commences.

16 – IOWA STATE

  • TERRENCE LEWIS, 6-FOOT-5, SMALL FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 77
  • DARIUS MCNEILL, 6-FOOT-2 POINT GUARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 118
  • KEYSHAWN FEAZELL, 6-FOOT-9, POWER FORWARD

The Big 12 isn’t doing too swell early on as Iowa State gets the nod as the top class thus far within the league. However, Texas is beginning to put together a lethal class and one should expect for Kansas to end up with a top-10 class within their own right. However, Steve Prohm and his staff have hit the trail in stride this summer and fall as they have picked up three solid pieces from various spots on the floor. Terrence Lewis, a top-100 wing, should bring immediate toughness and versatility as a scorer at the basket where he has also put in major work with his jumper. Darius McNeill, another nationally ranked prospect, bought the idea of replacing All-American Monte Morris at the lead guard spot as he will be joined by KeyShawn Feazell. A 6-foot-9 forward that shows off tons of untapped potential, the three man class brings upside but current day value as ISU will hope to land two more pieces before November as they remain in the hunt for top-100 recruits Isaiah Stokes and Lindell Wigginton.

17 – TEXAS A&M

  • SAVION FLAGG, 6-FOOT-7, SMALL FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 42
  • TJ STARKS, 6-FOOT-1, POINT GUARD
  • ISIAH JASEY, 6-FOOT-9, CENTER

While they did lose the commitment of top-10 center Mitchell Robinson in the summer, all is still well in College Station as the Aggies have a solid three-man crop headed to the SEC program next fall. The gem to the entire class is Savion Flagg, a 6-foot-7 small forward that, if all goes right in the coming years, could pop up on NBA Draft boards. He has fine length, athleticism, and shot making skills out to the perimeter and will be aided in the backcourt with another in-state recruit, TJ Starks. Lastly, Isiah Jasey completes the class at the current moment where the former top-100 recruit is a solid interior presence and has decent skills with his back to the rim.

18 – ARKANSAS

  • DANIEL GAFFORD, 6-FOOT-9, CENTER – NATIONAL RANKING: 37
  • KHALIL GARLAND, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD
  • DARIOUS HALL, 6-FOOT-6 SMALL FORWARD

The Hogs have been hot on the trail and are actually already finished for the 2018 class before they even sewed up the current senior class. Still, the SEC crew sits nicely within the top-20 of our rankings thanks to the commitment of top-50 big man Daniel Gafford. The in-state big man is the ideal center for Mike Anderson’s system in Fayetteville as he rim runs nicely and is a fine basket protector in the lane. Alongside him in the frontcourt will be hard-nosed small forward Darious Hall along with former Memphis commit and strong scoring option, Khalil Garland. Together, the three person class should produce immediately and bring even further upside to the hardwood at Arkansas.

19 – IOWA

  • LUKA GARZA, 6-FOOT-10, CENTER – NATIONAL RANKING: 86
  • JACK NUNGE, 6-FOOT-9, POWER FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 115
  • CONNOR MCCAFFERY, 6-FOOT-5, SWINGMAN

Iowa went to work super early in the 2017 class as they picked up the commitment of a recruit not too far from the university’s campus; actually, he calls the head coach’s house of the Hawkeyes his home, too. Connor McCaffery, a 6-foot-5 swingman that is super skilled and brings a college ready game to the Big 10 program next year, began the class in style. Last month, Iowa went to work in the frontcourt by landing two big men within a matter of 24 hours. A stretch power forward that comes in the mold of past power forwards that have worked well in Iowa City, Jack Nunge joins another fellow top-125 recruit in Luka Garza, creating a strong class for the Hawkeyes. Garza, the highest ranked recruit to commit to the Big 10 gang this fall, brings immediate energy, toughness, and a complete scoring package from 20-feet and in.

20 – TEXAS

  • JERICHO SIMS, 6-FOOT-9 POWER FORWARD – NATIONAL RANKING: 58
  • ROYCE HAMM, 6-FOOT-8, POWER FORWARD
  • JASE FEBRES, 6-FOOT-4, SHOOTING GUARD

Our prospect rankings don’t accumulate to a strong showing for the Texas Longhorns within our class rankings but we are very high on the Big 12 bunch’s class thus far. Shaka Smart’s gang has gone to work in recent weeks and began it by cementing its frontcourt for years to come. Royce Hamm, an in-state recruit and a bouncy bodied forward that leaves a giant dent on the glass, will play alongside Jericho Sims for the next few years. The Minnesota native screams upside and while he does need to get stronger and produce more consistently, Sims is a fine level rebounder and someone that has his best basketball ahead of him. Upon the recent commitment of sharpshooting wing Jase Febres, the Longhorns are tracking towards another commitment or two in the coming weeks as they stand in a great spot for top-75 recruits Matt Coleman and Brandon Rachal.

Managing Editor

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