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23 in 23: Getting familiar with the 2026 class

5, Jan 2023

23 in 23: Getting familiar with the 2026 class

As we move ahead into the 2023 calendar year, we will spend some time getting familiar with the class of 2026 at the national level. Right now, there is a clear favorite to who has set the bar. So, it begs the question - Who is the No. 1 player in the country for the class of 2026? 

Let's discuss. 

JOSH TEC: I haven’t done a deep dive into this class yet, but I have seen enough to feel confident in saying at AJ Dybansta is the best player at this point. There’s so much time left for these guys though. We don’t know how things will shake out in the end, but Dybansta is someone who currently checks a ton of boxes. He’s a skilled 6-foot-7 wing that does everything. Pass, shoot, dribble, frame, athleticism and motor were all on display when I saw Dybansta at the CP3 Rising Stars camp. He was the best player there, and there was a considerable gap between him and the rest of the pack. That usually portends well for a player in terms of rankings. 


GARRETT TUCKER: I’ll be the first to say that I haven’t seen much of the 2026 class, but I’ve heard raving reviews from fellow colleagues in the industry on Dybansta. I think Tyran Stokes is another strong prospect to consider, though. I had the opportunity to see him playing up with Team Why Not several times during the spring and summer, and they don’t make freshmen like they make him. 

JUSTIN YOUNG: You know, I have no clue. But I’ll give it a shot here. Hard to argue with Josh about Dybnasta. From what I’ve seen of him on flim, he looks like a guy we’ll be writing about quite a bit over the next three years. 

There is still plenty of time to work through this class and there will be plenty of movement over the course of the next 18 months as players get bigger roles on their respective teams on bigger stages. The maturation process in motion for this class. 

From what I’ve gathered thus far, this is a class with some good depth and big wings. The guards, typically, emerge a little later in the game as their size tends to catch up to their game as sophomores. 

That said, here’s a short alphabetical list of guys that I’ve seen from the 2026 class that I really like: 

Maximo Adams, California
Tajh Ariza, California
Sam Funches, Mississippi 
Caleb Holt, Alabama
Trae Nunn, Texas
Tyran Stokes, California
Christopher Washington, Jr., Florida
Elijah Williams, Arizona

Justin Young

Justin Young has been the editor-in-chief of since 2013. He manages the day-to-day operations on the site and in conjunction with our national and regional events. He was the national basketball editor for and a contributing editor at Yahoo! Sports. Young has been earned numerous awards for his work in sports journalism, including the Georgia Press Association Columnist of the Year. His Justin Young Basketball recruiting service has been in existence since 2002 and worked with over 300 schools from all levels. He is the director of HoopSeen Elite Preview camps and our national Preview camp series.