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2016 Rankings Update: Detroit Wing Earns Top Spot
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (5:22 PM CT, Sat June 7, 2014)
Detroit star Josh Jackson is the new #1 in the 2016 class.
Detroit star Josh Jackson is the new #1 in the 2016 class.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Nashville, TN (Future150) -- Since they began their high school careers last year, we knew that the national class of 2016 had the potential to be one of the strongest classes in recent memory from top to bottom. As we head into the summer, we can confirm the strength of the class, with several more high major prospects emerging throughout the spring.

After covering the Nike EYBL in Dallas, the Under Armour Invitational in Houston, & Adidas Gauntlet Orlando throughout the month of May, we've decided that it's finally time to update our national rankings for the class.

We have a big change at the top of the class, with shooting guard Josh Jackson taking over the #1 spot nationally. The Detroit native is a 6-foot-7 wing with a smooth game. He can play point guard, shooting guard, and small forward on the floor, displaying tools rarely seen in a sophomore. What we love most about Jackson is that he has a dog mentality on the floor. 

Thon Maker, the familiar name atop the rankings over the past few years, slides down to #2 in our update. The 7-foot forward has an extremely high skill set. There's a lot of talk about Maker transitioning to the 2015 class in the coming weeks, so it will be interesting to see if he is still in his current class by the end of the summer. Whether or not he makes the move, he has all the tools to become a surefire pro in just a few short years.

Arkansas wing Malik Monk rises all the way up to #3 in our rankings update. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard has long been known for his above-the-rim antics, but an improved perimeter jump shot and ball skills have catapulted him into the top five.

Memphis power forward Dedric Lawson lands at #4 after his second consecutive dominating season on the Nike EYBL circuit. The 6-foot-8 power forward is a physical post on the block but has the perimeter shooting ability and ball skills to stretch the defense as well. 

Rounding out the top five is Denver power forward De'Ron Davis. The 6-foot-9 big man is another skilled post prospect who can bang on the interior or stretch defenses with his perimeter skills. He had a huge spring AAU season with the Colorado Hawks and could be primed for a big June and July. We will see him in a few weeks at the 2014 NBA Top 100 Camp, where he will do battle against many other highly rated players.

Coming in at #6 is flashy and explosive Houston guard De'Aaron FoxPower forward Harry Giles slides down to #7 after sitting out his sophomore season with an ACL injury. It's important to note that he's back on the court playing with CP3, and all signs are pointing to him coming back stronger than before the injury. If that happens he will surely head back into the top five.

St. Louis wing Jayson Tatum checks into the rankings at #8. He's arguably the most skilled perimeter prospect in the class, already holding offers from Duke and Kentucky. His strong spring on the EYBL circuit was impressive, and we expect an even bigger junior season.

Florida center Udoka Azubuike rises all the way up to #9 in the updated rankings after his spring showings with Nike Team Florida in the EYBL. The 6-foot-11 post has a game built on power, and has a history of abusing defenders with his physical play. Finishing out the top 10 is North Carolina point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who has improved immensely since last July. The explosive athlete has refined his perimeter skills greatly, cueing his rise.

Rising In The Rankings:

Some prospects who saw their ranking improve include: T.J. Leaf (#12), Kobi Simmons (#16), Amir Coffey (#20), M.J. Cage (#24) & Rawle Alkins (#38).

New To The Rankings:

Some names new to the national 2016 rankings are: Eli Wright (#36), Deshawn Corprew (#47), Jayce Johnson (#57) & Bryce Aiken (#86), as well as several others who deserved the accolades!

For a complete listing of the Top 150 prospects nationally in the class of 2016, Click Here.


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