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2021 National Rankings Preview: Production vs. Potential
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (11:18 AM CT, Mon December 18, 2017)
Where will 6'6" wing Johnathan Lawson land in the rankings?
Where will 6'6" wing Johnathan Lawson land in the rankings?
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

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

Birmingham, AL (Future150) -- With basketball season in full swing, we figure that it's time to update the national rankings for the class of 2021. The ranking of prospects is far from an exact science, and whenever we rank the most current crop of freshmen, we are at the crossroads of weighing middle school accolades and the long term potential of the prospect. Thus, the 'production vs. potential' mantra fits well in this scenario. 

For the past two years, point guard Zion Harmon of Adair County (KY) has owned the #1 spot in the country, thanks to huge performances on the 17U EYBL circuit with We All Can Go & Boo Williams, respectively. Performing at such a high level as a 13 and 14 year old, he produced like no other middle school prospect before him had done on the EYBL circuit. However, at just 5'10" with limited growth left in his frame, his long term potential definitely takes a hit. Does that mean he won't end up as a standout at a high-major school? Absolutely not. We expect him to continue to shine over the course of this high school season, and again at the 17U level this coming spring and summer, as he will remain a highly ranked nationally sought-after prospect. However, many prospects in the class are beginning to grow and develop their game and turn their potential into production, showing ceilings that very few prospects in each class have. That being said, our job is not easy. We have to weigh the balance delicately, and rank the prospects accordingly. While it' a fun job, it's also very difficult. 

This Wednesday, December 20th at 12:00 p.m. EST, we will be dropping our updated national rankings list. What are some of the specifics that you can expect?

- Big wings & posts dominate the upper tier of the rankings, as they occupy the majority of the spots in our national top 20.

- One city in the Midwest is home to two of the top 10 prospects in the class, and it's probably not the city you'd expect.

- Six (6) #Future150Family members land in our national top 50, and overall, 38 of our alumni landed in our national top 150, making this arguably our best class of alums to date, at least early on in their careers.

- Identifying the prospects in the rankings simply as point guard/ball-handlers, wings & bigs, our wing group is the deepest in our top 150, followed by our floor generals, then big men.

- So who will be #1? Well, I'll give you a hint. It will be one of the following prospects: Patrick Baldwin, Moussa Cisse, Terrence Clarke, Michael Foster, William Jeffress, Zion Harmon, Jonathan Kuminga or Trey Patterson. Until Wednesday, speculate away! 

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