With the summer evaluation periods just a few weeks away, it’s time to update the 2014 player rankings.
Our hoops recruiting team spent the spring evaluating prospects at events from coast-to-coast. After much debate, Jahlil Okafor, a Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young standout, topped the list again.
Okafor, who jumped to the No. 1 spot in Scout.com’s rankings in early February, held off a valiant effort by elite point guard Tyus Jones to keep the pole position.
At 6-foot-10, 260-pounds, Okafor is the best post scorer in high school basketball. Okafor’s scoring arsenal is impressive. He has a great set of hands, a variety of post moves and is able to step away from the rim and hit mid-range jump shots.
To go with his touch and scoring ability, Okafor’s pure size and strength make him tough to handle on the block. He’s a very good rebounder, will contest shots and plays with aggression on both ends of the floor.
Jones, who has drawn comparisons to Chris Paul, had a strong spring playing for Howard Pulley on the Nike circuit.
The Apple Valley (Minn.) High product led the EYBL in total points, assists and steals through 18 games. A true lead guard, Jones changes speeds well, has great vision and knows how to run a team.
Mudiay checks in at No. 3
Jones has also improved his ability to score. He’s a consistent long-range shooter and is shooting 46-percent from three in the EYBL. Jones is also comfortable pulling up for mid-range jump shots and is a crafty finisher at the rim.
Checking in just behind Okafor and Jones is 6-foot-3 guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
A dynamic guard with impressive physical attributes, Mudiay has tremendous speed and athleticism for a lead guard. He has good vision, gets into the lane when he needs to and is a very good scorer at the rim.
Trey Lyles is at No. 4 for the second release in a row. A skilled power forward out of Indianapolis (Ind.), Lyles impresses with his ability to score. He’s efficient in the post, has a handful of moves, but also has range to 22-feet on his jump shot.
Just behind Lyles, is Myles Turner, who jumped from unranked to No. 5 in the country.
Buzz began building around the near 7-footer late in his high school season and he’s taken advantage of his opportunities in the spring. Turner has emerged as an elite recruit and will be one of the most sought after prospects in July.
Defensively, Turner can take over a game. His size, lengthy, instincts and ability to get off the floor make him arguably the top shot blocker in his class. Offensively he’s improving. He has good touch and is a consistent shooter with range to 21-feet.
Active and energetic big man Cliff Alexander is No. 6 overall in the class. A tremendous rebounder, Alexander play a tough, aggressive brand of ball. He’ll bully the opposition to the rim, blocks his fair share of shots and runs the floor with a purpose.
North Carolina commit Justin Jackson jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 with his tremendous spring. A natural wing scorer, Jackson has a terrific mid-range game and continues to make improvements to his overall scoring package.
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei wing Stanley Johnson makes his first appearance in Scout.com’s top 10. A powerfully built wing, Johnson has improved his ball skills and long-range shot. He jumped from No. 17 to No. 8 overall.
Kevon Looney, a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Milwaukee (Wisc.) Hamilton, and Kentucky commit Karl Towns close out the 2014 top 10.
Johnson makes top 10 debut
After a great spring, Isaiah Whitehead moved from the mid-40’s up to No. 17 overall. One of the best pure scorers in the class, Whitehead performed at a high level in nearly every event he played in this spring.
Chicago native Tyler Ulis was also a significant mover in the rankings. Last go around, Ulis was unranked, but he made his way up to No. 41 overall because of his feel for the game and his ability to run a team.
To go with Turner and Ulis, there were 19 other newcomers to the updated list of rankings.
The other newly ranked prospects were Pascal Chukwu, Terry Larrier, Angel Delgado, Chinanu Onuaku, Mikal Bridges, Thomas Welsh, Malek Harris, Devin Mitchell, Brekkott Chapman, Justin Coleman, Robert Johnson, Tariq Owens, J.P. Macura, Sandy Cohen, Jared Nickens, Tra Holder, Makinde London, Jaylen Johnson and Riley Norris.
* Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this list.