The Hustle’s 2019 Rankings are now live. And it would help to think of them as live from now until the time the Class of 2019 makes their way to college. I’m going to reserve the right to change these rankings at any time and this will be the last time an article is posted about them until they are final. Click below for the current top-50…..
Here are just a few of the things I considered along the way….
BATTLE FOR #1
In order to be the top prospect in any New England graduating class, you’ve got to show a unique skillset that features multiple elite tools along with a strong mix of current production and future potential. While a handful of players from this year’s class can make the aforementioned claims, James Bouknight is the prospect who sets the standards 2019 in my opinion. That shouldn't be viewed as a knock on any of the prospects below him in the rankings either.
Jalen Lecque is a steady jumper away from becoming a Lottery Pick and we could be talking about any of the next 5 NBA Drafts! I have no doubt that improved mechanics and a consistent release point will become the point of emphasis in his workouts as soon as the prep season ends. Akok Akok is already on the UConn campus, working on his ball-handling skills and getting a better grasp on how to use the elite skills that can carry him to a career at the highest level. Alonzo Gaffney might be the safest bet to land in The League once the Ohio State gets a hold of his 6’10” frame that comes equipped with a 7’4” wingspan. Once Gaffney starts putting his elite tools on display more consistently, the rest of the Big Ten is going to be miserable. And Tre Mitchell still has an opportunity to put himself at the top of the 2020 Rankings if he chooses to.
It all leads to a very strong and healthy prospect class in 2019. But it’s Bouknight’s blend of elite athleticism, rare top-end speed and high-level jumper that makes him the top prospect on my list. While we didn’t get to see a lot of Bouknight during the EYBL season due to a meniscus injury, he made some very loud statements toward the end of the summer. As he put the necessary work in this fall, his skillset sharpened and his jumper became an elite weapon, Bouknight reached the top spot -in my mind- early in the ’18-’19 prep season.
Whether or not Bouknight holds onto that distinction is something you’ll have to keep an eye on.
Charles Coleman is a true 7-footer with immense potential and the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. He’s now also being recruited at the highest levels and will have an enviable list of programs to choose from. Coleman is also a “true” senior, since he’s never repeated a grade and is still eligible for a prep season.
Now that the painful growth spurts have come to an end and he’s able to move comfortably up-&-down the floor, it would only be natural for his athleticism to rise a few levels and for his bounce to become more explosive. It’s possible that improved physical abilities will lead to improved instincts and allow him to see the game at a faster speed. If that occurs, Charles Coleman could become the most overwhelming presence in this class.
Coleman is a worker who has always been willing to put the time in, something that will play in his favor for the rest of his life. Don’t be surprised if his rise comes sooner rather than later.
THE LIST WILL EXPAND
As we get into the final month of the season and I get a few more looks at players from across the region, the list will expand by a few dozen prospects. I’ve already got a handful of prospects in mind that aren’t in the current group but who can –and most likely will- finish the year in the top-50.
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW THE HUSTLE'S CURRENT TOP-50 IN 2019
Tag(s): Home Prep Prospects PAST PROSPECTS: 2019 JAMES BOUKNIGHT AKOK AKOK TRE MITCHELL NOAH FERNANDES JALEN LECQUE TYLER BURTON TREY ANDERSON TRE WILLIAMS ISMAEL MASSOUD BRYCEN GOODINE TYSON ETIENNE ALONZO GAFFNEY MOSES FLOWERS NOAH KAMBA MIKA ADAMS-WOODS KAI JONES MITCH DOHERTY CHARLES PRIDE BYRON BRELAND III LEVAR WILLIAMS DANIEL BUIE RIVALDO SOARES CAM KRYSTKOWIAK ANTHONY SELDEN JORDAN KELLIER