By Hocine LOUKKAF on 5/11/2018
After a 2017 class stacked with big men, the top of this crop seems more about the swingmen. We will also be watching two unicorn type of players, Zion Williamson and Bol Bol. Let’s take a look at this interesting 2018 ranking.
#1 RJ Barrett, 6-7 SF, Duke
NBA Comparison : tougher Michael Beasley
Barrett is a complete SF who can shoot, drive or post up his opponent. More than that, he’s a very competitive player who gives his best everytime he’s on the court and steps up in the clutch time. He destroyed the USA in last u19 world cup with 38pts 13rbds 5as and more recently in the Hoop Summit with 20pts 9rbds 6as. He still needs to improve his 3pt shot but has all the tools to be a very solid player in the NBA.
#2 Romeo Langford, 6-6 SG, Indiana
NBA Comparison : Ray Allen/Klay Thompson
A very talented player offensively, the pride of Indiana already plays the same style that will help him end up in the NBA. Langford is a very good outside shooter with deceptive athleticism. He has also very good handling and is a major problem for the defending opponents.
#3 Zion Williamson, 6-6 PF, Duke
NBA Comparison : TBD
It’s rare to see that athleticism in such a powerful body. My problem is, where do you play him? Is he long enough to play the four in the NBA? Does he have the skills to play the three? We’ll see how Duke will use him alongside Barrett and Reddish. Williamson will have to tighten his handles, shooting and show more dedication on the boards and defense as he played very poor competition in high school.
#4 Cam Reddish, 6-7 SF, Duke
NBA Comparison : Paul George
At 6-7 with a 7ft wingspan, Reddish has the tools to be a top notch defender. Offensively, he has shown some versatility, being able to shoot or attack the rim. Consistency will be the key for Reddish as it may be his biggest weakness and prevent him from being a dominant two-way player.
#5 Bol Bol, 7-2 C, Oregon
NBA Comparison : Poor man’s Porzingis
One of the most polarizing player, Bol has incredible physical tools but also big question marks around him. Bol’s length allowed him to dominate in high school but he lacks strength and toughness inside. On offense, he hasn’t shown any semblance of reliable post moves and prefers to shoot from outside or with fade aways.
#6 EJ Montgomery, 6-10 PF, Kentucky
NBA Comparison : Greg Monroe
Montgomery is not the most athletic prospect, but he has the body and skills to be a very efficient power forward. The Kentucky’s signee is a very complete PF who can finish with hooks from both hands, shoot from mid range and even lead the break. He may stabilize Kentucky’s inside sector and will be able to brong scoring and rebounding right away.
#7 Nassir Little, 6-7 SF/PF, UNC
NBA Comparison : Al Farouq Aminu
With his MVP performance at the McD, Little has opened eyes to those who didn’t have him in their top 10. A very athletic combo with a 7-2 wingspan, the UNC recruit brings this type of intensity that every team needs. He has the tools to defend multiple positions and has also worked a lot on his shooting. He still is a bit raw to be a full time SF but his versatility will help UNC anext year and probably a NBA team very soon.
#8 Darius Bazley, 6-8 SF, Professional
NBA Comparison : Rodney Hood/Anthony Randolph
A versatile forward, Bazley has decided to pass on college and try the G League route. Bazley can do a bit of everything, handle the ball, shoot, pass. He has to keep working on tightening his skills and gaining strength. If he’s picked by the right staff, he may improve a lot playing against pros.
#9 Naz Reid, 6-10 PF/C, LSU
NBA Comparison : Al Horford
Advanced big man who can play both inside positions. Reid is mobile, loves to play like a wing handling the ball or shooting from outside. He’s also pretty strong physically and can play in the post even if losing some pounds could help him being more athletic. He will have playing time to showcase his skills at LSU.
#10 Quentin Grimes, 6-4 SG/PG, Kansas
NBA Comparison : Stronger Austin Rivers
At 6-5, Grimes combines a powerful body and great skills. He displayed what he could do at the Hoop Summit with 15pts 6rbds 4as with handling wizardy, a consistent outside shot and the abilit,to switch from the SG to the PG spot. He will be in the good place at Kansas to showcase his talent.
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