Friday, October 24, 2014

NYBL 2020 National Rankings

S. Morrow, T. Williams, K. Walker, J. Harris, J. Toles, D. Billings
The NYBL staff has worked very hard to compile the most complete and accurate National Basketball Class of 2020 Top 60 Ranking.  The NYBL staff has had the pleasure of watching and evaluating these players during the competitive second NYBL season, at the 6th Grade AAU Nationals in Hampton, VA, at the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp, at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase where the NYBL All Star Top 20 game took place and at various other tournaments and camps around the country this past AAU season.  These rankings are post season rankings that will be updated after this upcoming year’s AAU season around the same time.  When looking at our rankings we take into account the performance, production and potential of the prospect.  Also, the players IQ and skill set come into the equation when we evaluate players.  Although many things can change between a player’s 6th Grade year and his senior year of high school, we believe that this is a good starting point in the evaluation process for the talented players that are trying to earn college scholarships.  We understand that there will be debate that some players should be higher or lower in the rankings, and that players will move in and out of the class due to the reclassification phenomenon from year to year and certain players will get better and others will not, some will stop growing and others will spout up, but it will be our goal to provide the best and most accurate list through our evaluation process.  So let’s dig in and analyze the Class of 2020 Top 60 National Basketball Rankings.

The Perimeter Rules but we are Starting to see Major Size Patrolling the Paint

Right now the breakdown of the Top 60 is still heavily weighted to the perimeter.  Although the perimeter has more depth because the class if still young and developing, some players with major size are starting to make an impact on the circuit and in turn in the national rankings.  There are 15 Players that are 6’4” or taller or 25% of the Top 60.  There are 10 Point Guards, 17 Wing Guards, 10 Wing Forwards, 10 Power Forwards, and 13 Centers that comprise the Top 60.  The Wing Guard position (many call them Shooting Guard) is the deepest position in the class.  22 of the Top 60 played in the NYBL.  We have also included a 15 player Watch List of players that we are monitoring and could crack the Top 60 rankings when they are updated next fall (will be expanded to a Top 100 when this class moves to 8th Grade).

Each Position is Strong at the Top but Depth is an Issue

Hunter Jackson, Jaden Springer, Tyler Brelsford, AJ Hoggard & Chase Ellis
It seems that the top talent is more evenly distributed across the positions in the Class of 2020 versus the Class of 2019 that is heavily weighted to the Wing Forward position at the top of the national rankings.  There are 5 Point Guards in the Top 25 (Rashard McDaniels, Tyler Brelsford, AJ Hoggard, RJ Hampton, Caleb Murphy), 4 Wing Guards in the Top 25 (Jalen Suggs, Hunter Jackson, Dwon Odom, Jeremy Roach), 6 Wing Forwards in the Top 25 (Shemar Morrow, Kyree Walker, Jordan Toles, Jaden Springer, Kieves Turner, Isaiah LeBlanc), 6 Power Forwards in the Top 25 (Terrance Williams, Jason Harris, Donovan Billings, Isaiah Todd, Dillon Depina, Chase Ellis), and 4 Centers in the Top 25 (Marcus Dumerville, Ben Todd, Matt Van Komen, Cameron Byers).  All though it is still early it seems like the depth at each position could allow for future high end players to emerge long term.

The Pre-Season Top 3 Teams Have a lot of Talent

Last season’s  6th Grade AAU National Champion Oakland Soldiers  and the AAU National Runner –Up WACG All Stars are both loaded with top ranked players as Oakland Soldiers has four in the Top 60 and WACG has five in the Top 60 with the rumored addition of Ben Todd.  The new kid on the block from Baltimore Slam City Elite boasts eight Top 60 players.  Many question if this talented group has enough balls to go around, can they put their egos aside, play as a team, and sacrifice in order to win the National Championship.  We are anxious to see what other teams and players come out of nowhere like the St. Louis Wildcats and Rashard McDaniels did last year at AAU Nationals.

The DMV/Baltimore seems to Produce the Most Talent

13 of the Top 60 players hail from the DMV/Baltimore which is DC, Maryland and Northern VA.  Team Takeover #11 and DC Premier NR (Placed in the Top 10 8u – 11u) are the top two programs and continue to churn out DI players.  The DMV produces approximately 75 DI players on a yearly basis.  Terrance Williams (#2), Jordan Toles (#6), Tyler Brelsford (#10), Isaiah Todd (#13) are the Top 4 ranked players in the DMV and are all ranked in the Top 20 in the class.  Cameron Byers (#24) rounds out the Top 5 players in the DMV.  North Carolina is also becoming a hotbed for youth basketball’s top talent as Five Top 60 players hail from the Tar Heel State.  (Note: The Class of 2019 has Twelve Top 100 players from the state of North Carolina.)

The West Coast is More Relevant in 2020

The Class of 2020 has more talent on the West Coast than the Class of 2019 does.  6 of the Top 21 players are from the West and 9 of the Top 60 versus only 6 of the Top 100 for the Class of 2019 are from the West.  This makes sense as two of the top teams in the country are from the West in Oakland Soldiers and West Coast All Stars.

The NYBL will also be releasing National Rankings for the Class of 2021 (Top 25) in the next few weeks.  Also please check out the recent press release below with the announcement of the 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Slam City Elite Prepares for NYBL

Slam City Elite
Dubbed the “Terror Squad,” by some national media,  Bill Francis'  newly constructed Slam City Elite (class of 2020) has caused quite a stir around the country in only a few short weeks.  Boasting a roster full of nationally ranked players, the DMV based squad’s recent run through the Tri State Summer League in New York City has officially put teams on notice that there is another player on the scene and has announced their arrival to the nation.  Slam City’s most impressive prize to date was the 79-72 win over the #5 ranked New Your Gauchos.  This win was the first step in building a national “resume,” while providing some legitimacy to their preseason #1 ranking.   In addition to the victory over the Gauchos, Slam City Elite took down New Heights, the PSA Cardinals and Milbank during their stay in the Big Apple.

As one might expect, some of the “blue bloods” of the class have taken issue with all of the hype this newly formed team has already garnered, and some have let their feelings be known through various media outlets. One has to imagine that the reigning AAU National Champions, Oakland Solders and the reigning NYBL National Champions West Coast All-Stars are taking issue with all of the hype this young team is getting.  Clearly, WACG’s flamboyant coach, Carlos Williams has some serious concerns as evidenced by his frank comments in 2 recent interviews, where he questions Slam City’s resume and status as the top team.  

Mike Morris, head coach of the West Coast All-Stars is not real concerned about the hype Slam City is receiving. “At the end of the day, we have to lace them up and play,” said Morris. “I don’t see their [Slam City Elite] ranking as disrespectful [to us], we plan to earn what we get any ways. You have to settle it on the court,” continued Morris.  Juno Thomas, the head man for the Oakland Solders has respect for what Francis has put together, but feels the Solders are the number 1 team until they are beaten. "They [Slam City] has a great collection of talent; they have a couple of reclasses. A lot of teams are pattering themselves after the Solders, Thomas said.  "They can't be considered #1 until they play some of the top teams. They beat the Gauchos by 7 points which is really not that much; we beat them by 18 points at the [AAU] Nationals this year," said Thomas.  

T. Williams, J. Toles, C.Byers, AJ Hoggard & T. Brelsford
Stacking a team with multiple elite players is not a new phenomenon (i.e., Oakland Solders, WACG, etc.), but the Slam City Elite situation is a bit different, in that most of the players hale from the same area, and several of their top guys (Terrence Williams, Cameron Byers, AJ Hoggard and Tyler Brelsford) were recently elite players in the class of 2019, which has proven to be a very talented class. Also on their roster are Jordan Toles, a top 5 talent in the class.  Not only did Toles excel in the ultra competitive NYBL last season, his play in New York recently demonstrated his elite athleticism and significant upside potential, and confirmed his place among the best in the class. Also on that squad are Isaiah Todd, Montez McNeil, Ryan Conway, Demon Clowney and Austin Allison, all of whom are elite level players.  In fact, according to some, Todd could eventually be the best long-term prospect on the team, and that’s saying a whole lot!

Over the last 2 seasons, the NYBL has attracted the most elite teams in the country, as evidenced by the AAU National Championships our teams (Team CP3 & Oakland Solders) have garnered.  In 2015, with the addition of Slam City Elite in 2020 and DC Premiere in 2019, the league could crown another AAU National Champion, and is poised for another strong year.  With the return of our 2019 and 2020 NYBL National Champions (All-Ohio Red and West Coast All-Stars), the NYBL will remain the most competitive event in the country.  Can't wait for the ball to tip in March of 2015!