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BOSWORTH: NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL SHOWCASE WRAP-UP (TOP PERFORMERS)
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Now that the National Prep Showcase has concluded it’s time to take a moment and digest everything that I witnessed in New Haven this weekend. One thing that jumps out is that the talent level in New England is at an all time high. While many players are imports from other areas of the country a large part of rosters on New England prep times are made up of local talent. Most notably, Nerlens Noel in 2013 and Noah Vonleh in 2014 both have a chance to become the top player in their class nationwide. These two separated themselves from everyone else at this event both with their current production and with their long term potential.
Past those top two, Ricardo Ledo deserves more recognition for his performance on Friday night. Ledo’s ability to score has never been questioned but his intangibles and whether or not he is a winner have long been debated. Against La Jolla Prep he not only scored from everywhere on the floor but he proved to be the vocal leader of a talent rich South Kent team. He specifically seems to have taken on somewhat of a mentor role for talented junior Chris Thomas. According to South Kent head coach Kelvin Jefferson Ledo has been everything he could have asked for and more both on the floor and in the locker room. He has taken Thomas under his wing in a sense and has been an incredible positive influence. If this progression continues, Ed Cooley landed an even bigger star than already thought.
On top of these three stars plenty of other players showed off their talent throughout the weekend and deserve recognition. Below are rankings by class of the top players from the event. It must be noted that these rankings are based strictly on how players performed this weekend and not on their overall body of work. Michigan fans don’t need to panic because they don’t see Mitch McGary’s name in the top 10. He’s still going to be a stud. He just had one tough weekend.
2012 Top Ten:
1) Ricardo Ledo – South Kent Prep (committed to Providence)
2) TJ Warren – Brewster Academy (committed to NC State)
3) Ryan Taylor – Hargrave Military Academy
—The former Louisville commit is no longer committed to Rick Pitino. He stressed that he still loves Rick Pitino and the Louisville family but that both parties just decided to go in a different direction. Suitors lining up so far include Arkansas, Cincinnati, and Dayton with others sure to be on the way after today’s performance. Taylor said that he would prefer to play in either the Big East or Big 10 because he loves the physical style of those conferences and feels that it suits his game. He plans to visit Cincinnati and is unsure of any other schools he will visit.
4) Montrezl Harrell – Hargrave Military Academy (committed to Virginia Tech)
5) JaKarr Sampson – Brewster Academy
—Formerly committed to St. John’s in the 2011 class before being ruled ineligible Sampson has re-opened his recruitment. He now has a list of Kansas, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Providence, Baylor, Miami, and St. John’s remains in the mix.
6) Malik Nichols – Bridgton Academy
—According to Nichols he has been receiving interest from St. John’s, Towson, South Florida, and Hofstra, where he was once verbally committed to before opting to prep a year. At this point his top priority is clearing up some academic issues and if he is able to do that the list of suitors should expand exponentially.
7) Mike Tobey – Blair Academy (committed to Virginia)
8} Semaj Christon – Brewster Academy (committed to Xavier)
9) William Howard – New Hope School
—The French import is still in the early stages of his recruitment but already has major interest from Washington, Providence, and Rhode Island. Howard is working on getting his qualifying SAT score and once that happens other high-majors will throw themselves in the mix.
10) Rapheal Davis – La Lumiere School (committed to Purdue)
2013 Top Five:
1) Nerlens Noel – Tilton School
2) Dominic Woodson – Vermont Academy
—Another kid that remains wide open Woodson’s coaches mentioned he has offers from Oklahoma, Connecticut, Baylor, Miami, NC State, and Maryland with additional interest coming in from Florida, Illinois, and TCU.
3) Goodluck Okonoboh – Tilton School
—Okonoboh hasn’t narrowed down a list yet but when he does so a situation where he will have a chance to play and a team that can win are his most important factors. He listed offers from Connecticut, Syracuse, Providence, Pittsburgh, Michigan, NC State, and Texas.
4) Chris Thomas – South Kent Prep
—One of the top physical talents in the 2013 class, Thomas’ recruitment has been unusually quiet according to South Kent head coach Kelvin Jefferson. The two schools showing the most interest including trips to South Kent’s campus to see Chris have been Xavier and Seton Hall.
5) Jaylen Brantley – Wilbraham and Monson
2014 Top Five:
1) Noah Vonleh – New Hampton School
—Having re-classified to 2014 Vonleh intends to remain in that class to give himself more time to develop. He is “wide open” in his recruitment and plans to wait until his senior year to make a decision. Noah rattled off a sampling of schools that have offered including Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse, Arizona, Kansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech, UCLA, and Georgetown.
3) Wayne Selden – Tilton School
4) Johnnie Vassar – La Lumiere School
—Still early in the process Vassar already holds offers from Illinois and DePaul along with interest from California, Stanford, Louisville, Iowa, Boston College, Arizona, Syracuse, Purdue, Indiana, and Northwestern.
5) Johnathon Wilkins – La Lumiere School
—Wilkins has already heard from Penn State, Bowling Green, Ball State, and Western Kentucky. If any of those mid-majors want to lock up Wilkins they had better do it soon because once he gets opportunities and exposure Wilkins will become a high major priority.
For more scouting reports, recruiting updates and notes from the National Prep Showcase, see each individual report compiled by Brian Bosworth from the weekend: