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December 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Now that the 2011 City of Palms Classic has come to a close it’s time to put some measure on what I saw this week. Below are player rankings by class based on performances from this week alone. While they do impact my overall perception of these players, they are rankings strictly of what I saw in Florida this week.

Top 2012 Players:

1. Isaiah Austin (Grace Prep) – signed with Baylor – Austin was more committed to play inside on offense than he has been in the past and still rebounded and blocked shots at the highest level. He looked poised to challenge Shabazz Muhammad for top player in the class throughout the rest of the reason.

2. Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman) – It speaks to Muhammad’s talent that after a subpar week by his standards he still slots in at # 2. He was the most persistent scorer at the tournament, getting his points every way imaginable.

As for his recruitment, Muhammad told NBE on the opening day of the event that he has no timetable for a decision and sounds as though he’ll wait right up until the spring signing period to make his call. He listed an up-tempo style and a program that gets its players to the next level as the two most important factors in his decision making process. When the time comes Muhammad will be choosing from his final 6 of UCLA, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, UNLV, and USC.

3. Anthony Perez (Montverde Academy) – signed with Mississippi – A stretch 4 with major bounce around the rim, Perez opened some eyes this week. Always thought of as a tools guy, the coaching of Kevin Boyle at Montverde seems to be putting those tools together.

4. Ricardo Gathers (Riverside Academy 2012) – Gathers’ play was somewhat up and down but he dominated an individual matchup with Tony Parker on both ends of the court.

5. Zach Peters (Prestonwood Christian 2012) – Peters had a fantastic week on the championship run by hitting 17 foot jumpers, and showing off an improved post game. He looks drastically improved from when I saw him in the summer with the Texas Titans.

6. Amile Jefferson (Friends Central 2012) – Jefferson did what I’ve come to expect from him by using his extreme length to make plays around the rim. His post game seems more complete than in the past and that bodes well for him down the road.

Jefferson is another elite prospect yet to commit to a school and his list consists of Ohio State, NC State, Kentucky, Villanova and Connecticut. None from the group particularly stand out to him at this point and he doesn’t have a specific timetable for when he will commit. Jefferson said that he’s thought he was decided a couple of times but slept on it and woke up with a change of heart. He doesn’t have any more visits planned but may stop at any of his listed schools to check out a game if the opportunity arises.

7. Daniel Dingle (St. Raymond’s 2012) – signed with Temple – Dingle’s best game was in a 15 point 4th quarter comeback against Trinity. He led his team by never giving up and scored both inside and outside.

8. Savon Goodman (Constitution 2012) – Goodman made 4-5 electric above the rim plays in each game while rebounded both ends and running the floor hard.

9. Xavier Johnson (Mater Dei) – signed with Colorado – The combo forward used his physicality and toughness to make plays in the paint and showed off an improving 3 point stroke from the perimeter.

10. Donald Thomas (Riverside Academy) – Relatively unknown coming into the week, the 6’7” Thomas showed a great shooting stroke out to 23 feet and the ability to defend multiple positions. His recruitment should see a major boost after his performance in Florida.

Top 2013 Players:

1. Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian 2013) – A very deserving tournament MVP, Randle was unstoppable on offense all week. He scored inside and outside, in transition and half court while making defenders look completely helpless in the process.

Randle is in no hurry to make a decision and stated that he plans to wait until after taking all 5 official visits during his senior year before making a decision. He hasn’t decided definitively on what any of those 5 visits will be yet but does plan to take all of them. He listed offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, North Carolina, Kentucky, NC State, Duke, Florida and “a host of others (he) couldn’t remember.” When the time comes Randle listed education, a family atmosphere, and coaches that will push him to be the best player he can be as the 3 determining factors in his decision.

2. Nerlens Noel (Tilton School) – Noel averaged 8.5 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks over 2 games this week. Those numbers could have been even better as both contests were blowout wins and saw the bench being emptied towards the end.

3. Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy) – Hill only played 2 games after sitting the 1st 2 because of a suspension but still left quite an impression. His speed with the ball is mesmerizing and likely unmatched in the high school game.

In his recruitment, Hill’s list is a compact 4 schools with Florida, Louisville, Florida State and Kentucky involved. He mentioned that Florida stood out among those 4 because of Coach Billy Donovan. Hill liked that Donovan is a former point guard and would be able to help develop him into the best point guard he can be.

4. Jabari Bird (Salesian) – While he doesn’t quite dominate as often as I’d like Bird scores with relative ease when he chooses to. He also redounded at a very high level for a wing player throughout the week.

In recruiting, Bird has his list narrowed to 5 schools already in Arizona, California, Washington, UCLA, and Oregon. He has already visited Arizona and Cal and says that those two along with Washington (visit planned) are definitely his top 3. He plans to make a decision sometime next summer.

5. Jordan Mickey (Grace Prep) – Had Mickey duplicated his performance against Mater Dei 3 more times he would have been number 1 on this list. At his best he can be one of the nation’s best low post scorers but he had major struggles in the championship game against the defense of Julius Randle and Zach Peters.

In recruiting, Mickey said he holds offers from Kansas, Texas A&M, Providence and Houston with Duke starting to get involved as well. He says his dream school is Kentucky but they have not recruited him as of now

6. Jaylen Brantley (Wilbraham and Monson 2013) – Mostly a jump shooter with BABC on the summer circuit, Brantley showed off a much more complete game from the point guard spot this week. He made floaters in the lane and dished a number of high level passes that speak to his long term potential at the point.

Brantley has high major suitors all over him in his recruitment already including Syracuse, Florida, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Richmond, UCF, Cincinnati and Connecticut. UConn assistant Kevin Ollie was in the front row watching Brantley’s early tournament performance which included a buzzer beating basket to win a game.

7. Rashad Muhammad (Bishop Gorman) – The younger brother of 2012 star Shabazz, Rashad had a great week in his own right by making deep jumpers and finishing transition opportunities in the paint.

Muhammad holds offers from Maryland, Texas A&M, UTEP, SMU, USC, and Colorado as well as interest from Connecticut. UConn assistant Kevin Ollie was out watching Muhammad on Monday during their quarterfinal loss to Prestonwood Christian.

8. Jaren Sina (Gill St. Bernard’s) – Sina made deep 3 pointers and found teammates after penetration at a very high level. He lacks elite athleticism which makes him more of a passer than finisher inside but Sina knows this and usually makes the right decision.

After decommitting from Alabama, Sina is taking his time the 2nd time around. He has no timetable for a decision and will be waiting until he “finds the right fit” to commit this time. In addition to Alabama still being involved Sina holds offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Cincinnati, Penn State, Virginia, and Miami as well as interest from Kansas, Syracuse, and Stanford.

9. Mario Dunn (Salesian) – Undervalued coming into the week, Dunn left his impression on college coaches by attacking with the ball from the point guard spot and being a physical defender. He left his best performance for last coming up 1 assist shy of a triple double in Salesian’s last outing against St. Raymond’s.

Dunn’s recruitment hasn’t taken off yet as he is currently hearing from Santa Clara, Pacific and UC-Irvine. More performances like today will increase his interest drastically.

10. Shane Rector (St. Raymond’s) – Battling a sprained ankle all week, Rector made perimeter shots at a higher level than I’ve seen in the past and was still able to make plays around the rim as he usually does.

Rector holds offers from a group of mid majors including Dayton, Hofstra, Columbia, Duquesne, and Umass. High majors have also taken notice of the junior point guard and he has major interest from Stanford, Marquette, South Carolina, and Cincinnati. He is looking for a school that will have faith in him and let him have the ball in his hands as a freshman point guard. Rector is also a very good student and is looking for an academic situation that allows him the best education

Top 2014 Players:

1. Wayne Selden (Tilton School) – Selden is as elite as they come from the shooting guard spot and made multiple “wow” plays in both of Tilton’s wins. While sometimes overly flashy, Selden got away with it this week without suffering turnover issues.

2. Emmanuel Mudiay (Grace Prep) – Mudiay’s play was up and down throughout the week but he showed flashes of what make him an elite point guard prospect. He has incredible handle and the ability to see passes that others can’t.

3. Conrad Chambers (Friends Central) – A power point, Chambers was able to get in the lane at will and make floaters as well as find open teammates.

Still early in the recruiting process, the sophomore guard already holds offers from Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Iowa State and Temple as well as major interest from St. John’s, Connecticut and Villanova.

4. D’Angelo Russell (Montverde Academy) – Russell got limited opportunities given the plethora of guards in front of him for Montverde but made the most of them. He’s long, crafty, and skilled and was able to make plays in the paint throughout the week.

Still in the early stages of the recruiting process as a sophomore, Russell told NBE this week he already holds offers from Louisville, Xavier, and Florida and has significant interest from Ohio State. He lists his dream schools as Ohio State and Kentucky. The Wildcats have not begun recruiting him at this point.

5. Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei) – Johnson is a superb athlete at the wing and does a little bit of everything for Mater Dei. His jumper needs work but in the lane Johnson is a load to deal with.

According to a Mater Dei assistant coach, Johnson has early interest from UCLA, USC, Auburn, Butler, and “basically the entire Pac-12.” UCLA, USC, and Butler have all been on Mater Dei’s campus this fall to check out Johnson in person.

The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .

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