The final week of July evaluation period is wrapping up this weekend in Las Vegas, with top prospects getting their last chance to impress college coaches on the grassroots circuit this summer. After this weekend, coaches are not permitted to be in the gym for grassroots events again until the spring.
There's still plenty on the line -- as it stands, just 32 of ESPN's top 100 players in the class of 2016 have committed. Only Jayson Tatum (Duke) and Lonzo Ball (UCLA) have declared their college choices among the top 10 prospects.
With that in mind, it seemed like a good opportunity to take an early guess at where the top uncommitted prospects might end up. We'll be using recruiting rankings from ESPN and the composite board by 247 Sports.
1. Harry Giles
Which Jersey yall think i look best in? pic.twitter.com/FWKIS2JAe8— Harry Giles (@TheReal_HG3) July 22, 2015
Who is he? A 6'10, 230-pound big man from Winston-Salem, N.C.
Where's he ranked? No. 1 by ESPN, No. 2 by 247 Sports' national composite
Who is he considering? Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Kansas, Kentucky
If you're wondering why it seems like there's already more hype for the 2017 NBA Draft than the 2016 edition, it's because of talents like Giles and the next player on this list, Josh Jackson.
Giles has been hyped in recruiting circles since his freshman year, but his performance at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Greece this summer earned him a new level of notoriety. He tied for the team lead in scoring at 14 points per game and finished second in the tournament in rebounding by pulling down 10.4 per game.
Giles is a no-brainer one-and-done recruit before he even starts his senior year of high school. He's the type of talent who can swing the national championship picture for the 2016-17 college season as an athletic, long (7'3 wingspan) big man who can dominate both ends of the floor.
The pick: Duke. Giles and Tatum have discussed playing together in college, and why wouldn't they? If you're only playing college ball for one season, you might as well play with your self-described "best friend" on a juggernaut team.
2. Josh Jackson
Chasing my 3rd gold medal pic.twitter.com/3VkLtkDdRK— Josh Jackson (@j_josh11) June 20, 2015
Who is he? A 6'8, 203-pound wing from Detroit
Where's he ranked? No. 3 by ESPN, No. 1 by 247 Sports' national composite
Who is he considering? Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and five others.
Just how good is Josh Jackson? While he's ranked as low as No. 3 by some services, 247 Sports' Jerry Meyer called him the best shooting guard prospect he's ever scouted. That's high praise, but Jackson has elite size and elite athleticism for the position. With a non-stop motor, he projects as a shutdown perimeter defender at any level.
The one area where Jackson needs to improve is his perimeter jump shot -- and really, you can say that about every recruit in the country. Still, he hit 50 percent of the 1.7 threes he attempted per game at the U19 tournament. He also averaged 12.1 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals per game.
This is a two-way force on the wing who should have NBA teams giddy after his one year in college.
The pick: This one feels totally up in the air. It wouldn't surprise recruiting insiders to see Jackson skip college altogether to play pro ball overseas, though he has insisted he won't do that. Given the connection with USA U19 coach Sean Miller, we'll go with Arizona.
3. Dennis Smith Jr.
Who is he? A 6'2 point guard from Fayetteville, N.C.
Where's he ranked? No. 4 by ESPN, No. 5 by 247 Sports' national composite
Who is he considering? NC State, Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Wake Forest
There are a ton of great point guard prospects in the class of 2016, but Smith gets the edge for many scouts because of his quickness and scoring instincts. He's not as big as Ball or De'Aaron Fox, but he's one of the best shot makers in the class and has the speed to turn any possession into a transition opportunity.
If you're looking for a best-case NBA comparison, think Damian Lillard. It's easy to worry how he'll hold up defensively in the NBA given his size, but he should be an absolute terror in college.
The pick: NC State. Given that Smith plays on the adidas circuit for a team his father coaches, it seems like the adidas schools should have a slight advantage. We'll go with the Wolfpack over Louisville (and Nike front-runner Duke), but it's too close to call.
4. Malik Monk
Who is he? A 6'3 combo guard from Bentonville, Ark.
Where's he ranked? No. 5 by ESPN, No. 4 by 247 Sports' national composite
Who is he considering? Arkansas, Kentucky and maybe a few more.
There's better long-term NBA prospects in the class of 2016, but Monk might be a) the best college scorer in the class, and b) the most fun player to watch in the country. Monk is an incredible scorer, with shooting range from the NBA three-point line and explosive leaping ability around the rim. He's another likely one-and-done.
The pick: Arkansas. This might be the most interesting recruitment in the class. Monk's older brother Marcus played wide receiver for the Razorbacks from 2004-2007. Head coach Mike Anderson has gotten his entire team to go to Monk's high school games on multiple occasions. In the other corner: John Calipari and Kentucky. It could go either way, but we'll say he sticks in-state for now.
5. Kobi Simmons
Who is he? A 6'5 point guard from Atlanta.
Where's he ranked? No. 6 by ESPN, No. 7 by 247 Sports' national composite.
Who is he considering? Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and more.
Simmons doesn't get as much hype as some of the other top recruits in this class, but he has a ton of long-term upside. With great side for a point guard, Simmons fits right in with the NBA's trend of huge lead guards. He already has a good feel for the game and can hit jump shots off the dribble. He might be the best Atlantic Celtic since Dwight Howard and Josh Smith played on the AAU team in 2003.
The pick: Kentucky. Even if the Wildcats miss out on Giles, you know Calipari is still going to put together a monster recruiting class. Getting a commitment from Simmons would be a great start.
6. Miles Bridges
Who is he? A 6'7, 230-pound forward from Flint, Mich.
Where's he ranked? No. 7 according to ESPN, No. 18 per 247 Sports' national composite.
Who is he considering? Michigan State, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina
As we detailed last week, Bridges is a big, athletic forward who can score inside or out. He's insistent that he wants to play the wing in college, but it's easy to view him as a Justise Winslow-type who can change the dynamic of a game at the four. His versatility might be his greatest asset.
The pick: Michigan State. Kentucky will be tempting, but when Draymond Green has Steph Curry Face Time'ing you from the championship locker room, we have to give the Spartans a slight edge.
7. Edrice Adebayo
Who is he? A 6'8, 225-pound power forward from Pinetown, N.C.
Where's he ranked? No. 8 by ESPN, No. 14 by 247 Sports' national composite.
Who is he considering? NC State, Louisville, North Carolina and more.
'Bam', as he is affectionately nicknamed, is a bouncy big man who thrives on rebounding and dunking. He and Smith Jr. might be the best 1-2 punch on the grassroots circuit playing for Team Loaded NC with adidas. Bam won't do much offensively outside the paint, but that shouldn't matter much at the college level. Big men simply aren't this explosive in the NCAA.
The pick: NC State. Why wouldn't he and Smith stick together?
8. De'Aaron Fox
Who is he? A 6'4 point guard from Katy, Texas.
Where's he ranked? No. 10 by ESPN, No. 8 by 247's national composite
Who is he considering? Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona, Baylor
There's a lot to like about Fox: he has good size for his position, he's super quick and he showed off great scoring instincts this summer on the EYBL while also leading the circuit in assists per game. If he's not the offensive player Smith Jr. is, he's not very far off. He also has a lot more potential defensively.
The guess here is that NBA teams are going to love what Fox brings to the table ahead of the 2017 draft, should he choose to be a one-and-done. At this point, he hasn't even trimmed down his college list.
The pick: This seems totally wide open, but we'll go with Texas. Shaka Smart would have himself his first star recruit, should it happen.
9. Thon Maker
Thon Maker puts his defender on skates then nails the 3-pointer! https://t.co/1OJC8RKysN— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) July 23, 2015
Who is he? A 7'1 forward currently playing in Canada by way of Australia by way of the Sudan.
Where's he ranked? No. 9 in 247 Sports' composite.
Who is he considering? Arizona State, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona
Arguably the most buzzed-about high school player in the world, Maker's stock has been on a roller coaster since he burst onto the scene with one of the more impressive mixtapes you'll ever see. After a poor showing at the Nike Hoops Summit, scouts wondered if he had the strength or motor to be an elite prospect long term. He put all those concerns to rest recently by dominating NBA Top 100 camp and schooling 2017 No. 1 prospect DeAndre Ayton in a meeting on the Under Armour tour.
The pick: No one has any idea. We'll go with Indiana because the Hoosiers have been on him for a while. Who could say no to this face?
Poor Tom Crean pic.twitter.com/wfTuvFNR6w— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 20, 2015
10. Terrance Ferguson
Who is he? A 6'7, 183-pound shooting guard from Dallas.
Where's he ranked? No. 14 by ESPN, No. 11 by 247's national composite
Who is he considering? Kansas, Louisville, Baylor, Florida, Alabama and more.
Ferguson was the other high school player on the U19 team. He doesn't have as much hype as Giles, Tatum or Jackson, but he's a great prospect in his own right. Ferguson is known as a shooter with great size for a two guard. Just about every college team in the country could use a player like that.
The pick: Kansas. Bill Self has a ton of capable guys on the wing right now, but who knows what the roster will look like in 2016-17? Besides, Ferguson is good enough to get minutes wherever he goes.
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