247 Sports Final 2017 Player Ranking Update

  • http://247sports.com/Season/2017-Basketball/RecruitRankings?InstitutionGroup=HighSchool


    Sexton is number 3 wow. I remember when KU first showed interest, he was pretty much unranked.

    Jaren Jackson into the top 10. He was one I was hoping KU would target, but obviously that didn’t happen as the focus was on Ayton, then scrambling and taking Preston. He is going to be special under Izzo, imo.

    Some Kentucky bumpage. Definitely deserved for Vanderbilt, who is a player I was hoping KU would get, but once UK got heavily involved that ship sailed. Not as sure about SGA, admittedly I didn’t look too much into him since KU wasn’t involved, but that’s a huge jump, and probably a bit of UK factor there.

    Lonnie Walker inched towards the top 10 and ended at #13. Oddly, he chose an irrelevant program.

    Billy Preston drops 2 to #21.

    Garrett stayed about the same. Not convinced they saw much of him. Same thing with Garrison Brooks, felt he should have rose up a bit, but he fell 11 spots. Time will tell on these.

  • #21 ain’t the makins of an OAD, I’d say. Maybe Mr. Preston will be here a touch longer.

    I also see a position called “CG” … combo guard. There is simply no such thing. Either you are a point guard, or you are not. Point guards can pretty much always play off the ball. Non-PGs can’t play effectively on the ball. Just an observation.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    From everything I’ve read, Preston thinks he is OAD (and compares himself to Lebron). He is also quite old for his class (he will be 20 before he plays a game for KU). I’d love to see him for more than one year in a KU jersey but imo if that happens, it’s because he had a really bad FR year and even then he could go anyway.

    Combo guard is kind of a buzz word*. They have Garrett classified as such. I don’t think he will ever play PG for KU. For example next year I don’t think we see him, Cunliffe and Vick on the floor at the same time. I do think he is fine to play the off guard under Self, and isn’t strictly a wing. Should be a player that in time, you feel comfortable with initiating plays for the offense.

    *At least 247 tries though. Scout updated theirs today as well and they have Garrett listed as a SF, and #67 overall.

    Imo 247 and Rivals are the best.

  • @BShark

    Missing on Sexton sucks, he’s electric

    Jackson has looked really good this past month. Apparently he wanted KU’s attention and never got it. Don’t make sense there.

    You couldn’t convince me Vanderbilt is better then Washington and they play the same position. SGA is like Garrett but since he’s going to Kentucky he’s underrated so they bumped him. Did read he had a solid senior year. It’s likely 2 of these 3 players won’t even start at Kentucky next year so how good are they really?

    I’d like to know how we haven’t thrown in for Tugs Bowen. He’s the 2nd best SF in the class IMO… Kid is up in the air about any program so I’m surprised we haven’t reached out

    Gary Trent is under-ranked at #16.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    With Dedric coming in the following year we seem to have already recruited over Preston. Thoughts?

  • Some other thoughts.

    How does Mitchell Robinson end up at Western Kentucky. They have a 2nd Top-100 kid, they are apparently in on Tremont Waters and they got Brangers the best shooter from JUCO who was originally signed to Texas Tech but got out when a family member got sick. I know Stanbury is there but what are these going to Western Kentucky for? Shocking…

    Troy Brown at #11, another miss…

    Lonnie Walker is really good, could be OAD good.

    Not sold on Ethan Thompson or Brandon Randolph in the top 25. Both are talents but better then Young, Scruggs, Green, Petty- not seeing it.

    #33 Jericho Sims- overranked.

    #34 Nickeil Alexander-Walker- steal for Virginia Tech. Already on NBA radars after the Hoop Summit.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Yeah I read the same on Jackson. The staff basically ignored all other post targets in favour of Ayton. We see how that went…

    It’s not that Preston was a bad scramble get, but Jackson is def better imo.

    And yeah seems like Self is recruiting as if Preston is OAD.

    Seems like Bowen could end up at Creighton.

    Agree about Trent, he is a beast.

    I prefer Garrett to Brown, assuming it was either or and Brown sticks to being an OAD. Garrett appears to be a hard worker and Brown thinks he is a PG.

    Totally agree on Sims. Should be a solid college player, but #34? MEH

  • I think the SGA bump is because of what Malik Monk did at Kentucky. Super athletic guard (won McDs AA dunk contest), then goes to UK and looks like one of the best shooters in the nation. SGA isn’t as good, but he’s a top 25 player based on that type of assessment.

    Also with these recruiting services, more than the rank, look at if their grade is changing. For example, 24/7 has 5 players rated 100, 8 more ranked 99 and 16 ranked 98. You could, based on that, probably move the #29 ranked player into the top 15 depending on how you feel about a guy, or move the 8th ranked guy down to 12 or 13. When the grades start to go up, that’s a sign of a real shift.

    ESPN is much less generous with the high grades - two 97s (Porter and Ayton), three 96s (Bamba, Carter, Duval) and six 95s (Sexton, Trent, Jackson, Knox, Robinson, Washington).

  • @BeddieKU23 Maybe … I think both could play side by side. Udoka could be gone. Hope not. But he could be. Preston seems like the prima donna type (purely preliminary and speculative at this point). So he may have his eyes set on the NBA in a Selby-like fashion.

  • @BShark The focus on Ayton reminds us all a bit of the “all in” on Kaleb Tarczewski (which Self said he’d never do again)-- which left us hanging. Gave us Landen Lucas, who was the best available as I recall. This may not have been quite a pronounced, though.

  • Sexton miss really hurt. If he has a bad year at Alabama, I could see a Newman situation happening.

    Really wish we could have landed Troy Brown…

    @BeddieKU23 When teams start landing players for no reason, you know that SOMETHING is going on… I’m not saying it isn’t legit, but I have to say it sure has a strange smell to it. Sort of how UK can land 21 top 25 recruits in a span of 5 years… And how Calipari has had sanctions brought on his two previous schools. When things seem to good to be true, they usually are.

    With that said, Rick Stansbury is no slouch. Turned Mississippi State into the real deal while he was there. Has a .629 winning percentage as the head coach at MSU and one year at WKU. That’s not bad. Especially at schools you wouldn’t expect much better than a .500 record.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good point they probably could play next to each other. On paper it just seemed that Dedric is the heir to the throne at the 4 spot regardless of what Preston does.

    That would be some tandem though if Bill did get the other Bill to stay another season.

    I also agree that Preston is the pre-madonna type. Maybe he isn’t but that’s the vibe he gives off. We’ll see what he becomes in the KU system, if he gets to play at all.

  • @Kcmatt7

    I just can’t see a bunch of Top-100 kids wanting to play in Conference USA. Robinson is the type of talent that probably isn’t going to care where he plays because its most likely just one season but Anderson, Brangers, and possibly Waters that have multi-year futures there on paper is just a stunning development for recruiting.

    I won’t say its impossible because the Newman situation, the way it ended up, seemed impossible when he was coming into College but Sexton seems a sure thing to do big things at Alabama in his 1 year stop.

  • @Kcmatt7 and @BeddieKU23

    In the case of Mitchell Robinson, Stansbury was originally recruiting him for A&M when he was an assistant there. When Stansbury got the WKU job, he hired Shammond Williams as an assistant there. Williams is also Robinson’s godfather. Those two longstanding relationships sealed the deal.

    As for Kentucky, Calipari has demonstrated that he is the best coach for OAD players. Here’s a list of his OAD players that have become All Stars in the NBA - Rose, Wall, Cousins, Davis. Karl Anthony Towns is close to that level. Devin Booker dropped 70 in a game this season. Eric Bledsoe is a starter. MKG is a starter. Julius Randle is a starter. Tyreke Evans is a starter.

    That’s a great record of success. Trae Young’s dad mentioned that during his recruitment. If your goal is NBA and you aren’t at least considering UK, you are doing yourself a disservice as a top 25 recruit.

    No other coach has that type of record with guys going to the NBA and being ready to contribute immediately, especially as rookies or 2nd year players from an OAD situation.

    Self has yet to produce an OAD all star. Same for Izzo. Same for Roy Williams. Coach K has Kyrie Irving, but you could argue that Irving wasn’t really influenced by Coach K with just 9 games played at Duke. Calipari is the one able to do it, and he has done so consistently, while at the same time winning, something other programs that have produced OAD All stars (Texas with Durant, UCLA with Love, Ohio State with Conley, etc) haven’t been able to keep up.

    Now, perhaps Self gets an All Star with Jackson, or with Wiggins eventually, or perhaps Embiid if/when he can stay healthy. But look at Calipari’s track record again. He already has Wall, Cousins, Davis and Rose to his credit, and Karl Anthony Towns right on the heels of that group. Coach K just has Irving. If Fox or Monk makes it big, that just increases Cal’s lead on the rest of the pack.

    From a recruit’s perspective, that’s hard evidence that you can’t ignore.

  • @BShark

    I wonder how much Brown is kicking himself after the whole Oregon team left on him. He’s guaranteed all the time he wants at any perimeter position he wants now.

    Yeah, I mean I think the KU fanbase has been pretty bullish on Preston given what we see from the eye test on him. If anything we are just not seeing some of the qualities that usually Self prefers and his “baggage” is concerning. Having said that we’ve thought in the past, prior burger boy bigs were the bee’s knees and they sucked quite frankly. Preston on offense is the most talented big KU has ever landed IMO in the Self Era. Nobody knew what Embiid would become at his signing so quickly. Preston has the whole arsenal of offensive skills that any team would love to have so while the Ayton loss sucks and Jackson seems like the most complete big in the class we landed ourselves a big with the same talent level if he puts everything else together.

    For me, I’m just hoping his defense is average, he takes shots within the offense, is a good teammate and brings effort 100% of the time. He does all that and he has a chance to be very good here.

  • @BeddieKU23 I do think it will be harder for a PG to have a bad season. And if he did, maybe we wouldn’t be interested anymore… But something about that Bama program is strange to me. I know Avery has NBA connections, but he hasn’t shown anything now in two years. In fact, basically the same record his 2nd year and an easier schedule. Didn’t have a great record in the pros either… But to steal two guys away from us two years in a row is a huge surprise to me.

    I don’t believe it either, but there are ways to get a player to come…

  • @justanotherfan

    Really good post btw.

    Agree on everything. Cal gets it done in the NBA.

    At least Self has 3 guys that could be All-Stars one day. Embiid if ever healthy seems destined to be his first.

    Wiggins just scored 23 a game in his 3rd year for a Timberwolves team that just isn’t surrounding its two stars with talent. It is a question whether he will ever step his game up another level to get there though. He did improve his shot this season so maybe he’s on the right track.

    I’m interested to see where Jackson ends up and what immediate impact his competitiveness brings to an NBA team. I’m secretly hoping he gets paired with Embiid and Simmons…

  • @Kcmatt7

    Kids buy the NBA ties and NBA experience as a plus to what they think is a short stop in College. Sexton and Petty both could have went to bigger programs (KU & UK) but choose Avery. Has to be a heck of a salesman

  • Cal has more top 15 talent than any other school. If he didn’t turn out more All-stars something is very wrong. I’m too busy to look, but I’ll bet just due to the amount of top talent he gets that UK has had a large number of top ranked failures too.

    Cal is great at getting the most out of his talent, but sometimes kids are over ranked or just don’t work out. It happens to every team. Unfortunately if you get the lower end of oads (cliff) they pan out at a lower rate.

    Personally I wouldn’t take that style of recruiting. You don’t get to know the players, but it allows for high volume of turnover giving you a numbers advantage. For Bill to haul in such a class means complete roster turnover and an imbalanced class like wiggs frost year.

    15 years from know I’ll fondly remember Frank Mason. I hope I remember Josh, I can barely remember Xavier.

    I don’t envy Kentucky one bit.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Yep. Self definitely did it again, more or less. KU had shown Preston interest as early as the 8th grade iirc, so he was a nice fallback. I’m not convinced he’d be a Jayhawk if Ayton picked KU.


    If he puts up Monk numbers I will eat a shoe. Also I would argue many of those UK players would have the same NBA career if they had not gone to UK. UK has their share of failures too. It’s a numbers game. When you get more 5 stars, more will pan out.


    Dedric and Preston would be insane offensively, but would give up so much to any good low post scorer. Interesting if it happens, but I don’t think it will.

    It would have been nice to get two 5 star bigs, but given the way it went with Cheick, Cliff etc…and Doke still being on the roster, that seems like a pretty tough sell.


    Assuming the other one is TFerg. That whole thing was a mess. I believe at the end of the day if he would have been eligible he would have been at KU.

    As for Avery, it’s put up or shut up time for him. If Braxton Key comes back the line-up is Sexton, Ingram, Petty, Key, and then Giddens or Reece. You HAVE to make the NCAA with that.

  • @justanotherfan You have to ask, how did he get Rose? He helped to rush him through the process and get him eligible. Rose had fudged grades AND a fake SAT score. Before the season started Memphis knew both of those things. And still chose to take him and play him. On top of academic issues, they flew his brother to every single game for free. He committed 3 major violations that Cal knew about.

    Next, you have to ask, how the hell was he going to land Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe AND Xavier Henry in the same class AT MEMPHIS? Memphis. A Conference USA team with a good but not great basketball history. It wasn’t like his first 5 years he was making deep tourney runs or anything. He wasn’t putting guys in the league left and right. Something changed. Give any D1 basketball coach the talent Cal has had and they would have the most All-Stars too. Something is going on. It’s just well hidden. And now at the point that it just looks like UK is an NBA factory. Fool me once…

  • @Kcmatt7

    Uh, at Memphis, as I have cited before, in the three years before Derrick Rose committed, Memphis went to the Elite Eight in each season.

    They did that with an interesting assortment of talent along the way.

    Then they got Rose and went to the National title game. Then they got Evans and went back to the Sweet 16. So the last five years of results before that group were as follows:

    Elite Eight, Elite Eight, Elite Eight, Title Game, Sweet 16.

    Maybe there are places that have had better five year runs, but that is pretty darn good, and I certainly wouldn’t fault a recruit for picking a school that has been that successful in the recent past, particularly if you were a PG at the time having just seen Cal put his last two OAD PGs into the draft in the top five. If you’re John Wall and you’re paying attention, that’s the school (and coach) you have to very seriously consider.

  • @justanotherfan Wiggins isn’t a star???

  • Great 5 year run. But nothing special without a one Derrick Rose. Who committed without a visit. And should have never played a single game of CBB.

    Oh and John Wall, Bledsoe and Cousins all committed to UK without a visit. No red flags?

    Calipari does an amazing job with young players. At the same time, Cousins, Wall, Davis, Towns and Rose would have been special players regardless of where they went. Just look at their ratings out of High school. They were pegged NBA stars from age 18. But, if you think a coach who has had 2 final fours vacated at two separate schools, and then goes to a University who has been caught paying players and hiring shady coaches in the past isn’t doing something illegal to obtain recruits than we can just stop now and agree to disagree.

  • The Calipari OAD count

    1. Dajuan Wagner - 6th pick in 2002. Averaged 13 ppg as a rookie, got injured his second year, then developed ulcerative colitis and nearly died before having a portion of his colon removed. In basketball terms, he was a bust, but I’m going to classify him as a bust - health.
    2. Shawne Williams - 17th pick, 2006. Up and down career. Productive for a couple of years, but never really a force. Given where he was drafted, and the fact that he stayed in the league for nearly a decade, I would call him below average, but not a bust.
    3. Derrick Rose, 1st pick, 2008. Youngest MVP in the league, ever, then fought injuries after that, now a shell of his former explosive self. Basically went from being one of the ten best players in the league to being an averagish (if injury prone) player (paid like a star). Limited success - health.
    4. Tyreke Evans, 4th pick, 2009. Up until this season (injury plagued), Evans averaged no less than 14.5 ppg. That’s a pretty good 7 year career. Success.
    5. John Wall, 1st pick, 2010. All star. Top 8 PG in the league. Success.
    6. DeMarcus Cousins, 5th pick, 2010. All star. One of the few 20-12 guys in the league. Success.
    7. Eric Bledsoe, 18th pick, 2010. Starter or rotation player through his entire career, the last two as a 20 ppg, 6 apg PG. Success.
    8. Daniel Orton, 29th pick, 2010. Absolute bust.
    9. Enes Kanter, never played, but still 3rd pick in 2011. Has been a rotation player his entire career, and a double figure scorer in all but his first two years. Success.
    10. Brandon Knight, 8th pick, 2011. Double figure scorer his entire career. Success.
    11. Anthony Davis, 1st pick, 2012. One of the best 7 players right now. Huge Success.
    12. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2nd pick, 2012. Excellent defender, poor shooter. Regarded as a top defender, but ceiling is limited by offensive limitations. Limited success because you want more from a lottery pick.
    13. Marquis Teague, 29th pick, 2012. Scraped together three years in the NBA, now in the D-League. Bust.
    14. Nerlens Noel, 6th pick, 2013. Another tremendous defender with limited offensive ability. He’s been a rotation player or starter in all his stops. Limited success because you want more from a lottery pick.
    15. Archie Goodwin, 29th pick, 2013. Probably should have stayed in school. Struggled for a few years before fading out of the league.
    16. Julius Randle, 7th pick, 2014. Very early in his career, but has averaged double figures in both his full seasons (rookie season lasted 14 total minutes before he broke his leg). Early Success.
    17. James Young, 17th pick, 2014. Has only played a limited amount for Celtics. Early bust.
    18. Karl Anthony Towns, 1st pick, 2015. Regarded as one of the best young big men in the game. Early Success.
    19. Trey Lyles, 12th pick, 2015. A rotation player for a playoff team. Early success.
    20. Devin Booker, 13th pick, 2015. As mentioned before, he dropped 70 in a game for Phoenix and is one of the guys they are building around for the future. Early success.
    21. Jamal Murray, 7th pick, 2016. Averaged just under 10 ppg this year as a rookie. Early success.
    22. Skal Labissierre, 28th pick, 2016. Bounced between Sacramento and Reno this year. Too early to tell.

    Out of the 22 OAD players Cal has had, the only ones that did not produce even one solid NBA season are Orton, Teague, Goodwin, Young (still in league) and Labissierre (still in league). You could throw Williams and Wagner in as guys that didn’t put together sustained careers. So that’s 7 OADs that didn’t work out. The rest were all somewhat productive. Cal has a 2-1 conversion rate on OAD talent.

    Self has had, not counting this year, far fewer OAD players - Henry, Selby, McLemore, Wiggins, Embiid, Oubre, Alexander, Diallo. Out of those 8, Henry, Selby and Alexander are currently out of the league, with Diallo having a season similar to Labissierre as a rookie. Self isn’t converting at a 2-1 rate on OAD players.

    If you were investing in a portfolio and you could pick between 2 managers, one who had a 2-1 conversion rate, the other that was closer to 50%, and the guy with the 2-1 conversion rate had capitalized on every major asset he was entrusted with (Rose, Evans, Davis, Cousins, Wall, etc?) or the 50ish% guy that hasn’t capitalized on the same asset quality at the same rate (Henry, bust, Selby - ranked higher than Kyrie Irving by some, bust)?

  • @justanotherfan

    Nice compilation. You will notice that all the successes for Kentucky were lottery picks and all the OADs were first round picks. Of the KU players, Shelby and Diallo were second round picks, Alexander was not drafted and Wiggins, Embiid, Henry and McLemore were the only lottery picks. Had McLemore not red shirted I am not sure he would have been an OAD.

    No doubt tha Kentucky has had considerably more talent come through, most of its OAD were lottery picks that would have done well anywhere, so it is really not surprising that it has had more successful NBA players. Considering the talent differential, it is amazing how well KU has done sending players to the NBA.

  • @justanotherfan My question, do you think he did everything 100% clean from 2002-2010? Because you are right, now his list is so long that you would be dumb not to consider UK if you were a top 25 recruit. But it really all started with Rose. Who they knew cheated. And then Evans came. And then he landed 3 players without a visit the next season who all turned into max contract players. And at that point, he had 'proven" he knows how to manage top 10 talent. But, that first question is an important question. At least in my book.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I agree that most of the UK guys were lottery picks. That’s part of the point. Let’s do the list again, but this time using the ESPN’s recruiting rankings.


    I put this chart together pretty quick, so I hope I didn’t make any mistakes, but the point is pretty clear. Calipari gets a top 5 recruit, that recruit gets drafted, usually in the lottery. The only exceptions to that are Andrew Harrison (44 after his sophomore year) and Labissierre (28 after his OAD year).

    Every other top 5 recruit - Rose, Evans, Wall, Cousins, Knight, Davis, MKG, Noel, and Randle went in the lottery, and most went in the top 5. Nobody can match those results.

    For Self, he’s had fewer top 5 recruits, just Henry, Selby, Wiggins and Alexander. 2 went in the lottery, one went as a second rounder (Selby, at 49) and one was completely undrafted (Alexander).

    When Calipari gets talent, those guys come in, they play, they get drafted. Period. Most even move on to a successful pro career. Self can’t claim that same success.

    Calipari had a guy that wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 go as an OAD (Bledsoe). Cauley Stein was ranked lower than Perry Ellis when they arrived on campus. He went in the lottery after his Junior year. Ellis was undrafted as a senior. You can’t claim that he doesn’t develop guys.

    The only high recruits that went undrafted for Calipari were Aaron Harrison and Alex Poythress. Both have bounced between the D-League and NBA. That is not the case for any other coach.

    The fact is, Calipari rarely misses when given talent. I realized that I did not include Marcus Lee (#25 recruit, transferred to Cal, where he will play next season as a senior).

    We can compare guy to guy.

    Davis and Wiggins were both 1, 1 guys. Embiid and Noel compare fairly well. Knight and Henry. TRob and Cauley Stein. McLemore and Murray. Oubre and Booker. Diallo and Labissierre. Andrew Harrison and Selby. Bragg and Lee. Selden and Aaron Harrison. D. Johnson and Alexander (maybe).

    But Cal still has Young, Randle, Jones, MKG, Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Lyles, Towns, Teague, Orton, Rose, Evans, Kanter… and most of those guys weren’t misses. Most were hits, honestly. Cal gets guys and then gets those guys to deliver on their potential more often than not.

  • @justanotherfan

    Do you think they wouldn’t have been lotto picks if they played for Self? Izzo? Timbucktoo State?

  • @justanotherfan just a small correction. Bledsoe was ranked #23 on Rivals. Idk what is going on with the ESPN rankings, but he was definitely a top 100 guy.

  • @BShark

    My gut says yes, but the Selby/Knight thing makes me wonder. They were essentially ranked the same, sometimes Selby was ahead, sometimes Knight was. Selby didn’t pan out. Knight did. Is that Self’s fault? Not really.

    But the thing is, I have to wonder had Selby played for Cal, who does an excellent job of preparing guys for the NBA, if he would have had a better chance to stick in the NBA than he did. Self has said himself, he isn’t focused on preparing guys for the NBA. That’s a fair statement, but if you are an OAD prospect and you’re choosing between a coach that isn’t focused on preparing you for your career and one who is, that choice gets a lot easier.


    I used ESPN throughout because I wanted consistency and I can’t find consolidated rankings going back that far. I agree that Bledsoe was a great prospect and was ranked by others. I didn’t realize until I did this list he wasn’t ranked by ESPN (spent almost as much time looking for him in the rankings as I did putting the chart together). It’s safe to say either way that Bledsoe wasn’t a top 20 player and that no one considered him an OAD prospect until he went to UK. That to me is a pretty impressive thing, to go from being a secondary prospect to being an OAD and now a high level NBA player.

    You’re right that Calipari has succeeded with lots of high ranked guys. In fact, he has never had a guy ranked as high as Selby, Alexander and Henry not pan out (although Labissierre may be the first). That’s what gives him the recruiting advantage.

    I still talk to guys that are connected to NBA people from time to time. NBA guys regard Cal as a guy that understands how to prep players for the NBA, so they look at Kentucky players with confidence that if a guy can play at Kentucky, he can handle NBA level competition. That’s not the case at most college programs because scouts worry that a coach will use his system to hide flaws that get exposed at the next level.

    So no, I don’t think UK is doing anything illegal. They just happen to have the coach that prepares NBA level talent better than anyone else, so more NBA level talent is going to go there until other college coaches catch up in that respect.

  • I think a lot of it with Selby was his injury (uncontrollable) but also bad advice from his inner circle. Now, maybe Cal is able to disconnect them a bit where Self did not, that’s something to think about.

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