With the High School All Star Season starting to come to a close, it’s time to have a final look at which of the top players are left available and what impact can they can have on this upcoming season and the college basketball landscape. Here is numbers 6 through 10.
6. M.J. Walker **** #25 Overall (247 Sports Composite)
His name is “MJ” and conveniently enough his game emulates that of Jordan. I am not saying he is the next Michael Jordan or anything but they are similar in how they play. The kid from Jonesboro, Georgia is your prototypical shooting guard at 6’5” 205. A former football standout, Walker is more often than not stronger than his opponents and uses that to his advantage. Walker has always been an athletically gifted player. He was one of those kids who’s age you would question after seeing him move like a fluid guard and throw down thunderous dunks in middle school. Walker has all the tools to drop 20 points a game next year no matter where he goes. Not only has he been ready physically, he’s a very pure shooter. Not only that but with his strength he’s a very prolific driver and a natural finisher at the rim. In terms of a scoring mentality and a competitor he’s as good as they come. He’s always aggressive and is constantly attacking. But with that can come poor shot selection at times. Honestly, Walker’s recruitment is very interesting because different schools are constantly entering and leaving the picture but I think he ends up at Florida State.
7. Jeremiah Tilmon **** #39 Overall
Maybe one of the more overlooked big men in this class. At 6’10” 235 with a 7’2” wingspan, Tilmon has the size in length you want in a college center. The former La Lumiere star now resides in East St. Louis, Illinois where he averaged a double this past season. He’s a decent rebounder and shot-blocker as he shines on the defensive end. On the offensive end he has great touch around the basket and can knock down a mid-range jumper from time to time but has never been a force on that side of the ball. For as much upside this kid has, his biggest flaw would have to be consistently playing hard and giving effort. After requesting for release from his NLI to Illinois, Tilmon now has a final three of Kansas, Missouri, and Saint Louis. Missouri seems to be the clear favorite and should be expecting a commitment any day now. With this, Tilmon joins a class with top player Michael Porter Jr. and guards Blake Harris and C.J. Roberts. Missouri came in dead last in the SEC last year but look for Cuonzo Martin and Co. to make some noise this year. Especially if they get Jontay Porter to reclassify into the 2017 class.
8. Tremont Waters **** #40 Overall
Standing at only 5’11” 165 (both numbers may be generous), one should be impressed that he is consistently listed as a top 50 prospect on recruiting sites. Their are doubters because his home state of Connecticut doesn’t necessarily have the best high school basketball but size is really the only flaw to his game. Waters is quick ball handling guard who is a true floor general. He has a knack of getting in the lane where he can explode to the rim or find an open teammate on the kick out. He also has practically unlimited range and can be lethal when left open. Waters just got out of his Georgetown NLI so his recruitment is still redeveloping at this point. But Creighton seems to have the edge over anybody else at this point for they have had the most direct contact with him since his decommitment.
9. Mark Smith **** #73 Overall
The big guard from Edwardsville, IL has had a very busy month. At 6’5” 225, Smith is physically ready to compete at the next level. Smith has been under the radar and has only recently been getting attention. It seemed to be a Illinois-Michigan State battle but Smith has gotten interest from Kentucky, Duke, and even Missouri. Smith can easily go to any of these schools but I would have to give the edge to Illinois at this point.
10. Jordan Tucker **** #77 Overall
Tucker is one of the more pure shooters on this entire list. At 6’7” 205, the kid from a very good team in Wheeler High School in Georgia is more of a shooting guard in my opinion but can still play small forward in college. Originally from White Plains, NY, he’s not gonna out athlete you but he can definitely put on a clinic when it comes to shooting the basketball. Despite his great size, there are reasons for his low rankings. One of which is his defense in that he clearly struggles guarding the perimeter where his lateral movements are lacking. At one time seemed set on Indiana but now has four different schools as finalists: Georgia Tech, Oregon, Syracuse, and Villanova. Syracuse seems like the best option for him especially in a Boeheim system because he can cover up his flaws defensively in a zone where his length and size will thrive.