Austin Rivers still No. 1 in ESPNU 100
Not much change in the top 10, but there are plenty of newcomers in updated rankings
In the spirit of the electoral season, we too have enacted change here at ESPN. With the early signing period on the horizon, we thought it would be a good chance to take a look back at our post-summer rankings and freshen them before players sign on the dotted line starting next Wednesday.
There are some new names in the ESPNU 100, as we introduced roughly a dozen newcomers to the list, but the top spot remains unchanged with Duke commit Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) still sitting at No. 1.
There isn't much movement in the top 10. We did tweak our top trio of prospects slightly, with Anthony Davis (Chicago/Perspectives Charter) moving up a spot to No. 2 and Michael Gilchrist (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick) sliding down one spot to No. 3.
Davis is the elite player with the most to prove heading into his final season. He burst onto the scene last spring and carried his momentum into the summer. He was named the most promising prospect at the NBA Players Association Camp, just as Gilchrist was the year before him. Davis possesses the traits to track down Rivers, but he'll have to hold off Gilchrist, No. 4 Quincy Miller (High Point, N.C./Westchester CD), No. 5 James McAdoo (Norfolk, Va./Christian) and No. 6 Marquis Teague (Indianapolis/Pike).
On a side note, three of the top six players -- Davis, Gilchrist and Teague -- have committed to Kentucky. Miller is Baylor bound, while McAdoo is heading to North Carolina.
Florida commit Bradley Beal (St. Louis/Chaminade) and Memphis commit Adonis Thomas (Memphis/Melrose), Nos. 7 and 8 respectively, were teammates with McAdoo on the gold-medal-winning 17-and-under world championship team. Myck Kabongo (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep), the only uncommitted prospect in the top 10, and Rakeem Christmas (Bryn Athyn, Pa./Academy of New Church) round out the top 10. Christmas, a Syracuse commit, is the lone new entry in the top 10, and his ability to play at the rim and blocks shots is noteworthy; Orange coach Jim Boeheim would agree.
The highest-rated newcomer to the ESPNU 100 is DeAndre Daniels (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy), who debuts at No. 35. When we last put out the rankings, we didn't have enough information as to Daniels' whereabouts or current class. He was kind of in limbo, so we waited and wanted to learn a little more about where he'd end up and his grade status. Now that it's cleared up, his talents as an athlete, perimeter player and combo forward warrant ranking him among our top 50 talents.
Other newcomers to the list are wing Amir Garrett (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep), power forward Jonathan Holmes (San Antonio, Tex./Antonian Prep), point guard Jabarie Hinds (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon), power forward Anthony Gill (Charlotte, N.C./Christian), forward Jarrod Uthoff (Jefferson, Iowa/Jefferson), Bernard Sullivan (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day), guard Robert Brown (Chatham, Va./Hargrave), point guard Marquis Rankin (Chatham, Va./Hargrave), wing Andre Hollins (Memphis, Tenn./White Station), C.J. Barksdale (Chatham, Va./Hargrave), Damien Leonard (Greenville, S.C./Mann) and Pat Connaughton (Arlington, Mass./St. John's).
This is the last update before these prospects begin their senior season. That, however, doesn't mean we're through evaluating them. Our focus throughout the season is simple: We want to see who finishes strong. We'll be looking for late bloomers -- there's always a Russell Westbrook or a Patrick Beverley who emerges from underneath the radar -- and intend to reward the seniors who demonstrate improvement since last summer.
Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.