The Top 5 Talents In High School Basketball

credit: Jon Lopez
As the high school basketball season gets into gear it's time to scan the nation and find the best pro prospects at the high school level, regardless of class.

Without further ado, here's our ranking of the top 5 NBA prospects in high school basketball, plus 5 honorable mentions.

5) LeBron James Jr. - "Bronny" is only a freshman but he makes our top 5 based on his rate of growth/improvement over the past year plus his obviously great bloodlines, which give hope that he'll continue to grow and develop into a superstar. It's very early in his development but so far he looks like a certain NBA player with a chance to follow in his old man's footsteps as a high draft pick and NBA star. This ranking is very much a projection of the future so we'll see how his game and frame develops over the next few seasons at Sierra Canyon.

4) Jonathan Kuminga - Big, strong, bouncy and dripping with potential - just a few words to describe Kuminga, a 6-8 forward originally form the Congo. He's a dominant athlete who already has an NBA frame and is a human highlight reel at the high school level. He scores in a variety of ways, is developing his mid range and perimeter game and is like a freight train in the open court. There's been some talk that he'll re-class to join the 2021 draft class but he recently shot-down those rumors. He's currently our no.1 overall in 2022.

3) Jalen Green - The freak athlete from Fresno lands at no.3 on this list but he's got the potential to be no.1. He's a world class athlete who reminds of a young Kobe Bryant. He's always been a high flyer but he's added strength to his frame over the past few years and he's developed his offensive game to the point of being nearly unstoppable. His quick first step and explosive athleticism help him get to the rim at will and now that his jumper is more consistent he's a nightmare to defend. It looks like Auburn and Memphis are the favorites to land Green for one highlight filled season before he jumps to the NBA Draft.

2) Cade Cunningham - The no.1 senior in the country and recent Oklahoma State commit is an elite level prospect and likely top 3 pick in June of 2021. Cunningham is a big point guard who dominates the game by controlling the pace of play and getting wherever he wants on the court. At the high school level he's simply too powerful and skilled to be stopped, can get to the rim whenever he wants and is deadly from mid range. He's the complete package: a team first player who excels at getting his teammates open shots but can also take over the game when needed. He's currently our no.1 overall pick in the 2021 mock draft

1) Emoni Bates - He might be the most polished scorer we've ever seen from a high school sophomore. He's got a lethal outside shot with a smooth, high release and now he's filling out his frame and taking his to-the-basket game to a new level. Emoni has a killer instinct and seems to be striving for greatness. He's currently our no.1 prospect for the 2023 draft but with the one and done rule change coming he'll be eligible for the 2022 draft and will likely be the top guy in that super-draft.

 Honorable Mention - the next 5
  1. Evan Mobley - The super long and talented Mobley has elite talent and athleticism but needs to get stronger to reach his full potential.
  2. Elijah Fisher (Canada) - Only a freshman, Fisher is a 6-8 wing with scary potential. He plays way above the rim and has exceptional body control, especially considering his age.
  3. Terrance Clarke - Kentucky bound, Clarke has elite level athleticism and can score the ball at will.
  4. Jalen Johnson - The Duke recruit is the complete package and should be a one and done lottery pick. 
  5. Paulo Banchero - A multi-talented forward out of Seattle, Banchero is big, smooth and talented with a chance to be special.

And finally here's our latest 2020 mock.

Fast Start for the Freshman

They came in with a lot of hype and the hopes of millions of fans riding on their shoulders and so far this freshman class has lived up to and exceeded the expectations.

Starting at the top, James Wiseman has dominated in his first two games against weak competition. He definitely passes the eyeball test and if the damn NCAA will just let him play he'll have a monster year for Memphis.

Anthony Edwards has started strong as well and looks the part of a no.1 overall type of prospect. He might not land in the top spot on draft day but he's that type of talent.

Arizona has three freshman who have come out of the gates quickly. Nico Mannion is a passing and
scoring savant who really controls the pace of play. He's looking like a lottery pick. Josh Green is showing the all around game that might not make him the biggest star on the court but gives him a lot of value on draft day. His ability to defend on the ball and make plays in the passing lanes, to go along with his offensive game, make him a likely first rounder in June. 6-11 Zeke Nnaji has really flashed, going for 20pts in his first game and 19 in his second and showing the ability to run the floor, operate in the pick and roll and score the ball from mid range. He might not be a one and done but he's looking like an NBA guy.

Washington had a huge win against a very good Baylor Bears team, helped by the play of Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels. Both are studs and both could be top 10 or even top 5 picks in June. They should both put up big numbers and it'll be interesting to see how far they can carry this Huskies squad.

Kentucky has gotten a big early contribution from Tyrese Maxey who looks like the best pro prospect on the team. His ability to score the rock from three levels and handle against pressure are just what you want in an NBA guard. His draft floor looks like mid first round and he could rise into the top half of the lottery with a big season.

Cole Anthony is doing just what everyone expected him to do; dominate on the offensive end and put up big numbers. He started the season off wearing goggles but ditched them after an off shooting half, and things have been rolling ever since.

We've been high on Nova's Jeremiah Robinson-Earl for a while and he's lived up the hype. JRE doesn't knock your socks off with athleticism but he's ultra talented at scoring the ball, has great lateral agility and just knows how to get his shot and get buckets. Watch for him to continue to put up numbers and start making a move up the draft boards.

Duke's Cassius Stanley has stood out as potentially the best pro prospect on the team. He's a high energy guy and world class athlete who has the upside that NBA teams look for. He's not a polished offensive player but he's got many years of improvement ahead of him. He's another guy who should be featured in the first round of mock drafts.

Here's the latest 2020 Mock Draft

2019/20 NCAA Basketball Preseason Predictions

With the tip-off of NCAA basketball just two days away here are a few predictions for the upcoming season.

Top 15 Teams in College Basketball
  1. Florida*
  2. Kentucky
  3. Michigan State 
  4. Duke
  5. Kansas
  6. Louisville
  7. Villanova
  8. North Carolina
  9. Gonzaga
  10. Virginia
  11. Maryland
  12. Baylor
  13. Oregon
  14. Saint Mary's
  15. Texas Tech
Trendon Watford (LSU)
Top 10 Freshman Draft Prospects
  1. James Wiseman (Memphis)
  2. Anthony Edwards (Georgia)
  3. Cole Anthony (UNC)
  4. Isaiah Stewart (Washington)
  5. Trendon Watford (LSU)
  6. Scottie Lewis (Florida) 
  7. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)
  8. Nico Mannion (Arizona)
  9. Samuell Williamson (Louisville)
  10. Precious Achiuwa (Memphis)
Top 10 Sophomores Draft Prospects
  1. Jalen Smith (Maryland)
  2. Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
  3. Aaron Henry (Michigan State)
  4. Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois)
  5. Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa State)
  6. Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky) 
  7. Mac McClung (Georgetown)
  8. Emmitt Mathews Jr. (West Virginia)
  9. Emmitt Williams (LSU)
  10. Derek Culver (West Virginia)
Top 10 Juniors Draft Prospects
  1. Tyler Bey (Colorado)
  2. Jordan Nwora (Louisville)
  3. Mamadi Diakite (Virginia)
  4. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  5. Xavier Tillman (Michigan State)
  6. Nahziah Carter (Washington)
  7. Ikey Obiagu (Seton Hall)
  8. Ty-Shon Alexander (Creighton)
  9. Nick Richards (Kentucky)
  10. Quade Green (Washington)
Quinton Rose (Temple)
Top 10 Seniors Draft Prospects
  1. Steven Enoch (Louisville)
  2. Quiton Rose (Temple)
  3. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga)
  4. Xavier Sneed (Kansas State)
  5. Cassius Winston (Michigan State)
  6. C.J. Elleby (Washington)
  7. Kerry Blackshear Jr. (Florida)
  8. Udoka Azubuike (Kansas)
  9. Lamont West (West Virginia)
  10. Omer Yurtseven (Georgetown)
5 Under the Radar Prospects
  1. Aaron Henry (Michigan State)
  2. Keyontae Johnson (Florida)
  3. C.J. Walker (Oregon)
  4. Casey Morsell (Virginia)
  5. Emmitt Mathews Jr. (West Virginia) 
10 Under the Radar Freshman
  1. Armando Bacot (UNC)
  2. Isaiah Mobley (USC)
  3. Rocket Watts (Michigan State)
  4. Alonzo Gaffney (Ohio State)
  5. Anton Watson (Gonzaga)
  6. Onyeka Okongwu (USC)
  7. Justin Moore (Villanova) 
  8. Omar Payne (Florida)
  9. Kai Jones (Texas)
  10. Lök Wur (Oregon)
National Player of the Year Candidates
  1. Cassius Winston (Michigan State)
  2. Tre Jones (Duke)
  3. Markus Howard (Marquette)
  4. Devon Dotson (Kansas)
  5. Cole Anthony (UNC)
 NCAA Coach of the Year Candidates
  1. Mike White (Florida)
  2. Will Wade (LSU) 
  3. Kevin Willard (Seton Hall)
  4. Jay Wright (Villanova)
  5. Mark Turgeon (Maryland)
**National Champs**
  • Florida Gators

L.J.s Top 50 Prospects

Leader Johnson's Top 50 2020 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings

      Updated 11/30/19
  1. Cole Anthony/PG/North Carolina
  2. Anthony Edwards/SG/Georgia
  3. RJ Hampton/PG-SG/New Zealand Breakers
  4. Scottie Lewis/SF/Florida
  5. Vernon Carey/C-PF/Duke
  6. James Wiseman/C/Memphis
  7. Jordan Nwora/SF/Louisville
  8. Killlian Hayes/PG/France
  9. Lamelo Ball/PG/Illawarra Hawks
  10. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl/PF/Villanova
  11. Nico Mannion/PG/Arizona
  12. Isaiah Stewart/C/Washington
  13. Bryan Antoine/SG/Villanova
  14. Myles Powell/G/Seton Hall
  15. Deni Avdija/SF/Israel
  16. Tyrese Maxey/SG/Kentucky
  17. Onyeka Okongwu/C/USC
  18. Tre Jones/PG/Duke
  19. Saddiq Bey/SF/Villanova
  20. Obi Toppin/PF/Dayton
  21. Cassius Winston PG/Michigan State
  22. Ayo Dosunmu/PG-SG/Illinois
  23. Jaden McDaniels/PF/Washington
  24. Jahmius Ramsey/SG/Texas Tech
  25. DJ Carton/PG/Ohio State
  26. Josh Green/SG/Arizona
  27. Cassius Stanley/SG/Duke
  28. Jalen Smith/PF/Maryland
  29. Matthew Hurt/PF/Kentucky
  30. Precious Achiuwa/PF/Kansas
  31. Theo Maledon/PG/France
  32. Markus Howard/PG/Marquette
  33. Reggie Perry/PF/Mississipi State
  34. Landers Nolley II/SF/Virginia Tech
  35. Aaron Nesmith/SF/Vanderbilt
  36. Zeke Nnaji/PF/Arizona
  37. Devon Dotson/PG/Kansas
  38. Tyrese Haliburton/PG/Iowa State
  39. Kira Lewis jr/PG/Alabama
  40. Collin Gillespie/PG/Villanova
  41. Trendon Watford/PF/LSU
  42. AJ Brodeur/PF/Penn
  43. Anthony Cowan jr./PG/Maryland
  44. Ashton Hagans/PG/Kentucky
  45. Isaiah Joe/SG/Arkansas
  46. Nick Richards/C/Kentucky
  47. Mamadi Diakite/PF/Virgina
  48. Lamar Stevens/SF/Penn State
  49. Mason Jones/SG/Arkansas
  50. Kerry Blackshear/PF/Florida

Players to watch:
Andrew Nembhard/PG/Florida
Keion Brooks/PF/Kentucky
Kahlil Whitney/SF/Kentucky
Kofi Cockburn/C/Illinois
Charles Bassey/C/Westen Kentucky
Nate Pierre-Louis/SG/Temple
Aaron Henry/SF/Michigan State
Jermaine Samuels/SF/Villanova
Wendell Moore jr/SF/Duke
Immanuel Quickley/PG/Kentucky