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May 23, 2013
There are still a few major events on the schedule before the 2014 Rivals150 gets revamped before July's live period, so there is still time for prospects to play themselves up, into or out of the rankings. In preparation for that rankings update, we've started to take a look at the rankings, and through almost two months of the grassroots circuit 15 unranked prospects have made us take notice. This doesn't guarantee that each of these guys makes the next set of rankings -- and there are others in contention as well -- but they are very much on the radar and under consideration.
FIFTEEN TOP UNRANKED PROSPECTS
SG Nick Babb, Arlington (Texas) MartinThe younger brother of former Iowa State shooting guard Chris Babb, the 6-foot-4 wing looks like a high major himself. He's had a big spring with Texas Select and his ability to score from the wing and slide over to play spot minutes as a big point guard is very intriguing.
PG Sandy Cohen, Seymour (Wisc.) HighOne of the better finds of the spring, Cohen will likely enter the rankings as a four-star. He has great size at nearly 6-foot-5, can handle the ball very well and is a gifted passer. The game seems to come easy to him and how high he can rise in the rankings will depend a lot on how good of a shooter/finisher he proves to be.
PF Angel Delgado, Troy (N.Y.) Redemption ChristianA 6-foot-8 power forward, Delgado hasn't gotten as much national ink as he probably deserves. Tough, strong and aggressive in the paint, he dominates the glass and is a good scorer in the lane. He's currently leading Nike's EYBL in rebounding, which says a lot about his work on the glass.
C Idrissa Diallo, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral PrepDiallo has just about everything that you could want in a big man. He's big, he's athletic and he can really run the floor. Offensively he is still raw and he's not yet gotten a lot of national exposure, so he needs to prove himself against top competition.
SG Brandone Francis, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country DayOf all the players who will be entering the rankings from outside of the Rivals150, it is safe to expect Francis to make the biggest splash. A skilled and strong off-guard who can also run an offense, Francis will be at least a high-end four-star and could push for a five-star if what he showed in Dallas at the Adidas Exclusive Run wasn't a fluke.
PF Michael Gilmore, Tallahassee (Fla.) RickardsFlorida-based Each 1 Teach 1 is loaded with players, so Gilmore has had to make the most of his spots. Thinking long-term, his length, athleticism and touch indicate he's got pretty considerable upside.
SF Donte Grantham, Chatham (Va.) HargraveWest Virginia's player of the year and a state champion as a senior in 2013, Grantham is headed to prep school. Standing close to 6-foot-8, he's got some similarities to Georgetown wing Greg Whittington with his size and ability to shoot.
SG Trey Kell, San Diego (Calif.) St. AugustineA scoring machine with an above-average skill level, Kell has been torching defenders in SoCal all spring. He has good enough size as a two guard and is another who has suffered some from lack of national exposure.
PF Makinde London, Spring Hill (Tenn.) SummitPretty much an unknown on the national level, London has the look of a guy ready to take off during July. He's 6-foot-8, has great length, can really run and is developing rapidly on the offensive end. One can't help but wonder if Wichita State's CleAnthony Early was awfully similar to him at the same age.
SF/PF Kelan Martin, Louisville (Kent.) BallardSome will watch the 6-foot-6 wing play and just assume he's an undersized power forward because of his size and thick frame. While he can play the four, Martin moves his feet better than given credit for and certainly shoots well enough to play on the wing.
SG Dakota Mathias, Elida (Ohio) HighMathias looked very good as he torched the nets at the Spiece Run-N-Slam in early May. There are better athletes on the wing, but his ability to stretch defenses, precision passing and skill off the bounce make him a very legitimate threat. Purdue got a good one.
SG/SF Jared Nickens, Westtown (Pa.) SchoolNickens is another guy who decided that he wanted to do a year of prep school and he's making it work. At 6-foot-6, he's a high-level, jump-shooter with fluid athleticism and some ability to score off the bounce.
SF Riley Norris, Albertville (Ala.) HighThe class of 2014 is absolutely loaded with tall wings and Norris is one of them. The 6-foot-7 swingman is one of the best shooters in the country and he has all around game that matches his jump shooting. It's easy to see why he's become an SEC priority.
PF Tariq Owens, Laurel (Md.) St. Vincent PalottiMake no mistake about it, Owens needs to add more strength to his lean frame but he can play. What he can really do is go and get a rebound on the offensive end. He seems to have nice touch but perhaps lack a little confidence on offense.
PG/SG Jeremiah Paige, Aurora (Colo.) RangeviewA weakness for the class of 2014 is that there aren't a lot of guys who can consistently create and score off the dribble. That's not a problem for the 6-foot-2 combo guard. Paige specializes in off-the-dribble scoring and is capable of heating guys up defensively.
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