This time last year there wasn’t much discussion for who should be the No. 1 prospect in the 2012 class.
A year later, the gap is shrinking.
In our refreshed rankings on Wednesday, we opted to keep Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More standout Andre Drummond atop the rankings. But it wasn’t an easy decision.
Drummond, a 6-foot-11, 265-pound post prospect, has the most physical tools and ability in the 2012 class. A tremendous athlete, Drummond is a terrific leaper, moves fluidly up and down the floor and has a strong frame with long arms.
Throw in a pair of terrific set of hands, great touch around the basket and a handful of scoring moves and Drummond is one of the best big men prospects we’ve seen in years.
In six games since November, we’ve seen Drummond dominate the paint and own his area at times. But we’ve also seen him lackadaisical and at times just going through the motions. And that’s why the gap for the top spot is shrinking.
Checking in behind Drummond is 7-foot center Isaiah Austin. A terrific prospect in his own right, Austin is a lanky post prospect with a unique skill set that allows him to play on the perimeter, push the break and knock down jump shots.
But the light is starting to come on with Austin, a Baylor commit. Often times known for floating on the perimeter, he’s realizing that if he starts inside and works his way out he’s much more effective.
For his size, Austin’s mobility is impressive. His length, athleticism and timing have helped him become the nation’s top shot blocker. He’s not slouch on offense either, as he has scoring moves and great touch inside.
The third guy we considered for the top spot was Shabazz Muhammad. The Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman standout brings it every time out. He may not have the physical tools that Drummond and Austin were blessed with, but he has the right mentality.
Every time Muhammad steps on the floor he brings it in every facet of the game. His mid-range jump shot has become a serious weapon on the offensive end and he’s becoming more and more aggressive in scoring situations.
So as we make our way through the spring and head into the summer there are plenty of questions to be answered.
But perhaps the biggest is about Drummond and if he’ll be able to hold on to the top spot with a pair of hungry players breathing down his back.
*Biggest movers? Mitch McGary, Torian Graham and Robert Upshaw
*Highest rated point guard is Braxton Ogbueze at No. 29
*Five of the top six prospects are centers
*13 of top 20 prospect are power forwards or centers
*Indiana has the most top 100 prospects with four
*Villanova has three top 100 prospects
*Wake Forest, Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina and Purdue all have a pair of top 100 prospects
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