Most of the time when looking at rankings there isn't a big difference from one spot to another. In fact a grouping of 30-50 spots might not mean too much, however with the 2013 class eight guys have clearly asserted themselves as the elite members of the class, and there is a back drop off behind them.
Over the course of the past 24 months players such as Jabari Parker, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, Chris Walker, and Aaron Gordon asserted themselves as elite prospects. Now joining them in the clear top group is scoring sensation James Young and super athletic scoring point guard Kasey Hill.
Hill and Young both have exploded in the last few months. Hill led his Montverde Academy team to a great showing at the NPSI in March, and hasn’t slowed down as a member of the Florida Rams. He went from a solid five-star player to one of the best in the class due to his play.
Young’s ascent was even quicker. He was getting mixed reviews for his play during the high school season, but as the competition ramped up on the Nike EYBL circuit, Young has answered the call. Playing for The Family, Young has taken the EYBL by storm and is leading his team to wins and putting up points at an incredible level.
There is no change in the top four prospects on the list. Parker, Randle, Andrew Harrison, and Gordon all maintained their ranking, and in order. While Parker hasn’t been quite as dominant as would be expected this spring, still his shot making, versatility, athleticism, and overall competitiveness are through the roof and have him as one of the better players in recent memory.
Not far behind Parker is Randle. The supremely athletic and strong power forward from Dallas has spent a little bit too much time on the perimeter so far during the spring AAU season, but still he is producing at a high level and has the look of an instant impact NBA four man.
With Harrison he continues to dominate games on the ball by scoring as well as making plays for teammates. Quite simply he is the prototype point guard that NBA teams are looking for. Gordon has battled an injury, and there are conflicting reports on his return, but this is a prospect who is young for his class, is an elite athlete, and has a developing skill level on the perimeter.
Finally there is the duo of Aaron Harrison and Walker. Walker has even turned his game up another notch from last year. He is more athletic, bigger, and stronger than a year ago, and that has translated to dominating performances, most notably against Isaiah Hicks in a showdown in Las Vegas. Harrison is arguably the premier score in the class, and is now working on his ability to handle the basketball as well as getting others involved.
Overall the Elite Eight have clearly put themselves on a different level than their fellow five-star prospects. While putting them in a specific order is fairly hard, deciding that they are a cut above their peers is actually fairly easy.