Make no mistake about it, Andrew Wiggins deserves all the attention and all of the hype he is getting. Wiggins is a truly special prospect who has the potential to make a lot of money for a very long period of time in the game of basketball. However the 2014 class is more than just him, it looks very deep and talented even without his game changing skill.
There is a lot of talk about how good the 2014 class could be. Now that is natural since we all tend to overvalue the younger classes ability since the same opportunity to pick them apart hasn’t been had yet. Still even with that perspective, this class is looking very good, and that is even excluding an elite talent like Wiggins.
What the 2014 class has that very few in the past have had is good bigs, good point guards, and talented wings. For example in 2011 it was all point guards, in 2012 all bigs, and in 2013 there are virtually no bigs. 2014 however has it all.
Overall 16 point guards cracked the top 75. Included in that is an elite special talent in Tyus Jones, and then several other highly rated guys in Emmanuel Mudiay, Jaquan Lyle, and Parker Jackson-Cartwright. All three of those guys behind Jones bring something different to the table. Mudiay is the athletic and physical freak, Lyle the great passer with size, and Jackson-Cartwright the unbelievable feel for the game.
Along with those four though, there are guys such as Quentin Snider who has had an excellent spring, Jordan McLaughlin who is exploding on the West Coast, and Dominique Collier who has elite speed with the ball. It is a deep and talented group at the point guard.
When it comes to the shooting guard and small forward position, again depth and elite level talent at the top are the theme. 18 shooting guards and 16 small forwards all find their way into the top 75. Wiggins of course leads the way, but other elite talents such as Wayne Selden, D’Angelo Russell, Justise Winslow, and Kevon Looney are right behind him.
Even excluding those five-star level guys, there is a lot of ability on the wing in this class. Twins Cody Martin and Caleb Martin have led Team Loaded to several tournament championships, Devin Booker is wanted by nearly every school in the Southeast, Romelo Trimble is a big time scorer, and Vincent Edwards is already the subject of a major recruiting battle in the Big Ten.
Overall there is scoring, versatility, athleticism, and just a whole lot of talent available on the wing in this class, and coaches are already taking advantage of it. There are 16 power forwards and nine centers ranked in the class already, and big guys always tend to emerge later in the process just based on the natural development curve.
At the center position the city of Chicago boasts two top 10 prospects in Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, and then Dakari Johnson is also in that mix as well. However guys like Trayvon Reed and Payton Dastrup are pushing elite level, if not there already, and don’t sleep on a guy like Quadri Moore who might be one of the best shooting bigs going.
Power forward wise Noah Vonleh clearly is in the top spot, but not too far behind him is Trey Lyles who has a great combination of perimeter skills and inside scoring ability. Then there are high ceiling prospects like Dwayne Morgan and Keita Bates-Diop who are just figuring out how good they really are, along with skilled guys such as Obi Enechionyia and Paul White who can do a multitude of different things.
Overall this class is loaded at nearly every spot on the floor, and even without mentioning the superstar who is the clear No. 1, 2014 is shaping up to be an excellent class both at the top of the list and with depth.