Harry Giles tops our first 2016 list of top 25 recruits.
Giles, who missed the summer and will miss his sophomore season due to a knee injury suffered at USA Basketball, held off strong pushes by Josh Jackson and Thon Maker to check in at No. 1 overall in the 2016 top 25.
At 6-foot-9, Giles has the ability to play both inside and out. His skill set is advanced and allows him to make plays around the rim, from mid-range and even from behind the three-point stripe.
After evaluating him at the Carolina Challenge, he left me wondering if he was the best freshman I’ve evaluated.
In July 6-foot-6 Josh Jackson made his own case for the top spot in the 2016 class. While he checks in at No. 2, he certainly made the choice difficult.
Jackson is an elite athlete that impacts the game on both ends of the floor. He’s already an accomplished scorer with the ability to score from all three levels. He takes pride in his defense, rebounds his area and is a tremendous all around athlete.
Martinsville (Va.) Carlisle Schools standout Thon Maker was in the conversation for the top spot as well. The 7-footer didn’t shy from competition this summer playing in nearly every significant event.
Perhaps Maker’s most impressive showing was at Peach Jam when he was forced to battle Mac Irvin Fire big men Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander. Despite his slender frame, Maker out performed both 2014 recruits.
Maker is a very good shot blocker that knows how to use his length, athleticism and timing. Offensively he’s fairly advanced for his size and age. He has good hands and touch, plus is able to step out and hit mid-range jump shots.
Jayson Tatum and Amir Coffey, a pair of talented wings, round out the 2016 top five. Both are equipped scorers with good size and shot making ability.
To go with the prospects in the top five, Dedric Lawson, Justin Jackson, V.J. King, Tyus Battle and Edrice Adebayo also earned five-stars in the first round of 2016 rankings.
Malik Monk, Terrence Ferguson, De’Ron Davis, Josh Langford, Derryck Thornton, Kobi Simmons, Juwan Durham, Cassius Winston, Miles Bridges, Junior Smith, Seventh Woods, Jamal Murray, Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf and Oscar Frayer were awarded four-stars.
* Evan Daniels, Josh Gershon, Brian Snow and Rob Harrington contributed to these rankings.