By Bryan Kriss - email@example.com
Determining the top 3 prospects for the 2012 class was a fairly quick process. Deciding exactly what order those players should be in however was a little more difficult. Legitimate arguments can be made for Andre Drummond, Isaiah Austin and Shabazz Muhammad, but after lots of thought and discussion, our minds kept coming back to one player. Muhammad. What sets Muhammad apart from the pack is his competitive edge and killer instinct, which is imperative for a number one prospect. Combine that with his unparalleled production and consistent improvement and it was simply too much to ignore.
There have been some big alterations in our updated rankings from top to bottom. Here is a look at some of the notable changes:
Mitch McGary - The transformation McGary has made from last year is incredible. Last summer we had him ranked as the 86th best prospect in 2012 and believed that he had all the tools to move up in the rankings, but we had no idea he would warrant this type of a jump. He has clearly made the weight room a priority and has added a physical element to his game that few players can match. Add to that a pair of great hands and high skill level and you have a top 5 prospect.
Kyle Anderson - We once questioned Anderson's athletic ability when projecting him to the next level, but he has made it clear that no matter who defends him he can get wherever he needs to be on the court and always does excellent things with the ball. Defense is still a concern, but there are few players who can match his offensive prowess. Anderson makes the jump from #33 to #6.
Anthony Bennett - Bennett may be somewhat undersized for the power forward position, but he makes up for this with his athleticism, strength, and tenacity. He competes on every play and is rarely outworked. He is also a skilled player who can knock down three pointers when given room. Bennett makes the jump from #40 to #11.
Cameron Ridley - Ridley has a great combination of size and skill. He has soft hands and does an excellent job of finishing around the basket. He also does a good job of keeping the ball high and running the floor hard despite not being the quickest player. Ridley makes the jump from #30 to #13.
Danuel House - House burst onto the scene in May at the Howard Pulley Invitational in Minnesota. House not only displays great size, athleticism, and skill, but also possesses a big-time motor that allows him to get the most out of his talents. House makes the jump from being unranked all the way up to #16.
Shaquille Cleare - Cleare is a load in the paint, has soft hands, and when he gets the ball down low you can pretty much count on a bucket. He has a good hook shot and can consistently finish through contact, but also has a level of explosiveness that you may not expect from a guy his size. Cleare makes the jump from #60 to #21.
Kris Dunn - Kris Dunn wasn't on our radar until this summer, but he left a major impression on us when we saw him play. He has better size than other top point guards in this class and can do whatever his team needs. He gets into the lane on a regular basis and does a good job of either finishing or dishing to teammates. He can also knock down three pointers and has a good control of the offense. Kris Dunn makes the jump from being unranked all the way up to #27.
Demarquise Johnson - Que Johnson didn't make a significant move up the rankings (34 to 31), but we thought he deserved a mention anyway. He is more than likely the most underappreciated player in the 2012 class and despite a lack of exposure and credit from many media outlets, we expect him to make a big impact at the next level. With his combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability, it's easy to imagine him putting up good scoring numbers wherever he happens to land.
Sam Dekker - Sam Dekker has turned into a do-it-all wing player who does whatever it takes to help his team win. With great size, good athleticism, a high skill level and feel for the game we expect him to make an immediate impact for Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers. Dekker makes the jump from #70 to #34.
Devonta Pollard - We've heard great things about Pollard's development from multiple sources, but unfortunately due to an injury, we haven't had a chance to witness this for ourselves. Until we see him play again he will remain at the ranking we had for him last summer.
Click here to see the updated rankings for the class of 2012