NCAA basketball recruiting is still in its early stages for the class of 2015, but some of the most anticipated prospects have already been snapped up. Of course, the group that’s left still features a healthy majority of the best scorers, defenders and rebounders from around the country.
One youngster who’s turning heads in all three of those areas is Diamond Stone. The massive Wisconsin native headlines an extraordinary crop of centers that will have NBA scouts drooling when it hits the college hardwood in a year and a half.
Herein, a closer look at Stone’s many virtues, along with the rest of the 25 most impressive talents who are still up for grabs among high school’s rising senior class.
25. Deng Adel
Although Australian import Deng Adel has faced a learning curve with some aspects of the American game, his intensity has measured up from day one.
The high-motor small forward uses his impressive leaping ability and quickness to attack the rim and crash the boards with abandon.
Adel is also a high-level catch-and-shoot threat who can knock down his share of three-pointers. Off the dribble, though, he still needs work, and (like so many young forwards) he’s also short on muscle.
24. Chance Comanche
As raw as Chance Comanche is, it’s tough to miss the potential of the 6’10” Los Angeleno. With his long arms and surprising quickness, he covers an enormous amount of territory as a shot-blocker.
Comanche also finishes his share of dunks, especially following his own offensive rebounds. As a scorer, though, his inside game leaves a lot to be desired.
23. D.J. Hogg
D.J. Hogg is one of the deadliest pure shooters in the class of 2015. He’s an elite three-point threat who also piles up points coming off screens in the mid-range.
At 6’7”, 205 pounds, Hogg is also a high-level athlete, though neither his rebounding nor his defense shows it all that often. He’s also an iffy ball-handler for a perimeter player.
22. Dwayne Bacon
When he’s on, Dwayne Bacon can score from anywhere on the floor. He’s tough enough to power through traffic in the lane, and he has the shooting range to bury three-pointers as well.
However, the 6’6” forward’s jump shot is none too reliable, and when it starts to go astray, he’s forced to rely more on attacking the rim. He’s a good but not great penetrator, particularly because he lacks top-tier quickness with the ball in his hands.
21. Tyler Davis
At 6’10” and 270 pounds, Tyler Davis is something between a center and a brick wall. When he gets position inside, he’s not going to be moved, and he’s probably not going to be prevented from scoring.
He’s similarly tough to handle on the defensive end, where he can box out like an offensive lineman. But, unsurprisingly, he’s vulnerable in transition, with neither the speed nor the quickness to keep up with more mobile foes.
20. Tyler Dorsey
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Tyler Dorsey has shown flashes of point guard potential while feeding the likes of UConn-bound Daniel Hamilton as a high schooler. That said, the 6’4” combo guard’s scoring prowess is his No. 1 asset.
Dorsey is a solid jump-shooter from the mid range, and he’s even better slicing to the basket or leading the fast break. He’s not the most physical player, but he has enough agility to make up for plenty of other concerns.
19. Thomas Bryant
Thomas Bryant is a power forward in the Serge Ibaka mold, using hustle and defense to balance his lack of big-time scoring. The 6’10” Huntington Prep star gets most of his points on putbacks from his many offensive rebounds.
Bryant moves well for his size and has pretty good leaping ability, too. He needs to build up his back-to-the-basket game, an improvement that would also provide a welcome boost to his confidence on the offensive end.
18. Brandon Ingram
Although the class of 2015 is short on great point guards, there are some high-level distributors to be found at other positions. Brandon Ingram is a 6’8” point forward type whose vision and passing touch add a key dimension to his offensive game.
Ingram is even more productive as a scorer, where he can use his long arms to shoot over almost any perimeter defender. He’s not the most consistent of shooters yet, but he does clean up plenty of his own (and others’) misses on the offensive glass.
17. Ray Smith
Ray Smith needs to work on his perimeter shooting, but there’s not much else he lacks as a small forward. He’s a physical 6’8” and 180 pounds, providing terrific defense and appreciably better rebounding than most wing players.
As a scorer, he has the ball-handling skill to drive to the basket and the leaping ability to finish when he gets there. He’s especially tough to stop in transition, where his combination of speed and strength is rarely matched at the high school level.
16. Jalen Brunson
Fortunately for Jalen Brunson, the stigma against left-handed quarterbacks doesn’t extend to their basketball counterparts. The Illinois-born southpaw is the top all-around point guard in the class of 2015, even if he’s far from the best athlete in that group.
Brunson is a potent three-point shooter and an adept ball-handler, but his ability to run an offense is his strongest skill. The cerebral son of a former NBAer, he also inherited father Rick’s tenacity on defense.
15. Antonio Blakeney
In a class loaded with high-scoring 2-guards, Antonio Blakeney stands out for his defensive talents. That’s not to say, however, that the 6’4” Floridian can’t put plenty of points on the board himself.
Blakeney shoots well off the dribble, can bury a trey and knows how to finish through contact. He does, however, need to start passing the ball more accurately and more often.
14. Caleb Swanigan
When Caleb Swanigan wants to play a finesse game inside, he has a pretty good one. Of course, at 6’9” and 275 pounds, he also has more sheer power than some teams’ entire front lines.
Swanigan has a decent jump shot and better foot speed than you’d guess from his build. Still, he’s susceptible to getting worn down in an uptempo game.
13. Isaiah Briscoe
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Undersized though he is at 6’3”, Isaiah Briscoe is most dangerous when he gets inside with the big bodies. The hard-charging shooting guard draws fouls by the bushel and can get his shots up (and in) in spite of heavy traffic.
He's an estimable jump-shooter, too, though his long-range game runs hot and cold. He also doesn’t have as easy of a time creating outside shots, as moving without the ball isn't his specialty.
12. Allonzo Trier
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Allonzo Trier’s jaw-dropping scoring ability tends to overshadow everything else about his game. The Oklahoma native has a variety of ways to get his points, whether he’s hammering in a fast-break dunk or stroking a catch-and-shoot trey.
At 6’4”, Trier could also become a scoring point guard at the college level, but his passing is well behind his penetration abilities so far. Whatever his position, he’ll eventually need to shore up his defense, too.
11. Skal Labissiere
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He may be praying-mantis skinny at 6’11” and 200 pounds, but Skal Labissiere is a force on defense. The lanky Haitian has first-class instincts as a shot-blocker, along with the quickness to get to plenty of off-the-ball rejection opportunities.
Offensively, Labissiere is a promising mid-range shooter who knows how to play facing the basket. He’ll need to add a lot of bulk (and ideally some low-post moves), but he’s got potential to spare.
10. Carlton Bragg
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At the high school level, Carlton Bragg can overwhelm most opponents with his athletic ability. The 6’9” power forward has a wing player’s quickness and leaping ability, coupled with the strength to thrive as a defender.
Bragg is improving as a scorer, but his low-post repertoire is still under construction. He does get plenty of second-chance points by being a wonderful rebounder.
9. Elijah Thomas
Elijah Thomas is a first-class weapon in the half-court offense.
The bruising center stands just 6’9”, but his 250-pound mass lets him claim a position and hold it inside. He’s also got an impressive collection of post moves to go with his power game.
Although he’s a terrific rebounder, he does need some work on the defensive end, where he doesn't block many shots.
8. Chase Jeter
Once some college coach gets a chance to file off his rough edges, Chase Jeter is going to be quite a center. He doesn’t have great technique in the post as of yet, but his instincts are definitely in the right place.
Jeter can really run, making him a serious transition weapon in addition to his solid back-to-the-basket productivity.
The same 6’10”, 215-pound frame that keeps him scoring on offense also serves him very well as a rebounder and shot-blocker.
7. Henry Ellenson
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The ever-increasing popularity of perimeter-oriented big men is great news for Henry Ellenson. The 6’9” power forward doesn’t have the athletic ability to wow you above the rim, but his shooting touch from the outside is outstanding.
Ellenson is strong enough to be a fine rebounder, even if his mobility isn’t ideal. His consistently high energy level helps in that department, too.
6. Stephen Zimmerman
Even at 230 pounds, 7’0” Stephen Zimmerman is short on bulk. That limitation is rarely an issue, though, for the most versatile big man in the class of 2015.
On offense, Zimmerman dominates in the face-up and mid-range games, especially because he’s a great passer in addition to possessing a silky jump shot. He’s not as dominant as a rebounder, but his length and effort do make him a first-rate shot-blocker.
5. Cheick Diallo
Cheick Diallo dominates games as a shot-blocker, and the 6’9” Mali native is a superior rebounder as well. While his relative lack of length doesn’t hurt him any on D, it’s kept him from reaching the same heights as an offensive player.
Diallo can score in spurts, but his low-post game is more bludgeon than scalpel right now. Adding some range on his jump shot would serve him well, especially against all of the 7-footers in this class whom he might have to face in college.
4. Jaylen Brown
Versatility is the name of the game for Jaylen Brown. He’s a 6’7” small forward who’s just as likely to make the highlight reels with an eye-popping steal or block as with an acrobatic dunk.
Brown is fairly adept at putting the ball on the floor to beat defenders, and he finishes inside with more power than most perimeter players can muster. When his improving jump shot starts falling from beyond the arc, he’ll be the total package.
3. Malik Newman
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Malik Newman would stand head and shoulders above every shooting guard in this class, but that’s hard to do at 6’3”. Still, the Mississippian scoring machine is ready to put up video game-worthy point totals at the college level.
Newman’s pinpoint long-range shot sets up his ability to score off the dribble. His suspect defense will frustrate some coaches, but there’s no arguing how good he can be with the ball in his hands.
2. Diamond Stone
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Diamond Stone isn’t the only imposing physical presence in this class, but he is the best of that deep crop. His combination of a 6’10”, 250-pound body and soft shooting touch makes him a fearsome offensive weapon.
Stone also has the mobility to block plenty of shots, and he’s as tough to box out as he is to move out of rebounding position. His mass does raise some questions about his stamina, but even those concerns have been lessened as his development has progressed.
1. Ivan Rabb
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Even in a class with this many elite post players, Ivan Rabb deserves the top spot in the rankings. Both long and strong at 6’11”, 210 pounds, the Oakland star is the most impressive athlete of the 2015 big men.
Rabb can match post moves with any scorer in the country, not to mention shutting down most of the competition himself as a top-flight shot-blocker.
He’s still lighter than you’d like for the college level, but he should have no trouble adding muscle to bolster what’s already a remarkably well-balanced game.