Ranking the States That Produce the Most 5-Star High School Basketball Talent

Scott Phillips@@phillipshoopsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2016

Ranking the States That Produce the Most 5-Star High School Basketball Talent

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    Kevin Knox
    Kevin KnoxGregory Payan/Associated Press

    Every year, the debate rages in gyms all across the country: Which state produces the most amount of 5-star talent?

    That question has become increasingly difficult to answer over the years, as high school basketball has become more of a national game at the 5-star level.

    With many of the nation's best players opting to play away from home, the goal was to find where those players came from and which state produces the most talent. For example, 5-star point guard Trevon Duval is originally from Delaware, though he's playing at the IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. In this exercise, Duval's native Delaware has been considered his home state.

    International players also added an interesting wrinkle to these rankings, so they've only been considered part of a particular state if they've played their whole high school career there. That means a Canadian player like R.J. Barrett has been lumped into the Florida rankings going into his sophomore year at Montverde Academy.

    Here's a look at the nine states with at least three 5-star prospects in the pipeline over the next few classes. Some of these states will be expected, while some others might surprise due to perception or a lack of recent history.

9. Tennessee

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    Darius Garland
    Darius GarlandMark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 0

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 2

    State breakdown: Tennessee isn't a state known for producing 5-star basketball talent, but Memphis continues to be a recruiting hotbed, and the rest of the state has some studs as well.

    In the Class of 2018, point guard Darius Garland has become one of the better shot-makers in the country, and he's improving at running an offense.

    Nashville native James Wiseman has come on strong in the Class of 2019, as the 6'10" big man currently sits at No. 9 in the composite rankings. Forward Chandler Lawson, the younger brother of Memphis forwards K.J. and Dedric Lawson, is also considered a 5-star prospect.

8. Pennsylvania

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    Quade Green
    Quade GreenKelly Kline/Getty Images

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 0

    State breakdown: A couple of quality prospects are coming from Pennsylvania the next few years.

    In the Class of 2017, point guard Quade Green led the Nike EYBL in assists this spring with over 10 per game, while shooting guard Lonnie Walker had a big summer to solidify his 5-star status.

    The Class of 2018 will give the state a chance at a top-five prospect, as small forward Cameron Reddish is currently ranked No. 3. The 6'8" Reddish was one of the better Class of 2018 players in the Nike EYBL, and he'll have a lot of eyes on him during the high school season. 

7. New Jersey

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    Nazreon Reid
    Nazreon ReidGregory Payan/Associated Press

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 0

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 2

    State breakdown: New Jersey doesn't have any immediate prospects in the 5-star range, but the future there looks bright. The Class of 2018 and 2019 both have a set of grassroots teammates who have emerged as prospects.

    Power forward Nazreon Reid currently sits at No. 9 in the Class of 2018, while Sports U teammate and small forward Louis King had a huge summer to catapult himself into the 5-star picture.

    Two talented wings in the Class of 2019 have people buzzing—high-flyer Scottie Lewis and smooth combo guard Bryan Antoine both have high potential. The Team Rio teammates are coming off of great summers, and they should push for top-10 spots in the Class of 2019.

6. Indiana

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    Jaren Jackson Jr.
    Jaren Jackson Jr.AJ MAST/Associated Press

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 1 

    State breakdown: A proud basketball state with a rich tradition, Indiana has plenty of talented high school players to keep an eye on the next few seasons.

    The Class of 2017 is headlined by Kris Wilkes, a talented scoring wing, and Michigan State-commit Jaren Jackson Jr., a skilled, 6'10" big man with a lot of upside.

    Romeo Langford has the chance to be a top-five player in the Class of 2018, as the gifted scoring guard has already led New Albany High School to a state championship.

    Just in his sophomore year, small forward Keion Brooks has already become a major priority for a number of Big Ten programs in the Class of 2019.

5. Texas

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    Jarred Vanderbilt
    Jarred VanderbiltBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 2

    State breakdown: More known for high school football and the extravagant stadiums being built all over the state, Texas has produced quite a few McDonald's All-Americans and 5-star prospects the last few years. The current landscape of Texas basketball looks like more of the same, as the next three classes each have at least one 5-star player.

    Forwards P.J. Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt have been known prospects for a long time in the Class of 2017, and the Class of 2018 has a stud small forward in Gerald Liddell.

    The Class of 2019 will have a serious contender for the No. 1 spot in 6'10" big man Charles Bassey, while shooting guard Grant Sherfield became a 5-star prospect after a strong summer.

4. Florida

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    Kevin Knox
    Kevin KnoxGregory Payan/Associated Press/Associated Press

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 1

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 3

    State breakdown: The Sunshine State might not have as many 5-star prospects in the senior class as some other states, but there is a lot of young talent playing high school basketball in Florida right now.

    Tampa native Kevin Knox is one of the most promising wing talents in the Class of 2017, while the Class of 2018 includes international prospect Silvio De Sousa (Montverde Academy), who has been a Florida mainstay for high school basketball.

    The Class of 2019 is where things really get interesting. Canadian R.J. Barrett is beginning his second year at Montverde Academy, and center Balsa Koprivica and forward Vernon Carey are also top-10 national prospects.

3. New York

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    Mohamed Bamba
    Mohamed BambaJoshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 3

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 0

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 2

    State breakdown: New York has made a solid comeback after some down years of producing elite players, as the Class of 2017 has three quality prospects. Harlem native Mohamed Bamba is still fighting for the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2017, while shooting guard Hamidou Diallo is competing for the top spot at his position. Big man Nick Richards attends school in New Jersey but hails from Manhasset, and he's been a constant presence in the 5-star rankings the last few years.

    The Class of 2019 also has some exciting prospects. Point guard Cole Anthony, the son of former NBA veteran Greg Anthony, played up with the PSA Cardinals 17U team in the Nike EYBL. Precious Achiuwa is an impressive athlete at forward who can play multiple spots on the floor.

2. Georgia

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    M.J. Walker
    M.J. WalkerKelly Kline/Getty Images

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 3

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 0

    State breakdown: Continuing a trend seen in recent years, the Peach State has a number of 5-star prospects in the next two classes.

    The Class of 2017 features three 5-star studs. 6'10" big man Wendell Carter has been a top-10 mainstay the last two years and one of the best prospects in the country. Guard Collin Sexton burst on the national scene this summer and won MVP of the FIBA U17 World Championships with USA Basketball. Shooting guard M.J. Walker also earned gold with USA Basketball at the U18 FIBA Americas in July.

    In the Class of 2018, Khavon Moore is a talented forward with a lot of upside, while forward E.J. Montgomery has been a 5-star prospect since entering high school.

1. California

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    Brandon McCoy
    Brandon McCoyKelly Kline/Getty Images

    Class of 2017 5-star prospects: 2

    Class of 2018 5-star prospects: 4

    Class of 2019 5-star prospects: 2

    State breakdown: California is the king of producing 5-star talent in the coming years, as the state has multiple prospects in each of the next three classes.

    The Class of 2017 is headlined by power forward Brandon McCoy and Southern California native Billy Preston, who started his high school career out West but is playing his senior season at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

    The junior class has a few promising prospects to keep an eye on. Guard Brandon Williams has emerged as a lethal perimeter threat, and center Shareef O'Neal is hoping to follow his his father Shaq's footsteps as an elite prospect. Rounding out the California 5-star prospects, forward Miles Norris continues to expand his perimeter game, and 6'10" big man Jordan Brown is a consensus top-10 prospect.

    The Class of 2019 also shows some promise. High-flying wing Cassius Stanley played up on the 17U level of the Nike EYBL. Onyeka Okongwu helped Chino Hills High School to an unbeaten season in 2015-16.

    Recruiting ratings via 247Sports.

    Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and information were obtained firsthand.