ESPN and 247Sports dropped their 2022 rankings hours apart and boy have they changed the landscape of the top 100. There’s a rift between the class’ number 1 overall recruit. 247 gave Jalen Duren the nod and after watching him in 13 games during the St. James bubble and GEICO Nationals I can’t fault them. ESPN heralds Emoni Bates as their number 1 overall prospect and after being considered the second-best recruit in high school basketball only to 2021 Gonzaga commit Chet Holmgren I can’t fault them either. Both their lists have a ton of new faces in new places. Let’s look at some of the biggest risers, fallers, and surprises from this update.
If you’ve been in the state of Texas, you’ve heard the name and watched the growth from his initial 3 star 130 ranking in 2020 to his 5 star 16th ranking now. He’s transformed from a 6-5 combo guard with a two-way presence to a 6-7 point guard who does everything well. A spring filled with national competition allowed those around the country to learn just how dominant the guard has become. Black will be a part of a Coppell team with state title hopes. The elite playmaker and his sharpshooting teammate Ryan Argawal have the cowboys poised for another deep run through the Texas 6A gauntlet.
Derek Lively II
After hovering between 30-40 since his ranking induction in 2019, Lively been on a steady rise since April. Strong showings at Pangos All-American Camp landed him on the top 30 all star team. Brandon Jenkins of 247 puts him in the same lane of athlete as fellow 7 footer Tyson Chandler but developing 3 point range gives him what he needs to succeed in the modern game as a shot blocking unicorn type of player. He’ll be returning to Westtown School in Pennsylvania where a National schedule will follow.
Sharpe still holds one of our YouTube page’s most viewed highlights from his sophomore year playing with Sunrise Christian Academy during the Elite 14 showcase. Since then his stock has been all over the place until October while suiting up for his new home team Dream City Christian, a Grind Session team based out of Arizona. In the 12 games recorded by The Season Ticket, he averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.2 turnovers while leading his team to a top 3 finish. Sharpe proved and produced against top tier competition, taking his ranking from 59 all the way to 5 star status at number 8 in the country.
Ernest Udeh Jr. – Udeh took it to every big he came across this spring. He’s received massive jumps from all the major recruiting sites none bigger than 247’s jump from 163 to 22. The move grants the 6-10 Dr. Phillips HS center a fifth star and the greatest move of this update.
Dug McDaniel – The speedy playmaker made plays and racked up buckets with ease against the nation’s best in the St. James bubble. A commitment Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines fits the Paul VI Catholic point guard.
A fall in both rankings says far more about this class than it does for Griffin’s abilities on the court. An athletic guard from the onset of his development the rising senior has taken it to new heights over the past year. His ball handling has followed and for someone who’s always been a strong shooter, it’s opened his shooting off the dribble and slashing. With nearly half a dozen posters in just the opening months of the summer season, his highlight reel is bound to grow. He’ll be on the 3SSB Adidas circuit with Team Trae Young. Expect for him to establish himself as an upper crust scorer and shot creator.
When we talk defensive prospects in the 2022 class mentioning Okpara’s name would be wise. Based on his physicals alone, Okpara makes a difference patrolling the paint. His overall athletic ability allows him to move on the perimeter for short stints. His ability to slide over as a help side defender with great agility and a 7 foot plus wingspan shrinks the rim. He swatted 20 shots while grabbing 50 rebounds in the 6 games that Hamilton Heights played in the St. James bubble. As great as his defensive output is he lacks on the offensive end. During that time he showed a developing right hand hook from about ten feet out and attempted 15 threes making just 3. He’s a double-double threat every time he steps on the court but size and strength limit his offensive production at this point. With his upside being this high it’s a surprise that his ranking would fall. Like Griffen’s move I believe this is a testament to the strength of the 2022 class.
Walsh makes our biggest surprise thanks to his variance between the 2 services. 247Sports has the athletic Southern California Academy transfer on the back half of their rankings at 88. On the other hand ESPN has him at 12 adding him to a growing list of 5 star recruits from Texas. I’ve been on the record saying Walsh has the physicals and athleticism to be one of the most effective perimeter defenders in the country. ESPN’s rankings highly weigh on what a prospect can do at the next level. I’d say the same defensive potential I see is what they’re betting on. 247 is lower on Walsh it may be his lack of a perimeter shot and limited handle that cause their gap.
A 5 star for ESPN, 4 star for 247, and a composite 5 star overall. It’s not so much a raw number drop that places Bradley in this category it’s the positional rankings. This is Bradley’s first time outside of the top 5, now as the 6th ranked point guard in the class. Thanks to the rise of Jazian Gortman at number 1, the expected rise of Arterio Morris at 4, and Bruce Thornton at 5, a move that saw Thornton just miss 5 star status. The composite still favors him thanks to every other publication still placing him as top 3 point guard in the class. The three guards listed above earned their bumps. After underwhelming performances against the top 2021 guards during IMG’s St. James appearance and a slow start to the season, the drop isn’t egregious. Bradley’s transformation from speedster to a guy who plays at least 3 different speeds two of which allow him to explode out of pick and rolls helped him average 19 points and 6 assists a game during a GEICO Nationals. Watching him lead team CP3 and IMG will be paramount in his climb back up the boards.