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May 28, 2013
Last week, we profiled 15 members of the class of 2014 who are knocking on the door of the Rivals150. In 2015 only 50 players have been ranked to this point, but that number should expand to the traditional 150 by the summer's end. Here's a look at 10 from the rising junior class who are either outplaying their current ranking -- such as Cheick Diallo -- or positioning themselves nicely for the next shuffling of the rankings.
TEN CLASS OF 2015 RANKINGS CRASHERS
Antonio Blakeney, SG, Sarasota (Fla.) Cardinal MooneyPlaying with the 16-and-under version of the Amare Stoudemire-sponsored Each 1 Teach 1 Elite, Blakeney has proven himself a polished scorer. He will hit jumpers in bunches, he is smooth along the baseline, and he can play above the rim when needed. He didn't make the first top 50, but he could be in the next and he has earned his four-star status.
Bennie Boatwright, SF, Chatsworth (Calif.) Bishop AlemanyRanked No. 40 in the 2015 top 50, Boatwright is a tall wing with deep range on his jumper. His own comparison of himself to Klay Thompson is a good one because he can really shoot. He lacks strength and has to learn to adjust when the 3-ball isn't falling, but he rebounds at a high rate and he may be a top five prospect on the West Coast.
Carlton Bragg, PF, Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela St. JosephAn insider with excellent athleticism and a wiry frame that will easily carry more muscle, Bragg can run the floor. He is a good spot-up jump shooter, he blocks shots, and he finishes above the rim. His power game will come along when he fills out physically, and he has a chance to push for five-star status.
Tyler Davis, C, Frisco (Texas) LibertyThe play of Davis in Nike's EYBL has been a revelation. At 6-foot-9, he's a space eater who is in the process of getting into good shape. He can make jumpers at the free throw line, he has great hands, and he is a high-volume rebounder. On top of that, he can pass out of a double team and is getting better rapidly.
Cheick Diallo, PF/C, Centereach (N.Y.) Our SaviorWhen Diallo premiered in the initial top 50 for 2015 at No. 24, it seemed like Rivals.com was being aggressive with his ranking. As it turns out, even more aggression could have been used. Diallo is a big-time shot blocker and rebounder who can move his feet and has a solid offensive game.
Derrick Jones, SF, Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop John CarrollThe 6-foot-6 wing player is a high-level athlete with a great first step. His athleticism allows him to physically dominate opponents, and he shows signs that his skill level isn't bad, either.
Luke Kennard, SG, Franklin (Ohio) HighFew shooting guards in 2015 can match the southpaw from Ohio's skill level. Kennard is a big-time jump shooter and high-level passer who has a nicely developed in-between game. He can play with physicality, too.
Luke Maye, PF, Cornelius (N.C.) HoughThere are times when he lacks discretion with his shot selection, and he has to cut down on the number of deep jumpers he takes. But when he improves in those areas Maye is going to be tough to handle. His well-above-average rebounding deserves recognition.
Matthew McQuaid, SG, Duncanvile (Texas) HighSimply put, McQuaid can shoot the ball from deep with the best of them in any class. Throw in 6-foot-5 size and some bounce when finishing at the rim, and you have a bona fide high-major shooting guard and a likely four-star talent.
Ray Smith, SF, Las Vegas (Nev.) HighSmith is a bit raw, but he is a super athlete who has shown big-time flashes. He is a plus finisher in transition, he doesn't mind getting physical, and he rebounds his position well. His jumper isn't broken, but it needs work and he'll be a major pain for defenders once he sorts that out.