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August 23, 2012

Mudiay leads list of 2014's rising stars

RANKINGS: 2013 | 2014

Earlier this month, Rivals.com discussed a group of players in the class of 2013 whose stock would be on the rise when we begin to update rankings next week. Today, we take a look at 10 players from the class of 2014 whose stock will be on the rise when their class rankings get updated and expanded from a top 100 to 150.

1. Emmanuel Mudiay: Considering the 6-foot-4 point guard from just outside of Dallas is already ranked No. 6 nationally in the class of 2014, he doesn't really have that much room for movement. But, the five-star absolutely needs to be moved up the rankings. With his size, athleticism and tools for the position, Mudiay has always had the upside but now his production and consistency are starting to match.

2. Rashad Vaughn: Another who is already highly ranked at No. 20 nationally, Vaughn is about as complete as a shooting guard as anyone could be at his age. He's a knockdown shooter with deep range, has great size for his position, finishes with athleticism and finds ways to get himself free for shots with or without the ball. He's also becoming very adept at drawing fouls and earning easy points at the free throw line. Look for him to move up some spots and earn a fifth star.

3. Dante Exum: During the latter part of July in Las Vegas and early August at Adidas Nations, the 6-foot-5 Australian combo guard was a revelation. Ranking foreign prospects isn't always easy, but he's given Rivals.com a pretty good body of work while in the States so he will definitely enter the 2014 rankings. Most likely, he'll be in at least the high four-star range.

4. Jordan McLaughlin: Currently ranked No. 41 in the class, McLaughlin is an exciting playmaker at the point guard position. He may not be the biggest guy around, but he's a playmaker with terrific quickness and lots of explosiveness going to the rim. He can light up the scoreboard or set up teammates.

5. Keita Bates-Diop: The No. 42 player in the class of 2014 has been outplaying that ranking regularly. A smooth, 6-foot-7 wing armed with a buttery corner jump shot, Bates-Diop is not a finesse wing. He's not exactly bulky, but the junior is more than willing to play tough around the rim and is also an outstanding shot-blocker/rebounder with improving ball skills.

6. Kelly Oubre: During July, a change of scenery on the grassroots circuit was beneficial for the well-constructed (great length, good frame) wing from Texas. Already known as a guy who can knock down shots when spotted up, Oubre showed ability off the bounce and as a driver that he hadn't always gotten a chance to show. Currently slotted at No. 56, he's probably at least 20 or so spots too low.

7. Grayson Allen: During the late spring and early part of July, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Florida created quite a bit of buzz. After watching him play with his summer squad, the buzz was turned into something a bit more tangible. An impressive jump shooter with some bounce, Allen is a bonafide high-major shooting guard prospect and solid four-star prospect.

8. Andre Adams: With his skinny face and slim frame, the 6-foot-8 and growing power forward doesn't look all that dangerous. As it turns out, though, he's one of the best shot-blockers in the country regardless of class. While his shot-blocking is what first catches your attention, his fluidity, ability to change directions in a hurry and obvious skill only add to his intrigue. He's currently unranked; that will definitely change in a few weeks.

9. Joshua Perkins: Playing in Colorado and for a lesser-known summer squad, the 6-foot-3 guard is proof that coaches and scouts will find you if you can play. And play he can. Capable of playing either the one or the two, Perkins is a no-nonsense backcourt player who does a little bit of everything well.

10. Shane Hall: Athletic and tough are the two best words that can be used to describe the 6-foot-8 forward. A bouncy kid with plenty of energy to burn, he makes an impact on the glass, runs the floor and shows some touch on short jumpers. He's far from a finished product, but looking to be a high-major prospect and somebody who will jump into four-star territory.

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