NCB On The Trail: Biancardi's Breakdown

The ESPN 100 isn't a static listing of top prospects. Players are added and dropped, and players who weren't on the initial 2015 ESPN 100 rankings released last week just might be on it during the next update.

Here are five players in the 2015 class who were heavily discussed to be in our new top 100 but just missed the cut, and what they can do to make the list in the future.

video
It's extremely early to identify and evaluate underclassmen, as much can change along the way. For players just finishing their freshman years in high school, it is a very fluid time in their development. In the Class of 2017, one prospect currently stands alone at the top of the newly released ESPN 25.

DeAndre Ayton, originally from the Bahamas, not only demonstrates outstanding long-term upside, but he is highly productive right now. Being at the top of any list is rewarding, but it also means you had better improve and work even harder to stay there.

The 6-foot-10 Ayton, from San Diego, is a special prospect as he combines the physical tools, some established skill and a couple of traits that make him the best in his class. Let's break down his game.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

As the Class of 2016 ESPN 60 takes shape, there are indications that there are key players at every position who could be special. The star power is intriguing, and we are discovering more talent each weekend. We'll be keeping a close eye on this class throughout the summer.

Dennis Smith Jr., a prospect not many outside of North Carolina know about, has become a top-10 player and is the best point guard in the class. As a rising junior, his recent performances on the spring circuit have made some lasting impressions, and he still has plenty of room to grow. As a sophomore, Smith averaged 17 points and 9 assists per game. Simply put, he has impressive tools, instincts and basketball IQ at a young age. The future looks extremely bright for this young guard.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
After a long and detailed conversation about the nation’s best prospects, Ivan Rabb holds on to his No. 1 spot as we launch the new ESPN 100 for the Class of 2015.

Why he is No. 1: Many factors go into being tabbed the nation’s top prospect such as strong performance, consistent production and potential. At 6-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Rabb has all the physical markers to impact a game. Rabb has mobility and an enormous wing span (7-4). He utilizes those features along with speed and lateral quickness to protect the basket, outrun opponents and score the ball. It’s his efficiency that is impressive, as the majority of shots come inside the paint. After 16 games in the Elite Youth Basketball League, he had made more than 60 percent of his field-goal attempts, per GameChanger stats service.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Isaiah Briscoe is one of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2015, ranked ninth in the ESPN 60.

He's a big, strong guard whose DNA is to score, play with pace and change his speed to keep a defender off balance. During the last year or so, he has played more at point guard and is learning how to balance between running a team and scoring to help his team win. So far he has done a good job as his NJ Playaz team is one of the best in the EYBL.

Let’s take an in-depth look at what he brings to the game.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
The Jordan Brand Classic featured much of the nation’s top talent.

Obviously, a number of players operate at the same position. That said, each brings a different aspect at the spot. Let’s take a look at some of the best and break down how they are different and impactful.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
Making jump shots is one of the most important skills in basketball. It might look easy, but it’s hard to become a consistent shooter with range.

Taking open shots is a big part of becoming a great shooter, as well as moving without the ball. High-level shooters are ready to shoot the ball as soon as it’s passed to them.

There are many outstanding jump shooters in the Class of 2014, but here are my top five.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
When we analyze and evaluate the skill set of today's basketball player, we speak quite often about their ability to drive to the rim and finish as well as knocking down 3-point shots.

What has been forgotten and not emphasized enough from coaches and workout coaches is their middle game. The ability to score the ball inside the arc and before one gets to the rim in tight quarters is a true gift. I would love to see today's player really work on their middle game to be a more well-rounded scorer.

Let's take a look at which ESPN 100 prospects possess the all-important middle game in the senior class.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi’s Breakdown: Josh Cunningham 

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
10:00
AM ET
video
With our updated ESPN 100 rankings, uncommitted forward Josh Cunningham (Chicago/Morgan Park) earned his way to No. 99 with his productive performances against top competition. Last week his team lost in the Chicago Public League tournament, but he and his team start their state title run next month.

Let's take an in-depth look at his game and recruitment:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi's Breakdown: JaQuan Lyle 

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
10:00
AM ET
video JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Ind./Huntington Prep), the highest-rated uncommitted perimeter player left in the ESPN 100, is in high demand as Kansas, Providence, Oregon, UConn, Memphis and Oklahoma State are in heavy pursuit of the Indiana native. He is one of the few players left in the 2014 class who could come in and contribute immediately to a major college program.

Let’s take a look at the latest on his recruitment, how his game has grown and what he can do to reach his potential.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi's Breakdown: Daniel Hamilton 

February, 10, 2014
Feb 10
10:00
AM ET
Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles/St. John Bosco) is one of the nation's best scoring guards, but at times, he can be a volume scorer and not a productive scorer. The Connecticut commit is ranked as the No. 2 player in the West behind Stanley Johnson (Fullerton, Calif./Mater Dei) and the No. 31 prospect in the ESPN 100.

Let's take an in-depth look at what this shooting guard does well and what he need to work on:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi's Breakdown: Leron Black 

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
10:00
AM ET
video
One-time Baylor commit and current Illinois signee Leron Black (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) has had a very productive senior season. His high school team at White Station plays a national schedule and he recently dropped 25 points in a win against powerful rival Memphis Hamilton in the Penny Hardaway Classic on ESPNU.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the No. 11 power forward and No. 43 overall player in the ESPN 100 and what makes him such an elite prospect.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi's Breakdown: Grayson Allen 

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
9:00
AM ET
The Duke Blue Devils have the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2014 and the first player to commit in that group was Grayson Allen. Much has been discussed and written about ESPN No. 1 Jahlil Okafor , ESPN No. 4 Tyus Jones and ESPN No. 14 Justise Winslow but Allen has had a strong senior campaign.

Sitting at No. 24 in the senior class, let’s take a closer look at what Allen will bring to the Blue Devils.

Part athlete, part basketball player

Allen understands the game and has plenty of skill but what most don’t realize is that he may be physical ready as a freshman. Allen is a very good athlete with a vertical jump that raises your eyebrows -- which helps him tremendously as he tries to finalize a play and throw it down. He stands close to 6-foot-4 with a strong frame and room to put more muscle on. He has long arms which help when shooting, rebounding, defending and trying to block a shot. He’s a good blend of a basketball player and athlete who can use his physical tools to perform and produce.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UCLA under new coach Steve Alford has landed the nation’s No. 11 recruiting class. A big part of that class -- no pun intended -- is 7-footer Thomas Welsh, who has made improvement from last spring.

After Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner, Welsh is in the conversation for next-best low-post player in the class.

Let’s take an in depth look at his game:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Biancardi’s Breakdown: Best for '14 

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
9:00
AM ET
Basketball is played right through the new year, so as we look back and plan ahead let’s take a look halfway through this season at which 2014 prospects have performed best in 14 categories.

1. Best in the low post: Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young), Duke signee
If a team needs to score a basket in the lower half of the painted area, Okafor is the one to pass it to. He has secure hands to catch almost any pass and a soft touch with superb footwork. He also has a wide mobile body to seal his man and the patience to throw the ball back out and re-post his 7-foot-3 wing span.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES