1. Who’s No. 1?
Josh Jackson and Harry Giles were tied atop the composite rankings in November before the early signing period. Those rankings were released days after the Duke-bound Giles injured his knee in his season debut for Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), and also his last high school game. At the time, Giles was ranked No. 1 by ESPN and Scout, No. 2 by Rivals and No. 3 by 247Sports. Despite not playing as a senior, Giles retained his position from all but Scout, which dropped him a spot to No. 2. In November, Jackson from Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) was No. 1 by Rivals and 247Sports, No. 2 by Scout and No. 3 by ESPN. He retained the top spots, moved up to No. 1 from Scout and moved up to No. 2 by ESPN. That combination allowed him to take over No. 1 in the final composite.
Tatum, Ball, Fultz gets boosts
The remainder of the top 5 also some shuffling beyond Jackson and Giles. Duke-bound Jayson Tatum from Chaminade Prep (St. Louis) moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 after a stellar season that saw him named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. In November, he was in the top three of three of the four sites with 247 having him ranked at No. 11. He moved up to No. 8 from 247 and dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 by Scout. Lonzo Ball, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year from Chino Hills, Calif., went to No. 4 from No. 7, thanks to a boost from 247Sports, which moved him up to No. 2 ahead of De’Aaron Fox. Fox, the Kentucky-bound guard from Cyrpess Lakes, Texas, is down to No. 5 and Markelle Fultz, the guard headed to Washington from DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) is up to No. 6 from No. 8.
Zach Collins’ big move
The biggest mover in the final rankings is Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) center Zach Collins. The McDonald’s All American headed to Gonzaga was No. 62 in the early signing period composite and finishes at No. 31. He remains at No. 32 according to Rivals, but made huge jumps in the eyes of the other ranking services, including 85 spots to No. 20 by 247Sports and 33 spots to No. 38 by Scout.Fernando’s arrival
Bruno Fernando from Montverde Academy in Florida is the highest-ranked player who was unranked in November. Fernando, who committed to SMU during the DICK’S Nationals. The 6-10 post player who was on the fringe of the top 100 had a strong year for Montverde and is ranked No. 49. He decided on SMU because of his relationship with coach Larry Brown. There had been some initial speculation that Fernando would consider a post-grad year at Montverde, but he swatted down those rumors in the fall.
Two players who were not in the early rankings were omitted because they were members of the Class of 2017 at the time. Markus Howard, the Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) point guard headed to Marquette, reclassified in time to be ranked by all but ESPN. His composite average of the three other rankings puts him at No. 63. Markell Johnson from East Technical (Cleveland) just reclassified this week so he was only ranked as a member of the Class of 2016 by 247 and Scout. That average would put him at No. 76.