With sensational players like Zion Williamson, Cameron Reddish, R.J. Barrett and Bol Bol, the class of 2018 provided basketball fans with a wealth of talent. The class of 2019 is also primed to make a statement with dominant big men such as James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr. and Charles Bassey.
Looking ahead even further, the class of 2020 finds itself in a unique situation with the highly debated one-and-done rule possibly coming to an end in time for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Southern California played host to the adidas Gauntlet Regional Qualifiers and the Pangos All-American Camp during the last two weeks where some of the top players in the class of 2020 were on full display. Among them were Jalen Green from San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno and Kyree Walker from Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Green is widely considered to be the top overall player in the Class of 2020 regardless of position and is the top-ranked player in the inaugural USA TODAY Sports Chosen 25. He currently holds offers from several high-major schools including Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Creighton, Fresno State, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, San Diego State, USC, Villanova, and Washington.
He possesses good size for a guard at 6-foot-5 and 175 pounds. Offensively, Green is explosive when getting to the rim and scoring or drawing contact and getting to the free-throw line.
Green is aware of his strengths, but he’s also identified several areas in which he wants to improve.
“Getting to the rim and being a leader are my strengths,” Green said. “Shooting, defense– just in the half court I want to improve. [Also] my IQ, getting that up is really big… You can always get better every day.”
As far as his overall ranking, Green is humbled that he projects to be the top overall player in his class, but he isn’t thinking too far ahead.
“I see myself where I’m at right now. I’m just gonna keep working,” Green said. “Only time will tell what’s gonna happen in the future so I’m just gonna keep working and doing what I’m doing.”
Green is playing this summer on the Adidas Gauntlet Series with Team EBO. Being able to compete at a high-level during the offseason is important for him, especially at major events on the circuit.
“Playing in the summer, you’re working all before the high school [season],” Green said. “Coming out during the summer and showing your skills and things like that, it makes it easier to showcase.”
Another top-ranked player in the Class of 2020 who participated in the Adidas Regional Qualifiers as well as the Pangos All-American Camp was Kyree Walker. Walker is considered to be the seventh-best player according to the Chosen 25.
So far, Walker is the only top-10 prospect in the class of 2020 that has made his college commitment. After two more years of high school basketball (unless he reclassifies), Walker will join head coach Bobby Hurley at Arizona State.
“Bobby Hurley is a great coach,” Walker said. “Playing for someone like him, it would be great for me, for my IQ, learning new things. It would help me a lot.”
Walker’s size enables him to take advantage of smaller defenders in the post and finish around the rim at a high percentage. He had one of the better individual performances at the Pangos All- American Camp when he dropped 20 points during the second day of camp games.
Walker strives to be known as one of the better all-around players in his class by continually developing his game.
“I’m an all-around player really. I can score, I can pass, play defense, all of that,” Walker said. “There’s a lot of things I got to do to fix up my game, but other than that I’m fine. Free throws is one, knocking down my free throws in clutch moments.”
Walker relishes playing AAU basketball where he suits up for Dream Vision on the Adidas Gauntlet. He sees it as an opportunity to stay fresh and sharp over the summer.
“It’s important to stay in shape all the time, 24-7,” Walker said. “If I don’t stay in shape, then I would be gassed up on the court. Having that is a big part of my game.”
Time will only tell whether or not the NBA eliminates the one-and-done rule by 2020, and if so, what players will decide to make the jump. While nothing is set in stone, it’s clear that Jalen Green and Kyree Walker will certainly be worth watching while they’re still in high school.