High School Basketball: Underrated Prospects of the 2017 Class

High School Basketball
Chris Lykes & Trevon Duval Photo by Tom Reifsnyder

High School basketball is on the rise. 

Thanks to social media outlets, it has become easier to watch future college stars show out in high school basketball. Fans could have an early sense of how future prospects play the game without even waiting for college. Plus, the energy in high school basketball can be just as electrifying as college hoops. 

The social media era has also given fame to high school basketball prospects. Ranking the prospects have become something so popular in this era. Of course, people focus on the 5-star prospects. The Josh Jackson’s or Brandon Ingram’s of the world. However, being a 5-star doesn’t guarantee NBA success. Some great players of the NBA could start as low as three stars. Just look at Stephen Curry and C.J. McCollum, both three-star recruits. While some 5-star prospects haven’t panned out in the NBA, example: Anthony Bennett

The 2017 recruiting class has plenty of 5-star talent, but there are many other 4-star prospects and below that could make a splash in college basketball. 

1. Lindell Wigginton – SG, Oak Hill Academy, Committed to Iowa State

Frequent followers of high school basketball have probably heard of Lindell Wigginton. He’s a 6’1 SG for powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. While those followers know what Lindell is about, his play has been overshadowed by five-star teammate, Billy Preston. He may be undersized for the 2-guard position, but the Canadian certainly knows how to get buckets. In the most recent Nike Extravaganza event, Wigginton produced solid performances against Chino Hills and Jaylen Hands-led Foothills Christian. In his matchup against 5-star Jaylen Hands, he finished with 29 points on very efficient shooting numbers. His matchup against LaMelo Ball and Chino Hills was even better. He finished the game with 35 points including the shot that increased the gap for Oak Hill. Lindell Wigginton may “only” be a 4-star prospect, but has all the tools to be big time at the college level.

(Via: Colter Simmonds)
Lindell Wigginton of Oak Hill has been a bucket getter this season. He has committed to Iowa St. (Via: Colter Simmonds)

2. Chris Lykes – PG, Gonzaga College High School, Committed to Miami U

Standing at only 5’7, Chris Lykes is certainly the shortest in his recruiting class but that hasn’t stopped him from being D1 bound. While he is certainly undersized, Lykes shows tremendous heart when driving to the basket along with his reliable jumper. No matter what team he faces, he seems to thrive regardless. In his matchup against powerhouse Sierra Canyon, Lykes finished with 24 points to keep the game close against a team like Sierra Canyon. Have we also mentioned that he can throw it down? The Chris Lykes show is just getting started, and people should start tuning in. Video via: BallislifeEast

3. Ethan Thompson – SG, Bishop Montgomery, Committed to Oregon State

Ethan Thompson had as great a championship game as any ball player could’ve imagined. He out-dueled Mater Dei in the championship, leading all scorers with 23 points including a game-sealing 360 dunk. Prior to his championship game however, he had another impressive performance. Scoring 21 points against Sierra Canyon. Thompson just seems to thrive in big games, and that should help him a lot at the next level, where every game seems to be big. Video via: Ballislife 

4. Remy Martin – PG, Sierra Canyon, Committed to Arizona State

Remy Martin has been another player that has been overshadowed by the play of their fellow teammates. Playing behind 2018 top prospect, Marvin Bagley III, Remy Martin has been Sierra Canyon’s floor general. While he may seem undersized, he has the athleticism to get up and finish around the hoop. While Marvin Bagley is the dominant force on the team, Martin has been a solid option for the Sierra Canyon TrailBlazers. 

Via: Steve Erler | Special to SL
Remy Martin brings energy onto the court. Via: Steve Erler | Special to SL

5. LiAngelo Ball – G/F, Chino Hills, Committed to UCLA

Yes, he’s underrated. The least talked about Ball brother and only a three-star prospect, LiAngelo Ball certainly has a chip on his shoulder. He is a pure scorer that can score in any way possible, as he is capable of bullying his defender down the post and stepping out and stretching the floor. He has had huge scoring performances this season, scoring 56 in one game, and 72 points in another. Gelo joins a star-studded recruiting class for Steve Alford and UCLA, as he is accompanied by 5-star prospects Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes. While Gelo may be the most criticized, he has the potential to be UCLA’s most reliable scorer. Video via: BallerVisions

These guys maybe over shadowed by 5-star prospects, but they are capable of being game changers as well.

*Featured Photo by Tom Reifsnyder*


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