Thursday, July 8, 2010
Earlier this week, I went through Rivals.com's list of the top 150 players in 2011, highlighting players from the Philadelphia and New Jersey area, as well as those with recruiting interest from Saint Joseph's and other Big 5 schools. Today, I will do the same with Rivals' list for 2012. Three of the 100 players on the list have already made college choices, with two of them (Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson) signing with Matt Painter's Purdue team.
There are a number of Philadelphia/New Jersey prospects on this list. In fact, there are five in the top fifty, four from Pennsylvania and one from New Jersey.
The top-ranked prospect from Philadelphia is Westtown School center Daniel Ochefu, who checks in at number 8 on the list. Ochefu is making a big splash this spring, attracting interest from local schools such as Temple and Rutgers as well as national powerhouses such as Georgetown and Kentucky. In an article on Zagsblog, Ochefu listed Georgetown and Kentucky as his favorites.
Kyle Anderson, a 6'7 rising junior from New Jersey, cracks the list at number 11. I had a chance to watch Anderson back in September at the Gym Rats Midnight Madness event in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and came away extremely impressed. Anderson has the ability to play any position, from the point to both forward positions. He plays a very intelligent and selfless brand of basketball. Anderson played last season at Paterson Catholic, and due to the closing of the school, will suit up next year for Bob Hurley's Saint Anthony team.
One of my favorite local players, regardless of class, is Friends Central's Amile Jefferson. The 6'7 forward plays high school ball with rising senior guard Devin Coleman, who also projects as a high-major college players. As good as Coleman is, Jefferson is a truly special prospect, and colleges are well aware of that. Jefferson just competed in the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, where he continued to elevate his stock. The Hawks were on Jefferson early, having him on campus last year when he was a rising sophomore. At last year's Reebok U camp at Philadelphia University, most of the SJU staff was sitting front and center when Jefferson played. He will be a very tough pick-up for the Hawks though considering the long list of suitors that Amile has. A list that includes Duke, Villanova, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Ohio State, and many others.
While Jefferson has been on the national radar for the better part of the past year, another local star emerged on the national stage this spring. Neshaminy's Ryan Arcidiacono, a 6'4 point guard, makes his debut on the list at number 37. Ryan's stock exploded this spring at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions event in North Carolina. Prior to the event, Ryan was already being recruited by Temple, Saint Joseph's, Villanova, Notre Dame, and others. His play at the TOC led to even more interest and offers. Villanova has been considered the team to beat for Ryan's services should they extend an offer his way. Notre Dame, Temple, and Saint Joseph's are among the other teams with a legitimate shot at the talented guard.
Only a few spots down from Arcidiacono is Academy of the New Church (PA) combo forward Savon Goodman (pictured above). Before Ochefu and Arcidiacono blew up this spring, it looked like Savon and Amile Jefferson were going to battle it out for status as the top 2012 player in Philadelphia. That's not to say that the two have identical games though. While Amile loves his mid-range jumper and is a bit more of a finesse player at this point, Savon's bread and butter is taking the ball to the basket. When he does, he is nearly unstoppable. Savon's combination of toughness, strength, and athleticism are tough to match. He just played in an event down near Georgetown called the DC Metro Showcase. Goodman, like Jefferson, has serious interest from Georgetown and Villanova. North Carolina, Syracuse, Texas, and Pitt are other schools involved with the wing.
Most of these players have a long way to go before making their college choices. Even those who make their choice this summer have a strong chance of reopening their recruitment over the next year and a half. These are names you are likely to hear more from over the coming years though.
The picture of Savon Goodman above is courtesy of Scout.com