Ben Simmons (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

LSU commit Ben Simmons tops latest Class of 2015 rankings from Rivals

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After a busy June filled with national camps, Rivals unveiled their latest Class of 2015 rankings on Friday. LSU commit and 6-foot-9 power forward Ben Simmons tops the rankings and is the new No. 1 prospect in the class after a strong spring in the Nike EYBL and a good showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.

Former No. 1 prospect, Malik Newman, slips to No. 2 and the Jackson, Mississippi native is still the most lethal scoring guard in the class.

Rounding out the new top five is new No. 3 overall prospect Jaylen Brown, a 6-foot-7 power wing from Georgia who has had a monster spring on the adidas Gauntlet with Game Elite, as well as winning a gold medal with the USA U18 team at FIBA Americas.

Oakland native and 6-foot-9 power forward Ivan Rabb comes in at No. 4 and coming in at No. 5 is shot-blocking machine Cheick Diallo, a 6-foot-9 power forward from New York.

As Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi notes in his breakdown of the new rankings, No. 2-6 in the rankings all were considered for the No. 1 spot and this is a class that still has a lot of intrigue going into July.

Although multiple national recruiting analysts have told me that the Class of 2015 is one of the weaker classes in the last 10 years, there’s still plenty of talented players vying for the top spot.

You can view the new Rivals 150 for the Class of 2015 here and Bossi’s breakdown of the top 10 and the major movers can be found here.

The July live evaluation period begins on July 9th and College Basketball Talk will have plenty of recruiting news and notes from events going on from coast-to-coast.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.