Latest Rivals rankings for Class of 2016 provides new No. 1 prospect

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The 2013 recruiting class may not have ended up changing the course of history as we know it during the 2013-2014 college basketball season, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was as strong at the top as any class we’ve seen in recent memory.

Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid went top three in the 2014 NBA Draft and are now considered the saviors of Minnesota, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, respectively. Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, James Young and Noah Vonleh went one-and-done, as expected, while Tyler Ennis and Zach LaVine managed to play their way into a guaranteed contract.

MORE: Rivals releases Top 150 for the Class of 2015

That’s a loaded class, and here’s the scary part — the Class of 2016 has a chance to be better. And on Thursday, Rivals released their new Top 150 for 2016.

Thon Maker, a 7-foot-1 Sudanan by way of Australia, sits as the No. 1 player in the class, and it’s a valid pick. He has the length, athleticism and timing to be an elite shot-blocker, but his shooting touch — which extends to the three-point line with time and space and out to 15-feet on his turnaround — and ability to handle the ball is what makes him special. His unique skill-set makes a comparison difficult, but some combination of former Baylor center Isaiah Austin and Kevin Garnett is a good place to start.

RELATED: Thon Maker is NOT the next Kevin Durant | Harry Giles looks to be healthy again

Harry Giles, a strong, 6-foot-10 forward from North Carolina, appears to have recovered fully from what could have been a devastating knee injury last summer and checks in at No. 2 in the class, while a pair of 6-foot-7 wings — former No. 1 Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum — slide in at third and fourth, respectively.

All four have very legitimate arguments about being the No. 1 player in the class.

Athletic guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk round out a clear-cut top six. Smith is the best point guard in the class, deservedly getting the nod over Derryck Thornton because of his vertical explosiveness. There is not a more entertaining player to watch in high school basketball than Monk, but he’s still too streaky at this point in his career, mixing 40-point nights with 3-for-20 performances too often.

MORE: Mixtapes: Dennis Smith Jr.Malik Monk | Allure of staying home strong for Jayson Tatum

Big man Bam Adebayo, athletic sharpshooter Terrence Ferguson, Thornton and fellow point guard Lonzo Ball round out the top ten. Ball, who has pledged to UCLA, is the only player in the top ten committed to a school.

The full top 150 can be found here.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.