Ten Intriguing 2023 Recruiting Classes

Tracking the class of 2023 the last few months has been a rollercoaster. Long-term commits bouncing after portal grabs, reclassifications from 2024 changing the landscape and as always, the coaching carousel creating shockwaves. Here, I’ll dial in on a few of my favorite incoming classes from the high school ranks. Just one of the following ranks in the top 10 of 247Sports' team rankings.




Tad Boyle and the Buffs have turned things up a notch here. The crown jewel is 2023’s 5th overall prospect Cody Williams. The 6-8 swingman is far from a finished product, but has some immediate scalability to his skillset. He plays extremely hard, provides juice as on off-ball defender and understands how to bring value within the flow of offense as a cutter. Having KJ Simpson at the lead guard spots makes everyone’s life easier, especially for a top-5 prospect who comes in with high expectations. Williams, the younger brother of OKC’s Jalen Williams, will have scouts flocking to Boulder. It doesn’t end there though, as the Buffs bring in more alongside the highest rated prospect in program history. Assane Diop, originally from Senegal, had a wealth of next-level options and brings forth more long-term upside. Raw in a variety of areas offensively, but has flashed handling ability and passing feel. As the game slows down and he adds strength, there’s noteworthy upside given his profound defensive impact at 6-10 with impressive mobility and activity. Courtney Anderson rounds out the group, but this could be the one that’s looked back upon as the big steal. Our 97th overall prospect in the class, he came on late in his prep career and the Buffs reaped the rewards of an early evaluation. At 6-6 with quick twitch athleticism and a high motor, he’s capable of stepping in and providing value as an energetic wing who can defend the 1 - 3. Offensively, he’s still carving out an identity and tightening up his handle, but has a nice foundation of athleticism and slashing ability to build upon. Da Silva and Simpson are the cornerstones for the coming season, but the Buffs have a trio of both potential high impact defenders and high upside prospects en route. 



The rich get richer. After winning a National Championship, it’s inevitable you’ll lose a few key pieces. But the Huskies counter with a loaded incoming class, and one that’s squarely among the best nationally. It’s led by the no. 6 overall prospect, Stephon Castle. Long and strong with high level ball skills, the Georgia native was perhaps the biggest riser nationally over the course of his senior campaign. Most comfortable with the ball in his hands, his feel, pace and efficiency in his creation have turned up a few notches over the last year. With any freshman, there’ll be bumps in the road defensively, but in projecting long-term, I love what he can be as a switchable defender who moves very well laterally and has the strength to body up bigger guys. Shooting is the big question mark, as it’s somewhat unclear where exactly on the spectrum he lands right now, but I’d bet on Hurley and company making things work before long. Jaylin Stewart is one of my favorite prospects in the class, ranking inside our top-35 in comparison to his consensus ranking of 60. Built and with the ball skills of a red zone wide receiver, the Seattle product thrives generating mismatches and scoring out of the mid-range. His tools won’t blow you, but he’s a highly functional athlete who is going to get to his spots and finish with versatility. Still finding more consistency from deep and getting quicker laterally, but I’m big on what he can develop into long-term in Storrs. Solo Ball blew up last summer playing with Team Melo, stacking up high major offers and quickly locking in a commitment with the Huskies. A nuclear pull-up shooter with a knack for creating space on the perimeter, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ball provide a scoring boost in year one. More wired to score than playmake, the 6-3 southpaw can fill it up in a hurry and plays with impressive maturity. Jayden Ross, a fellow Team Melo product, rounds out the group. At the time of his commitment, Ross was largely overlooked and appeared to be more of a long-term project. Fast forward a few months, Ross strung together a big season with LuHi (NY) in the NIBC and built quite a bit of buzz. A high level athlete at 6-7 with plenty of room to add strength, he’s proven to be an efficient shot-maker from beyond the arc and adeptly defends multiple spots. At his best playing in tempo, Ross looks like one that’ll provide big flashes when given opportunity in year one, become a fan favorite and ride that momentum into a potentially big sophomore campaign. Youssouf Singare rounds out the group, and while raw developmentally in a variety of areas, has outstanding length, natural athleticism and shot-blocking ability. Higher on just about every incoming prospect compared to their consensus ranking, I’m big on what the Huskies have done to lay another foundation following a National Championship run.



Colby Jones, Souley Boum, Jack Nunge and Adam Kunkel are massive losses, but this infusion of talent should have Sean Miller and company competing in the Big East once again. Desmond Claude and Kam Craft should take steps forward, providing some semblance of Jones’ versatility and Kunkel’s ability to shoot on the move. In terms of the freshman class coming in, it starts with Trey Green and Dailyn Swain. If our rankings were based on the idea of projecting collegiate value, Trey Green would likely find himself in elite territory. A proven winner everywhere he’s been, Green is capable of being the engine to an offense and while it may not be in year one, I’d bet on him making an impact before long. Dailyn Swain is one I’m vastly higher on than most in the industry, finishing inside our top 40 of 2023, in comparison to a consensus ranking of 85. The 6-7 versatile wing has long reminded me of a former Sean Miller recruit, Dalen Terry. Athletic, handles the ball, has playmaking chops and flies around defensively generating deflections while having early question marks as a shooter. Extremely young for the class, the Ohio native will take some time to settle in but has extremely intriguing upside in my eyes. Reid Ducharme fits the bill of what the Musketeers have prioritized in recent classes since the staff change, ensuring there’s a movement shooter on the floor at all times. The New England native requires minimal time and space to get his shot off and looks next in line to fill that role in the Cintas Center. The previous three are the ones often discussed, but Kachi Nzeh may be the one whose skillset is the most needed from day one. A brute force on the interior at 6-8 with wide shoulders and a mature frame, his skill set won’t blow you away but his toughness and motor could make him an early fan favorite. McKnight, Fremantle, Hunter and Claude will be the most heavily leaned upon, but I love how they diversified what their bringing in and how the pieces potentially fit together. 



Still seeking a few more names to fill out the roster given the void left by Jaquez , Campbell and Clark among others, but I’m as intrigued by this incoming group as any nationally. All that, with one widely rumored X-Factor still out there. Beginning with Jan Vide, a 6-7 Slovenian guard loaded with skill off the bounce. He has a track record of success in Europe both with Real Madrid U18’s and on the FIBA stage, grabbing MVP honors at this past seasons’ ANGT. There’s a road to aearly playing time here, but he’ll have to grow more efficient in his offensive approach early on. He plays at his own speed, has a wealth of counters to get to his spots and generates mismatches with his sturdy 6-7 frame. In a cloudy 2024 Draft, Vide, a top 25 prospect for us, may be a sleeping giant to monitor out West. Ilane Fibleuil, another one of Europe’s finest young prospects, should bring juice as a scorer and off-ball defender early on. He requires minimal usage to make an impact and scores it well from the mid-range. Moving into the prep ranks, the Bruins snagged a productive bucket-getter out of the Vegas area in Sebastian Mack. The stout, strong guard put together a massive final EYBL campaign with Vegas Elite, scoring close to 20 PPG. There’s a ton of opportunity in the backcourt given the standing of the current roster and Mack could be looked upon as one of their best advantage creators. Next, Mick Cronin and company went cross-country to reel in Brandon Williams. Largely more potential than production at this stage, Williams lands in the top-75 of 2023 given his upside as a mismatch frontcourt scorer. 6-8 with soft hands, aggression on the glass and craft around the rim, he’s serviceable now but his best basketball is well ahead of him. Devin Williams out of Corona Centennial had been a longterm target, eventually choosing the Bruins over USC. His best tools at the next level look like his weak side rim protection, ability to finish lobs, rebound and clog passing lanes. He’s flashed floor-spacing ability and is willing from deep, but has to find further consistency there. Streaky over the course of the last year, but adding strength should go a long way. Aday Mara is the X-Factor here, a top-25 big man out of Spain. Not committed yet, but long been linked to the Bruins now. At 7-3 with outstanding hands, impressive passing feel and an ability to protect the rim, he’s one who could quickly change the outlook of this coming season in Westwood. 


New Mexico

The Lobos started the season strong last year, now Rich Pitino and company parlayed the momentum into an impressive recruiting haul. Jadyn Toppin out of Texas has been one of the most overlooked prospects over the last year or so, producing at a high level with each and every opportunity. It’s not flashy, but at 6-8 with plus length and impressive smarts, he finishes very well around the rim, rebounds with purpose and is impactful defending in the frontcourt. Heady and disruptive defending in the pick & roll, plays with energy and just seems to reel in everything around the rim both as a finisher and rebounder. Tru Washington, out of AZ Compass, is a very different player but brings forth similar intangibles. Not flashy, but willing to do the dirty work and brings value in a ton of different areas. A timely cutter, physical defending in space, rugged slasher and is a capable spot up shot-maker. Very impressive tandem heading to Albuquerque and two that could quickly be looked back upon as vastly undervalued coming out of high school. 



Shaka Smart and the Golden Eagles have quickly become one of my favorites in terms of their identification on the recruiting trail. Beginning with two whose upside I’m very bullish on in Zaide Lowery and Al Amadou. Both fit the bill of what Marquette has thrived on defensively — twitchy, athletic, long and generate deflections at a high level. Lowery, a late bloomer out of Missouri, had a very strong senior campaign in the NIBC with La Lumiere (IN) as a scoring off-guard. Still polishing up his handle and decision-making process, but he’s progressed at a nice rate over the last year and the Marquette has proven the ability to develop those traits over the last few seasons. Amadou, out of Pennsylvania, is one I’ve thought has been vastly overlooked over the last year. Long been stocked with noteworthy tools at 6-9 with vertical pop, he’s beginning to see the early spot up shooting flashes materialize. Defensively, he’s a terror protecting the rim from the weak side and is as quick off the ground as just about anyone nationally. Smart has prioritized guys with similar tools previously like Greg Brown, O-Max Prosper and numerous others. Given time, Amadou could be one that surprised folks. Landing another big one from our East, Tre Norman put together a big summer on the EYBL last year with BABC, quickly becoming a priority recruit for a number of Big East programs. Hard-nosed and aggressive, he has the makeup to be an early impact guard given his scoring ability, point of attack defense and competitive nature. Coming off a fantastic season, Marquette should figure into a hotly contested Big East even with the loss of a key frontcourt piece and this incoming class should make their presence felt for years to come. 



They go about in a unique manner, openly relying very heavily on the portal and being selective in which prospects they recruit as high schoolers. Only two guys coming in, very high on them each respectively. Alex Condon, an Australian national who played last season with the NBA Global Academy, came on late in the process and quickly became a priority for a few high majors. A no frills rim runner with soft hands and advanced footwork, he finishes very well around the rim and excels as a dive man in the pick and roll. Moves well, rebounds it and has a strong foundation of skill and feel at 6-9. Another frontcourt add, the Gators reeled in Thomas Haugh out of the Perkiomen School (PA). While watching Elmarko Jackson last summer on the UAA Circuit with WeR1, it was Haugh who quickly grabbed my attention. At 6-9, he plays with his hair on fire and is stocked with impressive toughness. Shoots it well off the catch, crashes the glass with intensity and is capable of fitting alongside a variety of different personnel at the next level. It’s a veteran laden roster, and it won’t be easy to crack the rotation, but I thought the same last year with one of my favorites in 2022 in Riley Kugel. Golden and company have proven the ability to evaluate late bloomers and take smart gambles from the high school ranks. 


An intriguing collection of talent headed to the A10, and a group that should have an opportunity to make an impact. Begins with Collin Tanner, a 6-5 off-guard out of Combine Academy. The Carolina native plays with a mature approach, capable of fitting in around talent or taking on more usage, but regardless, he can be counted on to make quick decisions and knock down open shots. He plays within himself, does a ton of little things, has an avid feel for the game, defends the 1 through 3 and when given the opportunity, showed to be capable of more than what he was relied upon for on the ball. The Spiders locked down Trevor Smith, a 6 foot guard out of Virginia, early in the process after high major offers began to stack up. Shifty and slippery, he scores it at a high level and is capable of orchestrating offense. Creative, competitive and fluid getting to his spots, he's one that can spur quick offense late in the shot clock when things bog down.  Jack Graham, a former High Point commit, is a highly skilled guard that's wired to put the ball in the bucket. High feel and shoots it at a high level from deep. Mikkel Tyne, the Spiders most recent commitment, is a hyper-competitive creator who can change gears in a hurry. Maturing as a decision-maker has been a work in progress, but on the very young side for the class, the Canadian guard is a nice building block and is a proven generator of offense when need be. Mooney and company have an impressive crop coming in.
Northern Iowa
 The Panthers have made a living over the past few years identifying under the radar Midwest prospects, and they've done it yet again in 2023. Wesley Rubin, a former Loyola Chicago commit out of Simeon Academy (IL), hit a developmental jump over the last year and looks like a big time get. At 6-8 with a highly versatile skillset, he thinks the game beyond his years, has real playmaking chops and has grown into being a reliable floor spacer. Early in the process, the UNI staff prioritized Grand Blanc (MI) G RJ Taylor, and for due reason. He's a hard-nosed winner with a fantastic feel and instincts as a table-setter. Competitive, shoots it well and disruptive defending at the point of attack, the fiery guard should blossom into a key piece of their backcourt down the line. Kyle Pock, a skilled 6-6 shot-maker out of Missouri, served as one of the key glue guy for the eventual 2022 Peach Jam Champions. A no frills approach, Pock excels as an off-ball scorer, brings connective value and has flashed movement shooting ability. The Panthers infuse two former Meanstreets teammates loaded with toughness and a heady MoKan wing with a mature floor game and a reliable three point stroke.
San Diego
 Steve Lavin and company bring in just a two-man class from the high school ranks, but two with significant upside. Kevin Patton Jr became the highest rated recruit in program history, after choosing the Toreros over a variety of Pac-12 schools. Still largely in the early stages in terms of development, but has an impressive athletic profile to build upon. 6-7 fluid mover with off the charts defensive activity, promising instincts and energy on the glass. At this stage, most of his offensive diet comes in transition and as a cutter, but there's plenty of natural ability to build upon and his three point stroke grew more consistent over the latter end of his high school career. Speaking of energy and defensive impact, the Toreros locked down Jimmy Oladokun earlier on in the process and have a good one on the way. A high-wired, twitchy 6-8 F with perhaps no skill to hang his hat on this stage, but one that's going to give maximum effort each time out and is unafraid to mix it up. Rebounds, runs the floor, uses his length well and holds up on switches defensively. Additionally, he's very young for the class and has flashed the ability handle in space and has impressive coordination. Two top-150 prospects headed to the WCC, both of which whom’s best basketball is well ahead of them.


Bonus: G League Ignite

Love what they’ve done with the roster construction this go around. Beside the obvious in terms of talent accumulation, they’ve added numerous 6-6 to 6-9 skilled guys who can fit interchangeably into lineups, create and defend multiple spots, including four top-20 2023 prospects. Matas Buzelis (#2), Ron Holland (#3), Thierry Darlan (#14), Dink Pate (#20), Tyler Smith, Babacar Sane and London Johnson make up the rosters young core. Easily the deepest pool of young talent they've reeled in, and a group that should figure heavily into the top of the 2024 Draft.  

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