2026 Recruits On The Rise: Part One

Recruits On The Rise: In this content series I'll be diving into a collection of 2026 prospects who have been garnering buzz on the recruiting trail. Make sure to check out our full list of rankings for the 2023-2026 classes here.

Maximo Adams
2026 | 6’6” Wing | Narbonne (CA) & Team WhyNot (EYBL)

Top-30 2026 wing Maximo Adams has added offers from West Virginia, BYU, Mizzou and UCSB during the July live periods. The younger brother of 2023 four-star prospect and Gonzaga commit Marcus Adams Jr, it’s clear that Maximo is tracking as a high-major prospect himself. He averaged 10.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG during the regular season of the EYBL for Team WhyNot’s E15 group. Adams is a notable 2026 to keep an eye on out West. 

Adams is a well-built and tough athlete with a versatile offensive skillset. Physical slasher at the point of attack who is a legitimate grab & go threat as well. Powerful, tough, & bouncy rim-finisher who doesn’t shy away from contact or traffic in the lane. Smooth and fluid spot-up scorer who possesses strong mechanics off the catch. Explosive finisher who has the vertical pop to be utilized as a lob threat in transition or off back-door screens. A productive rebounder for a wing that holds his own on the glass. Will need to sharpen his handle & expand his confidence off the dribble, although there’s plenty of skill to like in the present. 

Tristan Reed
2026 | 6’8” Big | John Burroughs (MO) & Mokan Elite (EYBL)

Top-120 2026 big man Tristan Reed added his first collection of offers during the July live periods from Michigan, Kansas State and St. Louis. The younger brother of Michigan rising sophomore Tarris Reed, it’s important to note that Tristan has bloodlines in his favor. He averaged 8.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG &  1.7 BPG on 60.5% FG during the regular season of the Nike EYBL. Expect the Missouri native to make a big leap in his sophomore year at John Burroughs (MO). 

Reed is a well-built athlete with strong positional size and a sturdy frame. Physical post scorer who has the power & size to exploit smaller mismatches. Also he’s shown glimpses of his ability to beat slower bigs off the bounce this AAU season. Has flashed some face-up touch outside of the paint, although he tends to do majority of his damage on the interior. Prominent putback threat who has a strong sense for generating advantages with his positioning on the glass. Highly productive & assertive rim protector who has appealing timing and instincts at his age. While there’s room to improve his versatility, the blend of physical tools & rim protection pops most now. 

Josiah Sanders

2026 | 6’7” Wing | St. Paul’s (NC) & Boo Williams (EYBL)

2026 wing Josiah Sanders has added offers from Radford and Hampton during the July live periods. The North Carolina native popped onto my radar throughout the spring & summer with Boo Williams E15 group. He’s poised to see his recruitment grow in the coming years and now is a great time to get familiar coming off the summer. 

Sanders is an intriguing athlete with budding versatility on the offensive end. Bouncy athlete who leverages a quick first & long strides step to gain ground as a slasher. Showed growth as a downhill playmaker throughout the spring & he became much more comfortable as a playmaker. Capable spot-up scorer who flashed some shotmaking ability this spring as well. Possesses the physical tools & archetype to develop into a switchable defender in the coming years 

Xavier Green
2026 | 6’0” Guard | The Colony (TX) & Drive Nation (EYBL)

Top-135 2026 guard Xavier Green had a big spring & summer which asserted him onto our radar. He averaged 12.2 PPG, 3.2 APG, & 2.5 RPG on an eye-opening 53.4% from 3PT range (58 attempts) during the EYBL’s regular season. The Texas native has emerged as one of the stronger backcourt prospects and his productivity spoke for itself. 

Green is a skilled backcourt prospect who is a multilevel scorer & willing playmaker. Prominent dribble-drive creator who is filled with burst & counter moves at the point of attack. Crafty finisher in the lane with a soft float game & impressive body control in traffic. Green is an impressive shotmaker that possesses extensive range, plus he’s comfortable shooting off the bounce or catch. Strung together plenty of playmaking chops on the EYBL Circuit by demonstrating a strong feel & growing instincts. Laterally quick defender who can be tough for opponents to beat off the bounce with his ability to guard in space. 

Cole Cloer
2026 | 6’7” Wing | Orange (NC) & Team CP3 (EYBL) 

Top-65 2026 wing Cole Cloer is a fast-rising prospect who will continue to see his recruitment grow. High Point, Wake Forest, Appalachian State and VCU became the first programs to offer this spring & summer. He averaged 13.7 PPG and 3.6 RPG during the EYBL’s regular season while shooting 55% from the field & 41% from 3PT range. Expect to hear more about the North Carolina native in the coming years and he could potentially rise up the rankings. 

Cloer is a skilled wing prospect with an appealing mix of size & shotmaking that gives him plenty of long-term promise. Reliable spot-up shooter who demonstrates a fluid & smooth release off the catch. Capable pull-up scorer who also possesses a high release point off the bounce. Showed evident growth as an athlete this spring, particularly when finishing plays above the rim in the open floor. Also has the ability to put the ball on the floor & beat slower defenders when slashing downhill. Continues to show intriguing flashes of his feel & quick-processing at 6’7”. As he continues to fill out his frame I’m excited to track his development. 

Chidi Nwigwe 
2026 | 6’6” Wing | St. Benedict’s (NJ) & Riverside Hawks (UAA) 

Top-10 2026 wing Chidi Nwigwe has added offers from Alabama, Penn State, Providence, St. John’s and more this spring & summer. The Riverside Hawks product has started to see his recruitment take off while playing up two age divisions on the UAA Circuit. He currently sits at #10 nationally and he’s one of the top prospects on the East Coast in the 2026 class. 

Nwigwe is one of the stronger scorers who in the glass who has shown evident growth as a playmaker in the last few months. The New York native has truly blossomed & enhanced his pass, dribble and shoot skillset. Quick-twitch athlete who leveraged long strides to glide past defenders and to create for himself off the bounce. An explosive slasher when attacking the rim, yet he’s a smooth pull-up scorer as well. Possesses extensive touch that reaches the three-point line, making him a legitimate multilevel scoring threat. Twitchy defender at the point of attack who leverages quick hands to force turnovers or generate deflections. Still early in the process, yet Nwigwe looks like he’s tracking as a high-major recruit and highly touted prospect.

Dylan Mingo
2026 | 6’4” Guard | Long Island Lutheran (NY) & PSA Cardinals (EYBL)

Top-25 2026 guard Dylan Mingo has earned offers from Virginia Tech & Washington during the July live periods. We’ve been familiar with the New York native since his time on our East Circuit, although he’s added some inches while enhancing his skillset in the last year or so. He’ll be poised for a bigger role this season while playing a national schedule and I expect him to turn some heads. 

Mingo is a long, fluid athlete with advanced movement skills & a balanced offensive skillset. He’s a crafty & quick ball handler who plays at a composed pace while shaking a strong mix of scoring and playmaking. Smooth pull-up scorer who can create space off the bounce, plus he has a soft touch at the rim. High-feel playmaker who rarely plays sped up & demonstrates a mature shot selection. The scoring ability & downhill playmaking make up for an impressive prospect who is also younger for the class. Keep an eye out for Mingo to garner more buzz on the national level in the coming years. 

Markus Kerr
2026 | 6’4” Guard | JL Chambers (NC) & Team United (EYBL)

Top-50 2026 guard Markus Kerr has earned offers from Wake Forest, VCU, High Point, Mississippi State, Radford, Hampton, Charlotte, North Carolina A&T, & Charleston in this spring/summer alone. The North Carolina native is trending as one of the stronger backcourt prospects nationally in the 2026 class. He put together a strong AAU season on the EYBL Circuit in the E15 Division for Team United. 

Kerr is a toolsy wing guard with an appealing mix of positional size, offensive skill & athleticism. Quick-twitch, explosive athlete who is filled with burst & aggression at the point of attack. Excellent transition scorer who thrives playing in the open floor where he glides towards the rim. Bouncy rim finisher who has the vertical pop to elevate above defenders when finishing in the paint. Capable pull-up scorer who has the ability to settle into mid-range jumpers after beating closeouts. Kerr is also comfortable playing on or off the ball as he can be effective in either role. Potential fast break ignite & defensive playmaker who has a strong knack for jumping passing lanes. 

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