Rankings Roundtable: Prospects moving the needle, reclass buzz and much more

With January coming to a close, our rankings updates are now live. With 12 prospects making their debut, nearly 40 total risers and 11 leaping at least 10 spots, there's plenty to debrief. Our staff rolled through a few different subjects to discuss recent movers.

Coming into the meeting, who were 1 or 2 prospects you knew you'd be pushing in terms of a bump up the rankings?

Colby GiacubenoPaul VI and Team Takeover guard Jordan Smith Jr. enters the top 15 as the No. 15 ranked prospect. When the dust settles, I expect him to have a chance at being ranked inside the top 10 due to his ability of impacting winning. At 6-foot-3, Smith is the best rebounding guard that I've seen since evaluating high school talent. His blend of athleticism, length and competitive grit are extremely hard to find. When you combine all of those traits with a workmanlike approach, you have a prospect that has played a critical role among high major commits since he stepped foot on campus as a freshman. The flashes of growth in his offensive skill set are becoming more routine, but the Panthers' loaded roster doesn't call for Smith to frequent 1-on-1 scenarios. He's a ferocious finisher above the rim and has shown progression in his jumper-the biggest blemish of his game to this point- in spurts this season.

The other prospect is Edmondson-Westside and Team Loaded forward Chase Foster. Nearing 6-foot-9 with wing skills, Foster has some of the highest upside in this class. The biggest obstacle thus far with him has been consistency, but it seems as if the rubber is meeting the road as we are on the back end of the high school season. I was in attendance for a Red Storm game where he went for 25 points in the second half of play alone to lead his team in a comeback win after trailing by as much as 17. He also registered a packed stat line of 27 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks over Lake Clifton earlier this week. When Foster is dialed in and his teammates are doing their job in getting him the ball, his value is evident. We're expecting a big spring and summer from Foster as he rose 21 spots in our rankings to No. 37 overall.

Travis Graf: 2025 F Trent Sisley is a guy that I think is overlooked a lot across the country. He’s not super flashy but he’s athletic, shoots it well, and always produces. At 6’8”, he’s very skilled and has added pieces to his game over the past year. He’s never going to absolutely blow you away, but he’s a guy who could do very well in the Big Ten over the next few years. 

Another Midwest guy is 2026 G Marcus Johnson. He’s a smooth lefty with soft touch from multiple levels and has had some enormous outbursts this season. His athleticism is kicking in slightly and once that continues and pairs with added strength, he projects as one of the top guard prospects in that class. 

Max FeldmanNik Khamenia was at the top of my list heading in. As we'll hit on later here, there's a lack of clarity across the industry on the class of 2025 as a whole. While stocked with talent and upside swings across the Top-150, few have asserted themselves among the true elites outside of the very top group. Khamenia has done just that for me and has become the exact type of prospect I'd prefer to bet on. He's extremely smart, he's comfortable toggling between different roles depending on the matchup and has a a very strong shooting profile at 6-7. He brings a ton to the table, plays the game the right way and continues to add to his skillset. We're more than 20 spots higher on him than anyone in the industry, and I have a feeling he's only going up from here for us. 

Myles Jones, a 2026 guard at Modesto Christian (CA), mightily impressed this past summer and has continued to put the pieces together in his sophomore campaign. The 6-4 NorCal native quietly looks like one of the most dynamic shot-makers nationally and should ascend on to national radars over the next few months, as we are currently the lone platform to have Jones ranked (Top-70).

U18 Real Madrid F Sidi Gueye has built a promising resume overseas over the last year or so, cracking the Top-60 of our 2026 rankings, his aligned class by CBB eligibility. After grabbing an updated look this past weekend, I felt strongly about vaulting the Senegalese forward up the ranks. While still raw in a number of areas and maturing physically, the flashes of skill and feel have begun to materialize now. When paired with his length, twitch and movement skills at 6-9+, you have the makings of a frontcourt prospect that NBA scouts will fawn over. Now ranked 3rd overall, he'll be eligible for the 2026 draft.

Taking a step back from the prospects themselves, what are your thoughts on having international talent inside rankings?

Colby Giacubeno I think it's a massive advantage to have international talent intertwined within the rankings. There's a clear track record at the highest levels (NBA) that the international wave is here to stay. The quicker you adjust and start becoming familiar with the talent overseas, the more value you bring. Here at MADE, we have a team that is constantly on the road or doing due diligence with film and other research to ensure accuracy as we adopt the talented international prospects into our rankings system.

Travis GrafI think it makes MADE unique, especially from a scouting perspective. Some other sites don’t include foreign prospects, and others only when they commit to a school. But when used as a tool for people in higher levels of basketball, I believe it provides a ton of value for overall classes with NBA Draft potential and prospects that colleges might not normally know about or see. There’s no doubt that the MADE Hoops staff watches the most players across the globe compared to any other outlet. 

Max FeldmanThis has been something we've discussing since the onset of launching back in April of 2023. Now, as the sample size has grown between European competitions and FIBA action, we not only will be the first to bring you word on who's next in terms of underclassmen talent, but also will be the first to intertwine international prospects in to rankings. With NIL, the college basketball route has become an option for many more young international prospects and that trend isn't slowing up. Just like with American-born prospects, if we have the evaluation and the information, we aren't going to hold off to get the prospect into our rankings if they warrant it. Our scope of rankings has been and will continue to be the long-term. Even if a prospect chooses to remain overseas, the NBA Draft scope requires intermixing both national and international prospects. Why not start now?

Which 2025 with reclassification buzz do you think could provide the most impact next season?

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