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August 3, 2012
As we continue our look back at the month of July, we take a closer look at the 2013 Rivals150 prospects that raised their stock since the last edition of the rankings. While there are plenty of guys in the top part of the rankings (top 35 or so) who will get bumps upward, there's not a lot of room to move in that range. So, today we focus on 12 members of the Rivals150 who have some space to make their way further up the rankings. Next week, we'll do the same for the class of 2014 and currently unranked players.
Jordan Bell (No. 77)- Throw out Bell's size, because his production as a rebounder and a shot-blocker is far more important than an inch or two in his height listing. The Long Beach (Calif.) Poly power forward is a big-time athlete, plays with great energy and deserves a bump.
Markel Crawford (No. 86)- It's too bad Crawford's summer was cut short by a knee injury and hopefully it doesn't damage his future. Prior to the injury, though, the 6-foot-5 wing from Memphis was making major noise and proving to be at or near the same level as several guys from his hometown who are a bit higher than him in the rankings.
Demarcus Croaker (No. 139)- During the last update, Croaker eased his way into the Rivals150. Look for the 6-foot-3 Floridian to blast his way into four-star territory during the next update. His first step is as good as it gets in high school basketball and he's rounding out his offensive game.
John Egbunu (No. 121)- USF got a steal in Egbunu. Having already proven himself as a high level rebounder, shot-changer and athlete, Egbunu showed much more offensive game in July. He does a good job of reading double teams in the low post, passes well and while he's still a bit raw, he is a more skilled scorer than for which he's been given credit.
Vince Hunter (No. 114)- Another who moved his way into the rankings for the first time with the pre-July update, Hunter is fun to watch. A high-energy, athletic and tough 6-foot-7 combo forward, Hunter can play inside or outside and always rebounds the ball at a high level.
Zakarie Irvin (No. 68)- Michigan has landed another guy who isn't only a fit for its system, but also is very talented. A growth spurt has him pushing 6-foot-7 and to go along with that he's become a much better ballhandler and isn't nearly as prone to settle for deep jumpers.
Moses Kingsley (No. 78)- Slowly but surely, Kingsley has been making his way up the rankings. The effort and athleticism have always been there for the 6-foot-9 insider. Now, the production is starting to match the effort and he's mixing in more opportunistic offense to go along with his shot-blocking and rebounding prowess.
Kennedy Meeks (No. 67)- During the last couple of rankings updates, Rivals.com has probably been a little too rough on Meeks. The big man does need to get in better shape, however that shouldn't take away from the skills that he does have. Meeks is a high-volume rebounder, has great hands and is an alert passer and good shooter out to 17 feet. Hard not to see some Sean May in him.
Jordan Mickey (No. 51)- Similar in some ways to the previously listed Bell, Mickey is considered by some to be slightly undersized. But, it's hard to tell based on his productivity. He rockets off the floor to block shots, is a big-time offensive rebounder and has become very reliable with the 12-foot jumper.
Roddy Peters (No. 100)- Ever since first cracking the Rivals150 at the end of last summer, the 6-foot-4 point guard has been inching his way up the charts. Look for his next jump to be of the more significant variety. Clever, competitive and skilled, Peters isn't John Wall as an athlete, but he takes after a guy like Sam Cassell in the craftiness department.
Tim Quarterman (No. 130)- Some like him as a small forward, some like him as a shooting guard and others see him as a tall and rangy point guard. The point is, he is a versatile perimeter player that can be used in a variety of ways depending on system and need. Quarterman can kiss being a three-star goodbye as he'll make the transition to four-star prospect.
Matt Thomas (No.104)- Prior to the beginning of the summer, we wondered where are the jump shooters with size? Well, there's definitely one who resides in Wisconsin and the Iowa State verbal can do more than fling jumpers from deep - although he does that exceedingly well. A fringe four-star as of the last update, he'll make a nice move up and comfortably into the national top 100.