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July 1, 2011
Muhammad takes over top spot in Rivals150
There have been several major events since we last updated our rankings for the 2012 class on May 25. Notably there were the Memorial Day events, the Pangos All-American Camp and the NBPA Top 100 Camp. After taking them in, it became clear that the Rivals150 for 2012 needed to be tweaked a bit heading into July and the changes start at the top of the list as Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman standout Shabazz Muhammad takes hold of the No. 1 spot.
Given his productive performances in every setting and consistent improvement, it was impossible to deny the 6-foot-6 wing.
"Shabazz Muhammad has certainly passed through the gauntlet of scrutiny," said Rivals.com's national basketball analyst Jerry Meyer. "Over time he has answered all the questions about his game and continues to improve. There might be some prospects that could end up better than Muhammad, but the odds don't seem to be in favor of that happening. The smart move at this point is to make Muhammad the top prospect in the Rivals150."
While the general intent of this edition of the rankings was to make some tweaks and get in some prospects who weren't already ranked, it's important to note the jumps of a few prospects. At the top of that list after Muhammad is another guy who plays his ball in the Las Vegas area, Findlay Prep's Anthony Bennett.
"No matter the venue or the event, Bennett is consistently one of the top players," said Meyer of Bennett's jump from No. 22 all the way up to No. 7. "He has a special mentality to go along with a physical and skilled game."
Next on the list of movers and shakers is Houston's Danuel House. This time a year ago, the 6-foot-6 wing was looked at as a possible high major prospect. Then, thanks to a big Spring he jumped into the national top 50. Now, he has made the move all the way up to five-star status at No. 26 nationally.
"House is loaded with talent and upside," said Meyer. "It will be fun to see how far his game progresses."
Moving on down the list, we come to Wisconsin commitment Sam Dekker. The 6-foot-7 wing was outstanding during outings with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors before taking his game to an even higher level against the nation's best players at the NBPA Camp. One of the highest climbers on the list, Dekker has moved up almost 50 spots from No. 82 to No. 35.
"Dekker really impressed at the NBPA Top 100 Camp," said Meyer. "He is a shot maker with playmaking ability. He is a savvy player who competes."
While Houston prospect Chicken Knowles makes the highest entry into the rankings at No. 58, it's also important to note the play and re-emergence of Auburn commitment Jordan Price. Highly touted early in his prep career, the thickly muscled wing stalled in his progression. However, that's changed dramatically in the past few months and he re-enters the rankings at No. 70 nationally.
"It is amazing how Price has resurrected his stock," said Meyer. "Instead of trying to be a point guard, he has found his niche as a power scorer on the wing."
The honor for the biggest climb within the rankings goes to Andrew White who checks in right after Price at No. 71. The 6-foot-6 Virginia native backed up solid play with Team Loaded by proving at the NBPA Camp that he's a four-star talent and worthy of a significant raise up from his previous spot (No. 142) in the rankings.
"White doesn't just look the part of an athletic wing," said Meyer of the improving wing. "He makes shots, finishes on the break and can defend."
Finally, there is the case of Californian Dominic Artis. Coming out of his junior season, Artis was looked at as a nice mid-major point guard prospect and a kid who had improved. As it turns out, he's improved much more than anybody could have imagined. After entering the rankings at No. 139 in May, Artis -- who will spend his senior season suiting up for mighty Findlay Prep -- moves up to four-star status and No. 81 nationally.
"No point guard is moving up the charts faster than Artis," said Meyer. "He can do a lot of positive things at the point of attack."
Other players making double digit spot jumps in the rankings include Cameron Biedscheid (44 to 31), Robert Upshaw (45 to 32), T.J. Warren (61 to 36), Kris Dunn (59 to 40), Katin Reinhardt (97 to 43), Savon Goodman (62 to 48), Adam Woodbury (99 to 50), Joel James (79 to 51), Tyler Lewis (86 to 54), James Robinson (83 to 56), Tevin Glass (114 to 65), Mike Gesell (127 to 89), Kale Abrahamson (147 to 119) and Ray Lee who goes from No. 134 to No. 124.
Additional players making their debut in the rankings include Alex Caruso at No. 63, Codi Miller-McIntyre (67), Zena Edosomwan (114), Jerron Wilbut (146), Georges Niang (147), Sim Bhullar (148), DeVon Walker (149) and Jake Layman who checks in at No. 150.