Canadian 2016 #NPHTop10 National Player Rankings – Welcome Thon Maker

The Canadian Class of 2016…we’ve talked about it before as being a special group, a glimpse into the future of Canadian basketball.

There’s a good chance that some of the top dogs in the class will reclassify to 2015 which would certainly impact the strength of the group. We will wait and see how it all plays out.

For this particular release, we welcome Thon Maker, a journey man that has been travelling and playing all over the world, making his way into Canada for his first season at Orangeville Prep.

At over seven feet tall, his skill set combined with mobility and competitive drive make it difficult to deny him the #1 spot in the class. We simply haven’t seen a prospect with his makeup before. Maker will certainly needs to get stronger for the next level…he is far from a finished product, which is what makes him so intriguing.

Welcome to Canada Thon, and welcome to the North Pole Hoops National Rankings.

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  1. Thon Maker | 2016 | 7’1 | PF | Orangeville Prep

Maker is leaning towards reclassifying to the 2015 class as mentioned by his guardian Ed Smith in a post-game interview at Hoop Hall.

The Sudanese born seven footer and his brother Matur have been on a journey since fleeing from the civil war in Uganda 12 years ago. Uganda to Australia, Australia to the United States and from the United States to Canada for his last stop before making a college decision and where he will play college ball.

Thon Maker combines size, versatility and upside and is regarded by most as the 1st overall pick in the NBA Draft whenever he chooses to enter.

T. Maker has fully bought into his long term position as a four man and has displayed a back to the basket game, showed the ability to consistently connect with a mid-range and even extend as far as the three point line.

Most recently at the Hoop Hall Classic Maker put up 23 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Life Center Academy. We see him being a double double guy all through his career.

Recruitment: John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats’ coaching staff have been attending games regularly. Others heavy in the mix are Kansas and Louisville. Makers full list includes; Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona, Duke, Georgetown, Miami, Memphis, Missouri, Florida, UNLV, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio State.

2.   Jamal Murray | 2016 | 6’4 | PG/SG | Orangeville Prep

There isn’t a more college ready player in this class. His skill level and physical strength, coupled with high acumen and extreme toughness make Jamal Murray a consistent producer wherever he plays.

While some have him listed as a shooting guard, our years of tracking Murray has verified to us that he can play either guard position comfortably, depending on what the team requires. The amount of difficult shots we’ve seen him make including many buzzer beaters tell us he’s always ready for the big moments.

Tried, tested and true; nationally, across North America and Internationally with Team Canada, he can put the team on his back.

During the past two years with Orangeville Prep he has added to his lateral speed and has improved his athleticisim. Jamal Murray’s primal instincts set him apart from many in this class. The only thing putting Thon Maker ahead of him in these rankings is natural upside on Maker’s side. Like Maker, Murray could be one and done.

Recruitment: Illinois has been on Jamal’s tracks for a few years now and will have to compete with fellow BIG 10 programs in Michigan and Michigan State, along with the PAC 12’s Oregon Ducks who have been up in Orangeville regularly to see Mr. Murray.

NPH Top 10 - 2016


3.    Justin Jackson | 2016 | 6’8 | Point Forward | Findlay Prep

Justin Jackson is the first to commit from this 2016 crop. He has chosen to stay in Nevada after high school and attend UNLV as a Runnin’ Rebel.

During the 2014-2015 season we have seen Jackson have more of a primary ball handling role while setting the offense up in half court sets. His size allows him to see over most defenses and his vision and placement of passing put his teammates in high percentage situations.

“JJ” can score from many angles as well but the aggression isn’t always there. This is the season that he has been turning the corner and shown a great deal of improvement. Here’s another one that could reclassify by season’s end.

4.    Nolan Narain | 2016 | 6’10 | PF | La Lumiere 

Nolan Narain will take his first official visit to Gonzaga.

He is currently in a great position to experience growth at a rate that he has not seen before. At La Lumiere this year he plays alongside the newest import from Australia, Issac Humphries.

While playing as more of a full time forward, the Hamilton, Ontario product has became more comfortable creating offense from outside of the paint and even raining in threes. The bodily transformation is in process and Nolan is starting to pack on lean muscle.

Recruitment: Gonzaga, Illinois, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Miami, Xavier, Florida, Binghamton, Buffalo, North Florida, Tulsa, UNC-Charlotte, Wake Forest

5.    Eddie Ekiyor | 2016 | 6’9 | PF/C | New Hampton

Of the 10 players on the list above, Eddie has had the biggest turnaround in his game. His aggressive approach in the paint and his pursuit of the ball when rebounding make him a vital piece to the New Hampton Prep puzzle.

We have seen him in Connecticut and in Massachusetts this winter where he has displayed a more reliable jump shot and higher percentage free throw shooting. His motor remains to be a primary strength on the break.

RecruitmentKansas State, Oregon, Duquesne, Miami, Providence, Villanova, UMass, Wake Forest.


6.    Howard Washington | 2016 | 6’2 | PG | Montverde

The first sighting of Howard Washington was in Buffalo last year when he was at Canisius High School where we learned about this 2016 prospect with dual citizenship.

The immediate thought and comparison that came to mind was Tyler Ennis. Reasons for the comparison came about by watching his body language and overall composure. Washington showed that he was a floor general.

In the transfer to Montverde, his full package is coming to light while playing alongside LSU commit Ben Simmons. With pure scorers around him he has a knack for setting guys up and is a threat from three himself.

Recruitment: Boston  College, Miami, Buffalo, George Washington, Dayton, Memphis, Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure, Ohio, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Xavier, Stanford

7.    Koby McEwen | 2016 | 6’3 | PG | Wasatch Academy

Koby McEwen has been playing in Utah for two years, meaning many fans in Canada are unfamiliar with this prospect unless they’ve watched him with the Cadet National Team.

His speed, toughness and versatile scoring make him a potent threat at all times. We last saw him a few weeks ago in Indiana where he put up 24 points in a loss to a loaded La Lumiere.

He’s the engine for Wasatch and defines combo guard to a tee. Our next look at Koby will be at the Bill Crothers Invitational which takes place February 28th and March 1st.

Recruitment: Baylor, Ole Miss, Utah, Oregon

8.    Nelson Kaputo | 2016 | 6’0 | PG | St. Michael’s

The lead point guard on the number one high school team in the country is Nelson Kaputo. Its a matter of time that his recruitment picked up and things will continue to heat up for him as his team makes a run toward another provincial championship at OFSAA.

Nelson’s three point shooting has caught fire as he’s tightened up his base for a more balanced release. He’s had his way with opponents both in the U. S and in Canada, breaking them down off the dribble and really hurting teams by penetrating to draw in the defense and kicking out for snipers. Even if an opponent has studied Nelson’s game, he’s hard to guard because there’s so many ways he can contribute. Dominant left, and it don’t matter.

Recruitment:  St. Bonaventure, North Carolina Central, Canisius and Richmond.

9.    Marquell Fraser | 2016 | 6’4 | SG | Southwest Christian Academy

At first Marquel Fraser was known mainly because of his defensive prowess. He has always been very aggressive on the defensive end making ball handlers uncomfortable and shaky.

Now Fraser has added to his arsenal higher percentage shooting from three and is evolving as a lead guard. This is a guy that really hates to lose or have his man score on him. An ultimate competitor.

Recruitment: Middle Tennessee, Binghamton, Colgate, Western Kentucky, Buffalo, Tulsa, Fairfield

10.    Brandon Cyrus | 2016 | 6’4 | SG | La Lumiere

Part of the Canadian connection at La Lumiere under Coach Shane Heirman, Brandon Cyrus is now more than just a high flyer in transition.

Cyrus is creating off the dribble for himself on offense and learning more about the nuances of how to defend elite scorers. Going up against his teammate Jalen Coleman Lands (Illinois commit) in practice has elevated his desire on defense.

Recruitment: Arizona State, San Diego State, Gonzaga, Cal

The next release of NPH Top 10 Player Rankings will focus in on the 2017 class that has already made a name for themselves all over the world and will continue to do just that this summer with the Cadet Team for Canada, and with their respective club teams.

For all post-secondary coaches across Canada and the U. S looking to get access to the NPH Player Database with full rankings and evaluations, hit the link below and get in the know. Build your Canadian pipeline today!




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