We’ve been on the road or in the air all season again evaluating Canada’s top talent across North America. The graduating class of 2017 has shaped up to be a big one in terms of height and size for various positions.
Compared to the last two classes that graduated, the 2017 class has lengthier and taller guards and wings, and more bigs than we’re accustom to seeing with in the top 50 range.
There is only one commitment on the board thus far as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has become a Florida Gator, where he will bring poise, length, facilitation and a versatile scoring ability. Gilgeous-Alexander is on a steady incline in his development and is sure to make an impact on entry.
The rest of the pack in North Pole Hoops Top 10 is highly recruited and is having a strong presence on their respective teams. Without further ado here are the Top 10 Canadians in the 2017 class.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker continues to hold the number one spot in the 2017 class. He took it last year and is unwilling to let go. From his approach to practices, training and games he is relentless. He plays as if he’s the 50th rank prospect trying to climb.
Mindset is what separates him, just as it did for previous number ones like Dillon Brooks (2014) and Jamal Murray (2015). These individuals share mental abilities that help them transcend their games and constantly elevate past expectation.
Alexander-Walker is a score first guard that can get wherever he wants on the floor. Spin moves, hesitations, step-backs, crossovers, you name it, it’s in his arsenal. You don’t know when or which move he is going to use, which makes him very tough to defend. Whether using fundemental jabs and rips or through a dribble attack off the swing, he’s going to find a way to make the defense pay.
The best part is that he can be played at either one or two because of a strong handle, combined with good decision making and unselfishness.
As he continues to build lower body strength and improve his athleticism, he’s going to make for a dangerous player in one of the top NCAA conferences.
Recruitment: Auburn, Baylor, Cincinnati, Illinois, Miami, Providence, New Mexico St., St. Bonaventure, UNLV, USC, Vermont, VCU.
He is now dubbed C-Smooth.
The confidence that has been instilled in Christian David during his year at Vermont Academy so far has been tremendous. Although he’s soft spoken and carries a calm demeanour, Christian David is a potent scorer and play maker.
Efficiency would be the best word suited to describe his game while being brief. A top scorer for Vermont, yet doesn’t take more than 12 shots per game. This will all change next year as he takes the reigns, with star senior guard Bruce Brown (Miami Commit) scheduled for departure. Coach Alex Popp expects him to unleash entirely on the NEPSAC league.
David is breaking out of his shell and adapting to a new style of play with more of a mean streak.
Due to his versatility on both ends, brings production in multiple stat categories. Moreover, his ability to defend from 1-4 adds to his value on the floor. Length and athleticism are well applied on the defensive side. A still blossoming prospect that has not nearly scratched his potential.
Recruitment: Baylor, Creighton, DePaul, Florida, George Washington, Illinois, Old Dominion, Oregon, Providence, Rice, St. Bonaventure, Virginia Tech
Identified as having the highest motor of all 2017 Canadians, this statement holds true until now. The amount of aggression and communication that he brings to the game has had positive impacts at every level–Junior National Team, AAU and currently at Prolific Prep.
Plays with fire and always on the attack regardless of which side of the floor he is on. His energy rubs off on his teammates, his body language and tone becomes contagious.
From a skill standpoint, it’s coming along steadily. The handle still needs to get tighter and his shooting need to improve.
Be on the look out.
Recruitment: Baylor, Kansas, Minnesota, Niagara, Oregon, USC, Virginia Tech
Shai Alexander is the only committed (Florida) player in 2017, and has made the biggest jump from all players in this class. He is the biggest guard in terms of height and length and plays with great poise and IQ. A playmaking PG that loves to set the table, but more than capable of creating for himself.
Alexander plots his every move while bringing the ball up the court and uses good switches of speed and direction to misdirect the defense.
He is a very good ball handler and decision maker in both the half court set as well as on the run. This past December, we took a strong look at him in the CIty of Palms tournament where he averaged seven assists, while spoon feeding teammates.
As his body and explosiveness continue to develop he will be right on pace to be an immediate impact player for the Florida Gators.
Physically gifted, yet still developing.
This is the first season that Brissett is getting significant minutes for the Findlay Pilots, thus the player experience has allowed for him to get tougher, meaner and more deliberate in his moves and shot attempts.
He has added mass and is able to guard both forward positions and some centers, yet what coaches love about him is his long-term potential as a wing.
There has been flashes of perimeter offense and creating for himself off the dribble. Another year to learn how to read the defense from beyond the arc and experiment with moves would do wonders and have him coming into college as a potential all conference type of player.
Recruitment: Arizona St., Boston College, IUPUI, New Mexico St., Oklahoma, Oregon, San Diego St., Santa Clara, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah
The upside for Matur Maker is still through the roof simply based on his length, height and athleticism–a greyhound with a live body. You’ll often find him going up for an alley-oop or tracking down a ball for a put back dunk. Has a good first step that is wide enough to go right passed a defender and leave him hanging on the hip.
At times Maker plays rushed and makes poor decisions because he’s trying to do more than his skill set allows. When playing under control with patience, he is an absolute load.
Canada’s East Coast representation in the Top 10 is Lindell Wigginton (North Preston, NS).
Wigginton carries around a chiseled figure that has some serious fast twitch muscles enabling him to leap in for big dunks or elevate well while shooting a three.
On a stacked Oak Hill squad, Coach Steve Smith has Wigginton at times as both an off guard and lead man, so there is plenty of opportunity for showing why he is being recruited as a combo. Here’s another score first mentality guard that is unselfish and can make reads on his way to the cup.
Recruitment has really picked up since his huge performance at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions where showed his versatile scoring and facilitating.
Recruitment: Boston College, Florida St., Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
JD is having another strong year for Northfield Mount Hermon in one of the strongest leagues in the country, in the NEPSAC AAA. He fills every stat column and always finds a way to be effective.
Desrosier has an addiction and will to win that will be transferable to the next level.
Toughness remains to be one of his best attributes for the next level. Whether battling for a rebound, establishing post position, boxing out or running out; his physicality is tough to deal with for opponents. Desrosiers is physical yet has the self-discipline not to tangle and let it go overboard.
He is shooting it well from beyond the arc and can use his baseline drive from the deep corner to get to the cup.
Recruitment: Baylor, Binghamton, Boston College, Boston University, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Yale
A mobile big with an offensive inside-outside game and the ability to pass very well from double teams and to the open back door, Josip Vrankic is could be the best big man in the class. There is still quite a bit of upside considering he is still growing into his body and filling in.
Over the years, he’s become more aggressive in the paint and used his size to finish around the rim, however defenders become more weary when he starts mixing it up. When he steps outside to operate from the elbow, Vrankic can knock it down with consistency and even stretch as for as the three.
Recruitment: Coumbia, Dartmouth, Duquesne, Vermont, Weber State, New Mexico State,
He’s going to give you buckets and rebound the ball. Anthony Longpre is an offensive weapon due to his shooting range and ability to pull out his defender out to the three point line. He is getting quicker putting the ball on the deck and is strong and can play with his back to the basket.
Toughness at one point was up for question with this prospect, but that is no longer the case. He’s all business.
Recruitment: American, Georgetown, George Washington, Maryland, Wisconsin,
For post-secondary coaches in Canada and the U. S looking to elevate their recruitment and access info on the top 100 from each Canadian class please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.