The class of 2018 is projected to be the strongest ever, in Canadian basketball.
To provide context, its a top-heavy class with NBA prospects, however includes the necessary depth to earn the title of “strongest ever.”
Prior to this, its been the class of 2013 that has been most impressive with two draftess and four total in the NBA–Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tyler Ennis (L.A Lakers), Chris Boucher (Golden State), and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (New York Knicks) to name a few–all who are NPH Top-5 Ranked prospects, coming out of high school.
The 2017s came in showing a bright future as their seasons are about to get going in the NCAA. Nickeil Alexander-Walker at Virginia Tech, Emmanuel Akot at Arizona and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at Kentucky to name a few.
There’s never been this many prospects in the class that have such sure shot, pro level talent for the NBA or International ball. We are projecting 50+ NCAA calibre prospects coming out of this class–of course, that does not mean that our elite Canadian Universities won’t have a shot at Top-50 ranked prospects.
Rowan Barrett Jr.
#1 player in Canada. #1 player in the world. World champion. MVP. You name it, he’s done it.
Upon reclassifying to 2018 in the summer, it was a consensus decision for RJB to claim the top spot.
RBJ played in a dominating fashion against Team USA to win a historic gold medal for Canada in the FIBA World Championships. Barrett Jr. played against a storied coach in John Calipari, who is actively recruiting him at the University of Kentucky
During the two sessions played with Nike’s UPlay Canada on the EYBL circuit, he led the league in scoring averaging 28 points per game and nearly 11 rebounds per game.
Dominant at every level.
This blockbuster NBA prospect has visited the one and done pipeline, Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, as well and has childhood dream school in Duke. Oregon rounds out RJ’s final three and the Ducks are in as good a position as anybody in gaining his services.
Simi Shittu comes in at number 2 with some of the same takeover qualities in a game as Barrett Jr.
On the biggest stage in amateur level basketball, the Nike EYBL circuit, Shittu was a top producer for CIA Bounce averaging a double-double, netting 20 ppg and 10 rpg.
His biggest accolade of the summer was being named MVP at the NBPA Top 100 camp where he was the leading scorer and rebounder.
Nobody else in the class has the package of his physicals, athleticism, strength and versatility.
Vanderbilt staff has been has been recruiting Simi for as long as I can remember and have got the first official visit out Canada’s top forward.
North Carolina visit will follow in November on the 10th. It comes down to Vandy and UNC.
Florida’s newest commit.
Regardless of graduating class, Andrew Nembhard is one of North America’s top point guards. NBA potential yet again with this prospect. He’s the best floor general we’ve seen in high school basketball.
The 6’4 PG has such a calmness and composed demeanour, and has maintained it while controlling games in the most challenging environments.
As usual, Montverde Academy will be playing a strong tournament schedule where the spotlight will be on Nembhard as he goes up against some of America’s top point guards and prepares for next year at Florida for the Gators.
Arizona State just got their best recruit since James Harden with the commitment of Luguentz Dort to the Sun Devils.
When you talk about a prospect that is physically ready for the next level, you’d refer to Quebec’s, Luguentz Dort as an example.
His body has resembled that of a man child since our first evaluation four years ago at nationals with Team Quebec.
Dort has made major strides in improving his three point shooting and making the transition to the lead guard position. He is a formidable scorer who can finish from anywhere on the court; notably for his posterizing dunks, regardless the size of the defender. Dort is a two way player that brings toughness on both ends of the floor.
The first to commit from the Top 5 Canadians was Ignas Brazdeikis. He’ll be attending the University of Michigan next season.
Ignas is one of those talents that some scouts have had questioned marks around.
Iggy has answered all of those with action, and consistent development. First, by toning down and slimming into much better basketball shape. He has increased his foot speed which has enabled him to become a quicker and more versatile defender.
He is now fine tuning to get his jump shot more consistent for the next level.
Brazdeikis let college coaches across America take notice during the spring and summer of the Nike EYBL Circuit.
Canadian IVY League Contingent
Jaelin Llewellyn, Noah Kirkwood and Eze Dike roll in at the number six, seven and eight spots in North Pole Hoops National Player Rankings. All three prospects carry over a 3.5 GPA, elite level of athleticism and character traits. Also, all three happen to be point guards.
Llewellyn has been playing full time PG the longest, whereas Kirkwood and Dike are transitioning to the role exclusively.
We anticipate to see them as All-Conference caliber players in the Ivy League throughout their careers.
Princeton has been a powerhouse in the league and have secured Llewellyn for next season as the Tigers look to remain at the top. Llewellyn brings a bag of tricks with his ball handling and is developing into a Westbrook like leaper when he finishes at the rim.
Kirkwood transferred from Ashbury College in Canada (Ottawa, ON) to the storied prep program at Northfield Mount Hermon. Coach John Carroll believes in Kirkwoods ability to lead a team as a playmaker and shot caller, and will be given the ropes to do just that prior to getting to Harvard.
Dike is the least celebrated of the three, in part perhaps to being from Quebec which has historically received less of the limelight. But that’s all about to change as Dike comes into the NCAA at Yale with a college ready body and strength, strong grip on the rock and can rise on defenders at the blink of an eye.
Jashon Henry – Highest Riser in the Rankings
Jashon Henry has made the biggest jump in the rankings as a result of the treacherous hours he spent doing two-a-days all summer. Henry is the first NPH Top-10 Ranked Saskatchewan player since Trey Lyles (Denver Nuggets), and the first ever coming out of a Saskatchewan high school program (Notre Dame Hounds).
He goes from being a powerful dunker with a straight line drive last season, to a now skilled two guard with a drastically improved three ball and counter moves to create his own offense.
Before the summer started, he lost his father to a battle with cancer. Henry has vowed to pay tribute to his dad in every game and continue to make him proud.
An already existing super athletic ability and well built frame elevates over 40 inches to throw down power punches at the rim. Power and finesse allow him to contort his body, absorb contact and come up with tough finishes.
Last season, he crept up on the national radar…this season we fully expect him to send waves across the country, developing into a household name as he jumped 15 spots, with upside to advance.
Welcome Home Kaosi
6’10 Kaosi Ezeagu has returned home from the American prep scene after spending a year stateside.
He returns home from Tennessee to play at GTA Prep in the National Preparatory Association alongside the number one prospect in the Canadian 2019 class , AJ Lawson.
The preseason has already proved that Ezeagu has made strides in just two months; having added a baby hook and reverse pivot, while also improving his shooting from 10-12 feet. Above all, his confidence is back on track, and growing by the day.
Major Upside on Stephane Ingo
We have been tracking Stephane Ingo’s development over the three years. In our first year seeing him, he was a simply a shot blocker with freakish length. By year two Ingo had began to develop lower body strength and was starting to dunk on defenders with authority.
As of this past summer, Ingo has continued evolving while on the circuit with Can-Amera into a forward that can stretch the floor and put it on the deck a little.
Take his physicals, his current skill set, a super motivated mindset and the upside with Ingo is tremendous if he remains on course. We anticipate that he will be making the biggest jump by the next release of the rankings after the high school season. We’ll let his game do the talking.
Montreal PG’s Under the Radar – Damion Squire, Nudy Georges
Damion Squire is fresh off of a National Team invite for the Junior Team camp where he impressed the Team Canada staff two weekends ago. He’s about to get the season started at Wasatch Acadamy in Utah.
Squire is a legit Mid-Major level prospect that has been floating under the radar for far too long. He is someone we anticipate will be piling up NCAA offers in the coming months.
His production level over the years has been high consistently. With the toughness, strength, IQ and play making ability NCAA coaches will be taking notice this season as he sets up his Montreal brother Tyrese Samuel of the Canadian 2019 class.
Kabongo Making a Comeback
Jonathan Kabongo has been out for about a year with a back injury which he is now returned from. NCAA coaches were in to see him at Putnam Science Academy for evaluation in the last few weeks.
Things are looking positive for the young Toronto PG and we foresee an upswing for him in his ranking considering he takes care of business between now and mid-season. He is considered to be in that Mid-High Major range.
Virgina Tech’s Buzz Williams was in last week to re-evaluate Kabongo.
Rhode Island had also come in to check on Kabongo in September.
Kabongo takes an official visit to Virginia Tech this weekend.
Top 25 Canadian NCAA Commitments to Date
- Andrew Nembhard – University of Florida
- Luguentz Dort – Arizona State University
- Ignas Brazdeikis – University of Michigan
- Jaelin Llewellyn – Princeton University
- Noah Kirkwood – Harvard University
- Eze Dike – Yale University
- Liam Courtney – Colgate University
- Isaiah Bujdoso – University of Loyola Chicago
- Khaleem Bennett – University of Central Arkansas
- Brandon Kenyon – Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
- Alex Christie – Stony Brook
Nationwide Representation in Top 25
The provinces of Western Canada are making their way and getting much deserved National spotlight.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have numerous prospects on the come up and a few that have already made their way near the top.
Alberta’s Diew Moses out of Calgary is going to be the next one up. He’s a familiar name on the West, but there rest of Canada is about to see what’s up.
Moses will be at Toronto Basketball Academy competing in the National Preparatory Association. He will be more than a role player on this squad. He could end up the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Without further ado, below is the strongest, deepest class we’ve ever seen from Canada. This class will have the most NCAA prospects to date. There could be as many as 50 prospects that end up going D1.
Keep your eyes peeled for the 2019 Canadian class; that list will be dropping soon. AJ Lawson has been the talk of the town, yet there are others creeping up the charts.