Monday, August 29, 2016

Boys Basketball Class of 2018 Recruiting Rankings Released

Since 2009, the New Hampshire Notebook has been the authority on NH basketball recruiting. Like we have since 2009, we continue to rank the top players in each class. We do it for 2 reasons. First, to give these kids exposure to the hundreds of college coaches who frequent the site. Secondly, to motivate the players to work hard so they move up higher on the list (and if they're ranked #1 to motivate them to work hard to keep the spot).

Kids, there's always someone else out there working harder than you - maybe even someone outside of NH. After all, these are recruiting rankings, and college coaches recruit kids from all over the country - heck, all over the world, not just NH. So stay hungry and stay humble. For every tweet you make that's a jumper you could have taken in the gym.

That being said, this is a very exciting time for NH basketball. More local kids are getting D-I and D-II offers than any time in recent memory. The Class of 2016 alone produced five scholarship players.

As always, the rankings are based on how the kids project as college recruits. We take into account the countless hours covering games in person, viewing game film and in talking with area coaches. We take the accuracy of the rankings seriously, because we owe it to the kids we cover - plus our credibility is on the line with the hundreds of college coaches who view the site.

Any New Hampshire based player who is a college basketball prospect from the Class of 2018 is eligible. So if they're committed to play college ball in another sport, they're not eligible. If they're from a different state and only are in NH to play for a prep school like Tilton, they're not eligible. If they're from NH and are attending an NHIAA school, an in state or out of state prep school, or an out of state private school like Central Catholic, they are eligible.

Feedback is always welcome. Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you think we missed anyone.

Without any further ado, here are NH's top boys basketball prospects from the Class of 2018:

1. Keigan Kerby, 6'7" Wing Forward, Brooks School
2. D.J. Frechette, 6'1" Shooting Guard, Governor's Academy
3. Alonzo Linton, 6'3" Wing, Nashua High North
4. Tayler Mattos, 6'8" Forward, Kearsarge HS
5. Craig Preston, 5'11" Point Guard, Dexter School -
6. Ronnie Silva, 5'9" Point Guard, Bradford Christian Academy -
7. Cody Graham, 5'10" Shooting Guard, Portsmouth HS
8. Paul Rodolf, 6'1" Combo Guard, Berwick Academy
9. Zach Waterhouse, 6'1" Shooting Guard, Winnacunnet HS
10. Tom Johnson, 5'10" Combo Guard, Kearsarge HS
11. Ian Cummings, 6'1" Guard, Merrimack HS
12. Max Bonney-Liles, 6'3" Guard, Alvirne HS
13. Jake Blaisdell, 6'2" Guard, Keene HS
14. Matt Eylander, 6'4" Forward, Lebanon HS
15. Sclyler Boykin, 5'7" Point Guard, Nashua High North
16. Cole Britting, 5'7" Guard, Londonderry HS
17. Gob Gabriel, 6'2" Guard, Trinity HS
18. Yanis Nyantenji, 6'4" Wing, Bishop Guertin HS
19. Michael Roumraj, 5'10" Guard, Manchester Memorial HS
20. Zach Lubin, 6'4" Wing, Manchester Memorial HS
21. James Morse, 6'3" Guard, Winnacunnet HS
22. Bryce Johnson, 6'0" Guard, Bishop Brady HS

Now, here's a closer look at each player...

1. Keigan Kerby, 6'7" Wing Forward, Brooks School
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2zLd3yJgPU
Kerby (Hampton, NH) has already picked up offers from American U, George Washington, UNH and Bryant so it's an easy choice for the #1 spot. With his combination of size, skill, length and athleticism it's easy to see why. Kerby is only a sophomore, but is 6-foot-7 and is a knock down 3-point shooter. He has a very fluid motion when shooting off the catch - good mechanics. Kerby (pictured above) also understands floor spacing and knows how to move without the ball in order to free himself up for looks. If teams close out on his shot he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and go by them off the dribble. He finishes strong inside and in transition. This kid can score in a variety of ways and is a versatile player. He also has good vision and is a very underrated passer. The latest big time D-I local player.

2. D.J. Frechette, 6'1" Shooting Guard, Governor's Academy
Video: http://bit.ly/2bk0CdS
An explosive scorer who can really light it up from beyond the arc or attack the rim off the bounce. Frechette (Nashua, NH) is a natural 2-guard. Really squares up and sets feet well on outside shot - if you don't stick to him like glue he'll make you pay. Moves well without the ball in order to either get open on the perimeter or cut back door for layups. A hard worker. Can play above the rim. Good leaping ability, so he plays bigger than 6'1". A pure scorer, but at the same time he really made great strides in the past year on the defensive end. Has emerged as one of the state's top defenders. A very good shot blocker for a good, which goes back to his leaping ability but is also due to his tenacity.

3. Alonzo Linton, 6'3" Wing, Nashua High North
Video: http://bit.ly/2bTmH5k
Ever since Linton's coming out party last season when he dropped 30 points on Nashua South, it's been a well known fact around NH that this kid can play. With his combination of size and quickness he's a tough match up, with the ability to score inside and out, put the ball on the floor, post up, hit the three and plus has the mid-range game to go with it. Linton thrives in an open court style, where he's a strong finisher in transition. He also has a good handle and crossover, which he can smoothly transition into a knock down pull-up.

4. Tayler Mattos, 6'8" Post, Kearsarge HS - Mattos is still a raw big man, but at the same time he's pretty far along skill and footwork-wise for a 6'7" kid of his age. He has good upside, no question. As he refines continues to refine his footwork, pivot moves, drop steps, etc. this kid could dominate NH basketball over the next couple of years. Kids with his size and skill - if they keep working on their game, they usually go places. Watch out for this kid. He plays hard, too. Mattos made some noise this summer with the NH Spartans AAU squad. You can't teach 6'8". And kids who are that big and have skill have a significantly higher chance at getting a scholarship.

5. Craig Preston, 5'11" Point Guard, Dexter School - Preston is a silky smooth point guard who can handle the basketball, distribute it and really light it up from the outside. Preston (Manchester, NH) has a high skill level and basketball I.Q. He is fundamentally sound and like Graham is not afraid of taking the big shot. A smooth shooter with a high release, which is essential for a smaller guard. Preston also has good range on his jumper. He's played in a lot of elite AAU tournaments and showcase events over the past couple of years, and as a result holds up well vs. even the toughest of competition. Getting looks from high academic schools.

6. Ronnie Silva, 5'9" Point Guard, Bradford Christian Academy
Video: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6993022/5721e19f041ddc1b007c11b7
Lightning fast. Silva was the quickest player in the NHIAA last year as a junior. He's repeating his junior year, transferring to BCA. Silva uses his insane quickness to penetrate into the lane, pushes the tempo, and thrives in a fast paced style of play. He excels at driving and kicking it out to an open teammate. Silva (Nashua, NH) is also a deadly shooter from the outside, either off the dribble or the catch. He has a quick release and is capable of heating up from the outside at any time. Silva's a good kid, always plays hard out there, is always in attack mode.

7. Cody Graham, 5'10" Shooting Guard, Portsmouth HS - this kid can flat out score. Give him space and he'll hit the three. Play up on him and he'll blow by you. He knows how to read his defender, how to read screens, move without the ball and use jab steps to free up his jumper or to get an angle for an open look or driving lane to the rim. He's a smart, scrappy, savvy guard. Graham is a winner. He's quick, has a good handle and is a tough defender. The most clutch shooter in the state. Game is on the line and you need a big shot? Graham's your guy.

8. Paul Rodolf, 6'1" Combo Guard, Berwick Academy - a rapidly improving prospect, Rodolf came seemingly out of nowhere to drop 30 points in an upset win over #1 seed Nashua North this past March in the D-I quarterfinals. He didn't stop there, as Rodolf has kept working hard and had an impressive performance in the Sam Carey Classic a couple weeks ago. While competing against some of the region's top recruits (many of whom hold D-I offers) Rodolf more than held his own, chipping in with 9 points and playing tough defense. Now he heads to Berwick Academy, where he'll repeat his junior year and reclassify to 2018. Rodolf (Manchester, NH) can hit shots, slash to the rim and has a good handle. He can play the 1 or the 2.

9. Zach Waterhouse, 6'1" Shooting Guard, Winnacunnet HS - this kid is a legit scorer, especially from beyond the arc. Had a strong sophomore season for Winnacunnet and followed that up on the AAU circuit with the NH Spartans, including a 31 point performance in the Northeast Hoops Festival. Waterhouse can also get out in transition and finish. I like his toughness also. Understands floor spacing and using screens to free up his shot. Waterhouse can score in bunches and in a variety of ways.

10. Tom Johnson, 5'10" Combo Guard, Kearsarge HS
Video: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/5000399/5721e19b4df6124b7030a0ab
This kid is a hard worker and loves to play the game. Had a breakout game in the D-III semi-finals, hitting three 3'd in the 1st quarter and leading Kearsarge to win over Conant. You also have to love the crossover dribble, like the one he uses early on in that highlight video. Can hit the mid-range jumper or score inside over bigs. Good mechanics and smooth release when shooting off the catch. Makes good decisions with the ball, good passer. Can play the 1 or the 2.

11. Ian Cummings, 6'1" Guard, Merrimack HS - a rugged, strong framed shooting guard, Cummings had an impressive showing in the state tournament as a sophomore in leading Merrimack to the state title game. He showed no fear while playing on the big stage, facing up from the wing and bul ling his way to the rim for buckets time after time. Cummings can also hit the mid-range jumper, finish inside and rebounds well for a guard.

12. Max Bonney-Liles, 6'3" Guard, Alvirne HS
Video: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6961334/5736221b0a6783426cf20c11
I like this kid's game. Just check out his highlight video. He plays hard, has good size for the guard position and an emerging skill set. Can light it up from beyond the arc, with the ability to shoot it off the catch or the dribble. Bonney-Liles also attacks off the bounce with an array of dribble-drive moves, can finish through contact and also has a strong mid-range game. Tough defender, good rebounder and passer. He can flat out score the basketball. Deceptively quick.

13. Jake Blaisdell, 6'2" Guard, Keene HS
Video: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/6075606/jake-blaisdell
Can drain the long range shot, sets his feet and has good form, follow through. Good interior passer. Blaisdell is strong with the ball when driving to the rim, can finish in traffic. Good work ethic. This kid really plays his heart out every game. Hustles for steals, loose balls and offensive boards. Sees the floor, is a good passer and moves well without the basketball. Keene will have the best team they've had in years and Blaisdell will be a big reason for it.

14. Matt Eylander, 6'4" Forward, Lebanon HS - all teams need a guy who doesn't care about stats, isn't flashy - who just does the dirty work inside, rebounds, defends the post, battles inside and sets good screens. Eylander is that guy for Lebanon. And if he keeps working, he'll be that guy for a college team as well. Eylander's tough, physical and can also hit the foul line jumper.

15. Sclyler Boykin, 5'7" Point Guard, Nashua High North
Video: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6464873/5721df0619a53e2a1881f158
Boykin is one of the fastest kids in the state. With him, Silva and Linton, it's no wonder I used #speedkills when tweeting updates of Nashua North games last year. Boykin is also one of the state's best on the ball defenders. Good handle, quick off the dribble. Also a prospect in football.

16. Cole Britting, 5'7" Guard, Londonderry HS - Britting is a tough, scrappy guard. One of the state's better defenders. Unselfish player who looks to set up teammates for looks before looking for his own shot. Was a key player for Londonderry's undefeated championship team as a freshman in 2014-2015. Not afraid to step in and take a charge.

17. Gob Gabriel, 6'2" Guard, Trinity HS - the latest in the Gabriel clan, following Karima, Komot, Mabor and Wenyen. Gob is rapidly growing, both in terms of height and his skill set.

18. Yanis Nyantenji, 6'4" Wing, Bishop Guertin HS
Video: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/7019391/yanis-nyantenji
Explosive athlete, Nyantenji is very quick and athletic, with good size for the wing. Can get up above the rim to finish or to block shots on 'D'.

19. Michael Roumraj, 5'10" Guard, Manchester Memorial HS - Roumraj is an athletic player, he can hit shots and pressure the basketball on 'D'. Aggressive and makes plays on both ends of the floor.

20. Zach Lubin, 6'4" Wing, Manchester Memorial HS - Lubin was a key player as a sophomore for a Memorial team that made the Final Four. Can score the basketball and rebound. Good speed, thrives in the open court. Played AAU with Boston Spartans.

21. James Morse, 6'3" Guard, Winnacunnet HS - a capable spot up shooter, Morse has good size and strength for the wing. He can also score inside over smaller guards. Morse also plays football for Winnacunnet.

22. Bryce Johnson, 6'0" Guard, Bishop Brady HS - the lefty was one of the more underrated players in D-II last year. He helped lead Bishop Brady back to the Final Four. Johnson can hit shots off the catch or off the dribble, also sees the floor well, makes good passes.


Jeremy Leveille has been covering New Hampshire high school basketball since 2007. He has run the NH Notebook since 2009, has covered NHIAA athletes for the New England Recruiting Report since 2010 and has four years experience covering D-I America East basketball.