The Class of 2023 has been heavily impacted by Covid-19, as they missed all of their freshman club basketball season and most of their sophomore high school basketball season due to state and federal protocols. Although things did resume to some normalcy by the month of July in 2021, with there being three NCAA Certified Live Periods, the lack of exposure that took place throughout the most restrictive portions of Covid-19 meant that most players from this class entered the Live Periods with little to no name recognition. Therefore, these updated player rankings feature numerous players that were not included in the first round of rankings I compiled last August 2021, as well as some names dropping out of the rankings due to varying factors (other players have emerged, some players are no longer playing basketball, etc.) You can access the previous player rankings for the Class of 2023 can be accessed below:

Along with observing many of these players over the course of the past 2 years, these end of Spring rankings include recent player evaluations from the Fall individual showcase period, the recent CIF sanctioned high school season, and the Spring club season that just wrapped up. The criteria for these rankings are based on a combination of potential to play at the collegiate level, as well as performance in the three arenas of prep hoops (high school team, club team, and individual events). I received input from coaches, media, and other members of the prep basketball scene in the Central Section on players in these rankings, but the order of the players is my own ranked order. We begin these rankings with a shake-up at the top. 

This is the 3rd round of player rankings I have done for the Class of 2023, and this latest edition has a new player at the top of this list. Jamar Howard of Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo, CA) has moved up from #2 in the previous 2023 Rankings to the #1 spot. Howard is coming off a highly productive high school season, where he averaged over 25 points per game and led the Royals on a run in the postseason with multiple 30 point games. Howard has continued his high level of play throughout the Spring club season, as he has been one of the leading scorers and rebounders for West Coast Elite’s NorCal 17u UAA team. Howard has started to garner real interest from Division 1 programs and will look to up his recruitment during the month of July on the Under Armour Circuit. Luis Marin of St. Joseph (Santa Maria, CA) also moved up one spot from the #3 to the #2 in these rankings. Marin had a great season with the Knights, as he was the lead guard that orchestrated the flow of the offense and helped lead St. Joseph to the Open Division Sectional Title Game, where it suffered a tough overtime loss to Clovis West. Marin is playing on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit for Jalen Green Elite 16u team. The previous two versions of these rankings had San Joaquin Memorial’s Mike Davis Jr. at the #1 spot. Davis had a productive season with the Panthers, as he averaged a double-double per game, and has played exceptionally well throughout the Spring club season with Fresno-based EBO 17u team. Davis has slid to #3 in this updated round of the 2023 Rankings, but it is not because his level of play has slipped, but that the level of play and collegiate projection of both Howard and Marin have surpassed Davis at this point in their high school careers. Armari Carraway, Issac Martinez, and Jaden Haire all remained in the same spots from the previous rankings, but we do see some shake-up in the remaining spots in the Top 10. 

The biggest move of any player for the updated 2023 Rankings is Jhace Boston of Stockdale of Bakersfield, going from unranked to #7 in the Central Section. Boston is a great example of how Covid has impacted the Class of 2023, as his high school team played less than a handful of games during the shortened 2021 Spring season and he was not on any club team that I scouted in the July 2021 Live Periods. I knew who Boston was, but was not aware of how he had progressed since entering high school. He attended a couple of showcases in the Fall and jumped on my radar quickly. This was followed up by earning co-MVP during the 2021-2022 high school season and a highly productive Spring club season. Therefore, Boston has shown to be one of the top prospects in the 2023 Class, despite not being listed in the previous rankings for this class. The Top 10 is rounded out with all new names, along with Boston there is Henry Madden III of Central of Fresno moving up eight spots to #8, Mykayle McCoy of Roosevelt of Fresno went from unranked to #9, and Kaleb Cole of Sanger High has jumped up 14 spots to #10. These players have all moved into the Top 10 based mainly on potential as a collegiate prospects, along with growth and development in their game. 

Another player that was mentioned as a notable player in the previous version of the 2023 Rankings was Z.J. Cotton of Hoover of Fresno. Cotton had attended a school in Southern California during the 2020-2021 academic year but was set to return to the Central Section for his junior season. Cotton dropped in at #17 and will look to be the leader of a young new look Patriots. Overall, there are fourteen players that entered these updated rankings that were not in the previous 2023 Rankings, which is due in part to being able to see a larger population of players from this class during the recent high school season, as well as being able to host multiple events in the Central Section that has allowed more players a local platform to showcase their games. Although the events we have held in the Central Section do not fully determine who makes our rankings and where players end up on the list, it does provide an opportunity to see players in a different environment than high school and club basketball. Consequently, some players have dropped out of these updated rankings for a variety of reasons, as was mentioned above. I will update these rankings again in the Fall of 2022, before the high school season officially starts. Player rankings for the Classes of 2024 and 2025 will be coming in the next few weeks. Included in the player rankings below are player name, height, the high school attended, player’s position, and where they were previously ranked last year.

Rank (Previous Rank)Player NameHeightPositionHigh School
1 (2)Jamar "JJ" Howard 6'6"WFMission Prep (San Luis Obispo CA)
2 (3)Mike Davis Jr. 6'7"PFSan Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)
4 (2)Luis Marin 6'5"PGSt. Joseph (Santa Maria CA)
(4)Armari Carraway 5'11"CGSan Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)
(5)Issac Martinez5'11SGClovis West (Fresno CA)
(6)Jaden Haire 6'6"WFHanford West H.S. (CA)
7 (NR)Jhace Boston6'3"CGStockdale (Bakersfield CA)
8 (16)Henry Madden III6'4"WFCentral (Fresno CA))
9 (NR)Mykayle McCoy6'6"PFRoosevelt (Fresno CA)
10 (24)Kaleb Cole 6'6"PFSanger H.S. (CA)
11 (11)Demell Argus Turner 6'1"PGLemoore H.S. (CA)
12 (7)Joaquin Rios6'2"CGStockdale (Bakersfield CA)
13 (8)Yaj Vance6'1"
PGEdison (Fresno CA)
14 (9)Prince Ellis5'10"PGSouth (Bakersfield CA)
15 (15)JayJay Jones6'3"WFCentennial (Bakersfield CA)
16 (10)Tyron Tyler Jr.6'5"WFIndependence (Bakersfield CA)
17 (NR)Z.J. Cotton6'0"PGHoover (Fresno CA)
18 (20)Nicholas Esparza5'11"PGSelma H.S. (CA)
19 (28)Dylan Swillis6'5"WFCentral (Fresno CA)
20 (23)Daniel Rodriguez6'2"SGRobert F. Kennedy (Delano CA)
21 (14)Jaylen Bryant 6'4"WFClovis North (Fresno CA)
22 (NR)Josh Nicholson6'4"WFRoosevelt (Fresno CA)
23 (18)Yash Patel 6'2"WGRighetti (Santa Maria CA)
24 (32)Riley Bermke6'4"WFLemoore H.S. (CA)
25 (NR)Juvon Manzanales6'3"WFMt. Whitney (Visalia CA)
26 (25)Caedan Hamilton6'7"
PFSt. Joseph (Santa Maria CA)
27 (21)Mekhi Johnson 6'1"SGRidgeview (Bakersfield CA)
28 (31)Charlie Stump6'5"PFBakersfield Christian H.S. (CA)
29 (30)Lucca Hart5'11"SGNipomo H.S. (CA)
30 (NR)Gustavo Chavez5'11"SGWest (Bakersfield CA)
31 (NR)Jaeden Moore6'4"WFCentral Valley Christian (Visalia CA)
32 (17)Elijah West5'10"PGCentennial (Bakersfield CA)
33 (NR)Isaiah Perry6'0"PGGarces Memorial (Bakersfield CA)
34 (NR)Carmine Ficher6'0"PGTulare Western H.S. (CA)
35 (NR)Connor McFall 6'2GWKingsburg H.S. (CA)
36 (NR)CJ Bell6'4"WFAtascadero H.S. (CA)
37 (NR)Will Kuykendall6'3WGSt. Joseph (Santa Maria CA)
38 (NR)Devon Riggins6'4"WFCentral (Fresno CA)
39 (27)Nate Moua5'10"SGHoover (Fresno CA)
40 (NR)Xander Chisolm6'2"WFLiberty (Bakersfield CA)
Honorable MentionNasr Chaudhary6'3WFClovis North (Fresno CA)
Honorable MentionMyles Elam6'1"WGStockdale (Bakersfield CA)
Honorable Mention Cooper Villi6'4WFClovis West (Fresno CA)
Honorable Mention Shawn Wong5'10"CGClovis North (Fresno CA)
Honorable Mention Noah Brown 5'11CGKingsburg H.S. (CA)