The Class of 2025 is getting ready to start their junior year of high school and the Fall hoops season is fastly approaching. The class of rising juniors is coming off one of the more prolific live Spring and Summer sessions that saw four NCAA Live Periods for club ball, two Scholastic Live Periods in June for high school ball, and the NCAA College Basketball Academies were brought back to round out a total of 7 live-periods that put thousands of student-athletes in front of college coaches and national/regional scouts.
Despite the number of live period events held from April through the end of July, not all players from the Central Section were privy to the same level of exposure or participation in live period events. Specifically, the scholastic live events, where only players from St. Joseph, Clovis North, Clovis West, and San Joaquin Memorial had the chance to play in the illustrious Section 7 event held in Arizona. Although there were more teams represented in the Inaugural California Scholastic Live tournament, that number only expanded to 10 schools from the Central Section that were fortunate to receive invites and the chance to play in front of approximately 190 college coaches. Program success and next-level prospects on the roster will be key factors in who gets an invite to these types of events, which means that the number of players that will not have this platform is much larger than those that do. Therefore, it is imperative that players take advantage of playing for club teams that participate in quality NCAA Live Period events in April and July, as Central Section players have to be more strategic about how they market themselves to college coaches and scouts.
This is my third round of player rankings for the Class of 2025, and the list has expanded from 40 to 60 players. This list has been compiled over the past two and a half years, with the criteria for these rankings being 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 high school basketball community in the Central Section on players in these rankings, but the order of the players is my own ranked order. This updated list puts an emphasis on player output from the end of the high school season/playoffs, club ball in the Spring, high school hoops in the month of June, and the Summer club session. I have seen nearly all the players on this list in one of the basketball settings mentioned above, and got a fresh look at some names I had only heard about at our 2nd Annual Prospect Preview Showcase in mid-May that made their way into these rankings based on their level of play.
This updated list includes eighteen new players to these rankings, with Bishop Gorman transfer Christopher Baudreau of Clovis West at the highest spot and breaking into the top 10. There is not a lot of movement in the top 10, but the list of quality next-level prospects is much deeper than we have seen the past three years (including the class of 2024). Players like Erick Estrella, Micah Cole, Cole Gilcrest, Zach Garnett, and Caden Lloyd are intriguing prospects that bring a lot of size to the court, which is what coaches are always looking for. Also, multiple players in the top 10 have already received offers, as that list should grow after their junior season is completed. The remainder of this article provides an in-depth look at the top 10 players in these updated 2025 Top 60 Player Rankings and why they are slotted in their current rank. Below the written portion of this article is the complete list of players, which includes the following information: current rank, their previous rank in parentheses, the player’s name, height, player position, and current school attending. Below the written portion of this article is the updated rank of players.
Tounde Yessoufou of St. Joseph is no surprise at the #1 spot, as he has held this position since the initial round of the 2025 rankings and is the top overall prospect in the Central Section. Yessoufou led the Knights to the Open Division State Championship, where it fell short to Harvard-Westlake of Studio City. Yessoufou averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3.7 steals per game for the season, earned his 2nd consecutive Central Coast Mountain League MVP, was named CalHi Sports State Sophomore of the Year, and led his team to a 2nd Central Section Title in two years (Open Division in 2021 and Division 1 in 2023). Yessoufou led Team Why Not 17u EYBL in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks per game on the rigorous Nike Circuit, as it would win the PIT Championship. Yessoufou was invited to the Pangos All-American Camp and was a Top 30 Selectee, the NBPA Top 100 Combine, Nike Elite 100 Camp, and is currently ranked as high as #10 nationally by Rivals. Yesoufou has offers from a range of Division 1 schools, with Arizona looking like a possible landing spot. However, if the likes of Kentucky were to jump in the mix, he has stated that it is his dream school. As long as Yessoufou stays in the Central Section in high school, I do not see him losing the top spot in this list or the Section overall.
Holding steady at the #2 spot is Julius Olanrewanju of San Joaquin Memorial. After a stellar freshman season at Coalinga High School, where he led the state of California in scoring with 31 points per game, Olanrewaju would see the fruits of his transfer as the Panthers would bring home the school’s first state championship. Olanrewaju had to take a step back as the leading scoring on the team, as San Joaquin was led by seniors Mike Davis and Armari Carraway, but the standout sophomore was 3rd in scoring and played a huge role in the run to the state title. Olanrewaju was named 1st Team All-CMAC and averaged 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Olanrewaju played for the Oakland Soldiers 16u EYBL team and was the leading scorer for the Panthers at California Live and Section 7 tournaments. Olanrewaju has interest from Division 1 schools but no offers to this point. He will be the focal point for San Joaquin this season and will look to put up big scoring numbers like that of his freshman season.
Moving up one spot to #3 is Loukas Jones of Clovis North. Jones, like rising senior Jordan Espinoza, had to step his level of play up after Connor Amundsen was ruled out for the season. Jones was key in helping the Broncos win the TRAC League Championship (split with Clovis West), as he averaged 10.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game and was selected to 1st Team All-TRAC. Jones played with West Coast Elite’s NorCal Amundsen 16u Squad during the Spring and Summer club seasons, and he put up impressive numbers at 17 points per game and the team had an outstanding record of 24-4 playing up in the 17u division for most of the club season. Jones has expanded his game and skill set to be an effective two-way player, good decision-maker with the ball in his hands, the court vision to make reads to open teammates, and continues to be one of the best perimeter threats in the Central Section with range on the 3-ball. The main reason I bumped Jones ahead of Gutierrez was his play during the Scholastic Live events, where he averaged 15 points per game at the California Live event and his recent offer from Fresno Pacific with increased interest from Division 2 and Division 3 programs. Jones will be one fo the core pieces for the Broncos again this season, as it has one of the best backcourts in the Section with the Amundsen brothers to go alongside Jones.
Gabriel Gutierrez of Bakersfield Christian slides down one slot and comes in at #4 in this updated list. Gutierrez had one of the more productive seasons of any player in the Central Section, as he would lead the Eagles to the semifinals of the Central Section Division 1 playoffs with a huge 25-point game to knock off #2 seed Clovis North. Gutierrez hit the ground running after having to sit 30 days due to his transfer from Independence, as he would earn SYVL co-MVP honors, BVarsity All-Area co-POY, and averaged 16 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 3 rebounds per game. Gutierrez played the Spring club session with Bakersfield-based Hoop Phene Elite 17u and performed well in the April Live Period events. Gutierrez made plans to transfer to a prep school/basketball academy in Taiwan and departed the country the weekend of the California Live event but did return back to the States in late-June. Gutierrez did not play during the July Live Periods for the Summer Club session but will still be attending Bakersfield Christian in the Fall. Despite missing some key live periods events in June and July, Gutierrez will look to lead the Eagles, along with rising senior Bentley Waller, and if he has the same type of productive year he had last season I would expect college coaches to start reaching out formally. Gutierrez has garnered interest from Division 2 and Division 3 schools but nothing official to date.
Rounding out the top 5 is Abram Potts of San Joaquin Memorial. Potts played a key role as the spot-up shooter for the state champion Panthers, as he put this on full display with 14 points connecting on 4 threes in the Division 2 State Championship. Potts played for Fresno-based Wildcats Elite 16u squad and was their leading scorer in both the Spring and Summer sessions of club ball. Potts was one of the leading scorers for the Panthers during the two Scholastic Live Periods and carried that momentum into the July NCAA Live Periods, where I saw him put up games of 26 and 28 points at the Pangos Sweet 16 Tournament. Potts was invited to the Pangos Premier 80 Showcase in Long Beach and recently received an offer from Fresno Pacific. UC Riverside has also been in contact with Potts and his role with the Panthers this year will expand with the departure of the two seniors from last year’s state title team. I did consider moving Potts ahead of Gutierrez, as he has already received offers, but given the impact Gutierrez had on his team’s success last year, arguably the biggest individual impact of any player to his team, I kept Potts at the #5 spot.
Darryl “DJ” Stickman Jr. of Clovis West moves down one spot to #6 and is one of the best two-way players in the Central Section, as well as an elite athlete. Stickman was a core piece for the Golden Eagles in their run to the Central Section Division 1 Title Game, before falling to St. Joseph. Stickman played club ball for Fresno based Swoosh Elite 16u squad and had a dominant Spring session playing on the Adidas Gold West Circuit. Stickman has continued to develop as a lead guard, has the court vision to make plays, relentlessly attacks the basket, generates turnovers on the perimeter and alters shots around the basket, and excels in the open court. Stickman has not attended any individual events since entering high school and would truly benefit from this environment, as scouts and evaluators could see him outside of his team setting. I would have Stickman as a Division 2 prospect if he improves his accuracy from the perimeter and continues to develop as a primary ball handler.
Holding onto the #7 spot is wing/slasher Remy Barnes of Hanford West. Barnes had an impressive sophomore season for the Huskies, as he would average 15.6 points per game and was selected to 1st Team All-Tri-County Kings Canyon League. Barnes took a different path this club season, as he decided to train and work out instead of playing club ball. Luckily for me, I was able to see Barnes play at our 2nd Annual Prospect Preview Showcase and he did not look like he had missed a beat from the last time I had seen him in February with the Huskies. Barnes is a solid two-way player that can lock up perimeter opponents, uses his wingspan to deflect passes, looks to get into the open court, can space the ball from the 3-point line, and runs the floor well in transition. Barnes role will take a huge leap this coming season, as the Huskies will be without recent graduate Jaden Haire, and I expect Barnes to put up some impressive scoring numbers.
Moving back into the top 10 and landing at #8 is James Miller IV of Roosevelt. Miller missed his sophomore season due to an injury but was cleared to play for the Spring club season, as he played with Fresno-based Elite Force. Miller also attended our 2nd Annual Prospect Preview Showcase and he was back to his old ways of making flashy passes, breaking opponents down with shifty moves and handles, and knocking down the mid-range shot with accuracy. Miller was one of the top lead guards in the Section as a freshman and he is looking to re-establish himself in that category with a team that is bringing in a few players through transfer and one of the top incoming freshmen in Cobi Posas. Miller will run the offense and likely lead the team in scoring, similar to his freshman campaign.
Making his debut on this list and in the top 10 at #9 is Christopher Baudreau of Clovis West. I found out about the big man transferring from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas to the Central Valley while attending the Pangos All-American Camp and was able to watch him with the Golden Eagles a few days later at the Clovis West Nike Summer Shootout. Baurdreau is what the Golden Eagles were missing last season and his height, ability to protect the rim, running the floor in open space, and his great hands around the basket make Clovis West one of the top title contenders that returns nearly all of its core players from last year’s Division 1 runners up. Baudreau had games of 12 points and 10 points in the Nike Summer Shootout, and was dominant on the glass and blocking shots. He played with Vegas Elite’s 16u EYBL team for club ball and with his size and skill set, will be a player that receives increased attention from Division 2 and some low Division 1s with a chance to be a true D1 prospect after this upcoming season.
Rounding out the top 10 is Elijah Wade of Garces Memorial at #10. Wade was one of the leading scorers for the Rams and took that level of play into the club season, as he would play with Bakersfield-based Hoop Phene Elite 17u team. Wade was one of the top performers at our 2nd Annual Prospect Preview Showcase and had a solid showing at the Pangos Sweet 16 tournament during the first July Live Period. Wade will be the focal point for Rams this upcoming season and should put up solid numbers across the board.
The remainder of this article is the complete list of players for these updated Top 60 Player Rankings for the Class of 2025. I will update these rankings in the Fall, as well as updating my Class of 2026 Player Rankings after our 3rd Annual Next Up Showcase in late August.
|Rank||Player Name||Height||Postion||High School (Location)|
|1 (1)||Tounde Yessoufou||6'6"||WF||St. Joseph (Santa Maria CA)|
|2 (2)||Julius Olanrewaju||6'5"||GW||San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)|
|3 (4)||Loukas Jones||6'3"||SG||Clovis North (Fresno CA)|
|4 (3)||Gabriel Gutierrez||5'11"||PG||Bakersfield Christian (CA)|
|5 (6)||Abram Potts||6'3"||SG||San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)|
|6 (5)||Darryl Stickman Jr.||6'0"||CG||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|7 (7)||Remy Barnes||6'3"||GW||Hanford West (CA)|
|8 (13)||James Miller IV||6'1||PG||Roosevelt (Fresno CA)|
|9 (NR)||Christopher Baudreau||6'10"||FC||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|10 (8)||Elijah Wade||6'1"||WF||Garces Memorial (Bakersfield CA)|
|11 (NR)||Erick Estrella||6'4"||WF||Central Valley Christian (Visalia CA)|
|12 (12)||Dereon King||5'10"||PG||Hoover (Fresno CA)|
|13 (22)||Micah Cole||6'7"||WF||Sanger (CA)|
|14 (18)||Gerald Perry Jr.||6'4"||CG||Central (Fresno CA)|
|15 (14)||Silas Rodriguez||5'10"||PG||San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)|
|16 (9)||Amarius Rowel||5'11"||CG||Independence (Bakersfield CA)|
|17 (37)||Matt Williams||6'3"||WF||Clovis (CA)|
|18 (11)||Carson Acevedo||6'6"||WF||Garces Memorial (Bakersfield CA)|
|19 (10)||Zach Garnett||6'5||WF||Frontier (Bakersfield CA)|
|20 (36)||Nolan Birchall||5'11"||CG||Clovis North (Fresno CA)|
|21 (15)||Jayden Nozil||6'0"||PG||Mission College Prep (San Luis Obispo CA)|
|22 (NR)||Cole Gilcrest||6'9"||FC||Redwood (Visalia)|
|23 (31)||Jonavon Darrington||5'9"||PG||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|24 (16)||C.J. Jones||6'3"||WF||San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)|
|25 (NR)||Roman Benedetti||6'3"||WF||Mission College Prep (San Luis Obispo CA)|
|26 (NR)||Caden Lloyd||6'7"||PF||Central Valley Christian (Visalia CA)|
|27 (24)||Jaren Mayberry||6'5"||WF||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|28 (38)||Chris Browe||6'2"||CG||Kingsburg (CA)|
|29 (17)||Malachi Barnes||5'11"||PG||Sunnyside (Fresno CA)|
|30 (20)||Asher Garde||5'8||PG||Garces Memorial (Bakersfield CA)|
|31 (21)||Dallin Crawford||6'5"||PF||Frontier (Bakersfield CA)|
|32 (26)||Michael Espinoza||6'0"||CG||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|33 (NR)||Elias Griffin||6'3"||WF||North (Bakersfield CA)|
|34 (NR)||Arman Arisian||6'1"||CG||Clovis North (Fresno CA)|
|35 (34)||Wyatt Haner||6'2"||WF||North (Bakersfield CA)|
|36 (27)||Enzo Lane||7'0"||C||Kingsburg (CA)|
|37 (28)||Drew Minnear||5'8"||PG||Bakersfield Christian (CA)|
|38 (NR)||Giovanni Cadenasso||6'2"||WF||Clovis North (Fresno CA)|
|39 (40)||Diesel Lowe||6'2"||WG||St. Joseph (Santa Maria CA)|
|40 (19)||Harold Duvall III||6'3"||WF||Clovis East (Clovis CA)|
|41 (NR)||Agustus “Gus” Swenning||6'6"||PF||Clovis North (Fresno CA)|
|42 (39)||Brandon Keefer-Jones||6'5"||WF||Centennial (Bakersfield CA)|
|43 (29)||Ethan Eckels||5'10"||PG||Independence (Bakersfield CA)|
|44 (NR)||Tarrin Valenzuela||6'||PG||Roosevelt (Fresno CA)|
|45 (NR)||Nsongbeh Ginyui||6'||CG||Frontier (Bakersfield CA)|
|46 (NR)||Landon Mauge||6'6"||PF||San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)|
|47 (25)||Beckham Klein||6'3||SG||Fresno Christian (CA)|
|48 (35)||Dominic Contreras||5'9"||SG||Bakersfield (CA)|
|49 (NR)||Chnace Hertel||6'1"||CG||Clovis West (Fresno CA)|
|50 (23)||Michael Gutierrez||5'11"||PG||Centennial (Bakersfield CA)|
|51 (30)||Jeremiah Posada||5'9"||PG||Selma (CA)|
|52 (NR)||Josiah Ochoa||5'7||SG||Dinuba (CA)|
|53 (32)||Braylon Herron||6'2"||WF||Ridgeview (Bakersfield CA)|
|54 (33)||Jose Aguilar||6'2"||WF||Central (Fresno CA)|
|55 (40)||Max Wisnoff||5'11"||CG||Bakersfield Christian (CA)|
|56 (NR)||Moses Saulsbury||6'4"||PF||Redwood (Visalia)|
|57 (NR)||Davion Leon||6'1"||WF||Independence (Bakersfield CA)|
|58 (NR)||Xavier O'Neal||6'1"||WF||Independence (Bakersfield CA)|
|59 (NR)||Ira Cunningham||6'3"||PF||Edison (Fresno CA)|