Nothing But Net Magazine Class of 2023
by Van Coleman
(May 31, 2022)
One thing we know about the Class of 2023 as it gets ready to enter the summer before its senior year of high school play is the fact that it has many unknowns due to Covid-19 as seasons were postponed or eliminated across the USA & Canada! So, during the summer circuit play in 2022 we expect to see many changes in these rankings as we continue to observe first-hand the physical and skill development in this class which lost its sophomore and much of its pre-junior year summer prior to the 2021-22 season that just ended. These rankings are based on play thru the end of the April evaluation period and were put together prior to the start of the summer period that begins in June.
The top two spots remain the same as our initial look with high scoring combo guard 6’3″ D.J. Wagner, who can flat out light up the scoreboard from deep or attack and finish at the rim sitting in the top spot. He has point guard skills and will be tough to knock off the top of the mountain anytime soon! But, right behind him is one talent that will take that challenge in 6’9″ power forward Kwame Evans who has become a threat to dominate on the blocks, boards and facing the hoop from the perimeter in isolation. He has a high-level motor and can flat out take a game over on either end of the court.
Right behind him moving up to number three in our rankings is another muti-skilled power forward in 6’8″ MacKenzie Mgbako. This long and bounce face-up four can knock down the jumper from the elbow or pick and roll to make highlights at the rim. He has tools to grab the ball off the glass and take it end to end. He is an excellent shot blocker coming from off the ball to alter or swat shots in the paint. Rounding out the top five are two more talented front court talents in 6’6 Oregon commit Mookie Cook and 6-7 Ron Holland who have shown the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers and light up the score board attacking the hoop over and through opposing defenses to rise to our current top five!
Heading the second five is 6’2″ lead guard Robert Dillingham who has the ability to run the show or take over in crunch time and seal the deal. He has range to the arc and an explosive first step to the hoop. He will definitely push for a top five spot if healthy this summer! The rest of the top ten is dominated at this point by front court talent headed by a duo of 6’10″ power forwards in uber skilled Matas Buzelis and long and athletic 6-11 Baye Fall, They both have had flashes of dominance at various events we observed them at last summer and during the high school season! Right behind them to complete our pre-summer top ten are a couple versatile combo forwards in 6’8″ bookends in Omaha Beliew and J.J. Taylor. They both made moves to new prep school situations this past winter and were thriving for their new clubs down the stretch. They both can pop to the wing and hit face up jumpers or roll to the blocks and finish around the hoop with touch. They will be challenged to keep their top ten slots by a number of fast rising talents that populates the next ten and beyond nationally, so they will have to continue to perform at a high level this spring and summer.
With that in mind here is our Update of the Top 150+ Rising Seniors in the Class of 2023!