Talent runs deep in 2013 class
The underlying theme with the class of 2013 is depth. There are quality prospects throughout the class who are providing college programs around the country with a lot of solid options as they work through their recruiting lists.
One of the true strengths of the 2013 class is the number of it kids that reside among the top 100 players in the country. Sometimes it's the things we can't quantify that make a player special, and the 2013 class has a number of kids who have impressed with their ability just to make things happen on the floor.
The fact that this year's top 100 has a mix of players with upside and right-now kids made ranking the group both challenging and fun. Judging whether or not you take the prospect with a lot of upside or the more productive high school player is no easy task.
Right off the bat, a couple of prospects toward the top of the rankings stand out as extremely productive prep prospects. No. 16 Rebekah Dahlman of Braham, Minn., and No. 21 Marques Webb of Montgomery, Ala., are two players who have managed to prove their value as prospects because of their ability to play at a consistently high level throughout their high school careers. Dahlman has been the quintessential it player, rising to the occasion time and time again, and Webb has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the basketball.
No. 26 Kelsey Plum of Poway, Calif., and No. 33 Jadda Buckley of Mason, Iowa, are two more prospects that stand out. Both Plum and Buckley have assumed the role of combo guard as prep prospects because they have been asked to score the basketball for their teams, but both Plum and Buckley will move to point guard in college and have distinguished themselves as some of the finest lead guards in the country.
No. 40 Emmonnie Henderson of Edwardsville, Ill., No. 58 Nekia Jones of Beaumont, Texas and No. 71 Chantel Osahor of Phoenix, Ariz., stand out as three kids who have managed to be highly productive high school prospects despite their more unconventional styles of play.
Henderson throws the shot put and, as a result, might be the strongest prospect in the class of 2013. On the court she uses her frame and size to her advantage and wins a lot of physical battles.
Jones, on the other hand, is a 5-foot-11 wing with the frame of an undersized post player. She is smooth with the ball in her hands and has the ability to create her own offense from the perimeter.
Osahor is a throwback player. Like Henderson, Osahor's strength is one of her real assets. The 6-1 post has the ability to fight for space around the rim and gobble up rebounds. On the offensive side of the ball, Osahor might be the best passer in the class of 2013, and her ability to read the defense and make the right plays with the ball in her hands helped her high school team, St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.) win the national championship this past season.
No. 10 Oderah Chidom of Oakland, Calif., No. 24 Nia Coffey of Minneapolis, Minn., and No. 38 Courtney Range of Stockton, Calif., are three prospects with elite size and length for the forward positions. They all have the potential to bring a good amount of versatility to the game, and their physical tools mixed with their current flashes of growth are good signs moving forward.
When comparing the class of 2013 to previous recruiting classes, the depth throughout the 100 top prospects in the country really stands out. In addition to the potential stars in the making at the top of the class, there are a number of intriguing prospects throughout the rest of the class that could make a name for themselves at the next level.
The class of 2013 is littered with quality prospects throughout the top 100 and even outside -- there were a number of kids who didn't make the cut that will be very good college players. As we move from summer basketball back into scholastic play, it will be fun to see this group continue to grow and develop their skills.
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Keil Moore is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report - a division of Peach State Basketball, Inc. Moore has been involved in the community since 2007 as a recruiting analyst and trainer. He can be reached at email@example.com.