Jabari Parker: The cover of the May 21 issue of Sports Illustrated featured Parker and called him, “the best high school basketball since LeBron James,” and it’s hard to imagine greater praise for a high-school recruit. At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, Parker can do it all at virtually any position. His jumper is picture perfect and his smooth and advanced skill set makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the floor. The clincher is his world-class attitude which, influenced by his deep Mormon faith, has helped Parker lead Simeon High School to three straight state championships.
The competitors: Michigan State, Kentucky, DePaul, Illinois and Washington.
Julius Randle: If anyone could potentially dethrone Parker atop the 2013 rankings, it is fellow Duke target Julius Randle. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Randle possesses an NBA body that comes packaged with elite athleticism, skill and tenacity. The left-handed power forward from Dallas wreaks havoc in the paint with his strength and has rare ball handling abilities for a player of his size Randle is also close friends and AAU teammates with 2013 Blue Devil commit Matt Jones. Randle also just led the U.S. U-17 team to a gold medal.
The competitors: North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Baylor and N.C. State.
Semi Ojeleye: After a averaging 32.5 points per game during his high school season and strong showings in the Nike EYBL, the Ottawa, Kansas native is one of the hottest prospects in the country. The powerful 6-foot-6 wing has the physique, athleticism and leaping ability to guard power forwards with the lateral quickness to defend shooting guards. Offensively, Ojeleye is a competent shooter from three-point range and a strong finisher in the paint. To top it all off, Ojeleye is an excellent student who consistently draws praise for his work ethic. He took an unofficial visit to Duke in early June. Ojeleye told The Chronicle at this year’s NBPA Top 100 High School Camp that Duke is recruiting him the hardest of any school.
The competitors: Wisconsin, UCLA, Arizona, Indiana and Kansas.
Ishmail Wainright: Strength and power are the first adjectives that come to mind when describing Wainright. Committed to Missouri until last June, Wainright is not known for his scoring prowess, but he is an elite defender and a capable athlete with a wingspan over 7 feet. Wainright, who attends the same Maryland high school that produced Duke forward Josh Hairston, will be forced to sit out the rest of the summer AAU circuit due to a broken foot.
The competitors: Missouri, Kansas, Florida, UCLA
Austin Nichols: After receiving interest from Blue Devil coaches for months, the coaching staff finally offered Nichols a scholarship this spring. The Memphis area product could provide depth in an emptying Blue Devil frontcourt. The 6-foot-9 forward is polished low post scorer with a high basketball IQ, a good motor, and a reportedly strong interest in the Duke program.
The competitors: Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee and Memphis
Robert Hubbs: Playing on the same AAU team as Nichols, Hubbs was a largely an unknown commodity until this spring when Krzyzewski offered a scholarship to the dynamic 6-foot-5 shooting guard. Since then, other schools have begun to notice the terrific range on his jump shot, his upper-echelon athleticism and exceptional slashing ability.
The competitors: Memphis, Tennessee, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Florida and Mississippi State
Marcus Lee: Lee brings a trait that the Duke frontcourt has been lacking in recent years—elite shot blocking. While raw offensively, there is no denying that Lee, who is a long 6-foot-9, can be a valuable contributor as a rebounder, defender and shot-blocker at the next level. Like Hubbs, Lee was not a household name on the national recruiting scene until early this spring.
The competitors: North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Stanford, California, Arizona and Washington
Allerik Freeman: A North Carolina native, Freeman is a versatile 6-foot-4 combo guard, who will play his final season of high school basketball at national power Findlay Prep. Freeman has shown flashes of being an elite scorer, but questions of his consistency have many scouts wary of him lately.
The competitors: UCLA, Kansas, Villanova and Ohio State.