Posted: 1:57 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
By Zach Fleer
Earlier Wednesday, Rivals.com released its latest rankings for the class of 2016. Detroit combo-guard Josh Jackson heads one of the most promising classes of the last decade, while power forward Harry Giles comes in at No. 2. Checking in behind Giles is 7' center Thon Maker out of Virginia, followed by St. Louis forward Jayson Tatum and Memphis forward Dedric Lawson. Let's take a look at where the Ohio State targets check in.
No. 1: Josh Jackson (G, Detroit Consortium)
While Giles is the consensus No. 1 on nearly every other recruiting database, Rivals lists Jackson as the nation's top player in the '16 class. At 6'6, the Detroit native has impressive length to go along with great athleticism. Included in Jackson's bag of tricks is a deadly crossover dribble that he uses to either create separation with his step-back jumper, or glide past defenders en route to points near the rim. Jackson does more than just score the basketball, however. The sophomore also gets after it on defense, having a knack for blocking shots as seen below.
No. 2: Harry Giles (F, Winston-Salem Wesleyan Christian)
At 6'9 and 210 pounds, Giles is an absolute force on the basketball court. With Cliff Alexander-like tenacity around the basket, Giles can also handle the rock, and has shown impressive court vision, lacing teammates for flashy assists. Considered by many to be the top player, Giles is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered earlier in the summer. Holding offers from Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State and Wake Forest, Giles has a chance to be an extremely special player given his versatility and aggressiveness on the hardwood. Take a look for yourself below.
No. 3: Thon Maker (C, Martinsville Carlisle, VA)
When it's all said and done, Maker has a great chance to be the nation's top prospect. At 7' and 200 pounds, Maker isn't your typical slim post man. Adding a great deal of muscle since he was first discovered at the John Lucas Middle School Combine two years ago, Maker has enormous potential. With impressive fluidity and lateral movement for his size, Thon has been in the gym developing his post game, most notably his right hook shot. In a private workout with Lucas nearly a week ago, Maker also showed an ability to hit from the mid-range, another developing part to a limitless skill set. While Maker doesn't hold an offer from Ohio State, the Buckeyes are listed among the schools that have expressed interest to the African native.
No. 8: V.J. King (G, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary)
Coming in at No. 8 is Ohio's lone prospect in the '16 rankings, 6'6 shooting guard V.J. King. After an impressive summer with the King James Shooting Stars, one that included a Final Four finish at the AAU Nationals, King remains in the top ten of Rivals' rankings. Already an elite slasher, King has been working to improve his jumpshot over the last few months, which should make him even more of a mismatch. Finishing as state runner-up in 2012-'13, King and the Irish look to make a return to the Value City Arena in the combo-guard's sophomore season.