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December 26, 2012
Since the middle of November, Rivals.com has spent just about every weekend traveling across the country attending many of the nation's top events. As 2012 gets ready to turn into 2013, here's a look at 10 currently ranked players whose stock looks to be on the rise after watching them play during the 2012-13 season. (Players listed in alphabetical order.)
RANKED PLAYERS ON THE RISE
Brandon Austin, SF, Philadelphia (Penn.) Imhotep: Currently ranked No. 74 in the 2013 Rivals150, the 6-foot-6 Providence signee is due to make as big a rise up the final rankings as anybody in the country. Yes, he will have to get stronger for college but the physical tools and skill level are all there. He can play some point, has developed his jumper nicely and his quickness and length should ultimately allow him to be a great defender on the next level.
Justin Jackson, SF, Houston (Texas) HCYA: It's not like the 6-foot-7 wing from Houston is an unknown given that he's already ranked No. 29 in the class of 2014. But, he is likely deserving of at least somewhat of a bump and he answered a lot of questions and justified his lofty status. After making an early splash, Jackson's game looked to have hit a plateau over the summer. At the City of Palms he looked a little bigger, a little stronger and much improved off the dribble. Most notably, he was playing with a newfound level of aggression and physicality and he looks like he could push for five-star status.
Rysheed Jordan, PG, Philadelphia (Penn.) Vaux: Because the top of the 2013 rankings are so tight, it's not going to be easy to move anybody who is already ranked as high as No. 29 up too much more. That being said, the 6-foot-4 undecided point guard deserves some pretty serious consideration to be elevated to five-star status. Jordan is still a work in progress, but his combination of size, ability to get to the rim off the dribble and defensive potential could allow him to play the game for an awful long time once everything clicks.
Chris McCullough, PF, Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster: The recent Syracuse commitment has already established himself as one of 2014's elite prospects and is ranked very highly at No. 8 nationally. He's a big time athlete who chases rebounds and finishes with aplomb in transition. Now, the 6-foot-9 junior is rounding out the other areas of his game and is making a hard push for the national top five.
Goodluck Okonoboh, C/PF, Wilbraham (Mass.) Wilbrahama & Monson: One of the nation's best shot blockers regardless of class, the junior has been outstanding this season. He's turned up his intensity level a bit and fully harnessed his athleticism, timing and quickness in the lane to become a high level shot blocker and rebounder. He's not a huge scorer just yet, but his offense is getting better and he's playing with a level of confidence that is going to earn him a nice move up from No. 71 in the class of 2014.