Open Gyms Says It’s That Time…Class Distinction

Be careful not to miss the importance of this high school basketball season.  It will be a rare one as fans come to the realization that there is indeed an equal level of talent between the  junior and senior classes.  The last time that this type of comparison was at the high school basketball forefront, it had the classes of ’06 and ’07 squaring off.  The class of 2007 had the likes of Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and OJ Mayo headlining it’s guard spots.  With Kevin love and Blake Griffin making the big splash in the paint area, high school basketball fans were in a rampaged debate on  the would be winner of class ’06 and ’07.  The class of 2006 was considered loaded with Greg Oden and Kevin Durant at the top of the high school rankings.  Other highlighted players in that class were Chase Budinger, Ty Lawson, and Taj Gibson.  It was a fun argument at that time. Which class had the quicker guards?  Could Greg Oden out duel Kevin Love in the paint?  Did Taj Gibson have the incredible athleticism of Blake Griffin or was he showing “flash in the pan” type performances?  Certainly high school fans have in a sense ventured back to the future.  The class on deck is 2016.  You have nothing less than space age level talent with Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, and Thon Maker.  De’Aaron Fox and Josh Jackson are also on the frontline with their “one and done” type skill level.  Without creating too much of a spark this early, one can’t help but to look over the horizon and see the class of 2017 impatiently waiting for its turn as high school basketball’s  primary class.  This class brews with the right type of confidence.  Trae Young and Trevon Duval come out of this class with guard aggression that can unbiasedly be compared to that of Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon.  When considering the talents of Wendell Carter, Michael Porter, and DeAandre Ayton, we can certainly put them into a Gus Macker type tournament with any three from 2016 and expect an even contest.  The con that pundits will come with is that giving players at this age a fame like status can be detrimental to their work ethic and overall character growth.  That thought will not be a factor with either of these classes, and we already see this with the major shoe brands working double time to get the top names and performers playing on their summer circuits. We may go through this season with the floating question of which class would prevail in a five on five contest, or who has the best overall mix of talent.  Save that discussion for when it matters and it will indeed matter by midseason as players from the class of 2017 get recruited as heavily as those from 2016.  Open gyms are full, coaches are readying their teams, and players all around the country are saying let’s go.  Stay tuned.

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