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6-foot-11 big man tops Rivals’ 2017 rankings

By Raphielle Johnson, NBC Sports, 10/24/14, 9:45AM PDT

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With the Class of 2017 entering its sophomore year of high school, Rivals.com released its ranking of the Top 25 players in the class. And at the top of the list is a big man whose name should already be known amongst die-hard college basketball fans, given his performance in an exhibition victory over North Carolina in the Bahamas this summer.

6-foot-11 DeAndre Ayton, who’s of Bahamian descent and attends Balboa City School in San Diego, California, tops Rivals.com’s first ranking of the Class of 2017. Ayton put together a very good summer for the Supreme Court grassroots program, but it was his play with the Providence Storm in their 84-83 win over North Carolina that truly turned heads.

Ayton, playing against a team expected to contend in the ACC this season, accounted for 17 points and 18 rebounds in the victory. Eric Bossi of Rivals.comwrote the following about where Ayton is in his development at this point in time:

So, what is it about Ayton that sets him apart from the others to make him the best sophomore and maybe the best prospect in all of high school basketball?

Already 6-foot-11, Ayton is no beanpole big man. He is still lean, but already has the muscle to compete with older and stronger players. He runs the floor like a much smaller player, is athletic, has a high basketball IQ and innate instinct and touch that is hard to teach.

Joining Ayton in the top five are guard Troy Brown Jr. (Las Vegas, Nevada), forward Jarred Vanderbilt (Houston, Texas), forward Michael Porter (Columbia, Missouri) and center Zach Brown (Miami Beach, Florida).

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