We continue our new Summer Player Rankings with our next release – the 2014 class summer player rankings for centers. This post position is also absolutely loaded with talented prospects, and has numerous high-major division-I prospects at the position. The center position is the top-rated position for the 2014 class, as several prospects at the position are high-major division-I prospects - a rare fact among Arizona post prospects historically.
Leading the way for this summer’s rankings at the position is Mesa Mountain View's 6-foot-10, 225-pound rising junior post Payton Dastrup. Dastrup is a sheer force in the state among post players, and, after a very strong spring performance for himself, Dastrup is now regarded among the top overall prospects in America's 2014 class of prospects - ranking among the top 20 players in the country overall by many scouting services. Dastrup has already received division-I offers from such programs as Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Utah, with many more schools looking to offer this summer. Dastrup is the best individual prospect in the state since Jahii Carson, and has a striking resemblance to a young Nick Collison (NBA-Oklahoma Thunder).
Millennium HS 6-foot-9 rising junior post Elston Jones is another big-time young talent that is receiving strong division-I interest early for himself. Jones is coming off a very strong sophomore season for himself – leading his Millennium HS team to a 13-12 overall record, and doing his part on the season, averaging a team-high 19 points and 12 rebounds per/game. He burst onto the national recruiting scene in the fall after a strong performance at the Fullcourt Press Freshman-Sophomore Camp. Jones is currently hearing from many division-I college programs, including Marquette, Georgetown, San Diego State, San Francisco, UC-Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC-Davis, Boise State and Grand Canyon University. Jones stated that he currently holds offers from San Francisco and UC-Santa Barbara.
Mesa HS 6-foot-11, 215-pound rising junior post Isaac Allen is another high-major division-I prospect at the position. Allen also has excellent size and length and has already proven that he will be among the top recruited prospects at the position nationally as well. While he did not have a big sophomore campaign for himself, his junior season should be much stronger. Allen is a solid rebounder and an active shotblocker and has a good ability to run the floor. While he still needs to develop his offensive skills, his size and potential as a prospect are glaring. Allen currently is receiving serious recruiting interest from UCLA, Marquette, Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame, UNLV and Texas.
Dastrup, Jones and Allen are each high-major division-I prospects and are all among the elite prospects in Arizona's 2014 class.
Prescott HS 6-foot-10 rising junior post Cameron Gilbert and Sunnyslope 6-foot-9 rising junior post Michael Humphrey are both still projects among the class, but each has developed at their own pace and should continue to grow into possible division-I prospects over time.
Here are our Summer Player Rankings for the center position in Arizona’s 2014 class. While we have not seen everyone at the position in the state, these individuals have proven to be the best at the position at this point in time.
Arizona Preps 2014 Class Summer Player Rankings – Centers (In Ranking Order)
1. Payton Dastrup 6-10 JR PF/C Mountain View HS (Mesa, AZ)
2. Elston Jones 6-9 JR C Millennium HS (Goodyear, AZ)
3. Isaac Allen 6-11 JR C Mesa HS (Mesa, AZ)
4. Cameron Gilbert 6-10 JR C Prescott HS (Prescott, AZ)
5. Michael Humphrey 6-9 JR PF/C Sunnyslope HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Summer Player Ranking Notes: Our player rankings have been determined by a body of work from each student-athlete. Each player’s body of work consisted of performances throughout the high school season, and also performances throughout the spring and summer. A top performance throughout the high school season impacts a player’s ranking a great deal. A student-athlete’s performance throughout the spring and summer will have an even bigger impact, since our staff is able to observe Arizona players in competition against much better local, regional and national competition. The complete body of work has been taken into consideration for each of our player rankings. Player rankings are based on a particular student-athlete’s ability to play the game of basketball – not academic performance, although a player can help him or herself if he/she is an excellent student. Rankings are done to help aid college coaches in their ability to identify the top student-athletes by position and class in the state. These rankings are forwarded to college coaches at every level throughout the country. Rankings will be updated throughout the year.