We begin our new Fall Player Rankings with our first release - the 2016 class fall player rankings for point guards. This position among the 2016 class is very talented, as the class is filled with some talented prospects and led by several division-I prospects.
Holding on to the top spot at this position in the class is one of our top overall prospects in the class, Shadow Mountain High School's skilled 6-foot-1 senior guard Michael Bibby.
After suffering an injury (knee) last spring (2014) during the club season, and then suffering another injury (ankle) early during the high school season last year, the star guard prospect would miss much of the entire 2014-2015 high school season - returning to action during the spring (2015). Bibby would have a very good spring and summer for himself - boosting his college recruitment a great deal. After sitting out much of the 2014-2015 high school basketball season, Bibby returned to action in the spring, during the NCAA spring and summer evaluation periods, and looked great.
As a result of Bibby's performance, many college coaches have now shown strong interest in the talented guard prospect. Such schools as Michigan, Purdue, Memphis, USC and California, among many others, are in pursuit of Bibby. It will be very interesting to see where he lands this fall.
Bibby will return this up-and-coming high school basketball season to lead a loaded Shadow Mountain High School team to a Division-II state championship. Last season the Matadors would miss out on a title while Bibby would miss much of the season while being injured. This season, look for Bibby to explode.
Checking in at our #2 overall spot among point guards in the class is Desert Vista High School's 6-foot-1 senior Tarik Cool. Cool makes a huge jump in these rankings, after having an excellent spring performance that would help land him scholarship offers from Portland State and Fresno State.
Cool is just that - cool in his demeanor on and off the floor. He has a very developed offensive skillset that allows him to make plays for himself and others, while also being a nice threat from the perimeter with unlimited range and consistency on his shot. He plays with a high level of confidence on both ends of the floor and has command presence on the basketball court.
Cool had a solid performance last high school season, where he helped lead his high school program to a runner-up finish for the Division-I state championship. He averaged 13 points and 1.9 assists per/game for a talented team that featured San Jose State signee Brandon Clarke. Look for Cool also to have a huge senior season.
McClintock HS 5-foot-11 senior Amiri Chukwuemeka is one of the best point guards in the state. He displays a confidence while running the point position that very few players in the state possess, and it is nearly impossible to keep him out of the lane once he gets a full head of steam. He also can hit the open jumper from the 3-point line and in. Chukwuemeka missed playing during the NCAA summer evaluation period due to an injury, which really impacted his college recruitment this summer and dropped him a spot in our rankings. Look for him to bounce back nicely this high school season.
Brophy Prep HS 6-foot-3 senior guard Brock "Beau" Brunkhorst is a very skilled combo-guard prospect, but he plays primarily at the point position for Brophy Prep, which is why we rank him among the point guards. Brunkhorst has the potential to be ranked even higher, and a strong senior season at Brophy would do it for him - allowing him to attract some strong college interest in the spring.
Brunkhorst is able to score in a variety of ways. He can score off the dribble behind a nice mid-range game which allows him to get shots for himself, or from the perimeter where he is a deadly three-point shooter with nice range on his shot. He is also a good finisher in the lane – an area of his game which should continue to get better over time with added physical strength in the future.
Brunkhorst is a strong ball handler, which makes him capable of playing both guard positions on the floor. He also has very good court vision and a nice overall feel for the game. He is capable of playing the point guard position full-time, and is at his best with the basketball in his hands - so the point guard position should be his true position at the collegiate level. He has also grown physically over the past year, which has really impacted his game a great deal.
Copper Canyon High School's athletic 6-foot-1 senior guard Terry Gates is a combo-guard prospect that is capable of playing either backcourt position on the floor, but will have to play the point position in college. He is at his best defensively, where he possesses very quick hands and lateral quickness - a lock-down defender. Gates makes it very difficult for opposing guards to be effective against him.
Gates is a good scorer that has his best impact as a slasher and open court player. He has a good shooting stroke that allows him to keep defenses honest, but he still needs to gain consistency from longer ranges on the floor. He is a good finisher inside the painted area and amidst bigger defenders. Gates does a good job of creating scoring opportunities for his teammates, but still needs time to develop as a true point man.
Other top-rated guards in the class that could see a jump in our next player rankings include Malique Washington of McClintock HS, Bryce Fisher of Shadow Mountain HS, Jalen Holman of Buena HS and Kendall Barnes of Westview HS.
Here are our new Fall Player Rankings for the point guard position in Arizona’s 2016 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 2016 Class Fall Player Rankings – Point Guards (In Ranking Order)
1. Michael Bibby 6-1 SR PG Shadow Mountain HS (Phoenix, AZ)
2. Tarik Cool 6-1 SR PG Desert Vista HS (Phoenix, AZ)
3. Amiri Chukwuemeka 5-11 SR PG McClintock HS (Tempe, AZ)
4. Brock "Bo" Brunkhorst 6-3 SR PG Brophy Prep HS (Phoenix, AZ)
5. Terry Gates 6-1 SR PG Copper Canyon HS (Glendale, AZ)
6. TommyKuhse 6-1 SR PG Mountain View HS (Mesa, AZ)
7. Malique Washington 5-11 SR PG McClintock HS (Mesa, AZ)
8. Bryce Fisher 6-1 SR PG Shadow Mountain HS (Phoenix, AZ)
9. Jalen Holman 6-3 SR PG Buena HS (Sierra Vista, AZ)
Fall 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, summer and fall seasons. A top performance throughout the high school season impacts a player’s ranking a great deal. A student-athlete’s performance throughout the fall, 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.