We continue our new Fall Player Rankings with our next release - the 2017 class fall player rankings for small forwards. This position among the 2017 class is also an ultra-loaded position for the class. If not for the star power in the point guard position amongst the class, this would definitely be the best position in the group. There are numerous division-I prospects in this position, and the position is absolutely filled with college prospects from top to bottom.
Leading the way for small forwards in the class is Desert Vista High School's talented 6-foot-6 junior wing Caleb Simmons. Simmons (pictured) is a gifted talent with excellent length and a nice overall skillset for the position. Simmons has excellent basketball bloodlines - coming from a very successful basketball family. Simmons has an excellent body already and uses his nice body to bully defenders on the low block, and is also able to step outside to the 3-point line, where he is able to hit shots. He still needs to become more consistent in his shooting stroke from longer ranges, but he has a nice mid-range game that is attractive.
Simmons is able to score off the dribble and finish plays inside the paint and around defenders. He is a versatile performer and is a good ball handler - capable of playing as a guard or from the wing position. He is an active rebounder. He is also a good open court player and slasher. Simmons has very good size already and is still growing a great deal. This is a very good looking prospect for the future, that is already beginning to garner loads of recruiting interest.
Basha HS 6-foot-6 junior combo-forward Gabe McGlothan is a superb talent with loads of athleticism and physical strength. As a result, many basketball enthusiasts consider him a four-man, but he plays a lot like a wing now, and will have his best success as a small forward in college. This season will be a huge breakout season for McGlothan, who made a nice splash this club season - leading his club team to several big tournament championships on the club circuit. As a result, the gifted 2017 prospect has received serious division-I interest as of late.
McGlothan currently has three different scholarship offers on the table for himself from Grand Canyon University, Northern Colorado and Montana State.
McGlothan is a sure-fire talent with loads of potential for the future. Still a young prospect, he is a very gifted athlete with excellent size and a nice overall skill level. He plays the game with passion and is capable of making plays most players in the state, regardless of class, cannot make. College coaches currently see him as an undersized four-man, so he will need to continue to improve his ball handling and shooting from the perimeter to prove himself as a wing prospect for the future.
Mountain Ridge HS 6-foot-5 junior forward Saikou Gueye missed much of the 2015 club season with an injury, but he is a unique talent with a nice skillset and good athleticism for the wing position. Gueye is a long, athletic and versatile wing prospect with very good promise for the future. He has very good versatility as a player and his ability to score the basketball with his left-handed prowess is a nice attribute to have. A left hander, Gueye is difficult to defend for many opposing wings in the state. He is able to make shots from the perimeter out to three-point distance, while also being able to take defenders off the dribble and make plays at the rim and around the paint. Gueye also is able to play much bigger than his size suggests, as he uses his length to play effectively around the paint, and also score in transition. A nice looking prospect for the future for a mid-major program.
Gilbert Christian HS 6-foot-7 junior combo-forward Nate Graville is a big-time talent, and is one player that could see a nice rise in our spring rankings. I love this young man's potential and upside, so he is worthy of some serious attention. Graville is a rare find, as a result of his size, length and ability to make shots from all over the floor. He has a very good shooting stroke with unlimited range already, and also a good mid-range game which allows him to make plays for himself off the dribble. Graville has the body and the potential for the future to become a serious mid plus to high-major division-I prospect. I will be keeping a close eye on this young man this season.
Other prospects at this position to keep a close eye on this season include 6-foot-7 junior Billy Jordan (Desert Ridge HS), 6-foot-6 junior wing Jared Rodriguez (Mountain Ridge HS), 6-foot-4 junior wing Logan Matulis (Mountain Pointe HS) and newcomer, 6-foot-5 junior wing Deshawn Wilson (St. Mary's HS).
Each of these prospects are very talented and have the potential to make a jump in our spring rankings with strong performances this high school season - especially Billy Jordan, who is the son of former Arizona standout and professional player Billy Jordan Sr., and also Deshawn Wilson, who recently moved to the state of Arizona from Las Vegas. Wilson is a tremendous talent with excellent athleticism and physical strength. Look for Wilson to be one of the state's elite newcomers this high school season.
Here are our new Fall Player Rankings for the small forward position in Arizona’s 2017 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 2017 Class Fall Player Rankings – Small Forwards (In Ranking Order)
1. Caleb Simmons 6-6 JR SF Desert Vista HS (Phoenix, AZ)
2. Gabe McGlothan 6-6 JR SF Basha HS (Chandler, AZ)
3. Saikou Gueye 6-5 JR SF Mountain Ridge HS (Glendale, AZ)
4. Nate Graville 6-7 JR SF Gilbert Christian HS (Gilbert, AZ)
5. Billy Jordan 6-7 JR SF Desert Ridge HS (Phoenix, AZ)
6. Jared Rodriguez 6-6 JR SF Mountain Ridge HS (Glendale, AZ)
7. Logan Matulis 6-4 JR SF Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix, AZ)
8. Deshawn Wilson 6-5 JR SF St. Mary's HS (Phoenix, AZ)
9. Jaquan Butler 6-5 JR SF Central HS (Phoenix, AZ)
10. Bryce Gilbert 6-5 JR SF Higley HS (Gilbert, 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.