There's no shortage of depth and talent in high school basketball's 2013 class, but expect a special trio at the top of MaxPreps.com's updated rankings to dominate the attention over the next two years.
of Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)
, Julius Randle
of Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
and Nerlens Noel
of Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)
might be the top three prospects in the country regardless of class.
"There hasn't been a top three this good in a very long time – all three are future NBA studs," CBSSports.com recruiting analyst Jeff Borzello said. "You could make an argument that Parker, Randle and Noel are the three best prospects not playing professionally right now, and that includes college players. Unlike 2012, you can't accuse any of the three of not working hard or gunning for the No. 1 spot. They're all determined to get better – and they're all supremely talented."
Parker, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound small forward, is already a two-time state champion at Simeon. He backed up his No. 1 status over the summer by earning MVP honors at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the Nike Global Challenge.
"Over the last year or so, Parker redefined his body and simply took his game to the next level," Borzello said. "He can do everything offensively, from knocking down outside shots and mid-range jumpers to posting up players around the rim or finishing off the dribble. More importantly, Parker is a smart and savvy player who doesn't force shots or hog the ball in order to get points. He has a basketball background, and is poised to continue his development."
Randle, a ferocious 6-9, 240-pound power forward, averaged over 24 points and 12 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Prestonwood Christian. He has drawn comparisons to Derrick Coleman, Kevin Garnett and Chris Webber, among others.
"Randle is a matchup nightmare – at this level, the next level and possibly the NBA," Borzello said. "He is physical and strong in the paint, but also showed an ability in the summer to handle the ball and take defenders off the dribble. Randle can hit mid-range shots and will attack the glass. Essentially, when he is determined to get a basket, there is little that can stop him."
Noel was the focal point over the summer for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, which piled up a record of 80-3 and captured Nike's EYBL crown. The 6-10 center and native of Everett, Mass., is a game-changer defensively, dominating with his unmatched shot-blocking ability.
"The best shot-blocker to come across the landscape in several years, Noel has unbelievable length and timing on the defensive end," Borzello said. "Opponents are forced to adjust their shot every time they enter the paint, and that's solely because of Noel. Offensively, he's improving his back-to-the-basket game, scoring with each hand. If his offense can become a consistent option, Noel could be an absolute star."
Read on for a complete look at the nation's elite rising junior prospects.MaxPreps Class of 2013 Top 100