Four Canadian Prospects Ranked Inside Top 100 in Latest ESPN Class of 2017 Rankings

Nickeil Alexander-Walker is the top-ranked Canadian in the Class of 2017 rankings by ESPN, sitting as the 34th-ranked recruit. He has committed to play for the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2017-18.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is the top-ranked Canadian in the Class of 2017 rankings by ESPN, sitting as the 34th-ranked recruit. He has committed to play for the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2017-18.

With all but one player from the Class of 2016 (#74 Taurean Thompson) off the board, the attention has switched to the recruiting class of 2017.

On Tuesday, ESPN released the first edition of their Class of 2017 rankings.  Two big men headline the list, as DeAndre Ayton and Wendell Carter find their names atop the rankings. From top to bottom, the list is packed with players full of star potential, both in the NCAA and at the professional level.

As of Tuesday, 19 of the players have already committed to a school for the 2017-18 season.

Four Canadian prospects have made their way onto the list, with the highest player ranked as the 34th-best prospect in the recruiting class. With the recent rise of Canada Basketball, more and more players from Canada are finding the spotlight, and the Class of 2017 is no different.

Here are the four Canadians on the first edition of the list.

#34: Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Toronto, ON (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy)
*committed to Virginia Tech on May 5th, 2016

Standing at 6’5”, and weighing in a 195 pounds, Alexander-Walker is the top-ranked Canadian in the class of 2017, and is the 8th-ranked shooting guard in the entire class. He is a long-armed guard who can shoot the ball well from all over the floor. Alexander-Walker has a consistent mid-range jumper, and is widely considered as one of the better shooters in the entire class.

While he does lack some physical strength, which hinders his ability to finish in contact, he has a high basketball IQ that allows him to play either guard position. If he can limit turnovers and add some muscle, he has the potential to be one of the top guards to come out of the class.

*Nickeil Alexander-Walker committed to Virginia Tech over a slew of other teams, including the Baylor Bears, Maryland Terrapins, USC Trojans, and the Vermont Catamounts.

#61: Lindell Wigginton – Dartmouth, N.S. (Oak Hill Academy)

Players from the East Coast in Canada don’t usually get the attention they deserve, but Wigginton is putting the province of Nova Scotia on the map. The 6’1”, 180-pound shooting guard is currently the 16th-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2017. He is an above-average scorer from three point range, and is highly effective coming off screens. He has long arms, which allow him to play ‘bigger’ than his listed height of 6’1”. Wigginton possesses great court vision, and is poised beyond his years with the ball in his hands.

Phenon Hoop Report said that Wigginton reminded them of a young Kendall Marshall, which is high praise in its own right for a young guard looking to make a name for himself in the NCAA in two years.

*Lindell Wigginton currently holds several offers from schools across the country, including the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, Georgia Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, and the Tennessee Volunteers.

#81: Oshae Brissett – Mississauga, ON (Findlay College Prep)

The 6’6”, 195-pound Brissett is one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire class of 2017. He is currently ranked as the 17th-best small forward in the class, but has the potential to be one of the better players to come out of the class at the NCAA level. He has long arms and an increasingly high level of athleticism that make him a threat on both ends of the floor. On defense, he uses his length and athleticism to block shots, while on offense he gets a high volume of tip-ins and rebounds. Brissett can also shoot the three ball with relative consistency, making him a threat all over the offensive end.

He is still a raw talent, and simply needs to get more experience to hone his skills and continue his development. The potential is there, it’s just a matter of him continuing to work on his craft to excel at the next level.

*Oshae Brissett currently holds several offers from schools, including six schools from the Pac-12, the Boston College Eagles, and the Oklahoma Sooners

#82: Christian David – Milton, ON (Vermont Academy)

Christian David comes in at 6’7” and 200 pounds, and he possesses a strong skill set that teams would love to add to their rotation. He is the 18th-ranked small forward in the class of 2017, and could very well rise up the list if he continues to improve his game. He is a strong shooter from all over the floor, which creates space for his teammates to get open for more opportunities. In addition, he has great court vision and is a strong passer, which makes him a dual threat on ball screens. Teams have to respect his jump shot, but he can also hurt them with his passing abilities.

At the present time, he doesn’t have the strength to be able to break anyone down in the paint, but he has the work ethic and drive to succeed which indicates he will get there eventually. If he can prove his abilities on the defensive end, he will be on the rise over the next year.

*Christian David currently holds offers from several schools, including the Baylor Bears, Creighton Bluejays, Old Dominion Monarchs, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the Virginia Tech Hokies.

– T. Bennett