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November 1, 2012
As positions continue to change in basketball,
versatility and the ability to play in multiple spots becomes more and more
important. This week, we take a look at the 10 most versatile players in the
class of 2013. It's not a surprise to see the nation's best player,
Andrew Wiggins, lead the list.
1. Andrew Wiggins: The top prospect in the class of 2013 is also the nation's most versatile player. The 6-foot-7 wing could play shooting guard, small forward and power forward on the offensive end. He can also lock up all of those positions, at least at this level. A big-time athlete, Wiggins' ability to pass and some of the little things he does have gone unnoticed.
2. Aaron Harrison: The Harrison twins from Houston are a dynamic duo and there is great debate about which is better. However, the reason that Rivals.com ranks Aaron over his twin brother Andrew is because we see him as a tad more versatile. While the 6-foot-5, five-star senior's natural position is the shooting guard, he can easily slide over to play the point full time and is capable of defending one through three on the perimeter.
3. Jabari Parker: A super-sized wing who is now pushing 6-foot-9, Parker is a guy who can fit any style of play and can likely do so as either a small or power forward. If you play him at the four, his ability to face up and play a skill game while still having the size to defend interior players is a problem. As a three, he can take smaller guys into the post and use what is a well-developed, back-to-the-basket post game. The more we think about him for the college level, we like him as more of a combo forward than a true three because he'll likely be more comfortable defending college threes.
4. Noah Vonleh: When Vonleh first emerged on the scene, he did so as a ridiculously high-volume rebounder with toughness and length. In the early stages of his development, he couldn't score much outside of five feet but he's changed that in a big way. Vonleh has become a dependable 3-point shooter, can create off the dribble and is a capable defender at the three or the four because he's got good anticipation.
5. Rondae Jefferson: A big part of being versatile is the ability to play defense at multiple spots and Jefferson is one of those guys who can do it. A natural small forward who is a physical player, Jefferson also has the strength and toughness to be an excellent interior defender at the four. On offense, Jefferson isn't a great shooter but he is a good ball-handler and an excellent passer for a 6-foot-7 guy.
6. Tim Quarterman: LSU is going to enjoy the problem of figuring out exactly where to play the highly versatile 6-foot-6 product of Georgia. Some like him as a tall and rangy point guard, some like him as a Scottie Pippen-ish small forward, while some prefer him somewhere in between. Bottom line, he's a guy that you can put out on the perimeter and know that he can do about anything you want from him. If he upgrades his jump shooting a little, he'll end up one of the biggest steals of the 2013 class.
7. Ishmail Wainright: The Baylor Bears are going to love how versatile the 6-foot-5 Wainright is. Because of terrific strength, extremely long arms and above average athleticism and feet, Wainright is one of those guys that can defend three or four positions. He rebounds very well and on offense he doesn't make many mistakes. He can crash the glass, attacks off the dribble and is an outstanding passer.
8. Brandon Austin: A product of Philadelphia, Austin is very similar to Quarterman in that you can throw him out on the floor and expect him to play many positions. The 6-foot-6 senior is a high-level athlete, can really create off the dribble and has started to add a killer instinct to his game. Looking at things, he is possibly one of the more underrated members of the current Rivals150.
9. Nigel Williams-Goss: Another perimeter ace who can do many things at 6-foot-4. The Washington commit is regarded as one of the best defenders in the country and he does that 1 through 3. On offense, you can use him as a scoring point guard who doesn't make a lot of bad decisions. Or, he can play off the ball and be a physical scorer. He brings toughness to everything he does.
10. Vince Hunter: For a top 100 player, the Detroit native doesn't really get a lot of love. However, his ability to play multiple roles doesn't got unnoticed. Because of his toughness, quickness near the rim and nose for the ball, he causes lots of problems as an undersized four. On the wing, he's a hard-charger who doesn't take plays off and has improved his mid-range jump shooting.