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Rivals Rankings Week: Final Rivals150 for 2021 class released

The final Rivals150 for the class of 2021 has been released and while No. 1 prospect Chet Holmgren still tops the list, a number of significant moves took place below him. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy has a look at some of the most important storylines from the rankings refresh.

JUST RELEASED: NEW RIVALS150 FOR 2021

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Commitment breakdown: Ty Ty Washington chooses Kentucky

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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THE KING STAYS KING

There was serious internal discussion about shaking things up at the top headed into the Iverson All-Star Classic weekend, but No. 1 prospect Chet Holmgren was able to hold off hard-charging No. 2 Paolo Banchero. A Gonzaga signee, Holmgren used his final game as a high schooler to remind everyone just how unique a prospect he is, posting a double double while showing off his range, ball-handling skills and absolutely smothering defense at the rim.

And while the 7-foot-1 center needs to bulk up before he hits the NBA, he’s clearly the more polished and well-rounded prospect of the two. Holmgren’s ultra-rare skill set gives him a lofty ceiling in both college and the NBA, which, in the end, nobody else in this class could match.

Holmgren’s ultra-rare skill set gives him a lofty ceiling in both college and the NBA, which, in the end, nobody else in this class could match.

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A PAIR OF POINT GUARDS EARN FIVE-STAR STATUS 

Kentucky commit Ty Ty Washington and uncommitted Nolan Hickman added fifth stars in the final update and each is on the verge of making a college decision.

Washington became one of the hottest names in the county over the last six months, as he established himself as one of the top scorers in the class and is becoming a more complete guard from a facilitating standpoint by the day. A former Creighton commit, Washington committed to Kentucky on Wednesday.

One of the stars of the Iverson Classic, Hickman used the all-star setting to prove he belongs in the conversation about the top guards in this class. Hickman proved he could stand toe to toe with anyone when it comes to ball handling and facilitating and also showed drastic improvement when it comes to creating his own shot off the dribble. The former Kentucky commit has narrowed his option and seems to be a Gonzaga lean as things stand. He’s expected to announce a commitment within the next week.

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MICHIGAN WINS RECRUITING TITLE 

Everything's coming up Michigan these days, as Juwan Howard has capped off a season that saw him lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten title and the Elite Eight with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

Momentum tends to compound in college sports, as top players are attracted to success, which means Howard may only just be getting started in Ann Arbor. The way prospects talk about the third-year head coach makes it obvious that he’s capable of building a juggernaut on the recruiting trail. The Wolverines six-member class includes five-star forwards Moussa Diabate and Caleb Houstan along with four-stars Frankie Collins, Kobe Bufkin and Isaiah Barnes. Three-star signee Will Tschetter checks in at No. 127 in the Rivals150 after moving up six spots in the update.

Howard’s revitalization of the schools recruiting doesn’t seem to be fading, either, as he and his staff are involved with a long list of major prospects in 2022.

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INDIANA AND FLORIDA STATE SIGNEES GET BIG BUMPS  

Florida State signee Matthew Cleveland and Indiana-bound Tamar Bates saw their stock rise significantly in the final rankings. Bates, a lefty who shined this season for a loaded IMG Academy team, hopped up 28 spots based on a smooth jumper and the ability to get to the rim off the dribble. He’s improved as a position defender and has one of the better motors in the 2021 class.

Cleveland’s big senior year has put him squarely on the radar of NBA scouts, a handful of which could be heard praising his game from the sideline at Iverson All-Star Classic practices last weekend. The versatile Cleveland is lethal in the mid-range and has added significant muscle over the last year, improving his ability to finish at the rack and defend larger players in the high post.

Both project as players that could impact college basketball from the moment they get to campus.

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TENNESSEE-BOUND BIG GRABS A FIFTH STAR 

Tennessee signee Jonas Aidoo has been steadily climbing the ranking over the past year and seized his final star in the final Rivals150 release. The 7-foot center has proven to be one of the more athletic and explosive bigs in the country, as he moves incredibly well for a prospect of his stature.

In the end, however, the addition of a fifth star came down to the well-rounded nature of Aidoo’s game, as the big man can finish well with either hand and shoot it from range. He could become something truly special if he’s able to continue to add muscle and develop low-post scoring maneuvers. Defensively, he shines as a rim protector and isn’t too much of a liability when forced to step out and defend on the perimeter. Aidoo has not reached his sky-high ceiling yet and should continue to get better in the coming year.

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