With the strong expectation that Thon Maker will eventually reclassify to the 2015 class, I currently would choose Dennis Smith Jr as my top choice from the 2016 class.
As I have expressed via twitter a few times over last couple months… with his game changing athleticism / skill set combined with his competitive spirit and commanding the most important position on the floor (college level) , Dennis would be at the very top of my 2016 board. Especially if you are a coach that will challenge him to become an an Elite defender, which I believe he is capable .
I see Dennis having the capacity to potentially dominate college games both in the full court and half court. Watch any video of him and you’ll quickly see how exciting he can be in the full court with his speed, handle , passing & vertical leap. His quickness, shifty handle , 3-level scoring capacity and playing making acumen should make him a headache for opponents in the Halfcourt as well. He practically gets in the lane at will ! I think his deep shooting stroke is already solid, and fully expect him to continue to grow with consistency. The demand of shot selection & fundamentals in an Elite college climate will help. He should be able to create his own shot comfortably & consistently.
In my view, I believe Dennis can become a top tier perimeter defender and quality guard rebounder at the next level. He has the athleticism , Toughness and competitive spirit to potentially impact in those areas. He has already had a volume of games where she has shown production in those areas. If he goes to a coaching staff that will challenge him with excelling with Defensive stance and discipline , he has a chance to be a terrific on ball defender with quality size / length.
The x-factor in my selection of Dennis , is my instinct that his leadership capacity will continue to grow. A point Guard with leadership intangibles is an immeasurable variable to a college program.
His current talent, skill set is already impressive….but I believe there is still distinguishable upside as well. I foresee him being a potential NBA all-star point guard ( health allowing) . A point guard who will impact games both as playmaker and scorer , and potentially as a Defender.
Time will tell if he will also be described as Winner ! (a little too early to gauge )