R.J. Barrett
R.J. Barrett represents Canada during the National Hoop Summit (Sam Forencich / Getty Images)

The number one overall recruit in the 2019 class, R.J. Barrett has decided to reclassify into the class of 2018. Barrett is regarded as one of the best two high school players in the country regardless of class. He immediately becomes a top two prospect in 2018 along with Marvin Bagley who may reclassify himself up to the class of 2017. Barrett announced the decision from his personal blog he writes for USA Today.

Really, it’s been a thought of mine for the last year, but I wanted to wait and see how the season would go and how school would go and when everything went well it became more and more real so I made the decision to go ahead and do it.

I’m right on track to graduate in 2018 and academically everything is great.

I can’t say that there was one thing that tipped my decision to reclassify; but it was more a collective decision based on the whole year.

My family and I feel like this will be beneficial for me because I’m ready to move up and to be in college a year earlier.

Obviously, I was ranked No. 1 in the 2019 class and now that I’m moving up to 2018 my goal won’t change.

I still want to be the best player in the class and the only way to make that happen is through hard work. We work really hard at Montverde so I know another year there won’t do anything but benefit me.

The now senior-to-be has been on the scene for months but really blew up after leading Canada to a shocking win over the U19 USA squad earlier this month. Barrett put up 38, 13, and five in the upset victory showing the ability to score from all three levels.

At 6’6″, Barrett has elite athleticism at the three spot allowing to get to the basket at will in high school. Like most players with his explosiveness, he needs to continue to shore up his jumper. Barrett can score at all three levels like he did against Team USA and also rebound extremely well for a wing. Barrett single-handedly carried U19 Canada to a gold medal becoming the first team in over a decade besides the USA to win gold at the U19 level. Barrett’s main reason for deciding to reclassify was he felt ready from a basketball standpoint to expedite starting his career. Most recruiting analysts feel it’s a no brainer for a talent like him to do so.

“R.J is a really mature hard-working player that loves learning the nuances of the game,” said Drew Hanlan, Barrett’s trainer. “He has an unbelievable feel for the game and a unique ability create fouls. We are working on getting him a consistent jumper, once that happens he will be unstoppable.”

What’s next for R.J. Barrett?

Barrett is a priority for just about every school on his list which includes the bluest of blue bloods. Teams like Kentucky, Kansas, and his crystal ball leader Duke will now all pursue him harder than ever before. Duke also leads for Marvin Bagley who if he decides to stay in the class of 2018 which at the moment looks unlikely could for a potent 3-4 option for the Blue Devils. If and when Bagley reclassifies, Barrett will be the top prospect in the country and the odds on favorite to go first in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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