How Good Can 2025 Become?

The national class of 2025 is being hailed as one of the best to come along in many years. Just how good is it and just how good can it become? We take a look at the best players in the class and whom they will intimately be compared to as a group.

In the morning hours the day after the Fourth of July, two 16U teams at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam drew considerable attention from NBA scouts. Now why would NBA scouts be interested in an early 16U game the day after a holiday? It’s because it featured a matchup of rising junior (2025) wing Cooper Flagg of Maine United and power forward Cameron Boozer of the Nightrydas.

Boozer, from Columbus (Miami, Fla.) is coming off a 2022-23 season in which he was the first sophomore ever to earn Mr. Basketball USA honors (over any seniors or juniors) and some feel Flagg is just as good a player and prospect. Now based on recent play at the Section 7 Team Camp during the June scholastic live period, Boozer definitely deserves all the honors and accolades he’s received so far. He’s a terrific prospect and as dominant on the high school level as a forward can be. Flagg is not as physically dominant, but he affects the game in similar fashion with his defensive ability, timing, anticipation and creativity.

The two players met at the recent NBPA Top 100 Camp, with Boozer getting the edge in the matchup, mainly because of his physicality. Based on that game and earlier EYBL results, the Nightrydas 16U were the clear favorites going into the Wednesday morning matchup. The game ended up being close with Maine United 16U leading by a point (35-34) at halftime and going on to pull out a 73-65 victory. Boozer and company had beaten each previous Peach Jam foe by at least 30 points, but this game was a different story as Flagg finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the upset victory. The story of the game was the play of Flagg’s supporting cast, as brother Ace Flagg, a 6-foot-7 2025 small forward, had 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Landon Clark, another 6-foot-7 2025, added 19 points. The Flagg brothers play at Montverde Academy (Fla.) and are from Newport, Maine, while Clark is originally from Bangor.

Boozer, meanwhile, finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, but made only 8-of-24 shots from the field.

This certainly won’t be the last time Boozer and Flagg meet up and scouts and fans alike will be locked in to see how those matchups fare and just how good those two players become. Certainly two players don’t make up a class, but scouts are high on the 2025 class as a whole. Add names like power forward Koa Peat of Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.), shooting guard Darryn Peterson of Cuyahoga Valley Christian (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) and shooting guard Meleek Thomas of Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.) and you have the makings of a terrific class. Perhaps one of the best if the elite players in it keep developing. As one respected national scout said at Section 7, Boozer is comparable to the top players in the best classes of recent years and the top players in the 2025 class compare favorably as well to many of the top groups.

It is no secret the 2023 class was considered weak and that the 2024 isn’t much better. There isn’t alot of early excitement and buzz surrounding the 2024 NBA Draft and unless some foreign unicorn emerges, there won’t be for the 2025 NBA Draft, either. That’s another reason why many are looking forward to see how the 2025 class shapes out.

It got us thinking about who comprises the best five of any particular class and which are the best classes of all-time? One thing the 2025 class has yet to show is the presence of a game-changing, dynamic point guard. Perhaps one will emerge.

Looking back over the great classes they all have three things in common. 1) A terrific or potentially generational point guard talent. 2) Terrific size up front with some depth. 3) The best players at the top can form a five that can play together and would be dominant in any setting at any level of the game.

We take a look at the best all-time fives in the same class below.

Can the 2025 class continue to develop? Is there a great point guard in the group, and does it matter if there isn’t one? Just how good can this group be, considering it has perhaps two generational prospects at the top?

Top 10 Best All-Time Top 5s In The Same Class

1. 1978-1979

PG — Isaiah Thomas, St. Joseph (Westchester, Ill.) 6-1
F — James Worthy, Ashbrook (Gastonia, N.C.) 6-9
F — Clark Kelllogg, St. Joseph's (Cleveland, Ohio) 6-8
C — Sam Bowie, Lebanon (Pa.) 7-1
C — Ralph Sampson, Harrisonburg (Va.) 7-3
Synopsis: The greatest class of all-time had everything: size, great wings and terrific point guards led by Thomas, who was ranked No. 6 by All-Star Sports in scout Bob Gibbons’ first year of putting out a national list. This class also had depth and a second five consisting of center Steve Stipanovich, DeSmet (St. Louis, Mo.), power forward Antoine Carr, Heights (Wichita, Kan.), small forwards Dominique Wilkins, Washington (N.C.) and Derrick Hord, Tennessee (Bristol, Tenn.) plus point guard Raymond McCoy, Bloom Township (Chicago Heights, Ill.) would be formidable. And that’s still leaving out players such as guards Leon Wood, St. Monica (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Quinten Dailey, Cardinal Gibbons (Baltimore, Md.), plus power forwards Sidney Green, Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Terry Cummings, Carver (Chicago). This class helped usher in a wave of talent into the NBA in the early 1980s after a late 1970s lull and if it weren’t for injuries to Bowie and Kellogg would have had an even bigger impact. Sampson is one of the most coveted generational prospects of all-time and his decisions affected the top of NBA drafts for five years, as teams coveted him as the No. 1 pick since his freshman season at Virginia. Worthy was a terrific prospect and ended up as a No. 1 pick after Sampson decided not to come out after his junior year in 1982. Some consider Thomas the best small guard prospect ever and both he and Bowie were No. 2 overall picks. As legendary scout Howie Garfinkel stated, not a single player from the 1978 class (including future No. 1 pick Mark Aguirre) would have been Top 10 in 1979 and only much hyped big man Earl Jones from the 1980 class would have cracked the Top 10.

2. 1987-1988

PG — Chris Jackson, Gulfport (Miss.) 6-1
SG — Chris Mills, Fairfax (Los Angeles) 6-7
SF — Billy Owens, Carlisle (Pa.) 6-8
PF — Shawn Kemp, Concord (Elkhart, Ind.) 6-10
C — Alonzo Mourning, Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.) 6-10
Synopsis: If 1979 isn’t the best class, then many veteran observers would point to this class as the best, although it’s impact at the top of the draft is not quite as dramatic as the 1979 class. Similar to 1979, this class had size and incredible depth and a second five with players such as center Stanley Roberts, Lower Richland (Hopkins, S.C.) and small forward Malik Sealy, Tolentine (Bronx, N.Y.) would be terrific. Mourning was labeled as the best big man to play at the famed Five-Star Camp since Moses Malone and was just a warrior every outing who never took a play off. Kemp and Owens were oozing with talent and pushed Mourning in the rankings despite occasional lapses in intensity. Owens and Kemp would be cinch No. 1 prospects in many classes. Mills is considered one of the best talents ever out of Los Angeles and played one season at Kentucky before a recruiting scandal led to a transfer to Arizona. Kemp never played in college and was a first round pick (No. 17) one year later. Chris Jackson (later Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) is the best No. 4 or 5 prospect in a class of all-time. In his state final, Jackson’s Gulfport team beat a Murrah (Jackson, Miss.) team with three future NBA players, 96-76. This class was hyped for its potential impact on the college game and clearly delivered despite Kemp’s absence.

3. 2006-2007

PG — Derrick Rose, Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 6-3
SG — O.J. Mayo, Huntington (W. Va.) 6-4
SF — Eric Gordon, North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-3
PF — Michael Beasley, Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) 6-8
C — Kevin Love, Lake Oswego (Ore.) 6-9
Synopsis: At his final Roundball Classic in Chicago, veteran talent scout Sonny Vaccaro called this class, top to bottom including the players who did not play in his game, the best class ever. He just might be right when you look at it from the standpoint of how good the players were in high school and don’t consider what happened thereafter. This five is about as well-rounded as any from a positional standpoint and with Vaccaro leaving the grassroots scene at the time, it was also the last great class whose potential to face each other often wasn’t slowed by the pitfalls of shoe affiliation. The top players in this class had the necessary competitive fire to succeed and are remembered as much for their impact on big summer grassroots games as their individual talent. Rose went on to be the No. 1 pick and a NBA MVP, while Beasley was oozing with talent and potential but didn’t quite live up to being drafted No. 2. This class also included future NBA MVP James Harden, Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.), who was notably younger than many of the elite talents at the top of the class.

4. 1994-1995

PG — Stephon Marbury, Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-2
SG — Ron Mercer, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-7
SF — Paul Pierce, Inglewood (Calif.) 6-6
PF — Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Marietta (Ga.) 6-9
C — Kevin Garnett, Farragut Academy (Chicago) 6-10
Synopsis: There might not be the depth of the top three classes, but this is an underrated class and terrific at the top led by Garnett, a generational prospect who became the first player to go straight from high school to the NBA in 20 years. Marbury was a top three point guard prospect of the 1990s along with Jason Kidd (1992) and Randy Livingston (1993), the latter who got hurt as a Nike All-American Camp counselor before ever playing a college game at LSU. Filling in the positions to create a five shows a problem that this class has the luxury of having: whom do you take at the small forward? Pierce or Vince Carter, Mainland (Daytona Beach, Fla.)? Chauncey Billups, Washington (Denver, Col.) was also part of this class and was bummed out he wasn’t able to play in either the McDonald’s All-American Game or Roundball Classic because of a bad shoulder. This class edges out the 1993 class because of Garnett and two other NBA Hall of Fame talents on its positional five.

5. 2019-2020

PG — Jalen Suggs, Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis) 6-4
PG — Cade Cunningham, Montverde Academy (Fla.) 6-7
SG — Jalen Green, Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) 6-5
PF — Scottie Barnes, Montverde Academy (Fla.) 6-7
C — Evan Mobley, Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) 7-0
Synopsis: We wanted to get a contemporary class on the list and this class had a bit of everything, including a traditional big man in Mobley and a variety of dominant guards. Suggs was physically strong and a good setup man, while Cunningham was a big guard who could create for himself and others. There is a third guard that must be mentioned in Sharife Cooper, McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.), who was more diminutive and a spectacular player who some outlets felt was deserving of national player of the year honors when he was a junior. Green was an explosive talent, while Barnes was a jack-of-all trades who just knew how to play and win. He teamed up with Cunningham on one of the best high school teams of all-time that wasn’t able to play on the big stage of GEICO Nationals because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Cunningham was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and these five players were the top five picks. Two other Montverde Academy players went in the first round: shooting guard Moses Moody (No. 14) and power forward Day'Ron Sharpe (No. 29). IMG Academy was really the only team that could challenge MVA that season, but that became a harder task when small forward Jalen Johnson (No. 20 pick) left the team early in the season. Will the 2025 class have the impact on the following year’s NBA Draft as this one did?

6. 1992-1993

PG — Randy Livingston, Newmann (New Orleans, La.) 6-4
PG — Jacque Vaughn, Muir (Pasadena, Calif.) 6-0
SF — Jerry Stackhouse, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-6
PF — Dontonio Wingfield, Westover (Albany, Ga.) 6-8
C — Rasheed Wallace, Simon Gratz (Philadelphia) 6-11
Synopsis: At the time, this class was compared to the famed 1988 class, but Livingston got hurt and Wingfield didn’t live up to his press clippings. This class had tremendous depth all the way down in its Top 100 and plenty of size, but many of the big man such as Rashard Griffith, King (Chicago) and Greg Newton, A.N. Meyer (Niagara Falls, On.) failed to make the impact in college expected of them.

7. 1976-77

G — Darnell Valentine, Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) 6-1
G — Wesley Matthews, Warren Harding (Bridgeport, Conn.) 6-2
G — Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Everett (Lansing, Mich.) 6-8
F — Albert King, Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-6
F — Gene Banks, West Philadelphia (Philadelphia) 6-7
Synopsis: King, the younger brother of future NBA standout Bernard King, was nationally-known at 14 years old and is one of the most hyped prospects of all-time. Banks was probably the most productive of the group in terms of outcome of high-level matchups and leading his Speedboys team to the mythical national title. Johnson wasn’t as revered early on, but by the end of his senior year it was clear Magic was the best prospect in this class and could be a game-changing talent. Valentine is considered one of the best traditional high school guards of the 1970s.

8. 1996-1997

PG — Baron Davis, Crossroads (Santa Monica, Calif.) 6-2
SG — Tracy McGrady, Mt. Zion Christian (Durham, N.C.) 6-8
SF — Lamar Odom, Redemption Christian Academy (Troy, N.Y.) 6-9
PF — Elton Brand, Peekskill (N.Y.) 6-8
C — Chris Burgess, Woodbridge (Irvine, Calif.) 6-10
Synopsis: Looking at this group as rising sophomores and/or juniors, it was on track to challenge the 1979 or 1988 class at the top. This was a terrific crop of high school talent, but it peaked early and it wasn’t going to be easy to live up to that early hype. Burgess was a head-turning prospect before injuries slowed his development and the same can be said about SoCal rival Schea Cotton, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), who was the best player of this group in ninth and tenth grade but didn’t play high school ball as a senior. Esteban Weaver, who started his career at Bishop Hartley (Columbus, Ohio) was another in the group that peaked early. Davis also had a rival in Kenny Brunner, Dominguez (Compton, Calif.), but Davis clearly was coming on as a senior and went on to become the best point guard among a group that included Dion Glover, Cedar Grove (Decatur, Ga.). McGrady was the ultimate late-bloomer and Odom was the only one who could match his talent level.

9. 1959-60

G — Ron Bonham, Muncie Central (Muncie, Ind.) 6-4
G — Roger Brown, Wingate (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-5
F — Joe Caldwell, Fremont (Los Angeles) 6-4
F — Paul Silas, McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) 6-7
C — Connie “Hawk” Hawkins, Boys (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-8
Synopsis: Looking back at the old classes before there was national player rankings, this class stands out. There was only one nationally known scouting service at the time (Dave Bones started his Cage Scope newsletter in 1957) but it wouldn’t have taken a long time to realize Hawkins was a special talent amongst a special group. His battles with Brown in New York's PSAL and on NYC playgrounds are legendary and both are now Naismith Hall of Famers after being unjustly treated early on in their careers by the NBA for socializing with a gambler while still in high school. The best players in this group actually got to face each other in Jersey City, N.J., in the East-West All-American Scholastic Game. Despite slippery floor conditions because of rain earlier in the day and having arrived seven minutes into the first quarter because his mother insisted he attend graduation ceremonies, Hawkins put on a show with his passing and scoring abilities and was named MVP, finishing with 20 points in the East’s 95-60 victory.

10. 1974-75

G — Roy Hamilton, Verbum Dei (Los Angeles) 6-2
F — David Greenwood, Verbum Dei (Los Angeles) 6-9
F – Bill Willoughby, Dwight Morrow (Englewood, N.J.) 6-9
C — Darryl Dawkins, Maynard Evans (Orlando, Fla.) 6-11
C — Bill Cartwright, Elk Grove (Calif.) 7-1
Synopsis: After Moses Malone went straight to the ABA out of high school the year prior, NBA and ABA scouts were out in full-force watching high school games in 1974-75 and it was a good crop of talent with plenty of size across the board. Cartwright turned down the pros to attend the University of San Francisco, while Dawkins ended up as the No. 5 pick and Willoughby as the first pick of the second round at No. 19 straight out of high school. There wouldn’t be another high school to the pros draftee for 20 years. Teammates Greenwood and Hamilton, like Cartwright, did four years of college before entering the NBA, as Greenwood was the No. 2 pick of the 1979 NBA Draft behind Magic Johnson. The trio led a terrific California crop of players that twice beat a U.S. All-Star team in a two-game series called the California Basketball Classic sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Development Basketball League.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of He can be reached at [email protected]. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


One Reply to “How Good Can 2025 Become?”

  1. 1973-74 ought to be no lower than #2:

    G Phil Ford
    G Sugar Ray Richardson
    C Moses Malone
    F Bernard King
    F Larry Bird

    Want a second 5?
    G Mo Cheeks
    G Michael Cooper
    C Mychal Thompson
    F Purvis Short
    F Mike Mitchell

    More depth?
    Skip Wise, Butch Lee, Freeman Williams, Dave Corzine, Gerald Henderson, Marc Iavaroni, Rick Robey, Goose Givens...

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