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September 24, 2012
With his decision to make a move back up to the class of 2013, Noah Vonleh has made it two years in a row that a top-five player has moved back to his natural graduating class. Last year it was Nerlens Noel who went from 2013 to 2012, and this year Vonleh has made the move from 2014 to 2013.
It's quite possible -- most seem to think even likely -- that the current No. 1 player in the class of 2014, Andrew Wiggins, will end up doing the same thing.
What should we think about this? Is this something that those in the high school basketball community should be concerned about?
For now at least, I say no. However, I do have some thoughts on the matter.
I'm of the opinion that kids and their families need to do whatever they feel is best for their particular situation. Sometimes it works for the better. Sometimes it doesn't go so well. But I can't put myself in each and every situation, so I have a hard time saying what is a good move and what isn't.
From where I sit, I just want to see that the decision is something that the player involved -- in this case the 6-foot-8 Vonleh, who was ranked No. 3 in the class of 2014 -- wants to make for himself. As far as I can tell, Noah Vonleh is going to the class of 2013 because he feels that's what is best for his future. He's a very good player, physically ready, and an argument could certainly be made that another year of high school basketball wouldn't be any more beneficial to him than being an important piece of a big-time college program in 2013-14.
On the other hand, I hope that Vonleh is ready for how much more attention he is going to get. Not only are some of the heaviest-hitting college coaches in the land going to really turn up the heat on him, but he's going to get asked over and over again why he chose to make a move to 2013. To some players, that could be a distraction. But Vonleh appears to be a pretty well-grounded kid who has good people in his corner, so that shouldn't be an issue.
What I do think we all need to keep in mind going forward, though, is that while Noel, Vonleh and Wiggins (if he does make a class switch) can make this type of move, not everybody can. I don't see this becoming a trend where a lot of kids are moving up in class, but it is something that is worth monitoring. It will be interesting to track how the guys who have made this jump handle it down the road.