SD 2026 Rankings: Top 5 Prospects Breakdown
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The South Dakota 2026 rankings dropped this week. Prep Hoops Dakotas wants to breakdown the top prospects in the class. I think this is a fun class and an interesting class to rank. Some high-end guys and a couple major…
The South Dakota 2026 rankings dropped this week. Prep Hoops Dakotas wants to breakdown the top prospects in the class.
I think this is a fun class and an interesting class to rank. Some high-end guys and a couple major stock-risers from the offseason, that have catapulted their way into the top 5. Let’s dive into why they’re ranked where they are. I think we have 2-3 D1 prospects in the class, by my opinion.
#1— I believe Mitchell is the favorite to win the State AA title this year and Smith will have a major impact for them. He contributed for the team as a Freshman and has the makings of an All-Stater at the AA level. Good size and athleticism combination. Why the #1 ranking? This past season, he just looked different than the other 2026 prospects. Already a college-ready and mature frame to him. Coupled with athleticism, makes for a strong case to be considered at that spot. State AA tournament experience under is belt and is primed to take things to the next level. A Sophomore jump, you could say. I think a pretty sizeable one. Lots of talent around him, so he might not have the stat lines like he would have on most teams, but he will still contribute and make an impact nightly, sprinkling in some big statistical stat games. He’ll be playing with Martin Brothers in the Spring/Summer.
#2— Ellwein is a prospect, also with AA experience, that is pushing for the top spot. Ellwein with more length and a smoother jumper, with Smith being more developed physically and is stronger and more aggressive. Ellwein is another prospect in AA that I believe will be an All-State player in his Sophomore season. He will be counted on more with his rebounding, court vision and passing ability, and of course, his ability to knockdown shots, especially from three with his high release point. He’s a wing/forward with D1 length and size.
#3— Weber’s ranking stands firm at #3 in this update. His raw athleticism, vertical, and length give him massive upside. Rose his stock this offseason for Team Warwick, as they had a remarkable season and Weber was a big part of that. Can run, rebound, and get up and dunk with ease. If he keeps getting taller, his recruitment takes a massive leap.
#4— De Groot has been climbing up the rankings board all offseason. He’s growing his frame and developing his skillset, all at the same time. So, he’s changing for the better. He has length at 6’4″ with a sound skillset. De Groot’s ability to rebound at the guard spot really stood out to me on the Prep Hoops Circuit. That’s without mentioning him being one of the top three-point shooters in the 2026 class. Also, showed the ability to go off the dribble and finish at the hoop. Good positional size and length. Good upside, with a well-rounded offensive game already. Sioux Falls Lincoln graduated a bunch of prominent guards, and De Groot will be counted on to fill some void in his Sophomore campaign. He could surprise some in the scoring department.
#5— Gerdes has a rock-solid build and rock-solid game. The lefty uses his frame to his advantage and slices through the D in transition and in a half-court setting. An elite and strong finisher at the hoop, both off one leg and two. I woudn’t say Gerdes is special in any areas, other than his finishing at the hoop. I guess, his transition game and finishing in transition could definitely be talked about a lot. The Lennox backcourt of Ihnen and Gerdes is about to be special this upcoming season. The duo could combine for 40+ average a night.