Last August, we highlighted the meteoric rise of center Xavier Booker, who went from being on the cusp of the 2023 ESPN 100 to a five-star men's college basketball recruit ranked inside the top five overall.
Not every recruit makes that significant of a jump, however it showcases how much talent is needed to achieve five-star status. To climb the rankings, prospects must hone their skills, develop their games, produce and make even the slightest adjustments to their games to improve.
Players build their résumés with a combination of performance, production, potential and projection. Beneath the surface, there are many pieces of the evaluation puzzle, like effort, willingness to be a committed defender, game instincts, body language and coachability.
There were many high school seniors, juniors ranked in the 2024 ESPN 60 and sophomores in the 2025 ESPN 25, who rose, such as five-star Texas commit Ron Holland, UCLA signee Sebastian Mack and Butler commit Finley Bizjack.
But one thing stands out in the latest rankings update: We have a new recruit ranked No. 1 overall. It is already a high bar to rank among the other five-stars in the cycle, but to move up -- even from No. 2 to No. 1 in this case -- requires significant improvements.
We highlight 10 recruits who took their games to new levels over the past few months, starting with the new top prospect, Justin Edwards, continuing with Bronny James and ending with some key names in the 2024 and 2025 classes.