South Carolina Basketball: Elite Gamecock target is now the consensus #1 player in the country

Elite class of 2025 South Carolina basketball target AJ Dybantsa is now the #1-ranked player in the country for his class.
South Carolina basketball mascot Cocky
South Carolina basketball mascot Cocky / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina basketball fans had the unique privilege of having a ton of elite talent come to them recently. Right after Christmas, the Chick-fil-A Classic was played at River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina, and some of the country's best players were in the Midlands.

One of those major talents in town was Prolific Prep product AJ Dybantsa. The uber-athletic and versatile player has been a 5-star prospect for a while, but he recently got a bump in the ratings that made him the consensus top player in the United States. On3, 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals all now rate the Massachusetts native #1.

Listed as a small forward, Dybantsa is 6'9" and nearing 200 pounds. That size will allow him to play any of the three frontcourt spots in college, but he is best utilized as a combo forward who can play small forward and take advantage of smaller players at the position or power forward and take advantage of players less athletic than he is.

Dybantsa is not as polished as some of the other top players in the class, but his potential "ceiling" is almost unlimited. In addition to his elite athleticism, he has plus-length and is an aggressive, downhill player. His jump shot and ball handling are smooth, indicating that they can become real positives as he develops.

He was named the Massachusetts Player of the Year as a freshman after the 2022-2023 season. He moved to Prolific Prep out in California, and he has since reclassified from the 2026 recruiting class to the 2025 cycle.

Dybantsa has a South Carolina basketball offer and spoke with Gamecock head coach Lamont Paris when he was in the area for the Chick-fil-A Classic. It is still very early in his recruitment and a USC commitment is a longshot, but a player like AJ Dybantsa is worth fans monitoring until and unless he eliminates their favorite team.

You can watch some of his film here.

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