Posted On: 09/2/18 5:00 AM
As we continue to preview the upcoming high school season through the prism of Ohio’s college prospects, it’s time to talk about players in a new role.
Throughout the Role Reversals series, we seek to answer Why and How these prospects will look different this high school season.
Payton Moyer, 6’0” PG, Toledo St. John’s
Moyer is an emerging combo guard prospect at Toledo’s top program who built stock with D-II, NAIA, and D-III colleges this summer with Ohio Reign.
Why: Moyer was mostly a shooting specialist for the Titans as a sophomore and junior. They graduated a lot of talent on last year’s team, leaving him as their most experienced and talented senior. Moyer also looks prepared to become a more dynamic shot-creator and scorer.
How: He proved he’s ready to be an off-the-dribble scorer this grassroots season, a mostly unfamiliar site for spectators in the Titan Dome. We expect them to get used to it early as he’ll likely be trusted by their system and staff. St. John’s has other returning guard talent, namely Dimitri Mitsopoulos and Brady Lichtenberg, but neither have proven themselves as a pull-up shooter and creator of space like Moyer.
Little Anderson, 6’1” G, Cardinal Stritch
Anderson is a continually evolving guard/wing for Cardinal Stritch, a team who looks capable of competing for a Regional and State Championship at the Division III level.
Why: Anderson has always been talented but was used primarily as a complimentary piece alongside Stritch’s collegiate backcourt of Joey Holifield and Jordan Burton the last two years. But, he’s simply improved a lot since last season.
How: Question marks on Anderson’s game around this time last year: can he shoot it and handle it well enough? Currently, yes to both. He looked good this summer scoring off the bounce and creating his own shot. Holifield and Burton return and those two will get buckets in their own right too. But if Anderson is spot-up shooting consistently and even taking guys off the bounce, that will relieve pressure from his teammates and push them to an even higher level.
Anthony Mazzeo, 6’2” G, Massillon Jackson
Mazzeo is one of the last remaining players from Jackson’s 2016-17 Division I State Championship team and a kid who can really shoot it.
Why: Mazzeo wasn’t 100 percent healthy last year. Ohio Wesleyan incoming freshman Ethan Stanislawski and Jaret Pallotta, a 6’5” wing/forward that did just about everything last year, graduated.
How: By the end of the grassroots season, Mazzeo was moving around much more fluidly and quickly than when we saw the last game of his junior season. Also in that game, most of his shots were a product of off-ball movement and drivers kicking to him. Now, with Stanislawski gone specifically, he’ll likely be the one creating looks for himself and others. Not only will he need to hit shots from deep, Mazzeo will also need to get into the lane with regularity.
CJ Karsatos, 6’8” W/F, Upper Arlington
Karsatos is a skilled 6’8” combo forward with promising ball skills, size, and decision-making ability who attracted an offer from Air Force on July 18. Yet, he averaged just 2.2 points and saw several DNPs as a junior.
Why: Upper Arlington graduated Dane Goodwin, last season’s Mr. Basketball. Not that Karsatos wasn’t talented last year, but a 6’8” senior with a D-I offer commands opportunity.
How: It will be challenging to maintain the same level of success coming out of the Goodwin era. But UA’s chance to reach their ceiling, in my opinion, comes with empowering Karsatos as Max Martz’s running man and complimentary scorer. If Karsatos is given the opportunity to make plays from the pinch post and run the pick-and-pop, they could have a big season.
Chris Richardson, 6’4” W/F, Revere
Richardson is a 6’4” power player that flashed inside and outside scoring ability this grassroots season with the Akron Bobcats. We are relatively high on the kid over here at Prep Hoops Ohio.
Why: Pete Nance is gone, that’s kind of big. Nance was the starting point of pretty much all of their offense last season. Also, there’s no chance of Richardson coming off the bench again in 2018-19.
How: Richardson is the type of player who can exploit mismatches. He has excellent size as a perimeter player, yet will out-quick most forwards. While there’s plenty of small forward types in NEO who can match-up athletically, that’s where his shot-making and high-motor come into play. We’re sure Richardson will have an opportunity to create a little bit next year, but also expect him to provide rebounding for Revere.
Kellan Bochenek, 6’4” G/W, Fairmont
Bochenek is a returning starter that had a very solid junior season averaging a double-digit scoring figure.
Why: Bochenek is one of two returning starters and he’s improved more than anyone else in the program. He was also a 17U stock-riser with Apex over the last several months.
How: Bochenek will be more effective in transition and off the bounce this season. He’s pretty athletic with a muscular build that will grant him access to the paint in traffic. Roughly half of his field goal attempts were on 3-pointers last season. That’s fine, he can really shoot it with his feet set. But becoming more efficient around the basket is going to be the new thing for him.
Ricky Adams, 5’9” G, Cornerstone Christian
Adams is an unassuming 5’9” athlete with a reliable jump shot and growing confidence.
Why: Cornerstone Christian graduates five starters from last year’s Division IV State Runner-Up, not to mention Titus Wheeler off the bench. Adams is their top returning scorer even at 6.2 PPG.
How: Adams was a pure spot-up guy as a junior, shooting 100 3-pointers compared to 57 2s. That ratio should even out, as Adams is going to be their most trusted guard. Maybe he’ll be the primary ball-handler, maybe he’ll continuing being more of a spot-up threat — regardless, he will be taking a lot more shots while a lot more defensive attention is being paid to him. Adams will likely hold the keys to their offense and it’s a huge opportunity to bolster recruitment.