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Posted On: 09/19/16 3:48 PM
As we’ve gone through and provided extensive evaluations of the top performers at the Prep Hoops Colorado Top 250 Expo on Sept. 10, one thing has become very clear: The level of talent across this state at all levels continues to grow.
We’ve already given you recaps of top guards, wings, underclassmen, frontcourt players and stock risers, and now it’s time to unveil the top 10 (in no particular order) and the MVP from the expo event. The competition for these spots was fierce and there are arguments to be made for a number of players. As such, we’ve also included a number of honorable mentions.
With that, we go to the list.
Daylen Kountz, 6-4 2018 wing, Denver East
Kountz simply seemed to be a step ahead of the competition all day. He was dynamic in transition and constantly finished above the rim. In skill drills, he showed a wide array of moves that allowed him to score the basketball from almost any spot on the floor. Kountz is the top-rated player in 2018, but the beauty of his game is that it continues to improve because of the work he’s putting in. The future is very bright for this lefty.
Noah Beatty, 5-11 2017 guard, Vista Ridge
Beatty was one of the best all-around point guards on hand. He’s slick with the ball in his hands and constantly has his eyes up the court. He plays with the confidence generated by a trip to last season’s 4A Final Four trip. Beatty may be one of the more underrated point guards in the state, but that won’t last long with performances like he had at the Expo.
Kenny Foster, 6-4 2019 guard, Smoky Hill
Foster attacked the glass, pushed the ball in transition, defended and finished above the rim. Showed the all-around game that makes him a potential high-major player heading into just his sophomore season at Smoky Hill. Foster is taking an unofficial visit to Colorado next week, so it’s clear others are already taking major notice of the talented young player.
Hunter Shkapich, 5-11 2019 guard, Colorado Academy
Shkapich displayed the combination of athleticism, sharp-shooting and poise that has already made him one of the best 3A players in the state, and that’s just as he heads into his sophomore season. Particularly impressive was the motor he played with while on the defensive end in skill drills.
Xavier Cooper, 6-2 2018 guard, Thomas Jefferson
Cooper found a way to stand out with his toughness last Saturday. He simply never backs down from a challenge and has the strength and size to assert his physicality on almost any defender he comes across. Excels at getting to the basket and also showed a good pull-up game. His defense was also impressive.
Tyson Gilbert, 6-0 2018 guard, Rock Canyon
Gilbert continues to make strides as an overall program. He is among the best shooters in the state from the point-guard position (Jon’il Fugget another that comes to mind), able to knock it down consistently from behind the 3-point line and from mid-range. He also has a great IQ, and he keeps mistakes at the most important position on the floor to a minimum.
Brandon Williams, 6-4 2018 guard, George Washington
Williams played with an energy and hustle that was matched by very few at the Expo. There wasn’t a single rep in which he wasn’t going full tilt, and he showed the kind of havoc his athleticism and length could produce on the defensive end. He’s still growing as an offensive player, but there his a nice ceiling there and he will make a big impact on some kind of small-college program with the effort he brings to the table.
Eugene Rivers III, 5-11 2018 guard, Smoky Hill
The name of the game for Rivers was speed. He was a pest on the perimeter with his ability to move laterally and shut off driving and passing lanes for opposing guards. On the offensive end, Rivers showed an impressive ability to break down defenses and either finish at the rim or find an open teammate. He’s just a playmaker.
Nieyeme Smyer-Williams, 6-0 2018 guard, Pueblo West
There aren’t many guards in the state who are much more fun to watch on the defensive end than Williams, the point guard for the defending 4A champs at Pueblo West. He’s got a great, low defensive staff and doesn’t give opposing ball-handlers an opportunity to breathe. He’s constantly putting the pressure on, and he created a number of turnovers at the Expo. He’s also a reliable ball-handler with a growing offensive game.
Jamison Washington, 6-2 2017 guard, Denver East
We heard much talk of Washington’s improvement during the summer with the Colorado Chaos, and we saw it firsthand at the Expo. He’s playing with good confidence, is sharing the ball and understanding more and more how his talents fit into a team concept. He’s stepping up his game defensively which is what he must continue to focus on. With a Division II scholarship offer already in his bag, Washington is trying to keep showing what he can do.
Payton Egloff, 6-0 2019 guard Regis Jesuit
Egloff is going to be asked to step up considerably as a sophomore for the Raiders, and he looked Saturday like he has all the tools to be leaned upon at the point guard spot. He’s got a great handle, can get really hot from long range and is strong attacking the basket. He had all those skills operating at a high level during the Expo, and when he’s playing like that, he’s dangerous.
Kayle Knuckles, 6-6 2017 forward, Valor Christian; Sam Bannec, 6-3 2018 guard, Regis Jesuit; Matt Wheelock, 6-6 2019 forward, Regis Jesuit; Kyle Cabs, 6-5 2018 wing, Smoky Hill; Trent Dykema, 6-4 2018 guard, Silver Creek; Avery Rembao, 6-4 2019 guard, Loveland; Keisan Crosby, 5-11 2017 guard, Valor Christian; Gunner Rigsby, 5-11 2017 guard, Fruita Monument; Quinten Rock, 5-10 2020 guard, Smoky Hill; Cam Le Van, 5-10 2020 guard, Legend; Bryson Becker, 6-6 2019 forward, Platte Valley; Cade Carroll, 6-4 2018 forward, Buena Vista; Andre Sepeda, 5-8 2019 guard, Greeley West; Conner Martin, 5-11 2017 guard, Strasburg; Levi Dombro, 6-0 2019 guard, Grandview; Davon Walker, 5-8 2019 guard, Douglas County; TJ Boykins, 5-7 2019 guard, Douglas County; Cameron DeHart, 6-7 2017 forward, Fossil Ridge; Ty Foster, 5-11 2020 guard, Lincoln; Akiel Aries, 6-5 2018 forward, Highlands Ranch; Daijon Smith, 6-0 2018 guard, Overland; Deshiloh Stanley, 6-0 2017 guard, Pueblo South; Caleb Stewart, 6-3 2017 guard, Mesa Ridge; Oscar Maldonado, 6-4 2017 guard, Northridge; Devin Martinez, 6-6 2018 forward, Broomfield; Bailey Verk, 6-4 2019 forward, ThunderRidge; Tyler Unger, 6-1 2019 guard, Grandview.