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Posted On: 09/10/16 7:30 PM
Over 200 players were in attendance at the Prep Hoops Colorado Top 250 Expo, an event that took place Saturday at the Gold Crown Fieldhouse in Lakewood and featured a great group of young players.
While there were a number of outstanding talents, here’s a breakdown of some of the top wings during the morning’s skill sessions. We’ll have plenty more coverage of the Expo during the next few days.
Devon Ricketts (2018) finished with authority time and again at the Expo. When allowed too deep into the paint, he showed that he could rise above helpless defenders for electric dunks. He can knock down some shots and was also a strong defender in drills and games, showing an aggressiveness that helped lead to transition opportunities. He could have a breakout high school season.
Laolu Oke (2018) is still a bit raw in some facets of his game, mostly just continuing to iron out his skills, but in one game on Saturday he elevated for a thunderous dunk, then swiped the ball on defense and went in for his second straight jam. He’s 6-5 and developing his all-around game nicely.
Josh Walton (2017) was difficult to defend in isolation situations during the drills, displaying an ability to use either hand to finish in the paint. He also demonstrates an understanding of how to use his sturdy body to his advantage. Energy guy.
Bailey Verk (2019) fared well in the skill and game sessions, displaying an adept offensive repertoire for his age. He also has the size to match, 6-4 and strong. He’s one of the better wings in Colorado in the class of 2019.
Cade Carroll (2018) exhibited some tools. He had pretty good timing on some blocks during the drills and is a jack-of-all trades at 6-3 with some scoring touch, rebounding ability and solid defense. Carroll plays point for Buena Vista, but projects on the wing as well.
Daylen Kountz (2018) can score from any spot on the floor and he showed that on Saturday. The No. 1 ranked player in 2018, a Denver East Angel, Kountz displayed his effortless ability to finish at the rim and played effective defense throughout.
Sam Bannec (2018) is a 6-3 Regis wing with a sillowy frame and a great looking jump shot with elevation and a smooth release. He is a tough cover one-on-one and is especially smooth in his movements.
Akiel Aries (2018), now at Mountain Vista, is 6-5 and quite versatile. He has pretty prototypical size for a wing with length and solid athleticism, and he handled and shot it well. He’s a guard in a small forward’s body.
Devin Martinez (2018) was already known as an effective protector of the rim, but his skills on the perimeter seem to be budding. He still did much of his damage in the paint though and at 6-6 he was tough to handle.
Jahwan Phillips (2018) is the type of player who doesn’t possess quintessential height for a wing at 6-2, but he does have a rugged build and showed a knack for scoring. In one instance, he knocked down three contested catch-and-shoot opportunities in a row. He is one of those up-and-coming Smoky Hill Buffs.
Kyle Cabs (2018) is another Smoky Hill product who, at 6-5, has an impressive set of skills. He displayed good shooting form with an ability to pull up quickly, and his athleticism was among the top at the Expo.
Hunter Louther (2018), a 6-5 Pueblo West product, showed a nice physicality when attacking the rim. He absorbed contact well while finishing in skill sessions, showing that he has worked to improve his strength.
Blake Williams (2018) of Rock Canyon showed nice athleticism as he skied for a dunk in transition. He’s got nice length and also has the ability to hit from the outside. Can really be a threat when he finds his rhythm.