Posted On: 08/31/17 6:00 AM
There’s a lot of high school and grassroots basketball left to be played for the kids included in our 2020 Prospect Rankings. Some players will play their way up the rankings, while others will digress and fall out. For that reason, most of these players aren’t a priority for college programs at this point in their career — it’s just too early!
As of right now, we have 105 prospects from the 2020 class who we’ve seen enough from to believe they’re future college hoopers. We look forward to explaining their spots in our rankings throughout the week with articles like this one, which is focusing on the combo forwards.
Outside of 6’11” Zach Loveday and 6’8” John Hugley, Devontae Blanton has the highest upside in the class of 2020. At 6’5”, he’s a mobile big body that you can run the offense through because of his handle and distributing skills. He also proved this summer with All Ohio Red that he can punish other wing/forwards in the painted area.
After averaging 5.5 points per game as a freshman for Lakewood St. Edward, expect not only Blanton’s scoring numbers to rise, but also his rebounds and assists. He can do it all.
Duquesne has offered Blanton.
At 6’2”-6’3”, Mayfield’s biggest question is size. However, it didn’t hurt him much this grassroots season with the Mid Ohio Pumas. His strength, freakish length, and bounce, make for a rebounding machine. Once he grabs defensive rebounds, Mayfield is capable of pushing the break immediately and becoming a playmaker.
His trajectory is especially hard to predict. Mayfield has an offer already from Louisville for football. While his physical profile make him a tweener on the basketball court, he’s a perfectly sized defensive end/tight end in football.
Whisman separates himself amongst Ohio’s 2020 combo forwards with his shooting ability. The small town 6’5” kid is aggressive from downtown, which is complimented by a methodical, yet effective, pump fake.
Whisman will be the focal point of gameplans for Middletown Madison opponents for the next three seasons. He scored 18.1 points per last season, which led the Southwest Buckeye League. In the summer against more physical competition, it became apparent that Whisman needs to develop his body, in order to become stronger with the ball and as a rebounder.
Prater is still a bit raw as a slasher, rebounder, defender type. However, his feel for the game is catching up to his athletic gifts.
He started the entirety of his freshman season on a 24-2 Cincinnati Wyoming group that was led by senior Lonnie Grayson. He shot a ridiculous field goal percentage of 69%, as finishing in the break and being efficient seemed to be his role.
Going forward, Prater should lead the way with 2019 point guard Joey Edmonds. Expect Prater to shoot more than about three shots per game, as Grayson and two other starters have graduated.
Moegerle should continue winding up on highlight tapes that go mini-viral over the next three years of high school ball. He rises high and throws it down with power! Moegerle is also becoming an elusive finisher on layups, as he hangs in the air and contorts his body for crafty finishes.
It was also recently reported that Moegerle has transferred to Archbishop Hoban from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Darby should benefit from playing at Garfield Heights. He’ll have the privilege of developing his raw skills behind two of the top wing/forwards in Ohio, 2019 prospects Alonzo Gaffney and Brison Waller. Expect him to wait his turn and play limited minutes as a sophomore.
Ward didn’t see many minutes for Cincinnati Princeton as a freshman. While he proved this summer to be one of the most interesting 2020 prospects in Ohio — he’s a 6’6” kid who seems to just now be discovering how to play on the perimeter more — Ward may have to wait another season for a featured role. Ward goes to school with Darius Bazley, Dominic Pierce, and Darweshi Hunter. Unless they play Ward at the four and ask him to rebound, he may just tear up the JV scene and play sparsely at the varsity level. Just know that he’ll be ready when the time comes.
Smith had a very promising freshman campaign at Cincinnati Hughes last season. We expect him to build upon what he showed as a ball-handler, playmaker, and rebounder, this season. Smith’s athleticism points to a kid with high upside. Smith’s range as a jump-shooter could determine his recruitment ceiling.
Keys is such a wide kid that you’d expect him to just dominate the block. However, he spent a lot of time on the perimeter for Mid Ohio Pumas Black, because of his shooting and passing. Once Keys adds some more wiggle to his driving ability, he could make a huge impact.
Warriner is flexible enough as a defender to defend 3-5. He plays with the edge and physicality of an undersized center. Yet, Warriner cannot be defended by true post players because of his herky-jerky attacking style and spot-up shooting ability.
Johnson is a face-up four that took over some games at the 15U level. As opponents get older and catch on to his tendencies, Johnson will have to become consistent as a shooter.
Wheeler suffered a severe knee injury at the end of July, while playing with the Northwest Ohio Basketball Club. He would’ve been in the 40-50 range in this ranking otherwise. Wheeler informed us that he’ll be sidelined his entire sophomore season and next grassroots season, in order to make a full recovery.
Pack has a nose for the ball. He was an offensive rebounding machine for SMAC Primetime 2020. He also has a soft touch on put-backs and other finishes. Pack’s springy leaping ability makes him playable at the four-spot, but he has a guard’s body at 6’3”.