Posted On: 10/12/17 7:08 PM
We’ve now had three years of high school and AAU basketball to break down the 2018 class, and things look much different then our first rankings of them two years ago. While rankings are always subject to change, especially with the reclass and transfer rate as it is, almost all of the players have improved whether they dropped or rose in our rankings.
When taking rankings into consideration, the Vantage Hoops team spends about a month contacting coaches and experts across the state to compile the list. There were over 250 kids we considered for the top 150, and the rankings reflect the next level potential of the prospects. Things taken into consideration include upside, high school production, head-to-head matchups, skill set on both sides of the ball and include intangibles such such as how recruitable a kid is based on grades, attitude and how coachable they are.
We will spend the next few weeks breaking down our new rankings from 2018 through 2020. Here’s a look at part three of our 2018 underrated and under recruited prospects. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more breakdowns moving forward!
Lamont Edmonds | 6’5” WF | Maury (#116 Overall)
We aren’t sure if Edmonds plays AAU ball, but the times that we saw him with Booker T. Washington the past two years he was extremely impressive. He’s a wing with great size that can score with ease at all three levels. He can create his own shot, rebounds well, makes tough shots off the bounce and has takeover ability. He transferred to Maury, where he’ll be playing with one of the best 2019 backcourts in Chase Coleman and Bryan Phillips, and adding a tough shot maker like Edmonds should only make those two better as well.
Michael Brown | 5’9” PG | Handley/EG Premiere (#126 Overall)
Tough minded, athletic and a winner is the best way to describe Brown. He was named First Team All State for VHSL’s 4A Classification last year as he led Handley to the state semifinals before falling to Jamestown. He’s extremely bouncy, allowing him to play much bigger than his 5’9” frame, and he’s also very strong allowing him to muscle his way into the paint and finish in traffic. He has good feel and vision, and makes great decisions in close games down the stretch. He’s a dog defensively as well, making him a tough playmaker on both ends of the floor.
Cartier Key | 5’10” PG | Albemarle/SQBA (#127 Overall)
Key is another undersized guard who is poised for a breakout senior season at Albemarle with their two leading scorers graduating. He has great feel for the game, seeing it a couple plays ahead and recognizing defensive collapses and mismatches to get his teammates easy shots. He gets in the lane with ease, can make shots from the midrange and from deep and is a good finisher in traffic. His ability to be the go-to guy will be put to the test this year, but he’s also a kid that makes others better around him as well.
Nathaniel Pollard | 6’4” PF | Highland Springs/RVA Elite (#130 Overall)
Pollard is an undersized four man that plays much bigger than he is and produces at a high level all the time. He’s a technician in the post as he can score over both shoulders and has great footwork, he’s a rebounding machine that boxes out well and outworks bigger post players on the glass, and he’s skilled at creating his own shot in one-on-one situations on the block. He’s a very productive player that could be looking at back-to-back All Conference 12 Selections.
Ray Ward | 5’6” PG | Salem/Team Thrill VA (#141 Overall)
Yet another small guard, Ward is a dynamic athlete that impacts the game on both ends with his high motor and athleticism. He’s lightning quick, as he gets in the lane at will and has great hang time allowing him to contort his body to score in traffic. He’s a strong kid for his size, and defensively he’s able to hound ball handlers and shoot passing lanes to force turnovers. He’s a kid that you hate to play against because he’s going to be up in your face the whole time and you’re going to get exhausted chasing him around the court as well.
CJ Rosser | 6’3” CG | Heritage (Lynchburg)/Hill City Crash (#146 Overall)
Rosser is primed for a breakout year at Heritage with their top two scorers having graduated, and his ranking will probably improve as the season continues. He’s a dual threat combo that can play on or off the ball as well as be the go-to scorer while facilitating for others as well. He makes shots off the bounce from all over the court, has good vision and scoring ability in transition and he’s a good rebounder for his size as well. He has a chance to be one of the top players in Lynchburg this season.