Washington State positional rankings (small forwards)

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Posted On: 10/31/17 4:04 PM

The small forward position is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the five main basketball positions. In the NBA, small forwards usually range from 6′ 6″ (1.98 m) to 6′ 9″ (2.06 m) while in the WNBA, small forwards are usually between 5′ 11″ (1.80 m) to 6′ 2″ (1.88 m). The ideal position for a small forward would be between the key and three-point line.

Small forwards are primarily responsible for scoring points, defending and also often as secondary or tertiary rebounders behind the power forward and center, although a few, such as LeBron James, have considerable passing responsibilities. Many small forwards in professional basketball, however, are prolific scorers.

One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to “get to the line”, that is, having opposing players called for committing shooting fouls against them, as fouls are frequently called on the defense when offensive players “take the ball hard” to the basket; that is, the offensive players aggressively attempt post-up plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. Therefore, accurate foul shooting is an imperative skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points at the foul line. Small forwards who are defensive specialists are very versatile as they can often guard multiple positions using their size, speed, and strength such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Lets take a look at the top small forwards in the state of Washington:

Class of 2019 sophomore, small forward, Jaden McDaniels is a special talent coming out of Federal Way. Standing 6’8 McDaniels is a lanky post player who can also play small forward. He has a nice touch for mid-range jumpers, with the ability to take bigs off the dribble to get easy buckets at the rim. He’s a solid rebounder and is pretty athletic, finishing plays with dunks that get the crowd excited.

Cleveland High School’s star wing CJ Elleby has committed to Washington State University. The lefty has seen his recruitment trend up after a strong junior season, followed by a solid summer with Seattle Rotary EYBL 17U. Elleby now stands at 6’7 and rebounds at a high level for his position. His ball handling skills have improved and he has became a more consistent shooter.

Class of 2018 Emmitt Matthews Jr. forward standing at 6’7 hailing from Wilson High School is currently ranked #8 in Washington. He is a very athletic small forward who can lead the break and shoot from long range. He is currently attending Wilson High school and like his counterparts plays for a very stacked Washington Supreme team. With offers ranging from Boise State, Oklahoma, WSU and OSU to name a few. This young man has the skill set to fit into any one of those programs.

It doesn’t take long to see why Naje Smith, class of 2018 wing at Lewis and Clark High School, is one of the biggest recruits in Washington State. He has probably one of the biggest upsides to his game on this side of the mountain. A 6’7 shooting guard who can post up and take you off the dribble is very rare in these parts. Most guys at that height stay in the paint and use and assortment of jump hooks to dominate the other big men. Naje plays like a guard but has the body of a traditional post man in the Spokane area.

Class of 2018, 6’7, forward Matt Poquette is a very good ball handler for his size, who loves pushing the break, getting to the rim, finishing with rim rockers. He has elite court vision and facilitates at a high level. Matt has a smooth jump shot, which he has worked hard to master but mixes it up pretty good on the floor. He is small forward by skill set but can also step out and play some wing. I think if he can really take his 3 point shot to the next level he can begin to get some high D1 interest.