Underclassmen deserving notice early this season


Posted On: 12/28/17 2:38 PM

With all the upperclassmen talent in the Cincinnati area, sometime the play of underclassmen can get overlooked. But so far this season there have been some freshmen and sophomore players who because of there play on the court deserve mention. So, this article is for the underclassmen who are putting in work in the early 2017 season.


DeAirius Barker 5’11 G/North College Hill (Class of 2020): Barker is a talented backcourt performer who is very good off the dribble. When watching DeAirius play you notice how effective he is shooting off the dribble in that 15-17ft. range. Another solid aspect of Barker’s game is the fact that he is shooting 93% from the line so far this season. He is currently the Trojans second leading scorer at 10.5ppg.


Steve Gentry Jr. 5’10 PG/Deer Park High School (Class of 2020): The son of head coach Steve Gentry Sr., Jr. has been a key cog for the best D-III team in Cincinnati. He is currently averaging 11.2ppg while his 4.8 assist per game rank 3rd in the Cincinnati Hills League. What is even more impressive are Steve shooting percentages, which right now stand at 57/45/92.


Evan Prater 6’5 W/Wyoming High School (#17 c/o 2020): This sophomore is off to an outstanding start for Coach Edmonds with averages of 23ppg (1st in the CHL) and 10rpg (2nd in the CHL). This athletic wing does most of his damage in the transition game and off the dribble and is not afraid of drawing contact to get to the line.


Skyler Schmidt 6’6 F-PF/Clermont Northeastern (Class of 2021): Get to know the name of this young big man from the suburbs of Cincinnati. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Schmidt 14 rebounds per game average is tied for 1st in the area to along with the 17 points per game which is top 40 in the area. According to his Twitter account Schmidt has already taken unofficial visits to Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest.


 Shroder forward Nekhi Smith


Nekhi Smith 6’4 W-F/Shroder High School (#32 Class of 2020): This smooth lefty with the feathery touch is off to a very good start for the Jaguars. Nekhi right now is averaging 15.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game per the CMAC website. This young man can score from all three levels, but does his best work free-throw line extended. As Smith’s game starts to expand expect to see his stock rise more and more.


Nic Smith 6’5 F-PF/Walnut Hills High School (#76 Class of 2020): Nic is off to a very good start, which shows the work that he put in over the summer. According to the Eastern Cincinnati Conference website, Nic has three double-digit scoring games thus far this season. Already known as a good rebounder, Smith’s improved ability to finish around the rim is a big reason why he has become a viable 2nd scoring option for Coach Ricardo Hill.


Kaden Warner 5’9 G/North College Hill High School (Class of 2021): This freshman is the 3rd leading scorer for the Trojans at just over 8ppg according to the Miami Valley Conference website. Kaden plays with great pose for a young player and has good quickness as well. Another positive for Warner is that he does not turn the ball over as his 1.0 TO’s per game average shows.


Mark Wise 6’3 G/Deer Park High School (#57 Class of 2020): Mark is picking up right where he left off last season, averaging 16.1ppg on 47% shooting from the field. Where he has shown the most improvement is from three where he is shooting close to 44% so far. If he continues to knock down open perimeter shots with consistency, his stock will continue to rise.