Posted On: 01/2/18 5:00 AM
As we head into the new year, it’s time to go back and take a look at some of the top performers we’ve seen thus far this high school season. In this edition, we highlight 11 freshmen who’ve made a significant impact for their respective teams.
Michael Aiken may be small, but he’s one of the peskiest perimeter defenders you’ll find. As a lead guard, he possesses all the intangibles you look for. Aiken is crafty with the ball, keeps others involved, and has the ability to create his own shot. He is already a primary catalyst for his team on both ends of the floor, and we only expect his role to grow moving forward.
At this stage, you wont find many guards more skilled than Ryan Conway. Dulaney’s talented combo guard is off to a great start this season. Look for Conway’s role to expand as he gains experience and becomes more comfortable at the varsity level.
Chace Davis is already one of the best players for St. Andrew’s, and he’s still just scratching the surface of his potential. The explosive lead guard is getting used to the speed of the game, and has gained a ton of confidence since the start of the season.
We honestly didn’t expect Malcolm Dread to come in and become a contributor this early in his high school career, but he has definitely proved us wrong. The long, athletic wing is super versatile with a high IQ. Dread is probably further along than his older brother Myles was at this point, and that’s definitely a positive sign moving forward.
Brayon Freeman initially caught our eye with some strong performances in summer league, and continues to show signs of promise in his first varsity season for the Stags. DeMatha is absolutely loaded in the back court, but don’t be surprised to see Freeman establish himself as a key member of the rotation before the end of the season.
Jao Ituka is a flat out physical specimen at age 13, and has taken Montgomery County by storm in the early part of the season. He’s been a big part of the Trojans’ strong start, and should continue to be a focal point of the team throughout the season.
Darius Johnson is a very important player off the bench for Jim Fitzpatrick at Episcopal. Not only does he come in and provide instant offense, but he is far from a liability on defense. Johnson pairs well in a back court with his older brother Xavier, and already looks very comfortable in his first varsity season.
Trevor Keels is arguably the top freshman in the area, and his production so far matches his potential. At 6’4+, he’s very strong, skilled, and versatile. Keels exhibits a fantastic feel for the game, works very hard defensively, and isn’t afraid to take and make big shots.
If Aminu Mohammed isn’t the top freshman in the area, he’s probably the second or third best we’ve seen. The 6’5 wing is a tremendous athlete who plays with a relentless motor. Mohammed is a strong finisher in traffic, and seeks contact on his drives.
Victory Naboya probably has as much upside as any big man we’ve seen in the 2021 class so far. At 6’8+, he’s a natural rim protector who runs the floor fluidly. Naboya is still a work in progress offensively, but his defensive presence has made him an important role player for Cadets Head Coach Pat Behan.
O’Connell’s Wes Peterson probably hasn’t made as big of an immediate impact as some of his peers, but he continues to improve and gain confidence over the course of the season. The 6’4+ wing, who possesses an intriguing blend of skill and athleticism, has seen his role steadily grow since the Knights’ first game.