The Freshman Fifteen

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Posted On: 02/15/18 12:23 PM

It’s time to start really covering the 2021 class in Ohio. Obviously, many of the prospects who will emerge from this freshman class aren’t producing at the varsity level this season. So, this is not a ranking of 2021 prospects, not even close. We won’t even come out with a 2021 Watch List until a couple months into this grassroots season.

Instead, here’s fifteen 2021 prospect I’ve seen either this season or past summer who have the looks of a college prospect.

Again, my viewing of this class has been limited and we’re aware that there are plenty of other players in the freshman class deserving of recognition. If you have names we should check out in the 2021 class, send an email to [email protected]

Chanze Amerson, 6’0” PG, Thurgood Marshall

Amerson was the most impressive prospect on the floor in a Flyin’ to the Hoop game against Fort Loramie. His first step and shifty handles allows him to get into the lane consistently. He impressed with a couple elusive finishes. Amerson also has an impressive sense of court awareness.

Malaki Branham, 6’4” F, St. Vincent-St. Mary

A pretty raw athlete, Branham has the athleticism and build to rebound at a high level for STVM. His physical tools make him an interesting prospect to track going forward

Jack Christian, 5’10” G, Marysville

Christian reminded us of Sean Marks from Olentangy’s 2019 class when we saw him against Coffman. Despite a lack of size, Christian can create space in the mid-range and has a pure jumper. He’ll be forced to develop an off-ball game over the next three seasons given the attention he’s paid as a shooter.

Kalen Etzler, 6’7” W, Convoy Crestview

We only saw Etzler once this past summer, but that was in Fort Wayne with the Spiece Indy Heat’s top 16U team. Playing with the EYBL affiliate and his older brother Javin, Kalen showcased his fluidity and athleticism at 6’7”. He’s a bouncy, wiry kid who resembles his older brother in almost every way.

EJ Farmer, 6’4” G, Lutheran East

We might be Farmer’s good luck charm, as both times we’ve watched Lutheran East this season have been huge games for him. Farmer is a rangy athlete with an elite left-handed jumper. He plays well with teammate Jordan Burge because of his catch-and-shoot ability. Also, Farmer can handle it, make plays on the drive, and shoot off the bounce.

Chance Groce, 6’5” W, Linden-McKinley

Groce is the best pure wing we’ve seen this season. He has the IQ and skills to sneak into the lane, but not quite the size to finish some creative moves. Once he’s finishing those plays, Groce is likely a guaranteed 20-points every night for Linden. Solid outside stroke. Groce is also a lefty.

Jaden Hameed, 5’11” PG, VASJ

Hameed showed promise a month back at the Dunk 4 Diabetes at John Carroll. The athletic point guard can shoot it, hit a floater, and explode past defenders on the drive. In mature fashion, Hameed consistently pushed the tempo via the pass and was generally unselfish. Very good jump shot.

Meechie Johnson, 5’11” G, Garfield Heights

Johnson scored 50 points in a game this season against Benedictine. So there’s that. Given the publicity surrounding Johnson, we’ve examined him closer than these others guys so far. He’s a very good shooter obviously but we’re also impressed with this feel. Johnson is playing off-ball right now but has a point guard’s awareness and size.

Braydon Lichtenberg, 6’1” G, Toledo St. John’s

Lichtenberg logs big minutes for the State Championship contenders up in Toledo. He can get hot in a hurry from deep and thrives playing alongside the slashing Vincent Williams. Lichtenberg also thrived as the starting quarterback this season for the Titans.

Anthony McComb, 6’2” G, Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall is in good shape with the all-freshman backcourt of McComb and Amerson. McCombs compliments his point guard classmate by being a score-first guard with a jumper and effective floater. As he continues to add strength and finish at the basket, watch out.

AJ Mirgon, 5’11” PG, Hilliard Bradley

Mirgon is profoundly disciplined as a freshman guard. It seems like he’s always getting trapped, but he never panics. With an uncanny knack for making the right play, Mirgon is a player to track closely in this class given Bradley’s reputation for producing point guards lately.

Jamiya Neal, 6’4” W, Toledo St. Francis

Neal might be the prospect coming out of Toledo in this class. The athletic freshman has a super long build and uses it to rebound and slash at a high level. Neal already does the thing where he cuts through defenses with long euro step finishes. His jumper isn’t his strong suit but he’s been hitting it with more regularity. Perimeter wing who can rebound and defend multiple positions.

Jack Pugh, 6’5” F, Hilliard Bradley

Pugh has pretty much all of the physical tools you’re looking for in a young forward. His verticality, mobility, and strength makes him a player ready to contribute at the varsity level as a freshman. Confidence as a ball-handler and shooter will allow him to reach his ceiling.

Jack Sawyer, 6’4” F, Pickerington North

Sawyer has been the most productive freshman forward we’ve seen this season. The Power 5 football prospect (already with an offer from Michigan) combines his defensive end frame with a soft shooting touch. Sawyer has a very good feel for his position. Obviously an elite athlete. He plays very hard and has surprisingly been one of the most valuable players for Pick North this season.

Seth Wilson, 5’11” PG, St. Vincent-St. Mary

Wilson is a long, stocky 5’11” player who has excelled in sharing a backcourt with senior Scott Walter. Wilson can get hot in a hurry from beyond the arch and has the physical tools to be an elite defensive player. We’re excited to see him in a more dynamic playmaking role as his career continues.