The Unranked: Seniors to Watch

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Posted On: 02/8/18 11:24 AM

Our final 2018 Prospect Rankings will be published after the State Championship. But, in the meantime, we wanted to give subscribers a heads up on unranked seniors to watch in the final month of their prep career.

(The list is in alphabetical order. The Others section includes, mostly, players we’ve written at length about elsewhere.)

Tajh Benton, 5’10” G, Brush

The pure scorer uses his speed to jump around on defense and get to the corner in a hurry for spot-up jays. He’s a streaky shooter who doesn’t lose confidence if a couple don’t drop. Brush relies on his production as a scorer to overcome cold stretches. He’s quick enough to defend point guards and has a motor, yet will be best suited to score as a two-guard.

Benton self-reported an Alderson Broaddus offer in August, but we believe him to be a better fit for the Division III game.

Evan Berning, 6’1” PG, Fort Loramie

The head of the top ranked Division IV team in Ohio has been a steady figure with the ball in his hands. Berning is a fundamentally sound point guard that has a knack of finding a way to finish against more athletic posts after pump fakes and step-throughs. He shows strength and poise when traps and double teams are thrown at him.

Premiere D-III prospect who could sneak up to the NAIA level.

Brooks Gype, 6’3” G/W, Wauseon

A stand-out NAIA/D-II prospect with offers from Indiana University South Bend, University of Northwestern Ohio, and Malone is bound to have a strong tournament run with D-II’s no. 1 team. Gype shuts off driving lanes against slashers and communicates on that end. He also stays active away from the ball, can pass it, and hits jumpers consistently.

Zubi Nwankwo, 7’1” C, Walnut Hills

The transfer student is a pretty fluid athlete at his size. While Nwankwo’s skills are raw, he certainly has the looks of a Division I center. Word is that he could opt for prep school next season for another year of development.

Caiden Smith, 6’1” PG, Tippecanoe

Smith is a super sleeper out of Tippecanoe who is quietly averaging a cool 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. While turnovers and on-ball defense continue to be his deficiencies, Smith can score it all three levels and would be a fit at the D-III level.

Christian Wagenhauser, 6’7” F, Sylvania Southview

Wagenhauser is a future D-III big with a soft touch around the rim with questions as a rebounder and athlete. There’s no question that he can score the ball efficiently in the post or as a mid-range shooter, but an up-tempo game could diminish his impact. However, he’s just a year removed season-ending ankle injury and could grow more confident in his body while in college.

EJ Williams, 6’10” C, Middletown

Upon returning back to Ohio for his senior season, Williams was inactive because of transfer regulations for half the season. Now that he’s back, the massive center quickly earned an offer from Toledo. He anchors a Middletown team that is going to be a tough early draw for a highly seeded Southwest Ohio team. The instant offense of a post-touch for Williams is a go-to option for this team. He has a soft touch and insurmountable presence. Getting up and down is his downfall, however.

 

Others: Brandon Bibbs (Roger Bacon), PJ Flannery (St. Edward), Zach Harp (Cincinnati Elder), Kyle Johnson (Madeira), Julian Malone (Westerville North), Damani Mcentire (Deer Park), Neeko Melendez (St. Ignatius), Dwayne Rosado (Hughes), Kendall Saunders (Cornerstone Christian), Luke Thomas (Fairland), Dan Unruh (Elida)