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Posted On: 03/20/18 1:10 PM
Ten class of 2018 prospects who boosted their stock during their senior seasons and are primed to rise in the next rankings update…
Drew Blair – Stevens Point
Previous Ranking: 23
You have to admire the senior season Blair had. He went into the year thinking he’d be the No. 2 option behind Joey Hauser. Instead, Hauser misses the entire season due to injury and enrolls early at Marquette. As if those shoes weren’t enough to fill, Blair had the pressure of knowing he had to have a big effort in most of SPASH’s key games if his team was going to have a chance. The Northwest Missouri State commit rose above it and averaged 28.9 points per game. Although the Panthers saw their streak of three consecutive state titles snapped, SPASH did win the Wisconsin Valley Conference and reached the sectional semifinals where they were defeated by eventual state champion Oshkosh North.
Patrick Cartier – Brookfield East
Previous Ranking: 26
Cartier could probably be on a Division 1 roster next season. Instead, he’s a tremendous steal for Division 2 Hillsdale. One of the most dominant post prospects in the state this season, Cartier averaged 22.1 points per game while leading Brookfield East to the Division 1 state championship game. A skilled and intense post prospect, Cartier controlled the paint on both ends of the floor all season. An imposing shot blocking presence, Cartier forced teams to play from the outside. More versatile than he gets credit for, Cartier is also a threat with the ball in his hands on the perimeter and in transition. All season long, teams couldn’t afford to let Cartier operate 1-on-1 in the post. Even throwing multiple defenders at him wasn’t enough to slow him down at times either.
Kyle Tuma – Valders
Previous Ranking: 57
Tuma had an outstanding state tournament and was one miracle shot away from leading Valders to a Division 3 title. In two games at the Kohl Center, Tuma averaged 27.5 ppg. This is a really good pickup for UW-Platteville. First and foremost, Tuma can stretch the floor with his 3-point shooter. He’s the type of sharpshooter that if he sees a defender has his hand down, the ball is going up. He’ll be able to invert himself in the offense and play on the block. Tuma just does a great job of taking what the defense gives him and finding mismatches on the floor and exploiting them.
Luke Reader – Bangor
Previous Ranking: 62
Really easy to appreciate the way Reader approaches the game. A kid that helps his team in just about every area, Reader sets up his team for success and just makes winning plays. When Reader is in the game, Bangor’s offense is a well-oiled machine. He doesn’t hold the ball. If Reader gets a touch, he’s immediately swinging it or attacking. Reader plays with excellent pace and controls the flow of the game extremely well. With Reader running the show, Bangor always seems to get quality looks without having to work that hard offensively. Also a standout on the other end, Reader plays excellent individual and help defense. He’s never out of position, takes charges, and always seemed to have his teammates’ backs when they were beat off the dribble.
Vlado Zrnic – Greendale
Previous Ranking: 64
Zrnic has so much value as a prospect that can play three positions, score from inside and out, rebound, and make toughness/hustle plays.
Zrnic is a tough cover with his ability to stretch the floor as a spot up shooter. The 6-foot-6 senior is also comfortable with his back to the basket, able to bang inside or turn and face. A skilled passer, Zrnic has a knack for finding cutting teammates for easy buckets. Whether it’s working the glass, playing the top of the 1-3-1 zone, running the floor in transition, Zrnic just never seems to run out of energy. When the momentum is in his favor, he can ride the wave for long stretches. Zrnic averaged 19.7 ppg as a senior.
Seth Anderson – Marshfield
Previous Ranking: 93
Anderson had a big year, averaging 22.2 ppg while leading Marshfield to the sectional finals. A high volume scorer, Anderson has a ‘hand down, man down’ mentality. A prospect that’s active without the ball, Anderson hunts 3-point and mid-range opportunities and doesn’t need a ton of space to get his shot off. He’s a bigger wing at 6-foot-5, but is more athletic than he looks. Putting up big numbers as a senior, Anderson is attracting a lot of NAIA and Division 3 looks this spring.
Conley Malone – La Crosse Aquinas
Previous Ranking: 96
He’s a little undersized and doesn’t have the athletic measureables you’d like, but the kid just produces. We saw him twice during the season against La Crosse Central and Mineral Point — two No. 1 seeds in their respective divisions — and Malone played really well on both occasions. As much as defenders want to get after him and get into him, you can’t speed Malone up. A skilled, crafty guard, Malone has counters for just about every way he’s defended. A terrific on-the-ball scorer, Malone is a strong catch and shoot presence, but really kills teams with his mid-range game. Malone led Aquinas to sectionals, averaging just shy of 18 ppg as a senior.
Earl Lewis – Madison East
Previous Ranking: N/A
Keshawn Justice is the straw that stirs the drink for Madison East, but Lewis proved all season he could carry the load in stretches. A speedy floor general, Lewis is dynamic in the open floor. The MATC commit is fearless when he goes to the rim and has excellent body control to hang and finish against contact. A knockdown 3-point shooter, Lewis knows defenders must respect his speed and he’ll change things up by pulling up off the dribble from the outside. Helping the Purgolders to a 19-7 overall record and a trip to the sectional finals, Lewis contributed 13.7 ppg this season.
Jacob Fox – Edgerton
He only averaged just over 14 points per game this season, but Edgerton plays more of a grind-it-out style. Fox is a pure scorer that is very efficient despite having to take some difficult shots. The 6-foot-3 senior can shoot off-balance and has some nice tools to gain separation on the ball. When he was defended by bigger players, Fox was able to get to the basket. Against smaller defenders, he can take advantage by just shooting over the top. Perhaps Fox lacks the ideal quickness and athleticism that colleges want from a 2-guard, but it didn’t seem to matter earlier this season against a fast Milwaukee Academy of Science squad.
Rance Kendrick – Racine Park
Kendrick might be the biggest riser this season. He’s not one of the household names in the Southeast Conference or even on his own squad, but Kendrick is the heart and soul of Racine Park. A prospect that just contributes across the board, is just everywhere for 36 minutes. He excels at turning defense into offense. Picking up 90 feet, getting after people, and just causing havoc. The 6-foot-1 guard can create in the half court as well, breaking down defenders and either getting to the rim or driving and dishing. Kendrick averaged 12.3 points and 4.3 assists per game this season while helping the Panthers to a 21-5 overall record and a trip to the sectional finals.