Top Seven Over 7: Evolving Behemoths

High School

Posted On: 03/26/18 12:52 PM

Abraham Makumator, Neumann High School

The 7-foot-1, 235 man-child has an exceptional motor. This factor has helped Makumator become an adroit and powerful finisher around (and above the rim). He’s got the sheer strength and adequate rim protection required for effective two-way bigs at the next level.

Makumator, he of the 7-foot-6 wingspan, has interest from Southern Illinois, Evansville, Valparaiso, and Butler. The Class of 2018 Center averaged 13 points and 14 boards this year, erupting with a memorable 30-point, 28-board performance. One of the more underrated unsigned bigs on the market, Makumator displayed a real nose for the ball while playing for Team Auto Nation on the Under Armour circuit.

Chol Marial, IMG Academy

Injuries have played a significant role in derailing the production of one of the nation’s most promising recruits these past two years. Still, you can’t deny both the imposing figure and versatile skill-set 7-foot-3 Center Chol Marial brings to the table. Marial spent his first two years in the United States as a complementary piece on two uber-competitive SIAA conference teams (he was flanked by high flying Rutgers guard Corey Sanders while West Oaks Academy in Orlando and hard-driving 6-foot-4 Arizona State-signee Luguentz Dort at the now defunct Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla.).

Marial’s game prospered at Cheshire Academy under reputable head coach Kevin Kehoe, where he developed a dependable outside shooting stroke while simultaneously diversifying his portfolio as a highly regarded prospect. Length, mobility, explosive finishing, and shot-blocking has resulted in offers from Florida State, Georgetown, Rutgers, St. John’s, Iowa, and a handful of others. If Marial can continue to develop his game at IMG and sustain a clean bill of health, lottery pick projections down the road are not too far fetched.

Rick Issanza, Bella Vista Prep

The 7-foot-1 Center has the mobility and floor running ability to play at a breakneck pace. This factor makes him appealing to programs throughout the country, as Oklahoma has recently offered the the high-upside Class of 2019 Center.

Issanza put together a breakout year in 2017-18, emerging into a powerful finisher and thunderous dunker. Active on the glass and in the trenches, Issanza is raw but ultimately powerful. His combination of size and aggression is quite appealing. He’s capable of manufacturing points down low and powering up as good as anyone in the country.

Milan Stakic, NTSI Orlando

At 7-foot-2 and 238 pounds, the big Bosnian has come a long way in a short period of time. He dropped 40 pounds during his first-ever season in America, developing an arsenal of back to the bucket moves in the process.

One of the more unique aspects of his game is his funky sling shot jumper from 15-20 feet out. Because of Stakic’s size and length, there is a Dirk Nowitzki factor to his shot in that it’s purely unguardable. If the Class of 2018 Stakic can show the work ethic on an everyday basis and make the game a livelihood (the same way he did his fitness), he’s got mid to high major capabilities.

Assane Diouf, DME Academy

The bigger the stage, the bigger the 7-foot-1 prospect plays. On a number of elevated stages this season, Diouf outdueled several highly-regarded, heavily recruited prospects.

Diouf entered the season as a raw and rough around the edges, albeit he’s blossomed as a high percentage threat. Diouf is also a high level rim protector who blocks, manipulates, changes, and alters the trajectory of countless shots.

Ari Boya, Scotland Campus Sports

A towering 7-foot-1 and 245-pound Class of 2019 prospect, Boya proved multiple times this season just how under the radar he is. The Bradley-commit had a whopping nine blocks against IMG Academy in the beginning of the season.

Boya, known for thunderous dunks and high percentage finishes inside, also expanded his all around scoring. He’s become more comfortable putting the ball on the floor and has evolved into a one dribble, attack the rim threat. During his first-ever season in America with the Conrad School in Orlando, Boya was able to score strictly off his athleticism alone.

That meant converting high lob passes into easy and emphatic two handed flushes. Now he’s posting up, finishing with either hand, exploiting mismatches inside and incorporating a short-range jumper into his arsenal.

Bradley got a steal with a high level athlete and high-major caliber recruit in the Cameroon native.