Posted On: 03/30/18 12:57 PM
Throughout the high school basketball season and playoffs, guards and wings dominated the offensive play for most teams. Guards like Jacoby Decker and LeTrevion Jones were able to run the point and score in abundance for their teams. Wing players (hybrid guard and forward types) like Trenton Ivy and Jalen Brooks led their teams in multiple categories on the offense and defense showing that they can effect the game in many ways. Looking at some of the players of 2019 and 2020, these four unranked players may have the same effect on their teams as the aforementioned players.
Deven Melancon (2019) / 6’3″ SG/W / Loyola College Prep – There are some players who fit their positions on their team perfectly and Deven is one of them. Melancon’s shooting stroke is one that looks flawless. When he releases his jumper, it looks like it is going in every time. Deven also has the ability to put the ball on the deck and drive against guys his size. Both of these assets make Deven a handful on the offensive end. His physical build also allows him to rebound the ball with a certain physicality. Especially for a guard/wing who has to defend post players, his physical play helps him. Deven’s shooting and physicality can translate well to the next level where the play is definitely more physical.
AJ Taylor (2020) / 5’7″ PG / Loyola College Prep – AJ is an ultra quick point guard that other guards have trouble staying in front of. His first step is pure lightening. When he couples that step with the ability to dribble, he gets anywhere he wants on the offensive end. Taylor is basically a one man fast break when he has the ball. He attacks defenders with a fearlessness that is rivaled only by guards I mentioned earlier. In the half court, his handle and quickness is even more impressive. AJ uses his first step and crossover to separate and shoot his jumper with ease. Basically put, he can get his own or put pressure on the defense to make plays for others. He is not Tyler Ulis but he has that ability to make good things happen offensively for himself and others.
Sadarionne Elils (2019) / 6’3″ SG/W / Southwood High – In today’s game there are few players who shoot it well from deep and still have a mid-range game that is just a potent. Southwood’s Sadarionne (SD) Ellis is one of those players. His shooting stroke is fluid from three. Because of that prowess, defenders attempt to chase him off the line. When that happens, they seem to push him into his comfort zone. From 13 to 17 ft., Ellis makes defenses pay. He is quick as a cat and has learned to drive, pull up, and elevate without issue. He is a pure scorer that paints defenses in a corner with his abilities. Ellis even has the ability to bring the ball up with an array of behind the back and crossover moves. With additional play during the season, his on the ball defense improved as well. Going into his senior season, he will be a player that defenses will look to stop. If his offensive talents continue to improve, that will be very tough.
Rod Stinson (2019) / 6’3″ SG/W / Southwood High – Fearlessness to take pressure free throws or outside shots is built in some players DNA. Rod Stinson from Southwood is one of those players. From his past seasons, Stinson has stepped to the charity strip to put his team ahead or made a three to do the same. This past season he increased his ability to take players off the dribble. His favorite shot seems to be the corner three which he shoots and drains with regular precision. Stinson’s offensive game has limitless potential. Where Rod has improved is on the defensive end. His long arms allow him to challenge shots of wings equal in height or taller. Those same long limbs allow him to disrupt passing lanes of guards, wings, and post. A prime example of this improvement was his playoff performance against East Ascension where he scored and defended at a high level. He also went to the foul line and drained all free throws to seal his team’s victory. With his scoring ability and improved defensive play, Rod Stinson might have a breakout senior season that will be legendary.
The 2019 and 2020 classes of players in Louisiana are loaded with talent. Players like Mylik Wilson, Tra’michael Moton, and Jordan Wright highlight those classes and deservedly so. However, these players have time to move up the ranks with their summer play and upcoming high school seasons. When, and if, they make a move up the rankings, we at Prep Hoops Louisiana will definitely update their progress.