Posted On: 04/3/18 5:00 AM
A ton of prospects came out of the woodwork in the 2019 class this high school season. Making the most of your increased role on the varsity level is a pretty foolproof way of finding yourself on the Rankings!
 Derek Van Vlerah, 6’5” W, Coffman / Nova (James)
Van Vlerah is one of the best high jumpers in the state, giving him tremendous upside as a wing. While his athleticism jumps off the page, adding craft and ability to create in the halfcourt are developments we’ll monitor closely this summer. Van Vlerah is already an impact defensive player on the perimeter.
 Philip Alston, 6’5” W/F, Westerville North / Nova (James)
Alston has the bulky shoulders and springy feet that you look for in a combo forward prospect. He gets off the floor pretty well and is a good rebounder. Alston has the ability to get to the rim on the face-up but primarily scores on put-backs. On a grassroots team full of high-upside recruits, it’ll be interesting to see his summer.
 Tremaine Smith, 6’8” W/F, Aiken
Smith is a pretty fluid 6’8” kid who creates offense from the perimeter with his size. He easily can hoist shots up in the lane over the top of the defense. Smith’s small frame hurts him on drives however, as he shot just 37.2 percent this season for Aiken.
 Sam Emich, 6’6” F, Copley
The face-up forward checks out as a nice D-II/NAIA prospect to watch this spring and summer. Emich thrived in Copley’s open floor, up-tempo offensive system this winter because of his ability to see the floor and take advantage of driving lanes. Emich can hit the outside jumper or finish straight-line drives. He moves well.
 Eddie Colbert, 6’5” W/F, Whitmer / M2K Elite
It’s hard to tell if Colbert will develop into a true perimeter wing or is more of a stretch-four. Currently, his best asset is as a rebounder because of his ability to track the ball and rise high on the glass. He’s a high-motor player. Showing the ability to create off the dribble and defend multiple positions will be crucial this summer.
 Payton Collins, 6’7” F/C, Hartley / Nova (Russell)
Collins is a throwback, back-to-the-basket center prospect from Central Ohio. He uses his wide body to carve out position deep in the paint for simple hook-shots and offensive rebounds. Collins is effective on the glass despite not being a vertical athlete.
 Soul Hines, 6’4” G, Harvest Prep / Nova (Ruseell)
With a behind the head motion, Hines shoots the ball at a high level. Whether it’s on the catch or on a one-dribble pull-up, Hines stays aggressive as a shooting specialist. His size and quickness give him some defensive tools.
 Will Hunter, 6’2” G, Coffman
A gritty slasher on one end and a nasty defender on the other, Hunter could draw looks from NAIA or D-II programs because of his hustle. He’s a quick kid with good hands who can defend both guard spots. Although it’s not his specialty, Hunter has a jumper that defenses must respect out at the 3-point line.
 Ibrahima Athie, 6’5” W/F, Deer Park
Athie had a good D-III State Championship weekend by capitalizing on a ton of garbage points near the rim. The active forward has the quickness and length to be more of a wing player, but Athie is really more impactful near the rim at this point in his career. Underrated passer.
 Jordan McMilian, 6’1” PG, Westerville South
McMilian is a candidate to shoot way up this list by the grassroots season’s end if he shows more court awareness and the ability to create for others. What we know of him now is that he’s lightning quick with the ball in his hands. McMilian is instant offense from the point guard spot, especially when he’s attacking the cup.