Rankings Update: 2020 Newcomers

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Posted On: 04/10/18 5:00 AM

There’s roughly 30 new prospects in the second update of the 2020 rankings. We expect that number to be pretty similar for our third update after the summer, as the first two years is when new players are discovered monthly.

[17] Luke Lachey, 6’7” F, Grandview Heights / Nova (Alleyne)

The two-sport prospect (football) burst onto the scene during a breakout season with Grandview Heights, a D-III program. Lachey is a beast on the face-up and is liable to put unexpected defenders on a poster if he gets the lane. Although he has a way to go before reaching his potential, Lachey’s athletic ability and willingness to compete appears to be D-I caliber. Also a solid shooter from the outside.

[38] DaSean Nelson, 6’6” W/F, Rogers / All Ohio Gold

Nelson is a flat-out problem in the paint. He’s added some skill to go with his elite physical tools. The bouncy prospect looks like he’s been in the weight room. If he continues improving at this rate, Nelson could rise up the charts by summers end. Adding ball-skills and becoming a wing would be scary, and that seems to be where things are trending.

[53] Tahleik Walker, 6’2” PG, Pickerington Central

We’re considerably higher on Walker than other scouts at this point. But here’s the thing: Walker is an unselfish point guard in a proven high school system with twitchy quickness and some shooting ability. Maybe we’re wrong, but the writing is on the wall as far as we’re concerned.

[60] Brandon Noel, 6’6” F/C, Chillicothe / Mid Ohio Pumas Black (Staib)

Noel really popped onto our radar at the Prep Hoops Top 250 Expo back in the fall. Since then, he put together a strong sophomore campaign and has garnered strong reviews from his new grassroots program. Noel can stroke it from the outside and has shown the ability to rebound inside. A bit of an inside-out attack right now, but he could become a pure stretch big if his foot speed elevates.

[64] Dakota Cochran, 6’2” G, Rebels / Shaker Heights

Cochran has begun to establish himself as one of the most productive outside shooters in the class. Considering the athleticism that he packages alongside that valuable skill, Cochran is climbing the charts every time we see him. He doesn’t really create his own offense and still scores double-digits consistently.

[69] Jamal Cole, 6’5” W, New Day Academy

In our viewing of Cole, he flashed a crazy amount of potential on the wing. The raw athlete is a bit of project prospect at the moment, but Cole could become a stud. He’s got a crazy vertical leap and can handle it a little bit.

[76] Steve Gentry Jr., 5’10” PG, Deer Park / Cincy Lakers

Gentry benefitted from the exposure of an undefeated season with Deer Park. The D-III State Champion is extremely quick — a trait he utilizes on help-side defense. Gentry is also able to get into the lane.

Becoming a bit stronger would help him be more productive once he beats his defender. It’ll be interesting to see his improvements on his body and as a shooter going forward.

[80] Simon Blair, 5’8” PG, South Central

Blair is another player who absolutely tore up the Expo at Pick North in the fall. The small-town point guard was the talk of the sidelines amongst D-III scouts. The high-motor point knows how to find the weak-spot in the mid-range for his pull-up jumper. His speed and activity level is also a factor when he pressures ball-handlers. Getting reps against elite competition will be key.

[103] Larry Stephens, 6’0” G, Springfield / Mid Ohio Pumas (Jayaraman)

Stephens had a couple nice performances for a competitive Springfield team and ended up averaging just over 5 points off the bench. His role was to come off the bench and lead that second unit as a scoring option. Stephens has some ability to create separation and can shoot it in transition.