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Posted On: 05/2/18 5:00 AM
Although recruitment is hardly ever underway for a 2021 prospect at this point, we always enjoy checking out young prospects on the rise for a couple games every weekend. It’s our opportunity to check out the new crop of high school talent, pretty much all of which played a limited role this past season.
Today, to wrap up our Indianapolis coverage, we’re spotlighting the top performances from the 15U level in two parts.
We knew Branham was good after this season at STVM; but he looked special on Friday evening against Red.
To begin, Branham protected his basket by blocking shots and rebounding. He’s able to rise high, land, and get right back up off the floor very quickly for another jump. Branham also showed off his verticality on an emphatic left-handed dunk on the break in traffic. Speaking of transition, Branham was able to push the pace when he rebounded the ball, acting as a secondary ball-handler with some crossover ability. He has a high-motor. Elusive on the attack.
Branham’s main frontcourt partner, “Naz” Cameron, also made life difficult for opposing slashers. He has a ton of defensive versatility because of his combination of lateral quickness, leaping abilty, effort, and strong upper body. Cameron has broad shoulders, and he puts them to use by being very physical around the basket to grab rebounds. He also dunked it on someone off two feet after receiving a bounce pass while rolling to the rim.
Hughey switched a super high ball screen just as the point guard passed half-court. Just one dribble into the switch, Hughey picked his pocket, scooped up the ball and turned into a transition dunk. He also showcased his versatility with an elbow jumper. Although his release isn’t the purest we’ve ever seen, Hughey was confident and converted the jumper. Meanwhile, his best strength is as a power post player, where he controls the glass and is a shot-maker in the paint.
Thiam was productive in the high post against a zone look. He made quality decisions on when to pass or attack. When he goes to the rim, Thiam is able to draw contact because of his length and willingness to take on contact. The lefty generally stays active on defense and sprints the floor in transition. Lot of upside as a versatile defender.
In just a two week span of time, we’ve really seen an uptick in Duncomb’s assertiveness on the low block. It seems that the young center has realized he’s rather unguardable by most of his competition at the 15U level. The spindly post player finishes through contact routinely, and even when he doesn’t it’s because of a foul. Duncomb is very active on the offensive glass and has a high motor in general.
Pugh has unique physicality and effort level. The strong-bodied combo forward was flying all over the court for rebounds on Saturday afternoon. He’s able to win those rebound battles not only because of his high motor, but Pugh is also a special athlete with a ton of power. Otherwise, Pugh is able to finish inside on straight-line drives after rising towards the rim for two-hand finishes. His jumper isn’t super consistent, but his shooting form is promising. He’s unselfish on the perimeter.