Username or Email Address
Posted On: 05/23/18 5:00 AM
The final four of the Gold Bracket that involved Tru Game (champs), Mid Ohio Pumas Elite (finalist), and All Ohio Red (semifinalists) gave us a peek into the future of Ohio high school basketball’s elite prospects. We also came away with various prospects to add to next month’s 2021 Watch List from teams like Dayton Wolves and OPA-Dayton.
Huffman, who had a couple good outings for Dunbar as a freshman, is an active athlete who put down a couple impressive layups in transition. The fearless rim attacker is a long 6’2” with an athletic build. He rebounds with verticality.
We sound like a broken record writing it, but Wallace is a real transition weapon because of his coast-to-coast speed. In a semifinal against All Ohio Red, Wallace created whatever shot he wanted within the paint. Then, in the championship, Tru Game spent the first five minutes of the game addressing their transition defense because of Wallace. He also has a good downhill handle, where he’ll go behind the back to elude a defender without changing speeds. Multiple and-ones at the rim.
Johnson is a flat-out basketball player, even without a true position yet. That’s not to say he’ll struggle to fit in at the 1 or 2, it’s just that he’s out there simply making plays for the time being. He has enough strength and wiggle to get into the lane. Shows poise on those drives and can finish with the right hand or unselfishly find shooters. He’s an excellent rebounder for a perimeter player.
Flannery truly belongs at the 15U level, despite the fact that he’s yet to spend a day in a high school hallway. The young prospect is a big guard who had an impressive step-through finish in traffic on the break. Usually, Flannery is found hitting outside shots with his feet set. The confident young man can make shots with little separation and defend.
Hameed was the trusted ball-handler down the stretch for Red in the semifinals. He’s a true point guard at a young age. He’s previously impressed us with the 3-pointer, yet added to the evaluation this weekend by challenging defenders on the drive. Excellent decision maker who has eyes in the back of his head.
Sawyer cracks the list of top performers again after a game-winning steal and bucket against Red. He’s a nightmare in the mid-range and was turning over either shoulder for the turn-around jay. Sawyer plays disciplined defense at the rim and provides rim protection with size. Kid is a handful.
Branham gave more trouble to Jack Saywer on post-ups than any player we’ve ever seen, and that includes upperclassmen in the high school season. Branham has a strong chest, good length, and was able to challenge all sorts of shots. Rebounds with athleticism and toughness. Branham is still raw in terms of ball skills. He wasn’t able to get to the rim much in the halfcourt, but it’s only a matter of time. He turned 15-years-old last week.
George has the clutch gene. Over the last two months, he’s shown growth in confidence and playmaking ability. Feels and sees the court very well, especially in a pick and roll situation. He constantly freezes the defense with hesitations and subtle head fakes when coming off the ball screen. George may not be a supreme athlete, but he knows how to change speeds.
Wilson makes the list for his late-game heroics in the championship game. Down one point with about a minute to go, Wilson knocked down an NBA-range 3-pointer after a very good ball screen from Jainaz Cameron. It wasn’t the only time he knocked down a deep triple off the dribble. Wilson struggled with ball security in the lane. However, his late-game assertiveness was special.
There’s a couple holes in McComb’s game but, whoa, this kid has a wealth of potential and promising physical tools. He finishes tough layups inside with his off-hand and constantly gets into the lane with speed. Adding a pull-up will be crucial. Excellent first step. McComb has a lengthy build and pretty solid shoulders. He flies around like a mad man on defense and causes a lot of deflections. Massive hops.
Woodyard is a tall shooter with great balance. We didn’t catch the best version of Woodyard this weekend, but we’re encouraged by the size and shooting ability. His upside is in developing defensive versatility and becoming able to post-up small guards.
Farmer provides sparks throughout games because of his long distance shooting threat. The streaky shooter needs hardly any space for his jumper because of his height. Adding more off the dribble ability is the next step for Farmer, who has previously shown playmaking ability in the lane.