Top 10 Forwards in 2021


Posted On: 06/30/18 12:56 AM

The Class of 2021 rankings are here!

Always remember at we rank on what a player WILL BE, not on what they are today.   In no way does this mean stop striving, because rankings always have flaws and always overlook good players.

The 2021 forwards lack depth and require quite a bit of  imagination to project three years into the future (college).  A few of the top players are absolutely forwards.  For example, Zander Yates, Jason Amsler and Kendal Ducksworth are traditional bigs with size and blossoming skills to always be bigs.  Matthew Thurman probably belongs in that mix too.

Most sophomores-to-be have a little growing left to do vertically.  Will Keaton Allen or Cameron Bell grow?  If not they can easily compete as wings later in their high school careers.

Of course this can all change and rankings are merely a flashpoint of speculation on who will do the most after high school.  Still, these players earned their current rankings with play on the court.

If you want to look at the complete rankings, smash here.

The following list reveals the top 10 forwards in the state alongside their statewide overall ranking.  The first player listed is the #1 forward, and also the #5 overall player in Tennessee in 2021.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#5 David Dixon (Briarcrest Christian)

Every young prospect exists at a different point along their development curve.  David is very, very early and still looks very raw and unrefined.  No fear he is heading to some extremely special, lonely places.  The athleticism and length remind of the kind of body that historically grows into a pro body.  Dixon is still growing too.  He might get to 6-foot-10 or taller.  It doesn’t hurt that David’s older sister earned a McD’s All-American honor.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#10 Zander Yates (Houston)

The last two AAU season Zander Yates played up a class with M33M, now Hoop City Elite.  Yates performs well against traditional bigs and rebounds with two hands.  Going forward he needs to rebound better outside his area.  The footwork of Yates gives him an edge of his peers.  Technical by nature, Zander also boasts a broad, balanced lower body.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#28 Matthew Thurman (Franklin)

With quick feet, Matt Thurman gets up the floor as well as any 2021 big.  He competes wonderfully with enthusiastic scorer Will Montana.  Thurman’s comfort in traffic is a comforting early sign as the defenders will grow taller and more powerful as his career advances.  Thurman should be a face-up forward eventually with his nice soft hands and quality lower-body balance.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#36 Charles Jones (Howard Tech)

Potentially a wing, the 6-foot-5 Charles Jones carried Chattanooga Elite Grey 15u offensively for stretches in Atlanta last month.  He showed off nice change of direction.  The handle lags behind most wings his age.  Unlike the three players above Charles routinely demonstrates offensive versatility between numerous positions.  Built like a basketball player.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#45 Tyrese Morrow (Fayette Ware)

Springy 6-foot-5 forward Tyrese captained the Fayette Ware freshman team.  Again he played little varsity, but Morrow tugged down 6.9 rpg with the freshman team.  Fayette Ware is a strong program with two top 100 players in the class.  Look for a third to finish their career in the top 200 statewide.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#55 Jason Amsler (Franklin)

Post player Jason Amsler is certainly a big man.  He competed with Franklin’s football team last fall around 280 pounds.  Amsler plays offensive tackle.  When basketball begins he gets into more svelte shape.  Amsler can hit the 8′ jumper, but he will never be a wing.  This means his ceiling is contingent upon his final height.

Dual-sport athlete Jason Amsler has a chance to dominate HS rebound battles.

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#60 Keaton Allen (Clarksville Northeast)

Oh, Keaton Allen was completely unknown in March. In fact, he played less than a single garbage minute in Northeast’s two Class AAA State playoff games. Allen’s Lipscomb Team Camp in June proved the small forward/power forward is ready to start alongside potential Mr. Basketball Alec Kegler in 2018-2019. Allen can score off the dribble or battle for defensive rebounds. Look for him to get wing and post touches with the Eagles this winter.

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#62 Cameron Bell (Red Bank)

Like Charles Jones, Cameron Bell runs with Chattanooga Elite Grey 15u.  Unlike Charles, Cameron is a 4-5 all day long.  Sturdy and strong by nature, Cameron lives in the lane.  There are few rebounds he does not pursue.  Bell needs more vertical explosion.  With his AAU team Bell traditionally gets the most touches on the low block.

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#76 Kendal Ducksworth (Manassas)

Power forward Kendal Ducksworth, like Jason Amsler also plays football Ducksworth is more assertive on the offensive glass. He defends three positions (3-5) at the 15u level. He will not likely have the height to stick at power forward. With his athleticism he could find a life on the wing…with much more skill work. For Hoop City Elite 15u he provides rebounding and defensive investment.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#77 Coltin Reynolds (Powell)

Younger brother of Westin Reynolds, Coltin is a dangerous young player.  He moves his feet well and rebounds like his older brother.  Through middle school Coltin played as a center.  Expect him to embrace the weight room.

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Is this list no good?  Do you disagree?   Tweet @PrepHoopsTN and let your complaints known.  Share your top 2021 forwards and let the debate begin!