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Posted On: 07/10/18 11:24 AM
We’re heading into the senior season of the 2019 class, one that we at Prep Hoops VA have had the pleasure of watching grow from when they were just freshmen. This class has seen new players come in, some players leave for programs outside of the state, and have seen some massive changes over the years. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in July and August, and come time for the new season to start we’re sure there will be even more changes coming.
Over the next few weeks we will be breaking down the rankings by positions and locations. With that being said, here’s a look at the bigs in the Central and Western Virginia area that we ranked in the 2019 rankings.
*Editors Note: These breakdowns are based on where the players play high school basketball at.
Mahamadou Diawara | 6’9” C | Massanutten Academy/Boo Williams (#4 Overall)
He’s still raw, but Diawara has a tremendous build and when he’s engaged can dominate the game on both ends with his athleticism and strength in the post. He gets after it on the glass, can finish with both hands and doesn’t back down from competition. He’s both strong and crafty in the post, he runs the floor well and he has a budding skill set that will get better with time. Consistency in the issue now, as he’s still learning when to use the new things he learns.
Tariq Balogun | 6’9” PF | Miller School/Team Thrill (#11 Overall)
Balogun’s ceiling is through the roof, all he has to do is continue to improve and become more productive. He challenges shots vertically very well, plays with a motor and has a decent skill set offensively where he can shoot the basketball and finish above the rim in traffic. He finishes plays above the rim both in transition and on alley-oops, and his length gives him an advantage on both ends of the floor. He has a soft touch with his jump hook and he’s good off of one or two dribbles in face-up situations.
Jaden Frazier | 6’8” PF | Blue Ridge/Team Loaded 804 (#16 Overall)
His stock is soaring with Loaded 804, Frazier has developed over the years and has found his ways of being productive while remaining a mismatch. Because of his skill set, he’s able to score both on the block with his back to the basket and he can face up or step out to shoot the midrange. He has some toughness to him, as he’ll bang on the block and battle on the glass, and he’s learning to play through mistakes and keep his high motor rolling. He’ll continue to pick up offers and when July hits he’ll have mid major coaches all over him.
Mohammed Sylla | 6’11” C | Mount Mission (#32 Overall)
A project big man that has a high ceiling, he’s a legitimate 6’11” big man who can run the floor and finish around the basket. He finishes above the rim, has decent hands and has a ton of room to grow. His length allows him to be a rim protector, as he’s able to come help side and contest shots against drives. He’s a good rebounder in and out of his area, and he’s still learning the game but he is a big time project prospect.
Miles Jones | 6’7” PF | Radford/Team Winston (#67 Overall)
The son of Radford University coach Mike Jones, he is a scholarship level prospect who can impact the game on the perimeter and in the paint. He can shoot from outside, play in transition, crash the glass and finish around the rim with both hands. He has a high IQ and great work ethic, both expected from a kid whose father is a high level coach. He’s a strong kid with a good motor, and his skill set makes him a big time mismatch problem at both this level and at the next level.
Saliou Diop | 6’9” PF | VES/Team Loaded CVA (#68 Overall)
Another project big, Diop seems to get better and more comfortable on the court every time that I see him. He’s extremely long and he uses it to keep plays alive and rebound, and he’s an above average athlete that can crash the glass, finish above the rim in transition and run the floor with his guards. He’s still developing but he has good form on his jump shot and has shown he can make it from the midrange, and the fact that he continues to improve bolds well at the next level.
Antonio Pelham | 6’6” PF | Fork Union/TRGR (#87 Overall)
Pelham is one of the sleepers in this class, as he’s a walking mismatch with his size and ability to shoot the basketball. He has a quick release from deep, great form and he’s the perfect pick and pop or trail four man. He can attack closeouts on the perimeter and shoot the midrange, and he’s skilled around the basket as well as he can finish with both hands and use his size to create space underneath He rebounds well, moves his feet defensively and can score inside-out.
Trenton Dias-Maxwell | 6’5” PF | North Cross (#116 Overall)
A Canadian who came into the states this year, Dias-Maxwell is an undersized but big bodied forward who is a good athlete and is crafty around the basket. He can score with both hands, can face up or score with his back to the basket and he’s always moving without the ball for easy duck ins and catch and finishes. He’s a good but not great athlete that can run the floor and finish above the rim, but he’s best in the half court where he can use his mix of finesse and strength to finish in the paint.