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Posted On: 08/30/18 11:00 AM
Not every high school basketball player can have the spotlight. Not every high school basketball player will have a ton of cameras around him or her.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
Some high school basketball players aren’t mentally tough enough to handle the spotlight. Some may feel pressured to deliver a solid performance every night. Some may feel they have to win every game to stay on top of a players’ ranking list.
Here’s the reality: losses are going to occur, whether they’re during the high school basketball season, AAU tournaments, or a simple pick-up game at a local gym or park. Losing at times can be a wake-up call of things to improve on or a learning curve on how to handle on-court situations better the next go around. Losing comes with success to the top.
Just because a lost occurred doesn’t mean a high school basketball player shouldn’t continue to be a gym rat in the offseason. Being a gym rat will separate the contenders from the pretenders.
August is coming to an end, which only means the high school basketball season is getting closer and closer. Players that didn’t get the recognition they should’ve received last season or last summer, will look to get it this upcoming high school basketball season.
Then, you have the players that are just now getting some love with a couple of scholarship offers, unofficial visits to schools, and phone calls from college coaches.
These type of players can be called “underrated”, which means they aren’t being appreciated and recognized for their hard work.
Here are the top five underrated players heading into the 2018-19 season:
PG Andrew Anderson, Tipton Rosemark Academy
Andrew Anderson has only one more year of high school basketball left to get more college offers. As of right now, he has only one offer from the University of South Alabama. Anderson is a 6-foot-1 left-handed point guard with the hunger to improve. He has a nice mid-range jump shot, and thrives on attacking the basket.
Anderson isn’t getting the attention other guards in the 2019 class are getting, but he’s worthy of being in the discussion. Expect Anderson to be the nucleus of the Rebels’ offense.
SF Tyrus Baynham Jr., Athens Prep Academy
Tyrus Baynham Jr. will be at a different school once the high school basketball season kicks off. Baynham made his decision to leave Franklin Road Academy so he could develop more as a player and play against top-ranked teams. Baynham, 6-4 ½, is another player with just one offer (Tennessee State) as a senior. He can play at shooting guard if needed, plays hardnosed defense, and can knock down shots from the perimeter.
PG Tony Farrar, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy
Tony Farrar is only a sophomore, with room to grow as a point guard. Farrar is very gifted on the offensive end. He can score the basketball with ease. Farrar can’t be left alone with the basketball in his hands. He has a 6-3 wing span, but doesn’t have a single offer from a school. Farrar will be the No. 2 option at point guard behind 2020 point guard Jordan Rawls, who holds offers from Arkansas State, Canisius, Florida Atlantic, Hofstra, and Massachusetts.
If Farrar can become a better passer, which is what he worked on over the summer, the offers could start coming in.
PF Jonathan DeJurnett, Lausanne Collegiate School
Jonathan DeJurnett can turn into a force this upcoming season for the Lausanne Lynx. His goal is to average double digits in scoring and rebounding. DeJurnett, 6-7, hasn’t been talked about much in the 2020 class. In the Jerry Peters Memphis Summer Classic, he recorded 36 points and pulled down 24 rebounds. DeJurnett averaged two blocks a game for Lausanne last season.
He told his coach, Marvis Davis, that he wants to push that number up to five. DeJurnett has the length and athleticism to be a productive stretch power forward for the Lynx.
PG Blake Pruitt, Baylor
Blake Pruitt blossomed into a solid point guard once he improved offensively. Pruitt is no longer just a spot-up shooter. He can shoot off the dribble and doesn’t need a screen to get a great look at the basket. At 6-2, Pruitt is big enough to start for a lot of colleges that are in need of a point guard with scoring abilities.
Pruitt has the lone offer from Guilford College, but don’t be surprised if he gets more offers before his senior year is up. He’s eager to continue the success he had over the summer for the Chattanooga Elite.