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Posted On: 08/30/18 5:00 AM
Reasons a player lands in the Something to Prove series: playing time/opportunity in past seasons doesn’t match their potential, they’re coming off injury, or there’s a lack of college recruitment despite talent.
None of those reasons include being a poor player, because nobody here is bad at basketball. However, these kids should attack next year with a chip on their shoulder, and here’s why.
As far as narrative goes, Wyatt has sort of been the odd guy out when it comes to Toledo’s 2020 point guard group (Zeb Jackson, Joey Holifield, Jonzell Norrils). Meanwhile, Wyatt has been racking up wins in the Toledo City League, even guiding Rogers to last year’s conference championship game. The year before, Wyatt was the sixth man on the conference runner-up team.
But it still seems like the poised, even tranquil, point guard still has something to prove. Wyatt has improved as a shooter since last year. When we stopped at the Toledo Summer League in June, Wyatt also impressed with his decision-making. If success in an admittedly-diluted Toledo City League isn’t enough, maybe Wyatt will need to make noise in the OHSAA playoffs to earn his stripes.
We documented Staveskie’s 15U grassroots season on a regular basis. He was one of the best sophomore-to-be playmakers we covered that summer A killer. He also looked pretty good in their game against Mansfield Senior last year.
But an injury sidelined Staveskie for the entirety of his 16U season, missing an opportunity to accumulate currency with college programs. He remains a sleeper and a good prospect in our eyes, but the injury adds urgency for Staveskie in the coming months.
Once a quick fearless attacker with a nice floater, will he continue to attack aggressively? We think Staveskie will remain confident, but we’re curious on things like that.
Northland loses 2018 graduates Jejuan Weatherspoon (Huntington Prep Post-Grad), DiShon Daniels (Central State), LaMonte Powell (Ohio Christian), and transfer Will Mfum (Quality Education Academy, NC) from last year’s 13-9 team.
Remaining? Point guard N’Keeley Elmore, utility forward Mark Lee, and Massey, a sophomore who hasn’t logged a varsity minute because of an injury last year.
Massey appeared healthy this summer, a sign of relief for the Vikings. They’ll need him to produce on the wing, as a primary playmaker, and defend. We think he’ll spend sophomore season as a volume scorer, and that’s actually OK, maybe even necessary for his long-term development. Massey plays hard on both ends, is pretty athletic and crafty around the rim, and has good shooting mechanics. But being thrown in the fray like this is a challenge for any first-year varsity player, especially in the pressing Columbus City League.
Transferring in itself gives people something to prove. You need to validate yourself to the new program. Then, you need to prove that it was the right decision to various doubters. You know, the guys with like 76 Twitter followers who are super triumphant any time news breaks on the OHSAA legislating to limit transfers, with no regard of, hey, maybe these 16-year-old kids just want to improve their situation. *exhale*
Anyways, Smith has all that going on and he’s a pretty raw prospect. The younger brother of 2018 Rogers graduate Christian Smith is a power player that scores on straight-line drives and occasionally gets hot from deep. Moving into the area’s most structured program could be a positive for Smith. But, how it affects his style of play will certainly be forthcoming.