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Posted On: 08/3/18 4:23 PM
The summer grassroots season has officially come to an end. Players will now step into a new phase of the season……..down time. Even though no games are being played, evaluations still go on. At Prep Hoops Louisiana, we will review the top five preps, plus one, in north Louisiana in the 2020 class.
Chanse Robinson / 6’1″ / Lincoln Prep & Louisiana Elite (CG) – #1 N LA
The 6’1″ guard out of Lincoln Prep continues to pick up offer after offer. During the team camps at Grambling and Louisiana Tech along with his play in Vegas with Louisiana Elite, Robinson has basically solidified what coaches already knew. He played tough, man-to-man defense at all events using his superior quickness to cause problems. Time and time again he used his vertical and strength to finish layups amid contact. Chanse has also shown that he can distribute first or play off the ball with great effectiveness. His game translates well to the next level, despite his smallish stature. That is why he is the top player in north Louisiana.
Dante Bell / 6’8″ / Bossier High & Louisiana Supreme (F) – #2 N LA
Northwest Louisiana has one of the premier big men in the state. Bell began the summer by working himself into shape with his Bossier teammates after missing the April grassroots period. Then, Bell got a chance to showcase his talents with the 16U Louisiana Supreme (Adidas) team and did not disappoint. He was active around the basket scoring and blocking shots. Dante also ran the floor well showing off his athletic ability in the open floor. The experience from playing on the Gauntlet circuit will only give him more confidence when he begins play with his Bossier teammates in the fall. Once he develops a “go-to” move or shot, Bell will see his prospects, and his team’s fortunes, rise to a new level.
LaDamien Bradford / 6’5″ / Jonesboro-Hodge & Louisiana Elite (CG & W) – #3 N LA
Bradford and his skill set are a rarity in the northern part of Louisiana. Not since Huntington’s Telvin Marshall have I seen a 6’5″ guard/wing who has point guard skills. LaDamien can grab the board and take it coast to coast ten time out of ten if he were a selfish player. His skills in the open court, with the ball, are that good. At his height, he sees the floor and finds people in positions where they can easily score. Bradford’s basketball IQ allows him to make the right play more times than not. If he only had the outside shot like the aforementioned Marshall, LaDamien’s ceiling would be limitless. Bradford has already sparked interest from LA Tech and Iowa State. As his game continues to improve, more offers will definitely come.
Thomas Howell / 6’7″ / St. Mary’s & Louisiana Elite (F & P) – #4 N LA
Howell is an ever-evolving talent who is definitely seeing his stock rise from playing on the UAA circuit. His offensive game has some polish to it with his occasional use of a jump hook. Howell has great footwork that allows him to score easily around the basket. His leaping ability is what’s eye-catching. St. Mary’s and LA Elite guards have thrown it up for him to go get it this summer. His leaping ability allows him to rebound well also. The fact that he rebounded well during the stiffer competition of the UAA tell me that his ability is beginning to translate well to upper echelon competition. When Thomas gets back to St. Mary’s this season, he should be more dominate than before due to his play this summer.
Kenny Hunter / 6’8″ / Huntington High (F & P) – #5 N LA
One of the prep players who has seen his stock rise is Kenny Hunter from Huntington. He went from unranked to the top 20 with his play this summer. During some of those summer contest, Hunter has displayed periods of dominating play. On the offensive end, he has a solid 15 foot jumper. His touch from 15 feet in coupled with his long wing span allows him to shoot comfortably. Hunter can tip the ball to himself, gather it, and flush when he is really on his game. On defense, he blocks shots or alters them. His interior presence causes players to think twice in the paint or at the rim. In the next two years, Hunter should become one of the better big men in Huntington’s recent history. Adding more bulk and strenght to his low post game should give Hunter the ability to make that my prediction true.
Cody Dean / 5’9″ / Bossier High & Nike Pro Skills-Dallas (CG) – #6 N LA
Cody Dean is another player that made the leap from not being ranked into the top of the 2020 list. That is probably a testament to his tireless work in the gym. From the premature ending of his sophomore campaign to now, Dean has embraced weight training and worked on his passing. He was already a superb shooter. Dean’s game now has all state player written all over it. While playing this summer, he has displayed the skill to shoot the ball against elite competition. Because he has bulked up, his ability to drive to the cup has gotten better as well. The ability to draw and kick to shooters and his intelligence running high pick and roll action has helped to expand his game. Now teams have a true problem defending him. With this growth as a point guard continuing Cody Dean will be one of the players to watch moving into 2019.
North Louisiana has some supreme talent. These players are just a taste of what this section has to offer. When the season rolls around, we will see more and more north Louisiana players showing off their skills on the hardwood.