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Posted On: 08/14/18 5:00 AM
The class of 2021 is thick with talent, so there’s a lot to unpack with yesterday’s premiere of the Prospect Rankings. Because as we’ll try to prove this week, the point of those rankings isn’t simply to put out a list and tick people off for having their kids too low. Nope. The motivation behind all of our content is putting out balanced and accurate coverage of Ohio’s prospects, from high-major to Division III.
So, we will provide five fairly detailed pieces of analysis on the class, divided by position (PG, G, W, F, C). But Garcia, there’s no such thing as positions anymore! Who cares about position! Fair point, basketball hipsters. We’ll get into all the nuances within the articles. Scroll down to see for yourself.
Total PGs ranked: 24
Top Ten: 1
Top 25: 5
Top NEO PG: Seth Wilson (7 total)
Top Southern Ohio PG: Jakada Stone (6 total)
Top Central Ohio PG: AJ Mirgon (9 total)
Top NWO PG: Jourdyn Rawlins (2 total)
Top Tier: Seth Wilson, Jaden Hameed, Ramelle Arnold, Colin Albert
Sleepers: Omar Abuhamdeh, Colin Rodrigues, Jack Christian, Jakada Stone
This group is for the floor generals, “pure point guards,” and facilitators with a good feel. They impact the game primarily by making others better with passing, on-court communication, drive-and-kick ability, while showing a natural feel for the court.
In our opportunities to evaluate All Ohio Red 2021, they were best with Hameed on the floor because of his court sense and willingness to pass the ball. He also had a noticeable command of the offense at VASJ as a freshman. Look for him to replace 2018 graduate Jerry “Gene” Higgins as seamlessly as posible by keeping their talented roster involved in the halfcourt offense. Hameed could’ve also been included in the Shooters category, as he hurt defenses from distance.
Mirgon does a heck of job of delivering dimes to open shooters and post players on the drive. His head is on a swivel at all times and he has natural poise in the lane. Mirgon, an underrated athlete, is also a premiere defender who improved his outside shooting throughout the grassroots season. Picks his spots as a shot-taker.
George is a consummate facilitator who likes to get into the lane, pump fake a shot-blocker, then pivot to find an open teammate. He’s most threatening as a scorer in the mid-range, where he hits pull-ups.
Who knows who will start at Pick North between George and Idris Lawrence, a fellow 2021er. But, bottom line is that head coach Jason Bates has a nice contrast of styles at the lead guard position to choose from. George facilitates while Lawrence is more of a downhill slasher. With scorers like Hunter Shedenhelm and Jack Sawyer at the disposal of whoever the lead guard is, we’d forecast that George will get the bulk of the playing time because his pass-first style will satisfy guys who need shots.
When those two 2021 PGs share the floor, George will likely be the primary ball-handler, as Lawrence is more adept to creating his own shot from the wing. George needs to become a more consistent 3-point shooter to maximize his impact when Sawyer draws a double-team in the post.
Daniels actually shows promise as a finisher inside — he’s crafty and his thicker build is suitable for contact. But he prefers to share the rock. We’re always impressed with point guards who push pace by advancing the ball to streaking wings and he does that well. In Fort Wayne to end the season especially, we saw Daniels throw advanced passes in the halfcourt. Changes speeds effectively.
The stock on scoring point guards is trending upwards because, as the lines becoming more blurred between point guard and shooting guard, simply being able to create your own shot while having the ability to create for others is an indispensable talent. The no. 1 point guard in the class falls into this category and that’s no coincidence.
Wilson averaged 12.3 PPG as a freshman starter for STVM, the D-II State Champions. During the State Tournament weekend, Wilson attempted 17 field goals for a total of 14 points. Seventeen shots, translation: he’s confident and aggressive. Wilson proved such this grassroots season as Tru Game’s offensive focal point as a scorer and ball-handler. He’ll launch off the dribble from college 3-point range, look to score in the lane off a ball screen, and is generally putting pressure on defenses by being a scorer.
It should also be mentioned that while scoring is Wilson’s top skill, he transcends this category. We’ve seen him slash, pass, and shoot it better than almost anyone else in this point guard class.
Chicone lacks size but has a surplus of playmaking ability. He shows excellent court sense, quickness with the ball, and outside shooting ability. Defenses will need to adjust to his aggressive jumper by going over ball screens and keeping a hand up for the next three years. He has a little Trey Syroka in his game, a 2019 prospect at Whitmer.
Irvin is most effective at creating separation with a ball screen. In those situations, he’s the type of ball-handler that uses head fakes, subtle changes of speed, and deceptive ball-handling maneuvers to get to his spot. Irvin can really stroke it from outside. Other than scoring, Irvin has sneaky defensive hands to cause steals.
Dial is one of the most confident scorers we’ve seen in the class. There’s nothing that’s going to stand in his way from taking a pull-up 3-pointer, including sound defense from his matchup, something we’d like to see him do more often. His larger upper body allows him to get to the rim against opposing guards. Dial is a big hesitation guy. Tidbit: he’s the younger brother of Brush 2019 prospect DJ Dial, a point guard with multiple D-I offers.
These kids have a combination of quickness and/or power, handle, confidence, and finishing ability.
In this group, Arnold is the leader in overall talent and slashing ability. I mean, good God, this kid is a talented ball-handler. He squares up opponents and can beat them going either direction. He’s a side-to-side dribble-drive player, as opposed to a straight-line driver. Arnold finishes layups that most guys his size have no business attempting. Developing his feel in the halfcourt will push Arnold to the next level and maybe land him at a D-I program.
Albert is also a clever ball-handler who plays with flash and charisma with the ball in his hands. He has impressive quickness with the ball and is likely to get defenders to bite on his snatch-back move before zooming by them — they reach, he teaches.
Amerson is a super quick point guard prospect who should experience a ton of individual and team success for Thurgood Marshall in his career. Transition scorer who has playmaking ability in the open floor. We like his ability to make interior passes on the drive. Quick twitch athlete. Good presence.
Sullinger chooses to toy with defenders quite a bit at the top of the key, often sizing up matchups with a series between-the-legs dribbles before breaking them off with a crossover. He’s pretty good at it, but we look for him to consolidate his dribbles going forward to become more efficient while prioritizing his teammates’ involvement.
Abuhamdeh is a sleeper who could’ve also been in the Facilitators section. However, his stocky build allows him to produce on straight-line drives. He has good command of an offense. Abuhamdeh is unselfish and he throws passes with precision and velocity. His shooting mechanics are excellent in terms of a quick release and consistency. More of a spot-shooter than a pull-up guy. Compared to other young point guards, he’s well-rounded.
We already touched on Lawrence a bit in Casey George’s write-up, so scroll up for more.
Lawrence impresses in one-on-one action and knows how to pick his spots as a scorer. Finishes from weird angles with the left-hand, which speaks to his creativity in the paint.
Davis makes it happen with sheer athleticism, especially on the fast break. Although there’s improvements to be had in halfcourt offense, Davis can leave defenders in the dust when he has a head of steam. Super fiery competitor that can infuse a team with energy in big moments.
Now that 6’6” eight graders are encouraged to get on the gun during their $40/hour training sessions, the class’ shooters are spread out across positions. Furthermore, there’s not many here in the point guard section.
Even though there continues to be a lot of hoopla about stretch 4s, shooting is still super important for primary ball-handlers. If these two young prospects continuing cultivating their shooting ability, it will separate them from other Ohio 2021 point guards down the line.
The day one starting point guard for Aiken shot 43 percent of his field goal attempts from behind the 3-point arch. He connected on 35 percent of those deep balls and hit an impressive 77 percent from the free throw line. While those aren’t staggeringly great percentages, consider that Stone was playing junior high ball a year before and was mostly Aiken’s primary ball-handler. In other words, those shots weren’t always open.
Fast forward to the second weekend of the July Live Period in Louisville, when Stone was coming off the bench for RGB Ohio Unity 17U, a talented collection of Cincy hoopers in the 2019 class. His role was to spot shoot and occasionally make a play off the dribble. Stone thrived as a catch-and-shoot guy. He showed sound mechanics, consistent production, and he’s never afraid of the moment or competition.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, shot selection needs to improve for Stone. Maybe he feels the pressure to create offense with BTC Trojans and Aiken because he’s their best guard. But maybe he’s just a kid who is wired to take a lot of contested shots. We’ll see going forward.
Christian reminds us of 2019 Olentangy guard Sean Marks in a major way. He resembles the Ohio Dominican verbal commit in the way he creates space with his jabs, shoots two-dribble pull-ups, and scores efficiently.
Word has already trickled out to the rest of the Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) about the young sniper, so the challenge for him will be to find shooting opportunities by moving off-ball or creating separation off the bounce, both of which aren’t true strengths right now.