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Posted On: 08/3/18 9:00 AM
I mentioned in my last post that point guards are very important to a team’s success. The point guard is the driving force behind a team’s success, but point guards can’t win games on their own. It’s a team sport, and remember, there’s no ‘I’ in team.
In this write-up, I will give my thoughts on the top five forwards heading into the 2018-19 season. Guys at the forward position can either be a small forward or power forward. Both positions have to have the capabilities of putting the basketball on the floor. Both positions have to have a jump shot.
The game of basketball has changed drastically in the last decade. Power forwards used to have the freedom to be one-dimensional and play more in the post. Power forwards now have to stretch the floor, with the ability to shoot from 17-feet out and from 3-point range.
Small forwards have to be just as versatile as shooting guards. They have to be solid shooters, have swift moves, and play at shooting guard if needed.
Enough of this, let’s get to it. Here are my top five forwards heading into the 2018-19 season:
Malcolm Dandridge, Memphis East High School
Malcolm Dandridge, 6-foot-8, is the perfect shot blocker and rebounder any school would love to have. Dandridge plays like an old school power forward. He’s physical and doesn’t shy away from banging against other bodies in the paint. Offensively, Dandridge is dangerous when he’s well positioned in the post, with his back to the basket. He can easily be a walking double-double in his senior season for the Mustangs.
Kameron Jones, Southwind High School
Kameron Jones is the most polished forward on the list. He can play multiple positions on the court, and can score from different areas on the floor. Jones is always calm when he has to be the Jaguars’ ball handler. He can dribble behind the back, with the ability to switch hands in the blink of an eye. Southwind will need him to bring his A-game every night, and Jones knows that.
Marcellus Brigham, Briarcrest Christian School
Marcellus Brigham is about to enter his junior season, and his ceiling is still very high. Brigham can rebound the basketball. He plays great defense; he’s very active on offense, and isn’t afraid to step outside and shoot the basketball. Brigham isn’t quite there yet, in terms on consistency from the outside, but he’s on track to be a special stretch four before his senior season arrives.
In the Jerry Peters Memphis Summer Classic, Brigham had 45 points, 39 rebounds, and seven assists. Brigham will play a vital role in the Saints’ offense this upcoming season.
Dylan Woods, Lausanne Collegiate School
Dylan Woods, 6-2, isn’t quite the size yet to play at power forward, but his wing span plus his athleticism makes him the perfect fit for the position. His strongest attribute is rebounding. He finished tied for first in rebounds (24), with Johnathan DeJurnett, on the Lynx. Woods scored 58 points in the classic. He’s only going to get better over time. By his senior year, Woods could be one of the top forwards in the 2021 class if he continues to progress.
Kaeden Laws, Center Hill High School (Olive Branch, Mississippi)
Like Woods, Kaeden Laws is also in the 2021 class. Laws is already 6-4, and may not be done growing, which is scary for the other teams that will have to play him. His size makes him a difficult task. Opposing teams will probably game plan to front him when he’s on offense, but even then, his upper body strength will overcome that obstacle.
Laws is solid from the free throw line. He made 9 of 11 in the Jerry Peters Memphis Summer Classic to go with his 51 total points and 23 rebounds. Expect Laws to blossom into a force as a sophomore.