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Posted On: 09/21/18 8:17 AM
“Team guy, huh? What’s that mean?”
Just in case we didn’t make it clear enough, here’s six Prep Hoops Top 250 Expo participants who exemplified what it means to be a “team guy” last Sunday.
After not really seeing the floor for Holy Name last season, Crane showed a couple signs of a potential breakout prospect in 2018-19. In regard to his value as a teammate, Crane maintained a high energy level throughout the day marked by enthusiastic on-court communication. The combo forward has good height, runs the floor well, and is a capable athlete. Crane should also be able to rack up academic scholarship money at the various Northeast Ohio D-IIIs with his 3.7 GPA and 27 ACT, where he could be a good (wait for it …) team guy.
As we mentioned in Wednesday’s New Names, Gaston simply made his teammates better. Working within a pretty stagnant offense with four spot-up shooters, Gaston pulled help-side into the lane with his penetration. As forwards salivated to reject the undersized guard’s layup attempt, he made sneaky assists to open teammates. His game is flashy, but don’t be fooled, Gaston likes to facilitate.
Napier was the unofficial runner-up in the Upperclassmen Awards for Top Distributor. Although he has the craftiness, power, and size to finish in traffic, he remained selfless enough to jump stop and pivot into a reversal or assist. Napier has excellent poise on the block. He also defended multiple positions, took care of the boards for his team, and showed wit in relocating to the same-side corner when a guard drove into the paint.
Prince made a strong impression on us on Sunday and his whole thing was off-ball movement. It was constant and clever. While his defender was often distracted by a Chris Herbort pick-and-roll at the top of the key, Prince would sneak from the corner for baseline cuts time and again. Prince also made quick decisions with the ball and was aggressive with his mid-range pull-up, never taking pointless dribbles.
The event’s Top Underclassmen Distributor looks to be polishing up his perimeter abilities in this layover time between AAU and high school ball. Pugh’s best attribute in that role seems to be passing. He loves to move the ball from side to side, giving teammates the opportunity to create against a shifting defense — he even retreats to the opposite corner immediately to remove his defender from the play. Pugh, it’s also worth noting, could’ve taken a shot on every possession; he’s just that athletic, strong, and talented. The state’s no. 9 prospect, instead, valued being a team guy.
Wallis’ on-court communication and pass-first mentality stood out. He’s a beacon of positivity on the floor with a sense of time and score. Wallis needs to become more comfortable making plays on the attack, nonetheless he trusted teammates by initiating halfcourt offense with simple passes to the wing and block.