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Posted On: 09/8/18 7:10 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.
Ward is an athletic forward with bounce who can put it on the floor a little bit. We think he’ll enter his 17U grassroots season with a lot of recruiting stock to cash in on. He’s simply super talented. But there’s a little bit of polish missing in his offensive game. We’re hoping to see Ward develop his fundamental ball skills so that he can simplify the game and capitalize on his size, athleticism, and aggressiveness — all the tools that give him promise.
Garfield Heights brings back one senior and there’s an obvious void to be filled without Alonzo Gaffney around. After watching Darby this summer, it’s seems that he’s made that exact observation himself. The kid has been in the lab preparing for the opportunity. After hardly seeing the floor as a junior, it’s time for Darby to hit that jumper he’s been working on underneath the bright lights. The faceup forward should also bring rebounding and toughness to their front line.
After playing 14 games as a sophomore and 12 as a freshman, Harrison just needs to stay healthy. If that happens, we think Harrison is going to be awesome as a junior. If there was a version of ESPN’s First Take for Ohio high school basketball and I was debating with, say, Zach Fleer five mornings a week, I would routinely throw out hot takes on how good Harrison will be this season. I just feel strongly that he’s a really good prospect who isn’t discussed very much.
With full health, Harrison could have an opportunity to showcase his finishing ability in traffic, high-flying rebounding, how length helps him on defense, and even his handle. Playing his game confidently and consistency would build a strong buzz in college coaching offices heading into his 17U season.
Metzler makes his mark on the offensive glass quite often. However, we really just want him to finish at a more efficient clip this season. He deals with contact well to grab the boards but finding consistency on his touch around the rim could add four more points per game to his season average.
Any time you’re a 6’7”-6’8″ kid at Garfield Heights you’re going to accumulate some sort of hype. But now, we presume, will be the time for Gilbert to make a real impression with his basketball game. We’ve seen shades of a quality plodding big man out of Gilbert with Hard Work Basketball, his AAU team. However, if he can be an impact big in Northeast Ohio for Sonny Johnson’s Bulldogs, it would go a long way for his recruitment.