Role Reversal: Sophomores

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Posted On: 09/9/18 5:00 AM

As we continue to preview the upcoming high school season through the prism of Ohio’s college prospects, it’s time to talk about players in a new role.

Throughout the Role Reversals series, we seek to answer Why and How these prospects will look different this high school season.

[ICYMI: Seniors, Juniors]

 

Logan Duncomb, 6’8” C, Moeller

Duncomb established himself among as a top five 2021 prospect in Ohio this summer with the Mid Ohio Pumas, just a few short months after playing freshman ball at Moeller.

Why: Jaxson Hayes is off to Texas, opening the starting center role up for Duncomb. Although sophomores mostly play junior varsity for Moe, sources close to the program have told us all summer that the starting role is his come winter.

How: Duncomb will stabilize their frontcourt by anchoring the paint as a rebounder and finisher. A year after having a rim-protecting phenom in the middle, Moeller shouldn’t expect Duncomb to fill Hayes’s shoes as an athlete. However, he does score it efficiently inside, play with an edge, and plays within his strengths. They can rely on Duncomb to be one of the top bigs in the Southwest Ohio next year.

Kalen Etzler, 6’8” W/F, Crestview

Etzler is a 6’8” forward with a sick amount of talent. Kalen, the younger brother of Javin Etzler, talked a lot about State Championship expectations a couple weeks back.

Why: Etzler feels like he’s at 100 percent full strength right now after battling back problems as a freshman. Also, the urgency to make a postseason run is there for Crestview. In order to do that, they’ll need to optimize the talents of both Etzler brothers before Javin moves onto Miami (OH).  

How: He has a comparable game to his brother, so it will be interesting to see how Crestview pairs another 6’7”-plus stretch 4 next to the senior leader. However, that’s one of those good problems. We may not know exactly what it will look like; but we do know that Etzler can shoot, pass, and finish. He runs the floor well and takes defense seriously, likely being able to defend everything but the point guard at the OHSAA Division IV level.

Garner Wallace, 6’4” W, Pickerington Central

Wallace is an impact defender with tremendous finishing ability. Even though he’s just a sophomore on one of Ohio’s most talented rosters, there’s reason to believe that Wallace will be an important piece this season.

Why: Figuring out how Pickerington Central is going to give playing time to all of their players, most of which are college prospects, is a job I’m not qualified for. They barely graduated anyone off their Final Four team from a year ago. But, Wallace is going to earn playing time with his transcendent speed and effort.

How: First of all, anyone who defends like Wallace is going to be a very playable guy for a coaching staff. His speed brings a full-court element to the game, where he can leak out for a couple quick layups each game. Wallace also gets to the rim without leaking out, as he is pretty slippery with the ball in his hands.

Jonah Waag, 6’1” G, VASJ

Waag played spot minutes for VASJ as a freshman, but he already has two D-I offers and flashed big-time potential in the grassroots season.

Why: As with most of the players in this series, guys graduated. Specifically, Jerry “Gene” Higgins is gone. And while Jaden Hameed will step in as the point guard, Waag’s production as a secondary ball-handler and wing scorer is important.

How: Waag is a really skilled ball player with excellent fundamentals and an ability to create his own shot. He’s a jack of all trades on offense. He likes to push pace for a quick shot, but he’s still effective when the game slows down. Waag also revealed to us that he’s mostly focused on defense this season, welcoming the challenge of defending the other team’s best guard every game.

AJ Adams, 6’4” W, Findlay

Adams is an athletic and skilled wing prospect who will make a lot of noise for Findlay these next three years.

Why: Findlay is a team heavy on shooting and the fundamentals. Adams may not fit the shooting bill yet, but his athleticism and defensive talent will be a welcomed sight for the Trojans.

How: Ryan Nunn is going to be their guy once again next season. He’s the focal point of the offense as a ball-handler, playmaker, and scorer. Then, Adams is someone who can get himself going with rebounds, smart cuts, and quick moves. It’s a perfect fit alongside Nunn and sharp-shooter Ryan Roth. Adams can also defend multiple positions and provide rebounding in a guard-heavy conference.