Stock Rising Forwards: Miami

High School
Florida

Posted On: 09/30/18 12:42 PM

Josh Acosta, South Miami

The 6-foot-6 forward has the fleet of foot and rebounding prowess to be a major piece on a South Miami team entering the season with lofty aspirations. He’s increased his game in the skill compartments, learning to score the ball at all three levels and becoming more comfortable in putting the ball on the floor and setting his shot up. He’s got the work ethic and the engine to have a high impact season, one which will entail him ascending into an all around threat who can guard the 1-4 and really apply hard pressure on guards.

Sebastian Martinez, Miami Christian

At 6-foot-7 and capable of shuffling his feet against guards while simultaneously connecting on outside shots with consistency, the Class of 2019 prospect has the upside of a swiss army knife-esque threat. He’s one of the program’s and the area’s better rebounders at the 4-3 position. Longtime South Florida coach Art Alvarez eventually envisions Martinez adapting to the wing because of how well he can stroke it. He’s lauded for his court sense and awareness, aspects which could likely propel him into a breakout season.

Landon Martinez, Mater Lakes Academy

Very few knew anything about the 6-foot-8 transfer from Los Angeles, who arrived at the doorstep very raw and still needing to pack on muscle to his toothpick slim frame. The Class of 2019 product’s workmanlike style and motor make up for any areas of his game that lack polish, as he averaged a robust 16 rebounds for the team this summer. He’s got the increased footwork and mobility to play high minutes this season.

Defensively, he’s still buying into the backbone role as he will be tasked with protecting the goal and steering the driving lanes clear. He’s low risk because he understands the nuances of his role as a “Mr. Hustle” type. On this particular squad, with a number of proven scorers underscored by 6-foot-3 flamethrower Cyrus Largie, Martinez is likely a fourth or fifth option. This allows him to man the glass and really put a body on guys as he boxes out and secures loose boards.

Joshua Cecol, Belen

At a wiry 6-foot-8, the Class of 2020 Cecol has the look of a traditional post player. He can play with his back to the basket and post up more effectively than most at this level. With most enamored with the whole multiplicity concept and 6-foot-8 stretch fours and fives becoming more popular day, Cecol is a workmanlike presence who can snare rebounds and get free for point-blank finishes. If he can continue to improve at the frenetic pace he did this summer, Cecol has the opportunity to emerge into a real power player this season.

Diego LaMonica, Gulliver Prep

The powerfully built 6-foot-5 Class of 2020 prospect is a constant presence on the glass. He’s hard to keep at bay around the rim, as he’s able to get into the lane and really yank in boards. He’s got big, soft hands and this enables him to catch and convert rather easily. With a ramped up role this season, anticipate LaMonica to evolve as an offensive threat and open up a face-up game.

Hugo Galden, Sunset

Though he’s rather undersized as a 6-foot-3 forward, Galdon has some considerable bounce and exceptional timing in his ability to snare boards and fly in for putbacks. He’s got the strength and athleticism that enables him to play bigger than he is in the post. He’s still learning how to catch, face, and hit the 10-12 footer as he becomes more involved in the offense. He’s shown he can pop out and stick treys from the angle and straight-away. With 2018 graduation claiming high-octane point guard Jaylen Escobar (17 PPG, 7 APG), it is an equal opportunity offense with more depth and new pieces jockeying for the role of go-to guy. Galden should see more touches this season and register his presence as a high percentage threat.