Posted On: 09/19/18 7:00 AM
Pictured: Jonah Zeller, Catlin Gabel
The PrepHoops Top 250 Expo for Oregon took place on Saturday at Parkrose High School, and 40 of the top players in the state gathered for some high level competition in front of numerous observers in attendance including a number of college coaches.
While the majority of those there were guards, there were a few big guys at the Expo – in particular some of the more talented younger posts in the state. Here’s a recap:
Jonah Zeller, Catlin Gabel (2021) (Top Big Man)
We made note of Zeller’s performance in our Event Recap and the Top Performers (2021). What else is there to say? Well we can reiterate this story from the event: while talking to one coach in attendance we asked him what his thoughts were on Zeller. His initial response was that it seemed like Zeller was a bit mechanical and that he needed some development. When told that Zeller was a Class of 2021 prospect and not a senior, the immediate response from the coach was “well that changes everything!”. There is no question there’s a lot of potential with Zeller as he can run the floor and has some of the basics down with the fundamentals. The rest should come in time as traditionally big men take a little longer to develop.
Will Reese, Sunset (2019)
One big man who is further down the line with his development is Reese, who will be playing in the post at Sunset but projects as a stretch four at the college level. At the expo, the 6-foot-6 senior scored down low but also stepped out on the perimeter where he showed off an improved jumper out to three-point range. Defensively is perhaps where Reese made the most impact as he was a shot-blocking threat, especially in transition. A good student, Reese is getting solid D-III recruiting attention from schools in the Pacific Northwest.
Bridger Steppe, Tualatin (2019)
Similar to Reese, Steppe will play at a different position at the college level but for his high school he will likely play down low. This will be especially true at Tualatin since the Timberwolves have a glut of perimeter players. At 6-foot-4 but with some bulk, Steppe held his own low against bigger players but had the versatility to bring the ball up the floor after grabbing rebounds. He hit some solid mid-range jumpers and was able to create a little off the dribble. Steppe should be getting a D-III/NAIA/JC level of recruitment as a forward/wing.
Joseph Maqatish, Santiam Christian (2021)
At 6-foot-8, 230-pounds, Maqatish is a load to handle in the paint and he pretty much got position any time he wanted to in the post. He displayed a soft lefty touch and was able to get some baskets not only down low but out to mid-range. While he didn’t necessarily run the floor like a deer, he did move well enough to get back on defense in transition or as a trailer offensively. Only a sophomore, Maqatish has plenty of time and room to grow at Santiam Christian.
Koby Williamson, Santiam Christian (2020)
Maquatish’s partner in crime in the paint at Santiam Christian will be Williamson, who played at Lebanon last season. Also standing 6-foot-8, the junior is more slender and has more finesse to his game. At the Expo, he fought hard inside but also stepped out and hit a few face up jumpers. Williamson ran the floor well and was a shot-blocking threat when in position.