Posted On: 09/22/18 5:00 AM

To those guys who turned their focus towards the defensive end of the floor, you didn’t go unnoticed! Coming into a showcase environment, there’s certain things you can’t control, namely your teammates and scoring opportunities. But you can always play with effort and intelligence on defense. The other thing: Defense will always stand out to the college and media scouts. So the next time you go to an event, go in and play defense and, in case you don’t believe us in that it will be noticed, communicate while you’re doing it!

Cameron Awls (2020), 6’1” G, Toledo Central Catholic

Awls does an excellent job of maintaining a fundamentally strong defensive stance and overall intensity on that end of the floor. He has good hips and lateral quickness, hardly ever allowing an uncontested jumper of layup in one-on-one situations. Awls plays both guard spots offensively but should definitely be used against primary ball-handlers as a defender.

Mali Harris-Strayhorn (2020), 6’4” W, Beavercreek

Harris-Stayhorn represented himself as one of the best raw athletes on the wing at the Expo. We’ll need to see a little more in terms of ball skills during the high school season, but he really looks the part. It paid off defensively, where he defended multiple positions, recovered on close-outs with speed, and recorded help-side rebounds and blocks. He’s a twitchy athlete who used IQ and length to irritate guards that were trying to enter the ball into the paint. 

Jaki Royal (2019), 6’0” G, Ripley-Union

Royal had one of his most inconsistent offensive days we’ve seen in the last five months. However, it was impressive that he swallowed that pill and still found success as a defender throughout the day. Royal looked frustrated by the offense but was clearly able to channel that towards defensive intensity. He has quick hands and played aggressively in the passing lanes to cause turnovers.

Jaden Woods (2020), 6’4” W/F, Newark

Woods gave up inches in the paint as an interior defender, yet he has a way of making life difficult enough inside for bigs that they miss shots. On those misses, Woods becomes a mismatch because of his end-to-end speed. He is a pretty strong kid that is mobile enough to defend the three through five.


Others mentioned previously in the week:

  • D’Marco Howard (2019), 6’3” PG, Hamilton as Upperclassmen MVP
  • Na’Elle Simmons (2019), 6’7” F, Beechcroft as Upperclassmen Top Prospect