PREVIEW: 2021 names to know (forwards)

High School
Kansas

Posted On: 10/17/18 11:13 AM

As part of its 2018-19 preview series, Prep Hoops Kansas takes a look at some of the state’s top players in a variety of positions in the rising sophomore class.

Below are several forwards in Kansas’ 2021 class you should know.

 

Ja’Ron Byrd, 6’4, F, 2021, Shawnee Mission North
Also a standout on the football field, Byrd is a transfer from Bishop Ward who brings excellent paint presence on both sides of the floor. He has a strong frame, good size and the athleticism to punish opponents on the block. Byrd can score with defenders surrounding him. He’s strong enough to force his way to the basket and smart enough to sell contact.

Miles Cole, 6’8, PF/C, 2021, Blue Valley
Cole is coming off a strong summer running with JC Hoops 15U squad and brings good size, length and activity to the paint. He can finish around the basket, runs the floor exceptionally well and holds his ground defensively in the paint.

Brandon Eckles, 6’5, F, 2021, Olathe South
A transfer from Kansas City (Mo.) Barstow, Brandon Eckles is a 6’5 forward with some bounce and offensive skill. He has terrific size and athleticism and brings the ability to score in a variety of ways as well as protect the basket at the defensive end of the floor.

AJ Johnson, 6’3, F, 2021, Salina South
Johnson is a talented wing player who got significant run last season at Salina South, showcasing a versatile skill set, athleticism and the ability to throw down dunks, rebound in traffic and score in the paint. He’s a player that is flying under the radar a little but could be a big key to the upcoming season for South.

Alex Littlejohn, 6’3, F, 2021, Bishop Carroll

An old-school post player type, Littlejohn got some key varsity minutes last season off the bench during Bishop Carroll’s state championship run. He has long arms and plays bigger than his listed 6’3 height would suggest. Littlejohn is at his best in the post or in the paint where he uses good footwork and an array of head fakes and a soft touch to score buckets.