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Posted On: 11/22/18 11:34 PM
Practice has started around the state and PrepHoops Oregon continues to make the rounds to get a look at teams before the season starts. Wednesday afternoon’s visit was to see the Grant Generals. Head coach Robert Key is ready to lead his team in the 6A state title defense and with his size having graduated, the Generals will play a more up-tempo, open style to effective use their quickness and shooting ability.
Missing from practice is Vermont signee Aaron Deloney (2019) who is still recovering from an injured ankle in fall league. Also missing was Max Von Arx (2023) a freshman who will provide frontcourt depth. Here are observations on some of the team’s top players at practice:
Ty Rankin (2019)
With the possibility that Deloney may be out of action to start the season, Rankin will have to be the main man and he was a leader at practice. Offensively he attacked the basket and created for others as much as himself. Rankin’s outside jumper has improved and he’s also become more of a threat to finish at the rim. He didn’t sign this fall but continues to hear from college programs at all levels and we will have an update posted on him soon.
Emanuel Steward (2020)
Even including Deloney, Steward may the best shooter on the varsity squad. The 6-foot-2 junior transfer from Benson was lights out from beyond the arc and you could pretty much count on it going in if he was open. Steward isn’t just a standstill shooter either as he was able to create a little off the dribble and can some pull-ups as well. His ability to knock shots down from long range gives Grant yet another shooter to pile up points on the board.
Laquandre Taylor (2020)
One of Grant’s tallest and longest players at 6-foot-4, Taylor is a natural perimeter player but will have to help out inside for the Generals. The junior is a sharp ball-handler and creative passer and with his length, is able to finish well around the basket. Perimeter shooting has always been his Achilles heel and while he didn’t take much less hit any perimeter jumpers, the word is that his form has improved.
Erik Fraser (2020)
Another guy who would normally be playing guard that will have to help out up front due to his size is Fraser, who stands at 6-foot-3. Fraser has a nice shot from mid-range out to beyond three-point range and has improved his ability to attack the basket as well. A solid student, Fraser has the potential to be at least a Division II scholarship player when it’s all said and done.
Cade Ealy (2020)
Ealy will be the main man in the post for the Generals. The goggled junior may be only 6-foot-4, but he’s tough and isn’t afraid to mix things up inside. Ealy isn’t a true post though as he prefers to shoot from the perimeter and can struggle a little bit finishing at the basket. On a team lacking size though, there’s no question he will be getting quite a bit of playing time.
Aiden Martin (2019)
Martin has a solid build at 6-foot-2 and is versatile enough to provide depth in the backcourt and frontcourt. He can hit the open shot and can drive to the basket a little, although he seemed to struggle with finishing at this practice.
Miles Morrow (2019)
Morrow is another senior who has been in the program for years. He’s also 6-foot-2, is capable of hitting the open shot, and should be able to help out off the bench on the perimeter or up front.
Zion Ball (2020)
Ball is a transfer from the East Coast (Virginia or New Jersey, depending on who you ask) and at around 6-foot, should contribute mainly on the wing. He’s a decent ball-handler and penetrator but it appears he most enjoys taking long range threes.
Jaesean Pate (2022)
At 5-foot-8, Pate is definitely a little guy but as you might expect, he’s extremely quick and also has the ability to knock down deep perimeter shots. He’s already caught Key’s attention and will be playing varsity ball this year, although how much time he gets on the court will be determined.
Dondrae Fair (2022)
For a freshman, Fair is very physically mature and he excels at taking the ball strong to the basket. He seemed to struggle a bit in this practice but Key noted that Fair is coming off an injury. Fair will play on varsity but the amount of minutes he gets will be determined.
Garrett Brown (2020)
Brown will play JV but he’s worth mentioning as 1) he’s the biggest player in the program at 6-foot-6, and 2) he could very well be the best perimeter shooter in the program as well. If an unexpected injury happens, don’t be surprised to see him get promoted.