Posted On: 08/10/19 1:11 PM
One of the best things about this job is being able to see these prospects develop from their freshman to their senior season. When I first saw 2020 wing Ian Wallace, I watched a 6-foot-3 lanky kid with rec specs who still hadn’t grown into his body running back and forth in the warm up lines. Aside from his size at a young age, nothing really struck me that he’d be able to grow into the Division I prospect that he is today.
Every prospect is pretty much offered the same chance, but what they do with it is what separates those who really position themselves to play at the next level. For Wallace, it was nothing but hard work on the floor and in the weight room to build what he has become heading into his senior season.
Now 6-foot-7 with a long, lean frame, Wallace has slowly become a prospect in Baltimore that every low major should be tracking. Considering his development from even one year ago has been impressive, his further development under a college coaching staff with strength and conditioning trainers raise that ceiling even further.
As for this season, Wallace has been putting in the time to help prepare for the Poly Engineers to capture their fourth-straight Class 3A title. Wallace is a beneficiary of Poly’s assistant coach and trainer Kyle Jakobe, who trains countless professional athletes who currently play in the NBA and NFL. Jakobe specializes in basketball development and helping athletes reach high levels of performance and fitness in what seems to be a very short about of time.
“This spring and summer has been great,” Wallace continued, “just getting in the gym every single day for six or seven hours. It’s been amazing working with Kyle. Everyone is just in there getting better. He’s a great trainer. Everything we do is fast paced and he makes you have an aggressive mindset. Playing against pros and college players has been very physical. You have to be really strong going to the basket and even on defense, you have to be strong and move your feet fast.”
Wallace describes his game by categorizing himself as a 3-and-D player, a role that has grown tremendously in value in today’s game. He also told Prep Hoops that his athleticism gives him an edge over other players in that same category.
I caught up with Jakobe to talk about Wallace’s potential as a player and his best fit at the next level.
“It’s difficult to quantify how far Ian will take this game,” Jakobe told Prep Hoops. “He is a 6-foot-7 elite shooter who has the ability, physical tools, and work ethic to be a demoralizing defender. There are players across the globe who get paid a ton of money to do exactly that. That is possible for Ian, too. He is absolutely a steal for low major program, but that is also where he will continue to experience the most rapid growth and opportunity.”
This past spring, Wallace picked up his first offer from American. Other schools such as George Mason and UMES have also reached out about him.
“Coaches seem to like that I’m a pretty long shooter,” Wallace said. “I got range on my shot and I’m pretty big for a shooting guard.”
Low major programs looking for a long, athletic player who can guard the wing positions should begin tracking Wallace closely. He’ll be a player who flies under the radar, especially considering all of the Division I talent he plays next to at Poly.
Wallace is currently ranked as a top-50 prospect in the Maryland 2020 player rankings. To view the full list, click here!