Unknowns and Undervalued

Posted On: 10/26/19 10:35 AM

Player rankings are subjective and an inexact science with a greater likelihood of misses than hits. But who doesn’t love them anyway?

Rankings have been updated at PHD ahead of the high school season and there is a lot to unpack. Full rankings are found here: https://www.prephoops.com/dakotas/rankings/nd-prospect-rankings/2020-rankings/

Here are some players in the WDA I’m intrigued by this winter:

No. 14 Jaxton Wiest, Mandan

Wiest is arguably the best point guard in the WDA. After leading the league in assists last year, Wiest will have an opportunity to do so again while picking up his scoring significantly. His defense is top-notch. He’s a solid slasher and finisher at the rim and if he’s improved his outside shot, he’s going to lead Mandan to a lot of wins.

No. 16 Easton Larson, Minot

Larson was excellent this summer playing with ND Attack and when he’s assertive, he’s a matchup problem for a lot of people. At 6-foot-5, he’s got the touch to knock down mid-range jumpers, the athleticism to blow by bigger defenders and the explosiveness to dominate the offensive glass. The Minot State commit could be a double-double guy this winter if he consistently plays to his ability level.

No. 31 Rhett Clements, Bismack Legacy

Bismarck Legacy went to state last year and has a good shot at going back again this year. If the Sabers are going to reach their potential, Clements is going to have to continue playing like he did a year ago. He’s a mismatch guy on the wing, using his size and athleticism to get the rim and finish. He’s just solid at a lot of things, rebounding, playmaking, defending and making shots. 

No. 37 Caden Johnson, Minot

Johnson is more potential than production at this point but at 6-foot-9, he’s an intriguing long-term player. He showed signs of putting things together over the summer playing AAU, as he’s got the mobility, the motor and the physical tools to be a force in the paint. He’s got decent skills and nice touch, but he’s at his best when he’s screening, diving to the rim, rebounding and defending. Some coach is going to see him as a moldable piece of clay. 

No. 70 La-Vores Monroe, Watford City

Watford City is going to be one of the younger teams in the WDA this year and a guy the Wolves will lean on will be Monroe. One of the top returning forwards in the league, Monroe averaged better than eight points and nearly seven rebounds per game last year. He’s an athletic kid who can finish in the paint and could be a double-double guy this winter.