Posted On: 05/26/20 6:16 AM
In this week’s edition of the DMV Roundtable, the group gives the readers some insight on what they’ve looked to improve on while this break from action continues. We also do a bit of foreshadowing on what players we’ll be watching next season as they take on bigger roles for their respective teams.
1. As a scout, how have you used this quarantine time to improve your craft?
Giacubeno: Film has been the only action we’ve had in terms of evaluating. Rightfully so, I can speak for all of us when I say we’ve been investing hours into watching games that maybe we didn’t get to attend this season. It’s something that I’d like to work into my routine during the regular season. Not only does it allow us to see players
Ayalew: First and foremost, let me say that I’m eagerly anticipating returning to the gym for live hoops. Honestly, the main thing I’ve considered during this time off is how much I take for granted the opportunity to go out and watch several different games during a given week. This time away from basketball has helped me realize
In this week’s edition of the DMV Roundtable, the group gives the readers some insight on what they’ve looked to improve on while this break from action continues. We also do a bit of foreshadowing on what players we’ll be watching next season as they take on bigger roles for their respective teams. 1. As a scout, how have you used this quarantine time to improve your craft? Giacubeno: Film has been the only action we’ve had in terms of evaluating. Rightfully so, I can speak for all of us when I say we’ve been investing hours into watching games that maybe we didn’t get to attend this season. It’s something that I’d like to work into my routine during the regular season. Not only does it allow us to see players Ayalew: First and foremost, let me say that I’m eagerly anticipating returning to the gym for live hoops. Honestly, the main thing I’ve considered during this time off is how much I take for granted the opportunity to go out and watch several different games during a given week. This time away from basketball has helped me realize the importance of what we do, and moving forward I’m going to work even harder to diversify my coverage range in order to provide even more comprehensive coverage of this area. Wilson: During this time with no live basketball I have started to watch old film to evaluate players I may have not seen enough of or of games I did not get to see in person. Both have been extremely helpful as I have had a chance to evaluate certain players closer and catch up on stuff I may have missed during the high school season. I have also used this time to talk to new coaches I may have not had a relationship with to learn more about their program and the certain needs they need for their roster. Herron: During this time, it has given me a chance to get more organized and get more creative for both my clients and for Prep Hoops. Without being able to watch games live, I have been watching a lot more tape and have worked on my rankings to get the people I forgot in them moving forward. For my clients, I have done more stuff as far as getting them more names and contact info, and I have started to make video highlights featuring some underrated kids and giving them the chance to see small clips without them having to look things up. As far as for Prep Hoops, it has led me to do more things involving area rankings, lists of kids and what they do best and has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and think outside of the box at times. 2. What are some things you’ll be paying more attention to when evaluating when live action gets back up and running? Giacubeno: While there can be value in highlight tapes, the one thing I’ve noticed is that it takes away how players react when they make mistakes. From my point of view evaluating a player while he is having a bad game is just as valuable as when he’s having a great game. Little things such as body language when the coach is speaking to them, when teammates are trying to encourage them or when the refs are correcting a mistake they made are all crucial in evaluating how mentally strong a prospect is. Ayalew: There’s nothing specific I plan on paying more attention to. Instead, I plan on staying locked in during live play and only making notes during a timeout or a stoppage of play. It’s amazing how much you can miss by looking away for even a few seconds while the ball is in play. Wilson: One thing I need to focus on more is the balance of players I watch. I would like to expand my list of prospects I know about so focusing more on players I have not seen as much is definitely something I want to to work on as soon as we are allowed back in the gym. Another thing is defense. Sometimes I might focus on certain players’ skill level offensively and not as much defensively so that is something I would like to improve on as well. Seeing how players move off the ball is something that I need to pay closer attention to also. Herron: When I get back, one thing I’m going to pay very close attention to is who has improved the most over this time. Without being able to play live games and work out with their team, it’s really going to show who loves the game and who takes getting better seriously when they don’t have the normal means to get better. I have spoke with many kids who have been finding ways to do video workouts and at home workouts, and have been doing stuff as far as shooting in the driveway, ball handling drills and finding ways to improve their body. I will also pay close attention to how kids react to coaching and officiating when it’s time to step on the court. They haven’t had to deal with adversity within the game setting in a long time, and it will be interesting to see how that affects the way the act during the game. 3. Who are some players who will be taking on a bigger role for their respective teams that you look forward to watching this high school season? Giacubeno: While a slew of players will take on bigger roles and see a boost in their recruitment, the first that comes to mind for me is 2022 Poly guard Bryce LindsayBryceLindsay6'2" | PGBaltimore Poly | 2022StateMD. An elite three-point shooter who played a vital role for the Engineers this season, the 6-foot-1 guard will play huge minutes next season as a starter. He’ll once again be leaned on heavily as a floor-spacer from around the arc, but will also see his opportunities as a playmaker off the bounce increase. We saw hints this season and Lindsay showcased solid IQ and ability to anticipate rotations of the defense to quickly locate open teammates. Ayalew: I’m intrigued to see what Miles Webb can do at SSSAS next year. The Saints lose quite a bit with a handful of seniors graduating, and Webb figures to be a central figure in their rotation. He certainly has intriguing physical tools at about 6-foot-6 with length and mobility, making him a great fit for their uptempo playing style. Damion HarrisDamionHarris6'0" | CGBladensburg | 2021StateMD of Bladensburg is another player I’m looking forward to watching next season. He’s a high IQ guard who’s improved quite a bit in the last 12 months, and it’ll be interesting to see how much better he can get between now and the winter. Wilson: Rock Creek Christian lost a lot of people due to graduation after this past year so a player that will need to step up for them is 2021 James Gross. Gross has tremendous athleticism and versatility that allows him to do a lot in transition and on defense but overall he will have to do a lot more to keep Rock Creek in their winning ways. Another guy that is looking to have a bigger role next year is 2022 Tyrell WardTyrellWard6'6" | SFDeMatha | 2022State#98NationMD. Ward sometimes started for DeMatha this past year but look for him to be inserted into the lineup almost every night next season for the Stags. Ward is another guy who brings good versatility because of his size and can be a lights out shooter. Look for Ward to establish himself as a high major prospect next winter. Herron: There are quite a few guys I believe are primed for breakout years moving forward. In the 2021 class, I think that Garrett JohnsonGarrettJohnson6'7" | SGEpiscopal | 2021StateVA of Episcopal who has been pulling offers left and right will take a big leap with the departure of Tymu CheneryTymuChenery6'6" | SFEpiscopal | 2020State#337NationVA to Quinnipiac. He had a solid year this year, but with Darius JohnsonDariusJohnson6'0" | PGEpiscopal | 2021State#159NationVA and him coming back as the top two guys I think he’s primed to show that he deserves all the offers and attention that he’s been getting. I also believe that Zion RussellZionRussell6'0" | PGHargrave | 2022VA of Hargrave will have a breakout year next year with them losing three of their top guys in the backcourt this year. The former Georgetown Prep guard came midseason to Hargrave and still had to figure some things out, but if the uber athletic guard stays on the varsity team he could be one of the top guards in the VIC next year. In the 2022 class, there are quite a few guys who are set to have big seasons next year. The LC Bird duo of 6’8" big Keyontae LewisKeyontaeLewis6'7" | PFLC Bird | 2022StateVA and 6’3" wing Brycen BlaineBrycenBlaine6'5" | SGLC Bird | 2022StateVA showed flashes of brilliance this year, but if they can continue to improve their bodies during this quarantine they should come back even more confident and comfortable this year for a talented but young Bird team. Saxby SunderlandSaxbySunderland6'2" | CGFlint Hill | 2022StateVA of Flint Hill is a guy in the Northern VA area that is set to explode, as they lose three seniors who have been very impactful over the past few years. Sunderland is a smooth combo guard that can fill it up in bunches and really shoot it from deep, and he’s a guy who could be one of the top scorers in the NOVA area next year. The 2023 class is full of guys who should be ready to take the next step, and one kid that comes to mind is Steven Stinson of Trinity Episcopal. TES loses two division one bigs in Henry ColemanHenryColeman6'8" | PFTrinity Episcopal | 2020State#35NationVA (Duke) and Burke SmithBurkeSmith6'10" | PFTrinity Episcopal | 2020State#240NationVA (Boise State), and while it’s unclear who will take over those roles the 6’4" Stinson showed flashes of brilliance as he’s a guy who can make shots from all over, he’s a good athlete and he has a great frame that may still be growing. DeShawn Harris-Smith of PVI is another guy who I think is ready to step up and be the next big time prospect out of the WCAC powerhouse. While they return Trevor KeelsTrevorKeels6'4" | SGPaul VI | 2021State#18NationVA, Dug McDaniel, Tyler ColemanTylerColeman6'6" | PFPaul VI | 2021StateVA and Christian MayChristianMay6'4" | SFBishop O'Connell | 2022StateVA, Harris-Smith got better throughout the season and he does things without the ball that make a big impact. He can guard multiple positions, he rebounds well for his position and he competes on both ends of the floor. With continued improvement, he’s going to be a guy to watch moving forward.