Posted On: 12/28/20 2:05 PM

This week was full of great games that had lots of great players in them. I saw some exciting prospects and look forward to giving you my evaluations each and every Sunday throughout the season. It is time to recap this week and look at what our exciting prospects did. 

 

South Bend Adams @ Fort Wayne Carroll – 12/22/2020

Quentez ColumbusQuentezColumbus5'10" | PGSouth Bend Adams | 2021StateIN (South Bend Adams) (2021) – 5’10″ PG: Columbus is a smaller guard who uses his quickness to beat his opponents. He likes to push the ball at almost every chance that he gets. The majority of his offense comes around the rim as he got to the rim nearly every chance he wanted. His go-to move is with his left, and he has great body control around the rim to finish inside. Columbus has potential, and he is definitely worth a look for some Division 3 coaches that want a guard that can score around the rim.

Sidney JefferiesSidneyJefferies6'1" | SGSouth Bend Adams | 2021StateIN (South Bend Adams) (2021) – 6’1″ SG: Jefferies played very well in this game, but you wouldn’t have noticed it just from looking at the box score. He made a very big impact on the defensive end of the floor, playing excellent man defense on the Carroll guards. He drew multiple charges from Jackson to keep him in foul trouble for the entire second half. Jefferies is not going to be a player that is going to put up a ton of points, but he is a lockdown defender that could transform the defense of a Division three team. 

Lynn King (South Bend Adams) (2021) – 6’4″ SF: King was outstanding in this game, and he was probably the biggest reason that Adams held on to win. He was 5-7 from the three-point line for 15 points, and it seemed like every shot that he hit was at a crucial time for South Bend Adams. His shot isn’t the prettiest of shots as it is pretty flat, but he consistently hits it which is all that matters. If King can continue to score and shoot the ball at this level, Adams is going to be much tougher to beat this season.

Ryan PrestonRyanPreston6'2" | SGFort Wayne Carroll | 2021StateIN (Fort Wayne Carroll) (2021) – 6’2″ SG: Preston is a good two-guard who can make plays all over the court. He tallied 15 points in this game and was a perfect 2-2 from the outside and 3-3 from the free-throw line. He got to the rim and finished through contact, and he was perfect on the catch and shoot threes. He is also a good passer who can create for his teammates. On the defensive end, he drew a couple of charges and showed that he is not afraid to put his body on the line. Preston should be playing at Division 2 or 3 next season, and I believe he is one of the more overlooked prospects in the area.

Jalen JacksonJalenJackson6'2" | PGFort Wayne Carroll | 2022StateIN (Fort Wayne Carroll) (2022) – 5’11″ PG: Jackson is a smaller guard, but he plays with tons of aggressiveness and outworks his opponents. He was outstanding on the glass, skying over the bigs to grab 7 boards. He was also outstanding in the paint. He used his outstanding quickness to beat his defender to the hole and finish around the rim. This aggressiveness did get him into trouble at times as he picked up two charging fouls and was in foul trouble for the majority of the second half. Nonetheless, he played through it and played over 6 minutes in the fourth quarter without fouling. He is basketball smart and knows where he needs to be on the court. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that he should be playing NAIA ball in two years, and if he can grow an inch or two, he may be able to play at the Division 1 level.

Sam StryckerSamStrycker6'4" | PFFort Wayne Carroll | 2021StateIN (Fort Wayne Carroll) (2021) – 6’4″ PF: Strycker is a bigger player, but he doesn’t necessarily just play around the rim. He played mainly around the high-post area while also showing that he can bring the ball up the floor after a rebound and even knock down a triple late in the game. Despite his size, Strycker runs the floor extremely well and he can finish on the run as well as a guard. His go-to on the offensive end was a two dribble drive from the high post and a lay-up inside. Strycker finished with 10 points and 6 boards, and his presence on the inside will be huge for the success of Fort Wayne Carroll this season. Strycker should definitely be a target for some Division 3 coaches who want a non-traditional big man that can make plays on both ends of the floor.

 

Winchester @ New Castle – 12/23/2020

Wayde Sickels (Winchester) (2021) – 6’0″ PG: Sickels is a good point guard, and he showed that he can do almost everything for this Winchester team. He is very basketball smart, making the right play for both he and his teammates. Scoring the ball, he was 9-12 from the floor and 3-3 from distance. He showed that he has the ability to get to the hole, finish through contact, hit floaters in the lane, hit the three-ball, and basically do everything in his 28 point performance. He also tallied 7 assists, finding his teammates when the defense would collapse. Sickels will be playing at Olivet Nazarene next season, and if he can play as he did in this one, he is putting Winchester in a good position going into March.

Payton SparksPaytonSparks6'10" | CWinchester | 2021StateIN (Winchester) (2021) – 6’10″ C: Sparks is a big body inside, and he knows how to use his size to his advantage. With the smaller defenders on him, he was able to draw multiple fouls on both opposing big men early on. He showed off some nice post moves around the rim as his footwork has improved over the last year. Playing defense down low, he is an outstanding rim protector as he blocked three shots in this one. He still has plenty of room to improve in his game, and he is going to need to do that when he gets to Ball State. Nonetheless, Ball State is getting a very good player in Sparks.

Cole McDanielColeMcDaniel5'10" | PGNew Castle | 2021StateIN (New Castle) (2021) – 5’10″ SG: McDaniel is a smaller guard who uses his quickness to make plays. He can get to the rim and finish with either hand, but he will also pull up for the three-ball regularly. He does not lack confidence in his shot which can get him into trouble at times when they aren’t falling, but he hits more than he misses. He also is a pretty good passer who is always looking for his open teammates. Cole has to be the playmaker for the Trojans, but I think he will be more of an off-ball threat when playing at the Division 3 level next season. 

Trey Miller (New Castle) (2022) – 6’2″ SG: Miller was knocking down shots early and often for the Trojans in this one, but he went away in the second half. He tallied 13 points on 3-5 from the outside, and he hit all three of his shots off of the catch and shoot. New Castle needs a solid second scorer behind McDaniel, and Miller has the potential to do that. However, he is going to need to become much more aggressive with the ball if he is going to do this. It will be interesting to watch how this junior progresses into his senior year.