Posted On: 01/21/21 11:17 PM
We are already halfway through this high school basketball season, and it is the perfect time to do some inventory and reflect on the season so far. In this first midseason update, we will look at the 2023 class and who has stood out to me on film through 7 weeks.
Barnett does not shy away from the physical side of the game. When he decides to attack the rim, he doesn’t let anything deter his momentum forward. He goes right into the chest of whoever is challenging his shot, and he hangs in the air longer than most players defending him. From the defender’s point of view, the challenging part of this scenario is even if strong, vertical defense is played, Tk has the ability to hang in the air, and adjust any part of his body needed to get the shot off. He had a few acrobatic finishes against Norfolk last week that required a fine touch. When engaged, he can be a terrific defender. There are moments when he blows up an offensive set entirely on his own by denying the ball, or blowing up a dribble handoff.
TK Barnett TK Barnett 5'9" | PG Bellevue East | 2023 State NE Bellevue East Barnett does not shy away from the physical side of the game. When he decides to attack the rim, he doesn’t let anything deter his momentum forward. He goes right into the chest of whoever is challenging his shot, and he hangs in the air longer than most players defending him. From the defender’s point of view, the challenging part of this scenario is even if strong, vertical defense is played, Tk has the ability to hang in the air, and adjust any part of his body needed to get the shot off. He had a few acrobatic finishes against Norfolk last week that required a fine touch. When engaged, he can be a terrific defender. There are moments when he blows up an offensive set entirely on his own by denying the ball, or blowing up a dribble handoff. Josiah Dotzler Josiah Dotzler 6'3" | CG Bellevue West | 2023 State NE Bellevue West There might not be a better situation in Nebraska than where Dotzler is right now. Being flanked by Chucky Hepburn Chucky Hepburn 6'1" | PG Bellevue West | 2021 State #77 Nation NE , Greg Brown Greg Brown 6'3" | SF Bellevue West | 2021 State NE , and Frankie Fidler Frankie Fidler 6'6" | SF Bellevue West | 2021 State NE certainly has its advantages, and the Bellevue West sophomore has made the most of it. He has made himself one of the best secondary scorers in the Metro, shooting 50% from the field, 47% from three, and 95% from the line so far. He doesn’t live out on the perimeter, though. His ball-handling talents and his quickness make him a dangerous slashing option. On several occasions, Dotzler has kept the offense humming when the shots aren’t falling for the main contributors. Tate Odvody Tate Odvody 6'4" | SF Omaha Westside | 2023 State #170 Nation NE Omaha Westside Odvody is scoring nearly 16 per game for the Warriors, while also averaging 6 rebounds per game. He has excellent footwork on offense, which can earn him some wide open looks near the rim when it looked like no such shot would materialize. He has yet to miss a free throw this year, and is excellent shooting off the catch. The most obvious weakness at this stage of his career is the ball-handling. He is not shy about attacking the basket off the bounce, or trying a behind-the-back dribble move, but it is not always successful. Dribbling off his own foot, or just losing the basketball in semi-traffic can be an issue at times. It also prevents him from generating his own offense consistently. At times, he is reliant on someone else getting the ball to him where he wants it, because he has difficulty getting to his spots via the dribble. Rylan Smith Rylan Smith 6'1" | PG Lincoln Southwest | 2023 State NE Lincoln Southwest Rylan Smith Rylan Smith 6'1" | PG Lincoln Southwest | 2023 State NE is the best defender of this group. It is a treat to watch him explode upwards to contest shots, often sending them into the stands. His block attempts are accurate, strong, but also intelligent. Players who have shot-blocking ability can often times get over eager and over confident in their attempts. When a player attempts a block they had no chance at, lots of times it leads to a rebound and putback because that player took themselves out of position to try and swat a ball they had no chance at. Rylan processes that information quickly and accurately responds to the given play. He has a slow, 2-shot motion from deep which will have to be worked out if he is to be a legitimate threat from outside, but he can have plenty of impact right now just bullying his way to the rim. Brennon Clemmons Jr. Brennon Clemmons Jr. 6'7" | PF Lincoln North Star | 2023 State #176 Nation NE Lincoln North Star Clemmons is quick off his feet, whether it’s to rip down a rebound or pummel a shot attempt. His significant length allows him to corral rebounds that seem out of reach for most other high school players at his position. He slides his feet well for his size, which is why he needs to stop bringing his arms down so often on his contests at the rim. His leaping ability and length should be enough to bother almost any player. From the games I have watched, this habit has not resulted in tons of fouls, but it is poor defensive technique which he does not need to rely on to disrupt the shot. He has 18 blocks in eight games played this season. Isaiah Jackson Omaha South The combo guard for the Packers is a tough guard in space. He handles the ball well and can throw is body side to side without losing balance or momentum. Whether it is the crossover or the spin-back, he sells each of his moves with his whole body. His shoulders, his head, and his lower half all sell the drive one way, before he plants and reverses direction without losing much energy in the process. He can be careless with the basketball at times, and I wonder if he might not have small hands. Some plays the ball just flies out of his hands for no obvious reason other than he couldn't maintain a grip. He shows flashes of some playmaking ability, but just as many times will telegraph the pass or throw it inaccurately. More consistency is needed in that department, but he will have plenty of minutes on this young Omaha South team to work out the kinks and learn on the fly.