2019 | Christian Brown | SF | Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy
Don’t get fooled by the stories surrounding Oak Hill. The names linked to the school carry as much weight as they can, yes. Easy to come up with a bunch of them. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Brandon Jennings, Rajon Rondo...keep ‘em coming, I guess. But Christian Brown doesn’t fall short of them, not even a little. Part of the Adidas Gauntlet full of talent packed-roster this past summer, Brown played 11 games for the Upward Stars and lit up the opposition left and right to the tune of 16.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and even 1.4 assists to round his average performance during the tourney. Oh, and he also hung 26 on Team Wall in front of the Honcho himself. Just in case he hadn’t noticed.
Just another four-plus star prospect, he remains one of the best-undecided players of the nation, and you can understand those doubts. When you have offers from colleges ranging from Clemson to Georgia to Florida, well, hesitation comes naturally. It is the NC State family though who seems to be leading the way to snatch the forward off Oak Hill. At 6-6 and 205 he may not be the most brute of forces coming into the paint, but if he’s got something, that’s the willingness to throw the rock down the rim with force if given the path to reach it. He’s a loaded gun throwing cuts toward the basket and complementing interior big-men, positions himself well to receive easy-to-convert passes and although he still lacks a proper shooting ability it looks like it will be just a matter of time before he improves that area of his game. Considering his abilities, you don’t have to think too hard to understand his move from Columbia to all-nation coveted Oak Hill program for his senior and last HS season this winter.
2019 | Avery Anderson III | SG | Justin (TX) Northwest
At the high school level, it ain’t rare to find whoever the best player of a team is leading his teammates on offense. Be it a big, small, bulky or skinny guy, if the kid’s game is above that of the rest, he’s probably going to get the reigns of the offense. Avery Anderson not only is the best all around baller of Northwest’s bunch, but he also happens to be the ultimate combo-guard. The dribble behind the back, the between-the-legs crossover, the hesi followed by a step-back and a three, the pull-up J, you name it. It seems like there is no end in the repertoire of the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder out of Justin.
Starting next season, Anderson will be part of an Oklahoma State team that will see him move states yet again (he was born in New Orleans, then moved to Justin, and now he’s going all the way up to Oklahoma) and join a program looking to make it back to the Madness after what looks like a down season in this one. Not long ago another kid named Marcus Smart was exploiting rivals on the Big 12 for the Cowboys. Next fall it will be Anderson’s time to do so. Coming with a slender-yet-ripped frame, Anderson already has an advanced on-court vision to spot open teammates with either bouncy passes or no-look ones. He’s able to score from every level and has no problem pulling the trigger from long spots, mostly while transitioning from defensive play. Playing for Drive Nation on Nike’s EYBL circuit this past summer, he helped his team reach the Peach Jam by putting up 7.8 points per, dishing 3.2 dimes and stealing 1.4 balls a game. Former NBA-great Jermaine O’Neal coached him back in the summer. Don’t rule out Anderson reaching such a level in just a few years time.
2019 | Donta Scott | SF | Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Charter
When Donta Scott visited the Terps facilities back in mid-September it wasn’t clear where he would end playing at D-I come next season. Trips to La Salle, Seton Hall and Temple followed. Cold world for those, the decision was already made and Scott was Maryland-bound, something he announced a little over a month later. No joke he is. During his junior campaign at Imhotep, the 6-6 forward averaged 11.5 points and was selected as part of the Class 4A First Team of the state of PA. He doubled-down on merits during the summer playing for his hometown Philly Pride of the UAA circuit for which he scored 13.5 points, gave 3.9 dimes and caught 6.5 boards per game.
Look no further than the last City of Palms Classic and you’ll see him fly to the rim, no ball in sight until all of a sudden it pops into the scene from an unexpected angle just for Scott to catch the alley and throw it down. And again, and again. And when you think you’ve seen it all, well, he shows the rest of the toolkit. Some smooth dribbles here, some treys there (he can lit up defenses from all three levels without much trouble), and oh, just in case it matters to you, a couple of big blocks on defense to spice the game up and drive rivals mad. Of course, his body allows him to get inside the paint and find places to put it in, same as he’s able to go with the casual catch-and-shoot from behind the arc. Tough as nails, he will miss this year’s McDonald All-American game but his name was thrown among the nominees to make it. If Scott can polish his shooting abilities just a little and become an all-distances sure-threat to keep them all honest, we may be talking about one of the most dominant, heavy-motored players at the collegiate level next.