The game becomes much easier if a team has size. Offensively it can get you easy baskets close to the rim. On the defensive end, it makes it harder for the other team to score in half-court sets. With those things in mind, we look at those high school programs that will have formidable front courts this coming season.
Riverview Bell Creek Academy
6’6 SR Tahir Bibbs, 6’6 SR Elijah Payne
While both may look like they will be playing on the interior line for (insert your favorite college football team here), Bibbs and Payne have nibble feet, soft touch around the rim, and good passing instincts. Each can post up and score inside with either hand and both can step out on the perimeter and make shots. If either is doubled in the post, Bibbs and Payne know to look opposite and find open teammates. Defensively, they are physical without fouling and control their respective rebounding area. While maybe not great leapers and shot blockers, either can certainly change or alter shots near the basket.
6’7 JR Josh Lewis, 6’7 JR Kentrell Martin, 6’7 SO Joe Philon
It isn’t just their individual and collective size that makes this group special. Each of these guys has a versatile skill set. Lewis drew some raves on the EYBL 16U circuit with his ability to handle and shoot the basketball on the perimeter. He has range to the arc but will also drive and finish. Lewis is an active rebounder at both ends and shows excellent defensive potential. Martin is arguably the best ball-handler and passer of the three. He sees the court, makes the right reads, and delivers the ball on time and on target. His perimeter shot continues to improve but he has nice touch and footwork inside. Philon may be the best run/jump athlete of the group. He is fast up and down the floor in transition, gets rebounds out of his area, and can defend a multitude of positions.
Miami Christopher Columbus
6’9 JR Cameron Boozer, 6’7 SR Malik Abdullahi
Boozer is touted by some knowledgeable experts as the top prospect in high school regardless of class. A very good athlete with an absurdly and exceptionally high basketball IQ, Boozer can shoot over or drive by bigger players from the perimeter and simply overpower smaller defenders inside. He rebounds well in a crowd and is quick to outlet the ball to start the break. He blocks shots without fouling and he does a good job of switching on the perimeter and defending smaller players. Abdullahi, a Princeton signee, is a bundle of energy, gets off the court quickly for blocks and boards, makes the most of his opportunities in transition, lobs inside, or offensive rebounds, and can harass ball-handlers on the perimeter.
Coconut Creek North Broward Prep
6’8 SR Enrico Borio, 6’6 JR Pavle Djeric, 6’6 SR Raul Perez
Borio, a Jacksonville University signee, is highly effective inside the arc. He handles and passes the ball well, gets it quickly to cutters and open shooters, and scores effectively with either hand around the basket. Djeric shoots the ball very well from deep, rebounds his area, and plays hard on the defensive end. Perez plays bigger than his size. He scores around the basket, on drives, and cuts into the lane. He is also adept at getting offensive rebound baskets against taller opponents.
Orlando Oak Ridge
6’8 JR Amari Davis, 6’6 SR Tyler Davis, 6’9 SO Tim Winker
Both of the Davis’ (unrelated) are football players and bring that mentality to the hardwood. Amari is a bit more skilled and solidly built. He can step away and make plays, either by making shots or finding teammates for open looks. Tyler is long and bouncy, plays with great energy, and can guard multiple positions. Winkler has the highest ceiling of the group. He’s athletic, runs the floor, challenges shots, and is just scratching the service of what he can be.
Others of Note
Jay: 6’8 SR Matthew Skipper; 6’6 SR Mason Allen; 6’6 JR Brady Godwin
Lakeland Kathleen: 7’0 SR Isaiah Medina; 6’6 JR Jeremy Nixon
Lake Worth: 6’8 SR Jeremy Innocent; 6’6 SR Herdrens Bartelus
Palm Coast Matanzas: 6’8 SO Alex Davis; 6’6 FR Henry Robinson
Pembroke Pines Charter: 6’7 SR Jeremy Elyzee; 6’7 SR Josh Harris
Rockledge: 6’8 SR C.J. Kearns; 6’6 SR Ryan Blount; 6’8 JR Nik Turner
Weston Sagemont: 6’9 SR Kenneth Lopez; 6’6 SR Dominic Issa
The Villages Charter: 6’7 SO Chris Washington; 6’7 SO Shamani Weathers
Williston: 6’6 SR Javon Brown, 6’6 SR Kyler Lamb; 6’6 SO Izaiah Lewis-Thompson