As most of our followers know, we have always developed top player lists in each division from 2nd-8th grades. In terms of the youngest divisions (2nd-5th), in most cases, the kids who are ranked among the top of the lists are those kids who tend to be highly skilled guards with excellent ball handling and scoring ability. Quite often, the bigger kids are slower to develop; consequently, they tend to get little early attention. In addition, there always seem to be raw and athletic kids who have not yet received a lot of skill training and/or quality coaching, but continue to develop and rise up the rankings over time.
In terms of Ohio’s class of 2032, we have identified 6 players who we believe will continue to grow and develop over the next several years, and will move up in the rankings moving forward. Case in point, Abreille Taylor (5’2″/C/2032/Euclid) is big, rebounds well, has a soft touch around the rim and runs the floor well; all attributes necessary to not only move up in the rankings, but to play at a high level down the road. Will Harding (4’11″/WF/2032/Northmont) is long, athletic and skilled. Because of his size he’s forced to play in the high post, but we see his natural position more on the wing. This season, with a new starting role, Harding is starting to play really well, while demonstrating good upside potential.
So far this season, we’ve seen a lot more of Lakye Berry (4’9″/WF/2032/Cincinnati) than last year, and so far, we like what we see. Although Berry is still a little raw right now, he has shown flashes of greatness. Blessed with good length and athleticism, Berry’s scoring production is up this year. With a stable team situation and continued growth and skill development, Berry has a chance to not only break the top ten, but stake claim as one of the best players in his class in Ohio. We have to be honest, we have seen very little of Cincinnati’s Geno Land (5’0″/PF/2032/Cincinnati). With that being said, from what we have seen, Land has significant upside potential. Land is long, lanky and has the type of frame that suggests has a lot of room for growth. Land has a chance to be one of the top kids in the state if he continues to grow and develop.
Maxwell Ratica (5’1″/PF/2032/Cincinnati) is a big kid, who can rebound, dribble, pass and score. Although he plays in the post right now, there is every reason to believe he may be able to transition to the wing with continued development. We’ve seen Ratica on several occasions the last 2 years and it’s clear that he continues to get better. As we speak, Aiden Williams (5’2″/C/2032/Columbus) is the biggest kid in his class in Ohio. In addition, despite his appearance, Williams is the youngest kid on his team and the youngest kids profiled above. The best part of William’s game right now is his physical play, the bone crushing screens he sets on opponents, and his ability to rebound. Williams also moves his feet well and has demonstrated the ability to guard small players. As William’s ability to finish around the basket improves, he has a chance to be really good. Finally, it helps that he’s projected to grow to 6’9″-6’10”!
Time will tell where any of the ranked players will end up, as their continued success will depend on a number of factors including growth, work ethic, attitude, skill development and how they are managed by coaches and parents. In any case, we intend to continue to track their progress.