Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HS Basketball Class of 2016 Freshmen Watch List: Forwards & Centers!!!

Class of 2016: Power Forwards & Centers

Written by: Prospect-Central

Even though the 2012-13 high school basketball season is a long ways away, Prospect-Central has put together a "Freshmen Watch List" for some players that might make an immediate impact come the fall.  While there's no guarantee any of these players will live up to their high billing, it's safe to say more than a few should perform very well during their freshmen year of high school basketball.

There are ten players chosen and fifteen honorable mentions for point guards, shooting guards and small forwards.  Since "True" centers are so hard to come by, power forwards and centers are lumped into one position.  While the players are labeled a certain position, some of them will probably play different positions depending on what their high school team needs.  Many of these players are still growing, so that will change the position they play as well.

As always, there are many more players worth mentioning, but unfortunately there has to be some snubs.  While I'm not exactly sure if some of the ballers featured will play up to their potential or not, I do know the Class of 2016 is extremely talented, and by the time they graduate high school should be one of the better basketball classes from the past decade. Below are twenty-five freshmen power forwards & centers from the Class of 2016.  Names are in no particular order.  At the end of the article click for the other players on Prospect-Central's Class of 2016 Freshmen Watch List.

Click NAMES for Videos!!!

KHALEA TURNER pf/c / 6'9'' 240 / Marrero, LA
A consensus top 10 player from the Class of 2016, Khalea Turner is just beginning to scratch the surface as far as the type of player he can become.  Already possessing a man's body, Khalea has to be one of the most physically developed incoming freshmen in the country.  He knows just where his bread & butter is also, in the post.  Has a nice back to the basket game and can finish with either hand.  He can also step out and hit a 10-foot jump shot, but needs to become more consistent in that area of his game.  Khalea's a very good shot blocker and an excellent rebounder on both sides of the ball.  Displays above average athleticism for his size as well. He needs to be more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball, but clearly has all the makings of a big-time college recruit.  Plays his AAU ball for Dunk Dog Elite and last year as an 8th grader played varsity basketball for the nationally ranked Riverside Academy (Reserve, LA).  He's interested in Syracuse and Kentucky and definitely has the talent to play for those programs once he graduates high school.  While Khalea's been the most dominant player in his class the past two-years, there now appears to be some ballers catching up to him.  It should be interesting to see his game develop over the next four-years, because he has a chance to be a very special player.

MICHAEL CAGE, JR pf / 6'8'' 200 / Newport Beach, CA
In my opinion the 1984 NBA Draft has to be one of the greatest of all-time and the #14 overall pick that year was none other than Michael Cage, Sr.  Fast forward to the present day and his son Michael Cage, Jr is now beginning to embark on his own basketball career.  With his length, skill level and overall feel for the game, Cage, Jr. seems poised to make some serious noise in high school basketball over the next four years.  He runs the floor very well, has a nice back to the basket game and a decent mid-range jump shot.  He's extremely active on the boards and shows excellent timing when blocking shots.  His athleticism seems to be steadily improving as his body continues to get stronger.  He's been making a name for himself on the AAU circuit playing for one of the best teams on the west coast, Dream Vision, and he'll attend the national powerhouse Mater Dei for his freshman year.  As of right now his favorite colleges are UCLA, San Diego State and Kentucky.  Despite his early success Michael's a very humble kid with a steady head on his shoulders.  He's definitely one to watch.

EDRICE ADEBAYO pf / 6'8'' 215 / Belhaven, NC
While some of the players from the Class of 2016 are already big names, most of them are relatively unknown to the casual basketball fan.  Prospect-Central has been writing about the game of Edrice Adebayo for a year, and it now appears the hype was justified.  Edrice already has the size, strength and athleticism to make an immediate impact at the high school level and his skills are starting to catch up to his physical attributes as well.  While his offensive game is still a work in progress, he's starting to display a nice 15-foot jump shot and the ability to finish with either hand around the basket.  As of right now, rebounding and shot blocking are his forte.  Edrice uses his big body very well to box out and rebound outside his area.  His length and athleticism play key roles in his shot blocking abilities, but he needs to be careful of foul trouble, as he tends to be too aggressive at times.  Plays his AAU ball for the Karolina Diamonds as well as the 15U Boo Williams squad and he'll attend Northside High School (Jacksonville, NC) his freshman year.  Right now N.C. State appears to be recruiting him the hardest.  Wherever his basketball career takes him, I have no idea, but it's clear Edrice Adebayo has an unlimited amount of potential.
DEDRIC LAWSON pf / 6'8'' 210 / Memphis, TN
A power forward that can face-up and take his man off the dribble or stretch the floor with his jump shot is obviously a mismatch waiting to happen.  Dedric Lawson can do both.  Has nice handles for his size and his vision is quite impressive. More than capable shooter with range out to the perimeter, Dedric can really stroke it at times.  He needs to finish better around the rim, but hopefully that can come with practice. Defensively he does a nice job using his length to block or alter shots and he's also a very good rebouder, especially on the offensive glass.  While his game seems almost effortless at times, Dedric needs to play with a little more sense of urgency to truly take it to another level.  He's been playing with Team Penny on the AAU circuit, who of course is coached by Penny Hardaway.  His brother K.J. Lawson is a rising sophomore for Memphis East, but Dedric will supposedly play for Hamilton High School his freshman year.  Dedric has said he would love to play for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals one day. There's no question he has the skills to make that a reality.

THON MAKER pf/c / 7'0'' 200 / Metairie, LA
In my opinion there's no player in the Class of 2016 (and maybe all of high school for that matter) with as much potential as the 7-foot 15-year old Thon Maker.  The Sudanese native by way of Australia now resides in Louisiana and looks to have the makings of a BIG-TIME prospect.  Obviously Thon already has tremendous length (7'9'' wingspan), but it's his skill-set to size ratio that will eventually make college scouts and NBA gm's absolutely drool.  Thon has nice handles, range out to the arc, rebounds very well and is an excellent shot blocker.  There really isn't too much he can't do.  His athleticism is also very good and seems to be improving by the second.  Thon's future potential ultimately relies on the amount of weight he can add to his frame while still keeping his mobility.  If he's able to put on some muscle, there's no telling how good this young man can become.  He's been playing his AAU ball for Dunk Dog Elite as well as the 17U Jackson Tigers and recently had an excellent performance at the 2012 Nike EYBL.  Thon will play for Metairie Park Country Day School his freshman year and will no doubt become a professional basketball player one day.

DERON DAVIS pf/c / 6'8'' 220 / Aurora, CO
Another player that's physically developed beyond his years, Deron Davis is much more than just a big body.  The soon-to-be high school freshman is without question one of the top players in the Class of 2016 and has some nice skills to go along with his impressive size.  Deron can  score in the post with either hand, beat his man off the dribble, or face up and hit a 15-foot jump shot.  He can even knock down the 3-ball given time and space.  He also rebounds very well and is an excellent shot blocker.  Deron's athleticism has improved tremendously over the past year, as he's now finishing above the rim with authority.  Since he's constantly being double and tripled teamed, he needs to work on passing out of the post, but that shouldn't be too much of a concern.  Deron plays his AAU ball for the Colorado Hawks and should make an immediate impact as a high school freshman.  Indiana, Colorado and Arkansas have already offered and I'm sure there are many more scholarships to come.  With his size, skill and work ethic, I won't be surprised if Deron Davis is still considered one of the best players in his class by the time he graduates high school.

TREVOR STANBACK c / 6'10'' 210 / Santa Clarita, CA
Genes can be a wonderful thing, and I'm not talking about Levi's!!!  Trevor Stanback's father Harry was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 6th round of the 1981 NFL Draft and his brother Chance is a standout baller for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. By the looks of it, Trevor might be the next Stanback headed for athletic prominence.  He's a raw talent who has huge upside as his offensive game develops and he continues to get stronger. He might end up a legitimate 7-footer when it's all said and done as well. For the time being though, he runs the floor like a deer, has a nice set of hands and competes on the block.  He's also a decent shot blocker and appears to have a nice feel for the game.  He plays his AAU ball for the ridiculously talented California Basketball Club (formally Cali Styles) and he's supposedly deciding between Sierra Canyon and Chaminade High (West Hills, CA) as to which school to attend his freshman year.  If you enjoy following young, developing prospects in basketball, Trevor Stanback is definitely a player keep track of.

KASSOUM YAKWE pf / 6'8'' 200 / New York, NY
Like a lot of young ballers on Prospect-Central's 2012 Freshman Watch List, Kassoum Yakwe has been hooping in high school since the 8th grade.  Last year Yakwe played for one of the better teams in the country Our Savior New American (Centereach, NY) and at times displayed glimpses of his future potential.  While his offensive game is a work in progress, it's on the defensive side of the ball where he hangs his hat.  Shows excellent timing when blocking shots and is a good help-side defender.  Yakwe also runs the floor very well, has solid athleticism and can be very active on the boards.  As his offensive game develops, look for him to possibly become a big-time player from the Class of 2016.  He's been an intimidating force on the AAU circuit playing for Team Scan and he should contribute much more this year with Our Savior New American than he did as an 8th grader. While he's far from a finished product, Kassoum Yakwe appears to have a solid foundation to work with and could develop into a nice player down the road.  Below is a high school game between Our Savior New American vs. St. Joseph High School from March 2012.  St. Joseph are led by the #2 player in the Class of 2015 Karl Towns, Jr.  Karl is #44 in white and Yakwe is #32 in blue.

JOE HAMPTON pf / 6'6'' 225 / Silver Spring, MD
There aren't many players from the Class of 2016 with the combination of size and skill like Joe Hampton possesses.  He's a big-bodied 4-man with a large frame and nice feel for the game. Uses exceptional footwork and a soft touch around the rim to carve up defenses in the post.  The southpaw can also put the ball on the floor and has range out to about 19-feet.  Has decent lift despite his large build and is a pretty solid rebounder as well. If Joe's able to grow a couple more inches to have true power forward size, he'll more than likely have a very long and productive basketball career.  He's been tearing up the AAU circuit with the talented DC Assault and he'll play for the perennial powerhouse DeMatha Catholic his freshman year.  As of right now Joe Hampton is one of the best players in his class and a name that should be heard about quite often during the next four years of high school basketball.

RODNEY MILLER c / 6'10'' 220 / Queens, NY
Another incoming freshman who's potential is absolutely off the charts has to be 6-foot 10-inch Rodney Miller.  Definitely one of the nicer prospects from New York, Rodney's a long and mobile big man who runs the floor very well and finishes above the rim. Has good hands, a soft touch and a nice jump hook.  He needs to add some strength, which in turn will help his defense, but there's a lot to like about his game.  He's been making a name for himself on the AAU circuit with the New Rens, Riverside Hawks and the NJ Playaz Club, and he'll attend the prestigious St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, NJ) his freshman year.  Rodney's got a bright future and could end up being a big-time prospect from The Big Apple.  With that being said, I leave you with the words of none other than Grand Master Flash & Mobb Deep; "New York New York, big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain't always what it seems.  You might get fooled if you come from out of town, but Rodney Miller's from Queens and gets down!!!"

JUWAN DURHAM pf/c / 6'9'' 210 / West Tampa, FL
DAVION THOMAS pf / 6'7'' 200 / Columbus, GA
DEREK FUNDERBURK pf / 6'8'' 200 / Cleveland, OH
DEVIN YOUNG pf / 6'7'' 220 / Sacramento, CA
MAXWELL OMILLI c / 6'8'' 225 / Benton, AR
DERRICK DANIELS pf / 6'7'' 200 / Dayton, OH
RAEKWON LONG c / 6'11'' 240 / Fort Mill, SC
ALGEVON EICHELBERGER pf / 6'6'' 225 / Saginaw, MI
CAMERON DIGGS pf / 6'8'' 200 / Mobile, AL
CHRIS LEWIS pf / 6'7'' 200 / Atlanta, GA
SHAWN COLES c / 6'9'' 200 / Waterbury, CT
MONGO CORNETT pf/c / 6'7'' 225 / Klein, TX
RAY ROBINSON pf / 6'8'' 190 / Coconut Creek, FL
SAMUEL GREEN pf / 6'7'' 200 / Bowie, MD
CALEB SWANIGAN c / 6'8'' 260 / Dunfee, IN



  1. This is too early to be doing this the kids will turn into busts if they think they're this good right now and then people who you don't talk about will bust their buts and end up being 1st rounders

    1. Just a Freshmen Watch List. Not an NBA Draft scouting report. The intention is never to hype players this young, rather show readers the type of talent on the horizon. I respect your opinion however, and you are right to some degree. There are always new names emerging. That doesn't necessarily mean these players will be busts though. This was written almost a year ago, and for the most part all of them have been as good as advertised.

  2. WOW 7 ft 15 year old.