by: Ethan Reece

2026 Bakari Watkins (Wildcats Elite)

As the trend continues to 5-out ball, Bakari will be one of a rare breed in big guys truly operating in the post. He knows how to use his size and find good positioning to be fed, and makes quick moves without ever seeming rushed. His over the shoulder touch is automatic and he’s able to draw a lot of attention with the ability and willingness to kick out to shooters. He provides the kind of gamechanging presence that helps you build an offense and shape the system you work everything around, which is etremely exciting for a high school coach to have in a freshman.

2026 Marcus Green (WCBA)

You don’t find many guys like Marcus these days who stamp their presence on the defensive end first. He’s a true team player that acts as the glue guy for a lot of what they do. Smart, tough and willing to play any position with a knack for finding the right plays at the right times. He leads with a calm competitiveness and vocally directs on the defensive end. Points are a surplus in his regard, and he’s the kind of guy you’d take 10 of on your team and be happy as a coach.

2025 Jahiem Hall (Next Level SC)

The package isn’t tied up in a nice bow ready to gift yet, but all the contents are there to fill the box: athleticism, take off speed, quick hands. The flashes Jahiem has shown can really turn into a consistent force to be reckoned with when dialed the right way. He can jump from most anywhere in the lane and make it a close shot to finish at the rim, block shots, and make moves with his coordination that could prove to be unstoppable. He fits the physical brand of basketball SC tends to bring.

2025 Ty Sanders (Riptide 2024)

With only getting to see posts on twitter to follow certain HS teams’ seasons, the progression I saw in Ty’s game is quite remarkable. He’s taken his smooth tactical game and added an extra dimension with improved explosiveness getting downhill. He’s stronger rising up and finishing instead of relying on hitting tough pullups, but is also more than comfortable knocking down shots with a hand is his face. There’s a lot to take advantage of with his scoring prowess and polish, safe to say his stock should be on the rise this spring/summer.

2024 Javier Ortiz (Wildcats Elite)

From where I’ve first seen him to today, Javier has drastically improved and expanded his roles. He’s grown from a defensive piece that provided energy into a leader on the court with capable playmaking abilities that are starting to be relied on more and more. His overall tone and maturity is well set and he’s still capable of making the big sparkplug plays without getting caught up in the moment and moves on to the next play like it’s a business. Expect him to start establishing his name more in this 2024 class.

2027 Lathan Pruitt (Carolina Impact)

We’ll start to see a lot more of the 2027 class this season and Lathan is a guy who already caught my eye this winter and backed it up again today. He’s a balanced downhill specialist with good control of the ball when making moves, especially with his go-to wrap around blow by. He’s already made a living off that move for easy lays and still has 4 years of high school to burn guys who reach in. He’s got good feel to make the drives at the right time and already a good build to step in and impact things as a freshman next year at Oak Grove.

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