CHARLESTON, WV. — We spent last Sunday in the gym on the campus of West Virginia State University for the West Virginia Top 150 event run by Big Shots and Court XIV. There were a lot of talented players in the gym among the classes of 2019-2024 and a variety of college level prospects that will play at various different levels of college. We were impressed by what some players from West Virginia and the surrounding areas brought to the table. As follows are some of the top players we saw throughout the day:
David Early – 2020 G – Logan (WV)
David had a strong summer on the Adidas circuit with the ITPS Wildcats, and its clear he’s been working on his game. He bullied defenders on his way to the hoop all day and scored with a variety of finishes around the bucket. Early has a good handle and isn’t afraid to let it fly. Quite simply, he is on the floor to get buckets. He holds offers from West Virginia, Marshall, Ohio, and Duquesne with many more schools showing interest.
Luke Johnson – 2023 SF – Ripley
Already standing around 6’7, the younger brother of Florida hooper Chase Johnson looks to be a nice prospect himself. He did not look out of place playing with some older prospects on Saturday and showed off his upside. Luke runs the floor well, has good hands, and is a great passer out of the high post. He looks to be a strong prospect for an 8th grader and we look forward to tracking him going forward.
Isaac McKneely – 2022 G – Poca (WV)
Same school, same game. McKneely has eerily similar game to current Davidson guard Luke Frampton, who also attended Poca. Isaac showed off a great shot with good form, hitting multiple 3s in both of the games he played. Coupled with a high IQ and the ability to handle the ball, Isaac has an advanced offensive game for his age. He looks to be one of the top 2022s in the state of West Virginia.
Jaidyn West – 2022 PG – Notre Dame (WV)
The younger brother of Marshall starting PG Jarrod West, Jaidyn is cut from the same cloth. He’s a high IQ lead guard that understands tempo and tries to control the flow of the game. He was effective in setting up teammates for easy looks and was great in ball screen action. If the defender went under the screen, he let it fly. Jaidyn is a tough freshman that is going to be a problem for the next 4 years as one of the state’s top 2022s.
Dwayne Richardson – 2022 PG – Woodrow Wilson (WV)
There always seems to be tough guards coming from Beckley and this freshman made a strong first impression. He got into the paint and scored, stole the ball repeatedly in the open floor, and kicked to shooters. We like what he did and look forward to seeing him again.
Jordan Nicely – 2019 SG – Hurricane (WV)
After a breakout junior season and a strong showing on the AAU circuit with West Virginia MPact, Jordan came into this event looking to score the ball and he did just that. He can shoot the ball from deep with a quick release and can put the ball on the floor to keep you honest. He is receiving interest from a variety of non-Division 1 schools and we feel like even more should be courting him soon.
Zyon Dobbs – 2019 PG – Fairmont Senior (WV)
The driving force for the top program in the state at the moment, Zyon Dobbs looked great on Sunday. He can get to the rim when he wants and posted up smaller guards for easy buckets. With a much improved jumpshot, he has become a threat to score from anywhere on the floor but can also make plays for his teammates. He has offers from IUPUI, North Carolina A+T, and Rider, but his recruitment is not where it will be. He is a strong low-to-mid-major prospect and one that coaches should see this winter.
Jalen Bridges – 2020 Wing – Fairmont Senior (WV)
Shortly after announcing he would take a post-grad year and reclassify to 2020, West Virginia became the most recent school to offer this under the radar wing. Coming off a breakout AAU season, Jalen did his thing at the WV Top 150. He is a great shooter from 3 with a quick release. He got to the rim from the wings on straight line drives and scored from the foul line and in. He is still tapping into his upside but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more high major schools come calling.
Kaden Metheny – 2020 PG – University (WV)
If there’s a player shaping up to have a monster season, it’s Kaden. A year after falling in the state semifinals, he will lead a good University team in an attempt to capture a state championship. He will go off a couple nights this season for eye popping numbers and will create for others on nights as well. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and has a great ability to penetrate the defense.
KJ McClurg – 2020 G – University (WV)
Another product of a really good University junior class, KJ is a great shooter from deep off the bounce or with the catch and shoot. He can handle the ball and create for others but excels at scoring the ball from deep. He will have an increased role for University this season and continue to prove himself as one of the best juniors in the state.
Chance Potter – 2019 G – Greater Beckley Christian (WV)
A strong guard with a great body, Chance created attacking the basket. He can absorb and finish through contact going to the hoop and hit the mid range jumper as well. He’s got a good handle and plays above the rim in transition where he can use his plus athleticism. If his jumpshot is going, he can really score the ball.
Michael Muambe – 2020 F – University (WV)
A skilled big man, Muambe showed off an improved faceup game, where he covered a lot of ground with 1 dribble moves to the basket for easy scores. He can score around the basket and blocks shots defensively. He is still developing but has a chance to be a good player.
Donovan Johnson – 2020 Wing Guard – Moon Township (PA)
One of the smoothest scorers in the gym, Donovan is starting to bring in some offers that reflect his skill level. Akron and George Washington are the latest schools to offer, and many mid-to-high major schools have been evaluating him. Donovan is a threat to make a jumper from anywhere on the floor and can post up players on the block where he scores with a variety of moves. He is one of the best players in the greater Pittsburgh Area this upcoming season.
Jordan Blythe 2022 PG – Frankfort (KY)
An elusive lead guard with a quick first step, and savvy ball control. He was a tough defensive assignment all camp the way he kept defenders off balance and used his vision to make plays. Jordan is a solid shooter from mid-range and shooting the 3 ball, but was a pretty consistent finisher at the rim. He consistently played with a lot of fire like he has something to prove.
Dontae Stringer 2022 SF – Huntington Prep (WV)
A highlight at the camp. This very long prospect has the makings of a very special HM player. The weight room is going to help him expand a great deal because he has a nice skill set already. One odd thing is his 3 ball has no rotation, but that doesn’t keep it from splashing at a very high rate. Defensively, his length bothered everyone he played against. He has the length to be a defensive stopper, but can do a little work on his motor on that side of the ball. I see him blossoming into a very highly coveted player in the next year.
Zach Loveday 2020 C – Gallia Academy (OH)
Played lights out at this event. He shot the ball at a very high consistency, and percentage all day. He wasn’t rushed or out of control at any point throughout the camp. He really showcased being able to score the ball at all 3 levels, finishing through contact and caught some poorly thrown lobs for dunks. I’d like to see him take the weight room a little more serious as he looks like against physical competition he might get pushed around some, but I couldn’t evaluate that at this camp because there was no one to challenge him in the post. Overall, he is a solid HM prospect.
Keondre DeShields 2023 5’7 G (Ben Franklin, PA)
An absolute scoring machine. He has PG skills, but is wired to put up numbers. There wasn’t one kid in camp that could check him at any time. I was mostly impressed with his confidence to pull up from anywhere on the court at any time. He played like he was the best player in the gym all day. This is one kid I am very anxious to keep up with, and monitor his development and growth. If the stars align, he could be very special.
William DeShields 2020 5’11 PG (Uniontown, PA)
The older brother of Keondre, is a very talented scorer as well. When you watch William play, you can tell quickly where his little brother gets it from. William, has a solid body and knows how to use his strength to get past defenders and create. His vision was good, and he has a nice pull up game to keep defenders honest. Playing with energy is one of my favorite things to see, and he played with good energy all day. He was very competitive every game on both ends of the floor.
Dillon Tingler 2024 5’5 SG (Hurricane Middle, WV)
Was on a squad with one of the camps top passers, and was recognized quickly for his ability to be a knock down shooter. If you let him get his feet set, or leave him open it was going in. He also has a solid handle, and when defenders ran him off the line he just played straight line off the bounce and finished at the rim.
Aiden Porter 2022 5’9 PG (Fairland, OH)
A solid player from the lead guard position. He has good handles, and a quick first step he uses to get to his spots on the floor off the bounce for shots or passes. Aiden showed he could take a bump and finish in traffic as well as stop and pop from mid-range. His 3 ball was consistent enough to keep opponents at bay, and give him space to make the right decision with the ball.
Eric Smith 2022 SF – Fairmont Senior (WV)
A raw prospect on the offensive side of the ball, but one of the hardest working kids at camp on the defensive side of the ball. He showed good timing on blocked shots, he has a nice second bounce, and made some nice outlet passes to get the break started. He runs the floor well, but his strong suit at this time is altering and blocking shots in the paint and rebounding. High energy player.
Sha-ron Young 2024 5’9 PG (Suncrest Middle, WV)
One of the many guards at this event stood out because he played very hard. He was a tough sticky defender that harassed the ball. He had good timing as he ran through several passing lanes and picked off several passes. He was particularly good in transition using his quickness and vision to finish or make plays that were finished by his teammates.
Garrison Kinser 2023 6’1 F (South Middle, WV)
Was impressive to watch do work from 15ft in. He was automatic in the paint, and has good footwork. He can handle the ball with both hands and push the break as well. He’s a lanky player that looks like he will grow a lot more as time passes, but right now he knows how to use the size he has to scrap for boards, get put backs, or find outlets on the break.
Jimma Gatwech – 2020 G – Huntington Prep (WV)
Gatwech was the most athletic prospect at the camp and has to be one of the most athletic guards in the country. A skinny, wiry guard that can slash and finish over people with his bounce. He shut the gym down a few times with some jaw dropping in game dunks. His skillset is coming along with the ball as he showed that he can take defenders off the dribble to create offense. Jimma is a decent shooter, but continuing to improve that part of his game, along with gaining body weight, will both help his basketball future.
Kok Yat – 2022 G – Huntington Prep (WV)
Kok is a wiry wing with good length and high pockets. Yat impressed us showing that he can score the ball in a variety of ways at all 3 levels. Nice handles for his size, good athleticism, and a deadly shot from 3. This young man has all the tools to play at the highest level. HM coaches will be all over him soon enough.
Akot Aguer – 2020 C – Huntington Prep (WV)
Aguer is a lengthy big man that runs the floor well and has good footwork in the post. The big man did his best blocking and altering any shots that were in his area. Akot was a man on the boards at camp on both ends of the floor. What was most impressive about Aguer was his ability to make shots with nice touch offensively. He showed us a variety of post moves and made a few jump shots that stretched the floor and kept the defense honest. Akot is still a project, but has really come a long way.
Jake Pate – 2024 4’10 PG (Shady Middle)
This kid was fearless at camp. One of the smaller participants size wise, but he went to work and did his thing. Pate is a super skilled young PG that we are looking forward to seeing his progression and how big he ends up getting. With skills beyond his years, Pate was knocking down 3 after 3, and dropping dimes for others. This young man has a knack for finishing in the paint around the trees and finishes great with his off hand. Defensively he was sticking to his man and causing problems with his quick hands. Was very impressed with this kids game and intensity.
Raphael Barcinas – 2023 5’0 PG (Mountaineer Middle)
Barcinas is small but extra quick with tight handles, and very crafty. He seems to get by his man on every possession, drawing defenders, and making a play. He has good lateral quickness and caused problems to multiple kids he was defending. The PG has a good skillset with an excellent jumper with range. We hope that he can gain a few inches, but regardless of size, the kid has ball game and will play ball somewhere at the next level.
Qasim Burger – 2023 5’10 PG (Huntington Middle)
Burger is a strong body PG that can bully his way to the bucket and finishes well when attacking the basket. He can mix it up with a good jump shot from 3 and a nice mid-range jumper off the dribble. He is tough to guard because his handles are so good to go along with his strength and quickness. The kid is an unselfish playmaker that makes winning plays. A promising prospect for the 2023 WV class.
Clayton Thomas – 2021 5’9 SG (Fairland OH)
There were several shooters at the camp, but nobody made it rain like Clayton Thomas did at camp. This kid is a lights out shooter with a quick release and needs no room to get his shot off. There isn’t a spot on the perimeter that makes him feel uncomfortable. Thomas knows how to use a good pump fake and then makes plays off the dribble. He isn’t just a shooter, he has good vision and showed it throughout the day with many assists.
Logan Threatt – 2021 6’2 G (Southpoint)
A good size guard that plays well with the ball in his hands. Showed the ability to knock down shots with distance and consistency. He has a good feel for the game and knows how to score the ball. Defensively, he showed that he can lock down and stop his man on the ball. He is a tough kid with good work ethic. If he can continue to improve his game then a D1 offer will come with the hard work.
Sammy McHale – 6’1 G
A young rising player that can shoot the ball well and has the ability to play at a high skill level. Has a knack for scoring the basketball. If McHale can get to be about 6’3-6’4 then he will have college attention from multiple Division II programs.
Zycheus Dobbs – 2024 PG
Younger brother of Zyon Dobbs. He dominated the competition at his age and showed us that he is beyond his peers with his skill level. Makes shots from all over. We look forward to continue to watching him because we think he will end up being a solid D1 prospect.