Class 6 Playoff Preview Pt. 2 of 3
BY:Matt Reynolds

We continue our three-part playoff preview of Class 6 in Missouri.

Always Wright | 2022 | 6-3 | Combo | Joplin

Always is a shifty guard that can turn on the jets when he needs to with his elite speed. He does a great job of rocking defenders to sleep with his silky smooth handles and then blasting off, leaving his man in the dust. He is a great finisher around the rim and has a full bag of lay-up options. When he’s working off the dribble, defenses can not allow him to get in a rhythm, or defenders will find that out the hard way as Always will make them pay with a 3 ball. He is able to beat his man either by isolating him or running him off a ball screen. Wright’s shot is pretty, he has deep range and he gets it off quickly! Wright and once he hits one he can make them in bunches! I really like this Senior guard and believe he should be receiving more attention from college coaches than he currently is.

All Wright | 2024 | 6-2 | Combo | Joplin

The Wright Bros are a fun combo to watch. All plays an excellent overall game, often guarding the best player, scoring the ball effectively in the half-court, and creating transition points for his team in the open court. All is a skilled scorer that makes most of his buckets off the dribble. A true 3 level scorer, All can finish strong at the rim, and it’s easy to see that he has done a great job of developing his mid-range jumper as he confidently pulls up and knocks down pull-ups. He isn’t afraid to put it up from deep just like his older brother. All is a talented Sophomore that has the advantage of learning under a gifted older brother. I like that dynamic and think All will be an excellent recruit in the class of 2024.

 

Ahlante Askew | 2023 | 6-0 | Combo | Republic

The Junior combo guard has a serious game, and plays a style that will translate to the next level. He runs the show for Republic and has the ability to create for himself and others. His best attribute is his elusive quickness, at times he moves so fluidly that it looks like he’s gliding, and when he gets to his top gear, he zooms past defenders like they are stuck in slow motion. He uses his speed and tight handle to go wherever he wants on the floor. He also moves well without the ball and does a great job of setting up his man and using screens to free himself up. When he catches the ball on the perimeter he is an immediate threat from 3.  If they force him to drive it he is able to get into the mid-range and pull up on dime for a jumper. He is an efficient scorer but can also distribute the ball at a high level as well. Defensively he is solid, plays hard, and rebounds at an above-average level for a guard. Overall, I think he is a talented scorer who plays an unselfish brand of basketball and understands the game very well for a high school player.

Devon McMillin | 2022 | 6-2 | Guard/ Forward | Repbublic

He’s a hard nose guard/forward that plays with an aggressive mentality. He is mostly a straight-line driver who loves to beat his man off the rip and has the strength and athleticism to finish the play at the rim. He does a great job cleaning up the glass and can start the break himself. He is tremendous at moving without the ball and scores a ton of easy buckets off basket cuts and back screens. The cherry on top of his offensive skillset is his ability to move to the three point-like and stretch the defense with his shooting ability.

 Jack Fessenden | 2023 | 6-2 | Guard | Troy

Fessenden, is a pure shooter, that has been lights out this year from beyond the arch hitting 47 3pt FGs (2.14 per game). Fessenden has the type of release that every time he shoots the basketball you think it is going in. He moves exceptionally well off the ball and is skilled at coming off screens and relocating on the perimeter looking for kick outs. Though you can label Fessenden as just a shooter, he is more than that. With a above an average first step and athletic ability, he has shown that he can get by defenders to make a play for himself or others off the dribble as well.

 

Kellen Thames | 2022 | 6-6 | Guard | Pattonville

 The 6-6 Senior is an explosive scorer, averaging over 22.3ppg with 9 games this year where he has surpassed the 25pt mark. Thames makes it look easy with his silky-smooth game, he lights scoreboards everywhere he goes. Thames has several weapons in his offensive game, starting with his ability to get to the rim. A physical slasher with a high major frame, he is a force when he attacks the bucket off the bounce. He can shoot it when he needs to and, unlike most high school guards, has a low post game which he uses to bully smaller defenders on the block. Thames is a menace on defense, making it hard for his man to operate while forcing 3.6 steals per game. He also does a great job of cleaning up the glass. As a rugged rebounder, he averages 9 rebounds per game.

Cahmai Crosby | 2023 | 6-3 | Combo Guard | Park Hill South

Crosby has long arms, a strong build, and an explosive first step. His body type fits the mold of a college guard. He can play on and off of the ball and does a great job reading the defense and taking what they give him. He changes speeds well using his hesitation to freeze the defender’s feet, before blowing by them. He aggressively attacks the rim when he drives using his size and athleticism to carve through the defense. Crosby puts his basketball IQ on display whenever penetrates into the paint consistently choosing the right option of whether to score it himself or dish it out to an open teammate. He also does a great job rebounding, skying above the other players to rip down rebounds. Once the rebound is secured he loves to start the break himself using his speed to push the ball coast to coast. This puts pressure on the defense all game. Crosby is a guard that would be a great fit at a low to mid-major level and would be an absolute steal for a division II program.

 

JD Roberts | 2022 | 6-7 | Guard/Forward | Park Hill South

Roberts can affect the game in a multitude of ways. He has a good feel for the game and can be a facilitator for his team finding his open teammates and dropping dimes. Roberts is very skilled for his size, standing 6’7 he is able to pick and pop on the perimeter and knock down threes, is quick enough to put the ball on the floor to beat his defender, and has shown the toughness to finish through contact. He is willing to chase down rebounds and dive on the floor for loose balls, which as a former coach I love to see!! He needs to continue to get stronger and expand his game, but Roberts would still be a good pick and pop four-man in the right system.

 

Clayton Ernst | 2023 | 6-8 | Center | Jackson

Earnst is a big physical Center with soft hands that allow him to catch anything in his general area. Ernst runs the floor well and is an efficient scorer inside the paint where can he use his size, polished post moves, and strength to score. Defensively he effectively uses his wingspan and defensive timing to come up with big-time blocks and defensive rebounds for his team. As just a Junior Earnest is a big man to keep an eye on.

 

Nick Wasileweski | 2022 | 6-6 | Guard/Forward | Jackson

Wasileweski is an Explosive athlete with big-time bounce. He is a player that is capable of exploding up for a dunk any time he can find a clear spot to take off. Because of this athleticism, he is a serious lob threat. He’s the kid during time-outs that the head coach draws the alley-oop play up for. When he is not hammering home dunks he is slashing through defenses off the dribble.  He has a solid handle and can put it on the floor to get to the rim and finish contested twos. He is also capable of stepping out and knocking down there and for that reason is a pick and pop threat when he is playing out of ball screens.

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