2018 Stock Risers
Yesterday we examined five local products in the class of 2017 who raised their stock during the recent grassroots season. Now it is time to extend that lens to the class of 2018 in preparation for next week’s updated rankings.
Cormac Ryan, Milton Academy, Middlesex Magic – He made a significant jump during the high school season, climbing into New England’s top 10, and is poised to make yet another jump following the grassroots season. Ryan has evolved into a skilled big guard with a high basketball I.Q. In July, he even started to show that he was capable of taking over games when it mattered the most down the stretch.
Eric Ayala, Putnam Science Academy, We-R1 – New England fans weren’t at all surprised to see Ayala take on a co-starring role next to Trevon Duval this summer in leading We-R1 to the UAA championship. In fact, we saw him do the same thing at PSA last year. The skilled and smooth guard arrived in New England as a shot-maker but has transformed himself into a versatile, playmaking guard.
Ethan Wright, Newton North, New England Playaz – He went from a virtual unknown (to college coaches) to the high-major radar over the course of one grassroots season. Wright is skilled, smart and tough. He shoots it from deep, has some bounce at the rim and is a full year younger than most of the guys on this list with plenty more upside left to discover.
Dana Tate, St. Sebastian’s, Expressions Elite – He’s taken his game to new levels in the last year and his development was on full display this summer. A forward with a powerful build, Tate has dramatically enhanced his perimeter tool set to create a true mismatch problem. He can shake and overpower defenders off the dribble and is now making threes on a regular basis as well.
Akok Akok, Manchester West, Mass Rivals – He’s not nearly as far along in the development process as some of the other players on this list, and that’s part of what makes him so exciting. His game is still somewhat unpolished, but he started showing off his upside this summer with great length, quick bounce and touch out to the arc and has late bloomer written all over him.
Thomas Shaughnessy, Needham, Middlesex Magic – After being the focal point of the Magic’s 10th grade team for the spring, Shaughnessy stepped up and played an important role for the 11th graders in July. He’s as tough of a competitor as you’ll find and showed an ability to be a “big-shot-maker” in terms of being able to deliver big plays when the game was on the line.
Chuck Hannah, Northfield Mount Hermon, New England Playaz – Yes, he’s an undersized power forward, but he might have been the Playaz’ most important player this year and saw his recruitment jump to the Atlantic 10 level in the process. Hannah is ultra-efficient, very heady on both ends, equally tough and one of the best pound-for-pound rebounders in New England.
Tyler Burton, Marianapolis Prep, Mass Elite – Burton was a consistent standout for Mass Elite all spring and summer, including both the Super 16 Showcase and Stars of Tomorrow Camp. That all culminated with a trip to Las Vegas, as Mass Elite and the Mass Rivals collaborated in the prospect’s interests. Now, his best basketball is still in front of him as he looks to capitalize on his length and still evolving frame.
Sebastijan Skoko, Vermont Academy, Boston Warriors – If you didn’t see Skoko play last season at Roxbury Latin, you might not have recognized him this spring and summer. Once a stocky playmaker on the perimeter, Skoko dedicated himself to his conditioning and boasted a rock-solid physique and extra step of quickness this spring and summer as a result.
Christian Adams, Hillhouse, USAD – Hillhouse’s 2018 class has been widely anticipated in Connecticut since they first arrived in high school. For his part, Adams was a key contributor as a sophomore, but often asked to play in the frontcourt. This spring and summer, he got to show his stuff on the perimeter and he didn’t disappoint, landing his first D1 offer in the process.