Frosh/Soph Elite 75 - Best of the 2026 Bigs

Dylan Thayer | Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Frosh/Soph Elite 75 - Best of the 2026 Bigs

The Frosh/Soph Elite 75 Showcase returned in style this past weekend as both the Massachusetts event in Hanover, and the Connecticut event in Hamden sold out. It was the first time that we ran this event since the pandemic hit in 2020, and things picked back up right where we left off. New England basketball is in good hands with the group of underclassmen we got a chance to see this weekend.

To start our write-ups on the standouts we witnessed, let’s take a look at the best big men the class of 2026 has to offer. 

Making the trip up from the New York City area with some others from the New Heights Lightning, Caleb Ourigou was one of the best long-term prospects of the weekend. The big has a natural feel for the game and runs the court very well for his size. He holds strong box outs, rips boards off the glass, and can start the break quickly off a rebound. His offensive game is that of a traditional big, but looks the part of one that can expand with flashes of stretching potential. Ourigou was the best rim protector in the gym, sending shots flying out of bounds, creating a major disturbance for slashing offensive players and making them wary of entering the paint. In just the past few days, it was announced that he would be transferring to Lawrence Woodmere Academy in Long Island.

New England has been familiar with BABC and Newman School big Collins Chidera Onyejiaka for a bit of time now, but he has been developing at a rapid pace. His game has begun to look more polished in the post as he has improved upon the use of his hands and frame to get to the rim. Collins makes waves around the gym with his strong flushes of dunks and shot blocking prowess, swatting shot attempts away in bunches. It's no surprise that Onyejiaka has already attracted significant attention from Division 1 programs. Coaches and scouts have recognized his immense potential and the impact he can have on the court. His remarkable journey to this point in his basketball career has not gone unnoticed, and he is poised to continue making headlines in the years to come.

The Nobles big man duo of Coley Mark and Zach Baum both stood out amongst the competition this weekend, and are set to give opponents headaches this upcoming season.

A non-reclass 2026, Mark was a major factor on the Expressions 15U EYBL team as a stretch big man this past season, converting from three-point range at a 36% clip. Mark's ability to create scoring opportunities from different spots on the floor makes him a versatile and valuable asset to any team. The big man also possesses exceptional hands and footwork, executing post moves for the shots he seeks out around the basket. As he continues to develop and refine his skills, he is undoubtedly a player to watch in New England’s 2026 class.

Baum has been garnering attention for his combination of size, scoring touch around the basket, and ability to hurt opponents out of PnR sets. He has the looks of a developing shot from long-range, and has strong rebounding instincts relocating to the right spots to clean the glass. His impressive 55% shooting from the field at the 15U level of the UAA circuit shows his efficiency as a scorer and reflects his ability to make the most of his scoring opportunities. 

Spencer Booth has gone a bit under-the-radar up to this point playing for Scarborough High School up in Maine, but that changed this weekend when he showed up for Frosh/Soph. It’s not often that you find a 6’9” big playing in the Maine Principals Association, but Booth has familial ties that New England basketball heads know all too well. JP Estrella, a top 100 recruit in the class of 2023 happens to be his cousin offering schools another reason to want to bring the big in and aid in his development. Booth has solid skills and footwork in the post, and has been a force in the grassroots scene of Maine with Next Level Athletics. We don’t expect him to go unnoticed for much longer.

Last Fall CATS Academy’s Nelson Mboudjika arrived in the United States from Cameroon as a raw 6’ 9” talent, but has the makings to be a force for years to come. The big man ran the floor well and threw down some impressive dunks at Frosh/Soph, catching our attention as a very high upside big. His offensive game is still raw but has been steadily improving earning his way onto our top performers list.

Fresh off a 15U EYBL championship game appearance with the City Rocks, bigs Isiah Rose and Chad Cook both made their way to Frosh/Soph as recent transfers to the region.

Rose is a bruiser in the paint that offers good touch near the basket and has shown to be able to use both hands to finish shots off the glass. He has shown promise as a stretch big with a quick release from three that he can occasionally knock down, and he also rebounds the ball with strength, throwing his body in place to secure boards.

Cook continues the strong City Rocks-New Hampton connection transferring into the class of 2026. He is a bit undersized at the five spot but makes up for it with his bulky, strong frame. He shields off defenders using his body and finishes at/above the rim consistently. He has emerging stretch potential like his City Rocks running mate Rose. The combination of these two will be interesting to watch on the EYBL circuit and when they face off as NEPSAC foes for years to come. 

William Carty stands at an imposing 6’10” and is one to watch out of Watertown High School in the MIAA. Carty is a traditional big man that offers shot-blocking skill and controls the paint on the defensive end. He was efficient on the UA Rise circuit for the Bay State Jaguars 15U squad finishing with at 63% from the field. 

Stay tuned as we continue to go through the top underclassmen who showed out at New England’s prime showcase for underclassmen, The Frosh/Soph Elite 75.