Yags’ Point Forward - 2019 Stock Risers
Earlier this week, Mike Yagmin profiled his biggest stock-risers in New England's class of 2018. In the second part of that series, here is a look at his biggest spring risers in the class of 2019.
Akok Akok, Mass Rivals/Putnam Science – Akok got caught up in PSA’s big man logjam during the prep season but he came out with something to prove this spring. Akok has established himself as a premier rim-protector (4 bpg) and an elite 3-point marksman (54.8%/23-42) in the national class of 2019. His advanced stats are off the charts and his prospect value is rising at the same rate. Akok has earned offers from Louisville, NC State and Virginia Tech in the process but still has a substantial amount of potential to tap into before he reaches his ceiling as a prospect.
Jaiden Delaire, CBC/Loomis Chaffee – Delaire has remained with CBC’s 16U squad in Under Armour Association play and it’s allowed him to gain an understanding of what it takes to become the focal point of a successful offense. The 6’8” wing has added some muscle, drastically improved his ball-handling skills, reached a higher level of consistent production and is on pace to become one of the region’s most sought after recruits. Yale recently offered and UConn has made it clear that New England recruits with Delaire’s talent will be priorities moving forward.
Ismael Massoud, PSA Cardinals/MacDuffie – There are stretches in games where Massoud looks like a top-20 player in the national class of 2019. There is zero hyperbole in that statement. Whether it was during the 2016 Elite 75 Frosh/Soph, during MacDuffie’s appearance at BasketBull this past season, or with PSA’s 16U squad, I can vividly recall a handful of those stretches. Massoud packs the skillset of an elite point guard into the frame of an elite wing (6’7” with a 6’11” wingspan) with the natural ability to average 20-8-8 over the course of a full NEPSAC season. His motor needs to improve along with his motivation to dominate on both ends and he genuinely has to embrace the responsibility that comes with being the best player on the floor at any given time. There’s no doubt in my mind that Massoud’s desire to be great is there. The coaching staffs at Xavier, Saint Louis, Rutgers and Wake Forest obviously see the same thing and hopped in the mix for Massoud’s future services this spring.
Brycen Goodine, BABC/St. Andrew’s – After a sensational sophomore season at St. Andrew’s, Goodine’s evolution into a high-major point guard is on the verge of becoming elite and I fully expect his prospect status to reflect that at some point in the near future. The ability has been apparent for the better part of a year now and the kid is a worker. The duo of Swider and Goodine are going to cause NEPSAC coaches to have a lot of sleepless nights in ’17-’18.
James Bouknight, NE Playaz/LaSalle Academy – Versatile and unselfish players like Bouknight have always been treasured assets in the game of basketball. His actions are efficient, his movements are filled with purpose and the outcomes he creates are overwhelmingly positive. Bouknight finished off his NYC high school season with 21 points in the second half to lead LaSalle Academy to the Catholic League Class B title. His momentum continued into the spring with the Playaz and he's been an important piece ever since.
Mitch Doherty, BABC/Worcester Academy – He’s undersized for a post player. He’s not gonna blow anybody away with his athleticism. He currently has zero D1 offers. Yet, I will almost guarantee another 3-5 wins to a mid-major team’s season total if they add Mitch Doherty to their program in 2019. Doherty is the best passing post player I’ve seen in a long time, consistently creating wide open looks for teammates out of positions on the floor that have essentially become “Dead Zones” in today’s game. He owns an uncanny ability to make the right play every time he touches the ball and isn’t afraid to put it on the deck when a defender disrespects him. Opponents hate him, teammates love him, he’s tough, he’s skilled, he makes the players around him better and he does everything to help his team win games. I watched Doherty dive for and gather a loose ball at half court in the second half of game that BABC was literally winning by 50 points and after he’d already racked up double-digit rebounds and assists. I value guys like that.
Also Rising: Noah Fernandes, Expressions/Tabor; Daniel Dade, NE Playaz/Woodstock; Enoch Cheeks, Expressions/Mt. Pleasant; Darion Jordan-Thomas, BABC/Proctor; Cairo McCrory, NE Playaz/Northwest Catholic; Byron Breland, CBC/Hillhouse; Noah Kamba, WrightWay Skills/Dexter.