Breakout session: Juniors who could see their stock take off
Spring basketball is just around the corner and that means that we will soon see a lot of new names popping up in the junior class. As players get ready to hit the road in a month or so, we wanted to look at some guys such as shooting guard Joe Bamisile that could be seeing their stock soar in the near future.
Today, I look at 10 from the junior class (in alphabetical order) who currently rank outside of the national top 100 but are primed to get a surge in attention.
Why his stock could rise: He's got size, he's got a broadening skill set and he is playing with tons of confidence. Reviews on him all season have been good and he's coming off of a big performance at Basketball Without Borders. We should already have him ranked higher than his current spot of No. 115, but we'll fix that in the next rankings update. He's got a chance to be recruited at the highest level.
Why his stock could rise: Physically, Aku already looks like he's logged a season or two playing for a high major. He rebounds, he runs the floor and as he gets a little nastier he could turn into a menacing rim protector.
Why his stock could rise: There simply aren't many guards in the class of 2020 who are put together like Bamisile, and he's an explosive athlete to boot. He attacks quickly off the dribble, is a pretty good passer and has elite defensive potential to go with what he's capable of in the open floor.
Why his stock could rise: A powerfully built and tough point guard, Cook has been blowing up box scores in New Orleans this winter. He scores off the dribble, he keeps defenders honest with the jumper and he definitely doesn't play scared. If he goes out on the grassroots scene and gets buckets like he has his during junior year, things will really take off.
Why his stock could rise: This kid plays with confidence and hunger. He's really good scoring off the dribble, doesn't take plays off and just seems to get a little better each time out. There's a lot of room to move up the ranks of 2020's top point guards, and he looks ready to take a step forward.
Why his stock could rise: Hall is a big wing who can really shoot the ball from deep. Teams wanting to spread the ball and play small ball will also like that he could be a facilitating four man in that setting because of his size and ability to create with the dribble. He reminds me a bit of 2019's Elias King, who is headed to Mississippi State.
Why his stock could rise: This guy plays with some serious energy, has tremendous burst off the dribble and will make plays at and way above the rim. It's hard not to love his potential as a defender, and he's really been taking off in SoCal this winter.
Why his stock could rise: This one is a bit of a gut feeling. Meah is very much a work in progress, but I really liked the potential I saw during the winter. He's got tremendous size, long arms, doesn't foul a lot and protects the rim. The West is loaded with wings in 2020, but there is not a surplus of bigs, so he's going to get long looks from high-major programs this spring and summer.
Why his stock could rise: From what I've been able to see on film of Ruzhentsev, he's got very good wing size, is bouncy, shoots with some range and has little juice in his game. It's not going to be any kind of surprise to see him move into at least the top 100 pretty quickly this spring. It's just a matter of seeing him replicate what he does on film in person. He's entering the spring with a big buzz around him.
Why his stock could rise: Last summer, Shead's individual effort against Drive Nation at the Great American Shootout was one of the best I saw. This summer, the hard-nosed guard will play with Drive Nation and playing alongside top 5 guard R.J. Hampton, and he's going to have a lot of eyeballs watching him.