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Best of the South: Unearthed Gems
by Andrew Force, Future150 (12:34 AM CT, Sun July 12, 2015)
Wilson outworks the competition
Wilson outworks the competition
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

Suwanee, GA (Future150) -- Unknown prospects usually pop up in April, but this July has already introduced several surefire D1 players. 

Saturday, the Best of the South (#BOTS) revealed some sparkling prospects.

Ahmad Price, 2018 G, Travelers 16u: Price is a shooter with slashing abilities.  He probably will play shooting guard at the next level.  His strength is an asset.  For the 16u squad Price is still feeling his way.  In the future he will be a consistent scorer.

Cole VonHandorf, 2017 SG, Travelers 16u: Cole has name recognition in Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio, but this month the combo guard is exploding into regional star.  Do not misjudge this undersized shooter.  He can run the point well enough to play college as a floor leader.  

His whirling dervishes in the lane are awe-inspiring.  Cole needs better straight-line speed.  He gets off the floor well enough to shoot over most guards, at 16u level.  He will have to continue to develop his elevation to be the best scorer he can be beyond high school.  

Matt Wilson, 2016 PF, Travelers 17u: Braxton Beverly is the known commodity for the Travelers, but numerous colleges could benefit from the exceptional grit and power of Matt Wilson.  

Wilson bangs into anybody and competes like Mark Madsen of Stanford fame.  His hunger is contagious and the mild-mannered Kentucky teammates feed of his energy.  Wilson took it right at the 7-foot-0 Raekwon Long.  

In fact, Wilson denied Long a dunk with a ferocious block.

Justin Hopkins, 2016 SG, Alabama Challenge 17u: It took coaches awhile to get into Alabama, but now they are more aware of the rugged physicality of elite defender Justin Hopkins.  

Hop plays for J.O. Johnson High School with John Petty.  Several analysts see Petty as the more long-term prospect, but Hopkins produces today.  Right now you know what you are getting from Hopkins.  Every single minute is a war with Justin.  He plays like a young Ron Artest.

Hopkins has new interest from Mercer.  He took an unofficial to Samford in June and hears from Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Tech regularly.  Also, University of Arkansas-Little Rock is on him.

Louis Benjai, 2017 PF, Florida Elite: The Florida Elite team is so tall.  They are blessed with four post players over 6'7".  Chol Marial is the long-range star, but Benjai and Abule Abadi both should play college ball.

Benjai blocks everything in sight.  He is capable and eager enough to block three shots on one possession.  

Logan Hill, 2017 SF, All-Ohio Red 16u: Hill is an interesting player.  He has the ruggedness needed of a power forward, but darts around guards too.  His versatility suggests he will play shooting guard or small forward.

Hill rebounds well for his position and springs for blocks.  His quickness of the floor is great, considering his size.

B.J. Duling, 2017 SF, All-Ohio Red 16u: Duling is not completely known, but the fact he had one D1 offer a month ago is ridiculous. 

Duling has more athleticism than Marc Loving (Ohio State) did at the same point.  He slashes with uncommon speed and agility.  He attacks the offensive glass really well and finishes above the trees.

Kenyon Buffen, 2018 SF, North GA Elite: No player with less hype delivered more than Buffen.  The lanky wing is putting on muscle and boy, can he go.  Buffen defended the Gateway Basketball Club (MO) point guard and still ripped him twice in succession.  Buffen has long arms at 6'5", but gets low and defends with honor. 

If the defensive commitment Buffen shows is accompanied by a little outside shooting, then his ceiling is a awfully high.  Later in the same game Buffen capably shut down the opposing center.  To find a high school freshman that can legitimately defend the 1-5 is rare.  

There can not be any freshmen forwards who slide their feet better than Kenyon Buffen.

Steals and blocks were common.  And following these turnovers Buffen quickly started the break.  He can glide up the floor and change direction on a dime. 


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