Not to be outdone by their speedier, flashier guard counterparts, the big guys in the 14U division brought plenty of game and highlights to the Prep Hoops Next Heartland Kickoff. We take a look at some here:
Kendal Cutler, 6-2, Grind Family Chicago
Perhaps among the weekend’s most tantalizing young wings, you can just see the inherent skill and athleticism in how he gets around the floor, a devastating finisher in the open court, a beast on the boards at both ends, unstoppable when he catches it inside 4 feet, really defends both out on the perimeter or on the block, a tremendous young talent sure to be on radars for years to come.
Caden Piening, 6-2, F, All H.E.A.R.T
Matched up, on day one, with eventual champs Team Teague and their depth of size Piening stood out right from the get-go, agile, really good hands, efficient around the rim, solid and well-schooled post defender, really battled on the boards as well against a rotating group of Teague frontcourt talent.
Parker Lepla, 6-6, C, D Rice Elite
Really skilled already at the catch-and-finish in close to the basket, can step out to 15 feet and knock one down, terrific at keeping the ball up high before scoring or off the defensive glass starting the break, among the better shot-blockers over the weekend, cleans the boards because of excellent box-out position.
Quincy Twymon, 6-3, F, D Rice Elite (pictured above)
Among the most-complete forwards on hand in any age group, didn’t have a ton of glaring weaknesses – great hustle on the glass, soft shooting touch, advanced skills at the rim, guards three positions, potent coming off the break, range out past the arc – a fine-looking prospect with all kinds of upside.
Nsikan Usen, 6-4, C, D Rice Elite
Perhaps a bit more raw than his compadres but flowing with athletic ability and upside, long and rangy makes him an elite rim protector, good hands saw him finish well near the basket, cleaned the glass well, can easily see monster progression between now and his key recruiting years.
Ben Slagley, 6-2, C, D1 Indiana
Anyone who slept on Slagley paid for it, not necessarily All-“Off the Bus” material at first glance, but sneaky skill right at the cup and a nose for finishing, well drilled on the box-out made him one of the weekend’s best rebounders, showed clutch shot-making in their last-second win over Iowa Barnstormers.
Jace Scrofton, 6-4, F, Team Teague Kim
Prototypical stretch-4 with nice touch from the line, can put it on the floor to create space, guards well on the block, solid rebounder as well.