Under-the-radar post players
It seems that every year there is scramble in the late signing period to find quality post players. Coaches are searching for that diamond in the rough that may have developed late and slipped through the cracks or isn't quite ready to be a major impact as a freshman, but could develop into a solid contributor. Teams that can rebound and score in the paint always have a great chance of going deep in the tournament. An important factor in predicting upside with these young big men is a combination of athleticism, attitude and work ethic.
The following post players are not ranked in the ESPNU 100, but will have an impact next year.
Maurice Walker (6-10, 270) | Grade: 92 | C Rank: 8
Toronto, Can./Brewster Academy (N.H.)
He is a Canadian transplant that has developed his game in the New England prep ranks. He is a space-eater that is a huge presence bumping and grinding in the paint. Although he is limited athletically and is better suited for a team that likes to play in the half court, his combination of size and soft hands will be in high demand during the late signing period.
Enes Kanter (6-foot-9, 240 pounds)
Grade: 92 | C Rank: 21
Zurich, Switz./Stoneridge Prep (Calif.)
The well-traveled center is considered one of the top European talents in his age group and could easily end up in the ESPNU 100 when all is said and done. Although he gave a verbal commitment to Washington and there have been some questions about his amateur status, he is continuing to evaluate his options. The face-up power forward/center has a tremendous skill set for his size, he can score down low in the trenches and should be a great late sign for an elite program.
Gorgui Sy Dieng (6-9, 220)
Grade: 91 | C Rank: 14
Dakar, Senegal/Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
He is athletic with good feet and his defense is ahead of his offense. The big fella' from Senegal is a shot-blocker with improving low post skills that has seen his recruitment pick up in the late signing period and could be a steal for a high-major program in the late signing period.
Juvonte Reddic (6-9, 215) | Grade: 90 | C Rank: 20
Winston-Salem, N.C./Quality Education, College: VCU
He is one of the most athletic posts available in the late signing period. He is still very raw on the offensive end, but could be an impact player in an up-tempo system.
Kadeem Jack (6-8, 210) | Grade: 90 | PF Rank: 42
His stock has been on a steady rise the entire season. Jack has consistently produced against outstanding competition with an improving offensive game. The athletic power forward brings energy to the floor and is an active defender and rebounder. With his ability to get out and run the floor he would excel in an up-tempo system. With both Big East jobs open in the New York metro area it is a good bet that he will be a high priority in the late signing period.
Brice Kofane (6-8, 200) | Grade: 90 | PF Rank: 45
Albany, N.Y./The Miller School (Va.)
He is a high-energy guy that also gets it done in the classroom at a high level. The athletic 4-man does most of his damage in transition or in the paint, but is developing a face-up game where he can put it on the floor or knock down the 12- to 15-foot jumper. Kofane also is an excellent student (Ivy League level) whose stock could rise in the late signing period as teams scramble to fill out their roster becuase he would be low maintenance academically for a team that may have potential APR (Academic Performance Rating) problems.
Jason Carter (6-8, 225) | Grade: 90 | PF Rank: 51
Houston/Christian Life Center Academy
His motor runs none stop and he is a consistent-effort guy that runs the floor hard in transition. He is an aggressive low-post presence that demands the ball and has developed a disposition to dominate. This kid is a monster on the boards and is extremely difficult to keep off the offensive glass. He has improved his face-up game and has become a tough inside-out matchup for opponents. He would be a steal for a Missouri Valley program, but will most like end up in a BCS conference.
Mike LaPlante has spent nearly 20 years coaching college basketball. Most recently, he was the head coach at Jacksonville State University.
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