GRANVILLE, Ohio -- Taking in the action on Friday at the Denison team camp, we are going to break down some of the less heralded and newer prospects from the event. Let's take a look at which rising prospects stood out.
Jaden Woods (6’5 WF / Newark / 2020): Woods appeared to really be coming on strong for the Wildcats this summer after an impressive performance at Ohio Dominican in the Panthers' team camp earlier this month. He followed it up again on Friday by looking like the best player on the court for his team in a tough loss to Cincinnati St. Xavier.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Woods has a unique perimeter skill and IQ intersection that is hard to find. The senior is capable of initiating your transition offense on a grab and go where he can all the way to the rim, or shows the feel to regularly make the correct read pending the defense’s decision. There were a few quality passing reads operating out of the low post as well. Proving that he could continue to punish switches on smaller guards in the future. He also knocked down a spot up three.
I didn’t want to get too much into Woods’ offense because he really made his mark on this game as an off ball defender. The wing is a phenomenal off ball defender where he takes advantage of his IQ to create easy defense to offense transitions for his team. Coming away with a few steals and a charge, Woods made his impact felt on the defensive end of the floor. One of the steals came on a baseline drive from an opposing guard where Woods dropped down in help, gave the guard a little step like he was going to commit to the drive, only to drop back and steal the pass to the corner. The charge possession at the rim was impressive as well as Woods rotated from the weakside wing, showcasing his recovery speed in and out of rotations.
Woods was tremendous in this game against St. Xavier and looks to be poised for a great senior season. It’s important when coaches evaluate him to understand Newark has a ton of surrounding talent, so stats will not be overly impressive every night. Just make sure to hone in on him and watch how he impacts the game without needing the ball.
Gavin Foe (6’3 G / Johnstown / 2021): Foe was the starting lead guard as a sophomore for a very good Johnstown team last season. Now with Owen Hazelbaker moving on to West Liberty, Foe appears to be the go to guy that will carry the torch for the Johnnies.
Standing at 6-foot-3, I was very impressed with just how much Foe has improved his all around game. He is clearly more explosive as a leaper and off the bounce with a noticeable strength improvement especially in his lower body, as he occasionally attempted to finish above the rim in the open court. Along with showcasing an improved handle which will be another major factor in getting comfortable in his new role as Johnstown’s only initiator. Another factor that will play into that role is his jumpshot which I was not buying at all last year. It was a very high release, but took him way too long to get it off. Now the junior has a much smoother release that he can get off quickly off the bounce. While that did not always translate to makes, it was still encouraging to see.
Foe plays in a Johnstown system that emphasizes and specializes aggressive on ball and smart fundamentally sound off ball team defenders. That’s exactly what he is. Jumping driving lanes one pass away, which got him a quick steal and several great rotations.
Foe stood out on Friday as one of the biggest improvements out of any player I’ve seen in Central Ohio. He likes getting downhill and uses his strength to finish at the rim with exceptional body control. He definitely came out and established himself as a legitimate collegiate prospect, but I think the level will be determined by his shooting success with his new mechanics.
Justin Perry (6’4 WF / New Albany / 2022): This was my first time checking out the Eagles as a team since scouting high school basketball and I was pleasantly surprised by how many quality players they had on their roster. However, Perry definitely stood out as the prospect with the most collegiate appeal on Friday.
Standing at 6-foot-4, the sophomore is a pretty stiff mover and definitely will not blow you away with his athleticism. He can knock down shots at a high level though, both spotting up and pulling up where he used his budding handle to knock down a one dribble pull up working as a ball screen handler and another attacking a closeout. He also flashed some solid low usage passing where he would look to the weakside of the floor off the bounce.
Defensively, Perry’s size should make him pretty easy to mask at the high school level. He did come up with one steal on the ball, but was never really tasked with having to guard any guys who were a serious threat off the dribble in the game I saw him in.
Perry is definitely somebody that we will keep on our radar as a floor spacing wing with a solid IQ. He should be poised for a breakout season for a New Albany team that will be better than people expect.
Chris Benseler (6’3 WF / New Albany / 2020): Like Perry, Benseler was another standout for the Eagles that I really liked. They did not have their leading scorer from last season in Jayden Lewis, but based off what we saw from Benseler, we think he will have a great chance to factor into the starting rotation this winter.
Standing at a long 6-foot-3, Benseler simply played his butt off on Friday. His nonstop motor was in full effect on both ends of the court. Offensively he flashes quite a few passes that were very advanced for his age, showing a regular feel for the weakside of the floor along with finding open teammates out of post doubles and reading help defenders. The senior also was able to run the floor for easy baskets in transition along with flash some coordination as a transition handler and potentially attack spotting up in the future.
Defensively, Benseler moves well for his size which should allow him to guard lower usage players out on the perimeter. He probably has the length to guard some bigs in high school, but even though he plays a lot harder than his frame indicates he could run into trouble with a real big man.
I anticipate Benseler to have a strong senior season and become a key contributor for this New Albany squad.
Azzan Daniels (6’1 PG / Bishop Ready / 2021): Daniels burst out onto the scene at the Ohio State team camp and he did not disappoint by dazzling again in Ready’s win over Watkins Memorial.
Standing at 6-foot-1, the lightning quick lead guard has a flashy game in the open court where he utilizes that blazing speed in order to make flashy passes to his teammates. In the halfcourt, the junior works his best in high usage situations, where he can use that speed and creative handle changing directions in order to get into the lane at will.
Defensively, Daniels was phenomenal as well. Pestering the opposing team’s ball handlers with his quick hands and elite lateral speed. He came up with two steals off the ball as well. One coming off a ball denial one pass away and the second was a quick reaction reading pass like book defending in transition.
Daniels still has quite a few kinks to work out in his game. He needs to become a threat to score the ball from beyond 15 feet, along with continuing to work on his decision making. Make no mistake though, the talented lead guard is a very real collegiate prospect and should be one of the breakout players in all of Central Ohio this season.
Magnus Entenmann (6’7 PF / Upper Arlington / 2021): Entenmann had a solid game against Reynoldsburg on Friday, even though it didn’t translate to an overly productive game. I was very impressed with the junior's flashes of skill to go along with his work down low.
Standing at an insanely long 6-foot-7, the junior was quiet on the offensive end in this one. He had a putback at the rim, showing off a more explosive second jump then expected and a few other finishes. I was very impressed with how comfortable the forward looked on the perimeter though. Even attempting a three pointer often movement that looked really good but just went in and out.
Defensively, Entenmann was tasked in spurts of the game with guarding Reynoldsburg’s top returning prospect in senior wing Sean Moore. I was very impressed with multiple possessions where he was able to contain him in space. His length allows him more room for error since he’s not the fleetest of foot.
There’s no doubt Entenmann will have every opportunity to shine this year for the Golden Bears as he’s poised for a featured role. I’d like to see him continue to expand his range and hopefully make a consistent impact on the defensive end of the floor as a rim protector. I think he’s pretty capable of doing both. It's a slow cook for big man prospects and Entenmann could be one of those guys that completely blossoms as an upperclassman.
Drew Bryant (6’4 F / Dublin Scioto / 2020): In my second viewing of Scioto this spring, I once again came away impressed with their overall talent level, but Bryant stood out in particular.
Standing at 6-foot-4, Bryant has a quality frame and decent length. He mostly plays the role of a play finisher at the big spot for the Irish. He played that role to a tee finishing around the rim and through contact. He also showed off some handling ability on a spot up drive and a high post drive where he opened up and took his defender off the dribble with a quick first step. He also made a quality stationary pass to the weakside corner for an open look in the mid post. Defensively, Bryant has quick feet for a big and should translate well to him stepping out and defending in space.
While Bryant is an undersized big, he has a great body and switchability potential on the perimeter. I’d like to see those IQ and perimeter flashes come about more consistently and for him to improve off the ball as a defender, but this was a strong showing for the senior. Hopefully he can follow it up into the season for a Dublin Scioto team that is very well coached and has some solid talent.