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NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25

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NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#1 » by Hair Canada » Fri Jan 8, 2021 10:34 pm

Class of 2021 top-25:
https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=2035998


I quite like the talent level in this 2022 class. Right now, it seems to me to be deeper than that of 2021, with a couple of really interesting prospects.

If 2021 is the class of the lengthy wings (Houstan, Lestin, Biel, and the likes), together with a good number of short PGs (Nembhard, DaAveiro, Bascoe etc.), 2022 seems to be balancing it out with a shooting-guard-heavy list. About half of the players on my top-25 list are shooting guards, including 3 of my top-4.

As for my top-10, it’s interesting to note that only 3 of them played at the U16 FIBA Americas, where this age group competed – the top 2 and Miller. Two others who were there are Houstan and Nembhard, who reclassified to 2021. But overall, this makes it a list full of new names that are probably less familiar to most Canadian basketball fans. But as I said, it’s a field that I quite like and believe in.

Here’s my top-25 right now:

1. Shaedon Sharpe (17.5yo; 6’5 SG; 180lbs; London, ON)
2. Enoch Boakye (17.5yo; 6’10 C; 240lbs; Brampton, ON)
3. Wilguens Exacte Jr. (17.5yo; 6’5 SG; 200lbs; Montreal, QC)
4. Elijah Mahi (17.5yo; 6’6 SG; 185lbs; Durham, ON)
5. Majambu Mbikay (17.5yo; 6’8 SF; 190lbs; Chateauguay, QC)
6. Simon Hildebrandt (17.5yo; 6’9 SF; 220lbs; Winnipeg, MB)
7. Zaiden Cross (17yo; 6’6 SG; 170lbs; Scarborough, ON)
8. Jefferson Monegro (18yo; 6’4 PG; 170lbs; LaSalle, QC)
9. Noah Ngamba (17.5yo; 6’6 SG; 200lbs; Vaughan, ON)
10. Leonard Miller. (17yo; 6’7 SF; 180lbs; Thornhill, ON)
11. Nigel Hylton (17.5yo; 6’8 SF; 180lbs; Toronbto, ON)
12. Dylan Kalambay (17.5yo; 6’8 PF; 190lbs; Brampton, ON)
13. Jaden Clayton (18yo; 6’0 PG; 150lbs; Whitby, ON)
14. Josiah Davis (18yo; 6’3 SG; 18lbs; Kitchener, ON)
15. Louis Daoust (17.5yo; 6’6 SG; 190lbs; Montreal, QC)
16. DJ Jackson (17.5yo; 6’4 SG; 180lbs; Mississauga, ON)
17. Andrew Robinson (17.5yo; 6’6 SG; Brampton, ON)
18. Ben Ezeagu (17.5yo; 6’7 SF; 200lbs; Brampton, ON)
19. Victor Bonsu (17.5yo; 6’5 SG; 180lbs; Montreal, QC)
20. Jaheem Joseph (17.5yo; 6’4 SG; 185lbs; Gatineau, QC)
21. Keyonte Beals (17.5yo; 6’4 SG; Halifax, NS)
22. Jayden Webley (17yo; 6’9 C; 260lbs; Calgary, AB)
23. Kole Scott (17.5yo; 6’0 PG; 180lbs; Whitby, ON)
24. Milos Nenadic (17yo; 6’9 PF; 200lbs; Kitchener, ON)
25. Malik Montero-Francin (17.5yo; 6’4 PG; Montreal, QC)

Okay, I’ll cheat a little and make it 30:
26 Caelum Swanton-Rodger (17.5yo; 6’10 PF; Calgary, AB)
27. Cameron Harris (17.5yo; 6’5 SF; 210lbs; Missisauga, ON)
28. Jaden Kirkwood (17.5yo; 6’3 SG; Ottawa, ON)
29. Rory Stewart (17.5yo; 6’9 PF; 220lbs, ON)
30. Luke Hunger (18yo; 6’8 PF; 230lbs; Montreal, QC)



Let’s start with the top-2, who seem to be on a tier of their own right now and are more battle-tested against stronger competition than the others. and then I’ll move a bit down the list as time allows to guys who are more potential prospects at this point:

1. Shaedon Sharpe (17.5yo 6’5 SG; 180lbs; London, ON). Those of you who follow what I occasionally write here (all 3 of you) might remember that I was very high on Sharpe, even before the likes of NPH, and believed he was a special talent already two and a half years ago, when he was pretty much anonymous. Since then, others have jumped on the wagon, and for good reasons. When considering the combination of athleticism, skill, and natural talent, Sharpe might be the most talented Canadian kid in high school these days, though he’s not the one who I project that would get the furthest.

Sharpe is a very smooth, yet also explosive athlete, with good handles, a feathery jump shot, and a good basketball IQ. He had sort of a coming-out party a year and a half ago at the U16 FIBA Americas, where he led the championship in scoring efficiency (70% from the field) and showed excellent finishing abilities around the rim, with great hang time and a beautiful Euro Step. He plays unselfishly (sometimes to a fault) and has good vision and good shooting mechanics.

Despite all this goodness, there was also something quite frustrating about Sharpe until recently, precisely because the potential is so high. He didn’t initiate enough of his own offense and was often happy to feed off of others when playing with others at a high level. Also, when thinking of the highest level, he’s an explosive leaper, but not super quick for a guard (his natural position) and his first step is not that explosive, which makes it hard for him to blow by defenders considering that he also doesn’t have an elite handle. Can also stand to get stronger in order to absorb contact better (already not bad at that). Defensively, he also has a lot of room to grow with his natural tools, in terms of lockdown mentality, awareness, and effort.

It does seem though like Sharpe has recently picked up his game. He moved to play high school basketball in the US, and while last year his stats were very pedestrian (about 5 points a game), this year he transferred to a different program (Dream City Christian) and started strong, with around 25, 5 and 5 a game. He’s been attacking and initiating much more, and I hope that means he’s starting to unlock his potential. If so, we might expect him to reclass and join one of the elite colleges already in 2021.

2. Enoch Boakye (17.5yo; 6’10 C; 240lbs; Brampton, ON). For some, Boakye is the best Canadian prospect in this class, but I believe more in Sharpe. The recent Michigan State commit reminds me somewhat of another touted high school prospect, Simi Shittu. To be honest, I haven’t watched him much over the last year, beyond a couple of mixed tapes, so this evaluation might be somewhat off. But when I last saw him play entire games he quite reminded me of Simi, for better or worse.

Boakye has excellent size with a strong frame and, according to rumors, a 7’5 wingspan. He’s an excellent rebounder and plays with a lot of heart and hustle. Offensively, he’s not a very explosive player, but his size and force allow him to finish above the rim with ease and he doesn’t shy away from contact in the paint. He’s also quite fluid and has even shown flashes of being able to handle the ball a bit, though I think this is similar to what Simi was showing in high school and is unlikely to translate into any wing abilities. I’ve seen him take the ball coast to coast and finish with an emphatic dunk. But while these look very impressive, they can be somewhat of a fool’s gold, because unless he really improves his handle, there’s no way he can do this at the highest level without risking turning the ball over a lot. He also has nice defensive potential with his length, decent lateral movement, and good effort level.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#2 » by PrinceAli » Fri Jan 8, 2021 10:37 pm

I remember reading somewhere that Elijah Fisher could reclassify to this class too
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#3 » by bozothepope » Fri Jan 8, 2021 10:56 pm

Just wanted to chime in and let you know I always love these posts.

I've seen Sharpe play a bit and he's super explosive. Great dunker. Also saw he has some blue blood offers (Kentucky and Kansas). It'll be interesting to see where he goes.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#4 » by BigDocta898 » Fri Jan 8, 2021 11:15 pm

Sharpe is special his finishing ability is unreal and everything comes easy to him hes already a great shooter with great range combine that with his athleticism and you got a special player
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#5 » by Hair Canada » Sat Jan 9, 2021 6:40 am

PrinceAli wrote:I remember reading somewhere that Elijah Fisher could reclassify to this class too


I think there's a good chance this will happen eventually. But for now, he's 2023, so I write about him with that class. Also, there might actually be an advantage to staying in 2023. Right now it looks like the year in which the one-and-done rule is removed so that he'll be able to go directly from high school to the NBA if he wants to.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#6 » by Hair Canada » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:37 am

3. Wilguens Exacte Jr. (17.5yo; 6’5 SG; 200lbs; Montreal, QC). Here's a prospect that I’ve seen relatively little of playing competitive basketball. I’ve watched maybe two complete games (and came out very impressed), but online footage is quite scarce, as is often the case for QC prospects. Still, the talent and potential ceiling look too good to ignore.

Exacte is one of the more impressive prospects I’ve seen from a physical standpoint. At age 16 he already looked chiseled, with a strong, almost NBA-ready upper-body, excellent balance, and some explosive athleticism. He complements this with a smooth game. His handle is nice and he even played lead guard for stretches, though he is right-hand dominant and still needs to work on this aspect of his game. Perhaps most impressive, he has a great-looking pull-up jump shot, with nice form and mechanics, strong elevation, and pretty good precision in the games that I've watched. I also quite liked his motor and aggressive mentality when watching him, on both ends of the floor. Competes consistently, hunts for buckets or steals, but doesn’t hog the ball and shares it willingly.

I do think he’s still not as dominant as he could be (or at least was not when I last watched him). When he played with older aggressive players (there are plenty of these in QC), even though they were less talented, he seemed sometimes happy to let them take charge. Wouldn’t happen to someone like RJ Barrett. But hopefully, it’s just a matter of him taking some time to mature before claiming his own and it might also show a good ability to play without the ball in his hands and with fewer looks alongside other dominant players. This year, he followed in the footsteps of other Montrealers—Mathurin, O-Max, and Minott—and joined the NBA Latin American Academy.

4. Elijah Mahi (17.5yo; 6’6 SG; 185lbs; Durham, ON). I first noticed Mahi in the Biosteel Futures two years ago, where he showed some intriguing size and skill. Then, last year, he played alongside Kobe Elvis at Bill Crothers. And while Elvis drew most of the attention, Mahi was a very pleasant surprise and looked like an even better future prospect.

Mahi is kind of a late bloomer, who still seems to be growing into his body (I think he grew something like 4 inches over the last two years). So he’s not very strong right now and still looks like a young teenager. But from what I’ve seen, he’s already the best shooter in this class. He has a really nice stroke from 3 and shoots it with ease and precision. But he’s not just a shooter. He can actually score in a variety of ways and seems to be improving that aspect of his game every time I watch him. He’s a pretty good above-the-rim athlete. Not super explosive, but smooth and has good body control and leaping ability. The handle is also improving, though it still has some way to go for the SG position. When I last watched him, he still lacked a degree of confidence in his penetration and offensive initiation, and while he had a few strong games, he also disappeared a bit in others. But I think it’s just a matter of time before he breaks out. It might have happened this year if he could play, but instead would have to wait till next year.

I also see very good defensive potential here, as he’s an involved defender with good length and instincts. So with the premium on shooting in today’s basketball, I can see a bright future for him even if he doesn’t develop a stronger physical profile (which I think he eventually will). The key to fully unlocking his potential would be further improving his handle and confidence and of course maintaining and further building on his outside shooting strength.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#7 » by Hair Canada » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:29 am

5. Majambu Mbikay (17.5yo; 6’8 SF; 190lbs; Chateauguay, QC). Compared to the guys above, Mbikay is a much rawer prospect. It looks like he started playing relatively late (I don’t really know what his personal history is) and is still learning the game and what he can do in it. But he has great physical tools: good size and length, decent strength with a frame that can probably fill out nicely, and excellent athleticism, with good speed, nice bunnies, and long strides.

Mbikay played for TRC Prep in the OSBA last year and as the year progressed he flashed more and more potential. This year he transferred to Orangeville Prep and I like this move. In some respects, he reminds me of his predecessor at Orangeville, Mathew-Alexander Moncrieff. Maybe not as athletic and long as MAM (few are), but overall he has a similar physical profile. Like Moncrieff, Mbikay is great in transition and plays with great energy, but he’s limited in the half-court, as his dribble is a work in progress. But while he’s not a shooter right now, I think he has more potential to become a threat than non-shooter Moncrieff. Mbikay has a decent touch from the line and last year he already took a couple of threes with mixed results but a form that looked quite decent.

More than anything, I like the long-term upside here, with a strong motor on both ends of the floor, lots of hustle, and the physical tools to support it. The skillset is not very advanced, but he’s already a nice slasher and finisher in the paint and shows sparks of good feel for the game. Eventually, to really tap into his potential he’ll need to be able to develop a decent outside shot. I’m not at all convinced it will happen, but if it does, watch out.

6. Simon Hildebrandt (17.5yo; 6’9 SF; 220lbs; Winnipeg, MB). Okay, I’m going a bit on a limb here. The last time I watched Hildebrandt play entire games was two years ago, as a 6’6 15yo, playing for Team Winnipeg at the Canadian nationals. But I liked what I saw enough to take a chance on him here. Hildebrandt is a pretty good athlete, with good mobility and a decent handle. But what impressed me most about him is his soft shooting touch, which easily extends to beyond the three-point line. At his size, the shooting should be his calling card if it indeed translates to the next level. But he’s certainly not limited to that and is able to put the ball on the floor and finish with both hands, as well as use his size under the basket.

After playing in the West, this year Hildebrandt moved to play in Royal Crown Academy of the OSBA, a team that includes a couple of promising youngsters. I expect him to break out next year and start to draw some attention from high major colleges.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#8 » by Hair Canada » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:01 am

7. Zaiden Cross (17yo; 6’6 SG; 170lbs; Scarborough, ON). Cross is another late bloomer, who shot up in height considerably over the last two years (about 4 inches) and might still be growing. He reminds me a bit of AJ Lawson, both physically (they both have a wiry frame, though Lawson is a bit quicker and more explosive) and in terms of their game. Like Lawson at this age, Cross is a score-first guard, who’s hunting for his shots, with a knack for putting points on the board in a variety of ways. He’s a good shooter when his feet are set, but the form on the shot is still inconsistent. Looks like he still lacks some strength to shoot it from higher-up.

Like Lawson, Cross is a good athlete with good body control, who can contort for finishes and finish above the rim comfortably, though he's a bit less explosive than Lawson. He’s comfortable finishing with either hand, although he’s clearly right-handed. But, again like Lawson, he lacks strength, so he often avoids contact and his finishes under the basket can be a bit herky-jerky. Another similarity between the two is in the decision-making department, which is quite questionable. Cross lacks a degree of toughness, greater focus, and sharpness. He coughs the ball too often with careless passes, rushes shots, and doesn’t take his time to finish with good form, resulting in some bad misses. On defense, he can lock-in, but also often loses focus and reaches rather than sit in position and guard. He also loses his man off the ball and generally doesn’t always seem to play with intensity and a sense of urgency.

Hopefully, these are mainly teething problems, due to physical and mental immaturity rather than a lackadaisical character or insufficient feel for the game. He’s one of the younger players on this 2022 list, and it could be that the game still hasn’t slowed down for him. With that, the potential is certainly high. He already had multiple 30+ games over the last two years as a 15 and 16yo, playing for weaker teams in the OSBC and the NPA respectively. I’d like to see how he’s grown over the past year and would also be interested to see him play alongside better players.

8. Jefferson Monegro (18yo; 6’4 PG; 170lbs; LaSalle, QC). Another Montreal product who (yes, you guessed it right) played soccer until he figured out basketball was his game. Moved to play high school basketball in Ontario two years ago (another common theme among the QC players in recent years). First played for TRC Academy, alongside Mbikay, and this year they both moved to play for Tony McIntire at Orangeville.

Like Mbikay, the physical tools are impressive and you can see a lot of untapped potential in Monegro’s game. Last year he showed flashes, but mostly played a secondary role on the team, though he was already their starting PG. But watching him in some scrimmages this year, I think he might be ready for a breakout season that would turn some heads south of the border. Monegro has the complete package for a modern PG: good athleticism, speed, and strength; a decent and improving handle (still needs to get tighter); nice vision; the ability to get into the paint and finish with some craftiness; and also a decent looking shot. In addition, he's also a good and committed defender. The problem right now is that none of these looks elite to me right now (especially the outside shooting), which is the reason I’m not higher on him at this point. But I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised if he does make a jump in any of these areas because he also has no glaring weaknesses in his physical profile or skill.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#9 » by Hair Canada » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:51 am

9. Noah Ngamba (17.5yo; 6’5 SG; 200lbs; Vaughan, ON). Ngambe is a good example of the difference a year can make. I’ve always viewed him as a nice but limited prospect, someone who maxed out physically at an early age and can dominate his age group due to this early physical maturity, but would never make it beyond that. For a shooting guard, his natural position given his size, he just looked too heavy and seemed to lack speed and athleticism. When playing at Henry Carr of the OSBA last year, he was able to compensate for that with strength, length, and some craftiness, but it never seemed like it could translate well to the next level.

Then came COVID, and within half a year Ngamba shed 40 pounds (!) and completely transformed his body. And with that came improved mobility, speed, and a bounce that wasn’t there before. He became a powerful finisher above the rim off of two legs, now able to elevate and dunk over defenders. For me, it’s a good lesson in not writing off prospects at this age (I had a similar lesson in humility with Primo and Charles Bediako).

Ngamba reminds me physically of the Lakers Talen Horton Tacker. Short neck, very wide shoulders, and a lengthy wingspan. He’s obviously not as freakishly long as THT and also not as powerful, crafty, and agile. But he plays with a strong motor and high IQ on both ends of the floor, with good reads and crafty defense (puts up a good number of STOCKS). Offensively, he has some wiggle and can hang in the air and contort his body for good finishes around length. But this craftiness is mostly limited to his right-hand and he still often relies on his strength to finish in the paint, making him a bit predictable and easier to defend in traffic. He’s also more of a powerful than a fluid finisher. Needs to gather, and doesn’t usually explode off of one foot. Another player that he reminds me of, probably closer to his level than THT, is Ja’Shon Henry from Saskatchewan, who now plays college ball for Bradley. I think Ngamba is more talented and diverse, but we’ll see.

Outside shooting will probably be his swing skill. Right now, his mid-range shot is pretty good (strong burst off of two legs) but the perimeter shooting is not good enough. If he can’t improve that significantly, I think he’s a mid-major college prospect. But if he can add consistent shooting to his game he could be a really interesting prospect with his length, strength, newfound bounce and feel.

10. Leonard Miller (17yo; 6’8 SF; 180lbs; Thornhill, ON). One of the younger players on this list, whom I haven’t watched at all in a year and a half, so he’s mostly here based on some promise I’ve seen two seasons ago (okay, and a bit of family pedigree). Miller, the younger brother of Texas A&M Emmanuel, is a tall and lengthy wing prospect with good athleticism and a decent handle. He can also shoot a little, though his release when I last watched him was very low and he shoots it flat-footed. Given how erratic his shot was, he seemed very trigger happy, instead of utilizing his fairly good penetration. But it was an early stage (he was a 15yo) and he was still figuring out his body and strengths. Where I really saw good potential was on the defensive end of the floor. Like his brother, he’s a good and engaged defender with the ability to really contain guys (I remember him playing excellent defense against Elijah Fisher, despite being considerably weaker).

Miller played for the U16 Canadian team at the FIBA Americas two summers ago and now Plays in the US, at Wasatch Academy in Utah, where quite a few Canadians have played in recent years (including Emmanuel Akot and Josip Vrankic). He didn’t have a remarkable season in 2019-20 as a sophomore (4 points a game), but will likely play a bigger role as a high school junior. We’ll have to see how his body and skill develop. In terms of his physical profile and fit for the modern game, he certainly has a higher ceiling than some of the players who are higher on this list.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#10 » by Hair Canada » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:46 am

One last player for 2022:

11. Nigel Hylton (17.5yo; 6’8 SF; 180lbs; Toronto, ON). I’ll do one more shortly, because I think, again, the combination of physical profile and skill is intriguing. Hylton is a lengthy SF with some interesting guard skills. He’s got a good handle and also a nice shooting stroke. Can be quite deceptive when going to the basket, finishing with either hand and utilizing a nice Eurostep, mainly to his left. He’s quite skinny and not a high flyer (though he’s pretty agile), but quite crafty. Has shades of Dalano Baton in his body type and game, but not the PG skills and feel that Banton has. Hylton played in the US last year, but moved back to Canada this year, so unfortunately he’s not playing competitive basketball right now. We'll keep tabs.


That's it for 2022. Next I'll get to Elijah Fisher and 2023.
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Re: NEXT! Shaedon Sharpe and the class of 2022, top-25 

Post#11 » by Hair Canada » Yesterday 5:14 pm

The Rivals ranking for 2022 just bumped Sharpe 70 spots (!) up, from 90 to 20, and now say he's a 5 star. Seems like scouts are starting to catch up.

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