Lots of prospects use their junior season to burst onto the scene and make a name for themselves. While these 5 guys aren’t household names yet, they are having very productive junior campaigns and all 5 have helped their teams to winning records. Let’s take a look at some players who are trending upward and you should be familiar with soon.
6’5” W Elijah Williams (Providence Christian)- Providence still remains undefeated coming out of the winter break at 14-0, and Williams is a huge reason why. A transfer from Monroe Area, Williams has been terrorizing A-Private opponents with his athleticism and aggression. With Chance Thacker out due to an injury, Williams has risen to the occasion and is a nightly 20-10 threat for the Storm. After securing a rebound, he can go coast-to-coast quickly in limited dribbles because of his speed and long strides. I said it earlier in the season, but there just aren’t many teams in A-Private who will have a 6’5” player with perimeter ability and explosiveness like Williams has. He plays above the rim with ease and stays in attack mode. It has been a heck of a turnaround for PCA this season and they don’t seem to be satisfied just yet.
5’10” G Kohl Harris (South Forsyth)- The War Eagles enter a tough stretch of region play with a 12-5 record and opened a lot of eyes during the first half of the season. It’s not just their wins that are impressive, but the way in which they get them done. I think it all starts with Harris and Nate Hammond in the South backcourt; they give all-out effort and play with a ton of heart. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a moment during a game where Harris isn’t moving around and looking to make an impact. His energy and activity results in lots of forced turnovers and extra possessions, which clearly ignite the team. No slouch on offense either, Harris is a reliable shot-maker, quick and fearless with the ball, and also does a really good job of moving the ball and finding guys. A college coach that I was with at a recent South game raved about how he makes an impact without scoring. Harris is the type of player that coaches love and that should pay off for him this spring.
6’3” G Micah Bell & 6’5” SF KJ Doucet (Chapel Hill)- Not many people are talking about this junior duo from Chapel Hill, but after seeing them at Gainesville in November and monitoring their progress since then, both Bell and Doucet are worthy of recognition. Having these two gives the Panthers skill, versatility, and a pair that has the potential to combine for close to 50 points in any game. Bell is an explosive scorer whose quick-twitch athleticism allows him to get by guys and fly to the basket frequently. Bell has the shown the ability to connect on deep, difficult shots off the dribble and he wants to be the guy with the ball in his hands late in games. It hasn’t been a rare occurrence for him to score 25+ points for the Panthers.
Doucet isn’t a guy who will wow you with a bunch of exciting plays and isn’t a specialist in any one area, but he can hurt you in a variety of ways and creates mismatches often. He has the body and skill to produce on the block, can slash from the wing, and will stretch the floor with his jumper. Doucet is patient on offense and has a controlled, methodical game off the bounce. Although he’s not an explosive athlete, Doucet uses his body pretty well to create angles and space on both ends, and also possesses the length that allows him to rebound and get deflections. It seems like Doucet and Bell are both just getting started and they should be tracked over the next year.
5’11” PG Brookes Kahlert (St. Pius)– With Pius having graduated 10 seniors in 2019, including some important guards, it was expected that Kahlert would step up and break out as a junior. He had a nice start to the season, but with the departure of Chase Cormier, the Golden Lions will need even more from him going forward. Immediately after Cormier was gone, Kahlert scored 21 and 27 points in back-to-back games. He is known for his passing ability, but if he can effectively take on a heavier scoring load while maintaining his facilitating efforts, Kahlert will see himself rise even more as a prospect. His vision and passing creativity are unmatched by arguably anyone in the state. Kahlert has deep range on his shot and can consistently create things for his team off penetration. His game seems to be maturing too by balancing flare and simplicity with the ball in his hands. Pius sits at 10-4 currently and will need production and leadership from Kahlert in order to make another playoff run.