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MN Top Power Forwards

 

10/24/2013, 12:00pm CDT
By Marc Hugunin

Which girls have the most long-term potential at the 4 spot?

WATCH OUT FOR SAM TRAMMEL AND CHASE COLEY AT THE NEXT LEVEL

1. Sam Trammel, Eden Prairie (#3, 2015). Possibly the strongest girl in Minnesota high school basketball right now, Trammel doesn’t have to get too much bigger to play the post in D1. But right now she’s listed as 6-2, and she’s projected at the big forward spot. Nobody thrives on contact like Sam, either. Whether it’s at the post or the 4, she is definitely a high D1 prospect.

2. Chase Coley, Mpls. Washburn (#7 2014). At 6-3, with a quick and gigantic first step, she gets out from the lane and on to jump shooters out to 15 feet in a hurry. That’s how and why she blocked an awesome 11 shots per game a year ago. She is also getting stronger and much more under control on offense. She will be a contributor at Iowa.

3. Alex Wittinger, Delano (#4, 2015). A strong kid who loves to crash into the lane with or without the ball and on both ends of the floor. Good things happen when she does that aggressively. A D1 prospect, possibly at the 3, but right now she’s listed at 6-1, and even at that, she can play the 4. If she adds an inch or two, look out.

4. Ellie Thompson, Chaska (#5 2014). Fundamentally sound, there’ virtually no downside to Ellie Thompson. Very methodical, very business-like, she doesn’t make mistakes. She’s not as athletic as, say, Chase Coley, so the upside isn’t as high, but there’s no shame in that. Going to South Dakota State.

5. Jamie Ruden, Rochester John Marshall (#1 2016). She’s not huge (6-2), she’s not super-strong or super-quick. She just gets the job done. How does she do it? Well, she gets squared up and she makes the J. That’s practically a lost art and, when you can do it ten to 15 times a game, it adds up. She is also a great defender.

 

SECOND 5


Minneota's Taylor Reiss (#22 in blue) would be a top collegiate forward prospect, but is expected to play volleyball at the next level.

6. Taylor Reiss, Minneota (#7, 2015). Reiss is a volleyball player so her presence or absence from this list is of no practical import. And, people are concerned about her size (5-11). In Class A you can play inside at that size, but surely not at D1. But she plays hard, she moves without the ball, she gets to the rim with or without the ball, and she converts her offensive opportunities.

7. Lashayla Wright-Ponder. Bloomington Kennedy (#14 2016). A classic wide-body with good strength and some mobility. Wright-Ponder gets position in the lane and is impossible to move out. She has some offensive moves, but mainly she clogs things up on D and hits the boards.

8. Abby Kain, Simley (#7 2016). Right now she’s an undersized (6-1) post who could end up as a 3 or a 4. Her ball-handling skills are good enough and she scores out to 15 feet. But does she really have the mobility to play the forward spot at the next level?

9. Bailey Norby, Forest Lake (#10 2014). Not everybody is a Bailey Norby fan, but the fact is she plays hard and with intelligence and enthusiasm. For her size, the motor is pretty good. She’s playing away from the basket a little more every year and she becomes slightly less effective that way, so that’s the concern.

10. Nicole Fautsch, Rochester John Marshall (#19 2016). She protects Jamie Ruden’s blind side right now but her combination of strength and mobility and court savvy will stand on their own as time goes by.