At the top of the 2018 class in Virginia, some of the most talented players are at the wing guard position, including one of the top ten players in the nation for the rising sophomore class. There are five wing…
At the top of the 2018 class in Virginia, some of the most talented players are at the wing guard position, including one of the top ten players in the nation for the rising sophomore class. There are five wing guards in the top 13 of our rankings, and we break them down for you below!
Keldon Johnson; 6’5; Park View
This was probably the easiest ranking we had in all classes, because Johnson is one of the best sophomores in the country. The brother of Georgetown freshman Kaleb Johnson, Keldon is a big wing that’s a smooth scorer from anywhere on the floor. He has deep range on his jump shot, and his size allows him to finish through contact in the lane.
What separates Johnson from other great players is his work ethic and hunger to be the best player in the country. After setting the VHSL freshman scoring record last season at Parkview, he lived in the gym and his improvement is evident every time he steps on the floor. He’s a versatile scorer that can work with the ball in his hands or on the spot up, and he’s no slouch on the glass or defensive end. He’s ranked as a top ten sophomore in the country by ESPN, and holds early offers from Virginia Tech, NC State, Texas, Wake Forest, ECU, ODU, Georgetown, Penn State, Cincinnati and UVA.
Montez Mathis; 6’4; Oak Hill Academy
Another nationally ranked recruit, the Baltimore native transferred to Oak Hill to play with the best players in the country, and he should be able to hold his own. Mathis is a super long and athletic wing that can guard multiple positions and loves the big stage. He’s phenomenal in transition, where he can finish above the rim, and his length causes chaos in the press and allows him to alter shots.
While he isn’t as refined as Johnson yet, Mathis has a skill set offensively that’s similar. He can break defenders down off the bounce, and his athleticism allows him to float through the lane and contort his body to finish with creativity. He’s also a good shooter at multiple levels, and has the killer instinct to take over games when it matters. He holds early offers from USC, Memphis, St. John’s and West Virginia.
DeAndre Thomas; 6’3; Benedictine
After being a role player his freshman season, this is a big year for Thomas at Benedictine, where he’ll be given the keys to the program to take it over. He was the third stud for Loaded this summer with Johnson and David McCormack, and he showed the willingness to do what it takes to win no matter what it is. Defensively he shines because he’s a smart player that can both guard on the ball or slide over in help to double team or take a charge.
Thomas has shown flashes of being a top prospect, and there’s no questioning his work ethic, but at times he comes off as passive or inconsistent. He’s developed a reliable jump shot and has the frame and athleticism to finish in the lane, but he doesn’t always show that killer instinct that elite players need. This will be his year to show that on a talented Benedictine team, and his recruitment could take off if he can be the catalyst and leader.
Seneca Louis; 6’5; Benedictine
A teammate of Thomas at Benedictine, Louis has a little better size and athleticism than him, but also lacks that killer instinct that you want out of a player of his caliber. He’s talented and the sky is the limit with his potential, but it seems that at times he doesn’t fully realize how good he actually is, and is too passive when he needs to take over.
With that being said, Louis is still a special player with his ability to guard almost any position on the court and lock them up. He has good foot speed and athleticism, and does a lot of things that don’t show up in the box score but will help his team win. The most intriguing thing is his ability to handle the basketball and break down defenders off the bounce, and his vision in transition makes you wonder if he could be molded into a point guard as his understanding of the game develops. He has a high ceiling, and his potential is just waiting to be unlocked.
Brayden Gault; 6’3; Battlefield
A blue collar guard with a good skill set, Gault is a substance over flash type of player that can really fill it up without being a volume shooter. He has an impressive IQ, moves well without the ball and never takes a play off. He’s a three level scorer who’s bound to burst on the scene this year as he takes over a Battlefield program that lost it’s top scorer from last season.
He’s not an elite athlete or a super strong guard, but he’s crafty and understands how to get his shot off at each level against bigger defenders. Gault doesn’t let his athleticism slow him down in transition where he runs the floor and finishes with ease, or on the glass where he’s more than willing to crash and help his bigs out. He may struggle guarding ball handlers that are quicker than him, but his understanding of the game allows him to hang with the best. Expect a breakout season from him.