It’s rare that so many quality big men are gathered under one roof. For that reason, the Expo is a special event each year. For a list that focuses on true paint performers, this list includes only players measuring 6-foot-4…
It’s rare that so many quality big men are gathered under one roof. For that reason, the Expo is a special event each year.
For a list that focuses on true paint performers, this list includes only players measuring 6-foot-4 or better and who are primarily centers. So it excludes some Expo standouts likeand , both guys who are 6-foot-6 or better but who primarily faces the basket.
Here are seven bigs who really stood tall in KC:
Start with Lawson, because he was probably the most dominant paint player in KC last Saturday. He is powerful and fundamentally advanced. He scores in traffic, and when he can gather himself, he can flush off two feet, which he did numerous times at the Expo. He is a true back-to-the-basket big man, but he has a lot of skill in the midrange and can shoot all the way out to the perimeter when he chooses. But it’s his dominance on the block, on the boards and protecting the rim that make him a standout. This guy is on the short list for best big in Kansas.
A guy moving up the rankings in a hurry, Campbell is physically intimidating, powerful and athletic. He is a lefty who can pull the trigger beyond the arc, and is smooth and athletic enough to draw an opposing big out, then drive around him. He can put the ball on the floor and is a threat to rip down a defensive rebound and take it the other way. Campbell is an impressive ball handler for his size.
Frazier is versatile in the mold of Rokey and Wallace, but he’s got a rugged physicality to him despite being on the slender side. He’s just a sophomore and will continue to fill out. And this guy likes to protect the rim, with the spring and instinct to swat shots. He’s got a well-rounded game and can drop threes, which makes him tough for opposing bigs to guard.
Kilian is one of the hardest-working big men you’ll see. He’s been a summer favorite of Prep Hoops scouts for a couple of years while he waits to get his shot on the high school varsity. He just plays relentlessly as he’s often matched up against bigger bigs. He uses his quickness to create his own shots and to track down rebounds. He’s fundamentally sound and smart, and he consistently outworks opponents.
One of the fundamentally sound and versatile bigs at the Expo, Sawyers’ game meshes with whatever group he’s paired with. He passes and rebounds, fights in the paint and draws defenders out to the midrange.
Johnsen showed a lot of selflessness and versatility at the Expo, teaming with Lawson. He played high post and fed the Bennington big man a lot of nice high-low passes for buckets. He’s long and powerful and plays hard. He hit some long jumpers working on the perimeter and rolled off some picks, demonstrating his expanding versatility.
Saving the biggest for last, Mlynek (pictured) showed once again why he’s a really interesting player. He’s big and obviously very tall. But he steps out to the arc and knocks down a lot of threes with his high left-handed release. When he decides to assert himself in the paint, he can be physical too.