Freshmen Contributors – Big School Bigs
In this article:
The crop of big men who made an impact on the 5A and 6A level is small but impressive. Check out some of the Top Freshmen Contributors from the center and forward positions from last season (in alphabetical order): Cameron…
The crop of big men who made an impact on the 5A and 6A level is small but impressive.
Check out some of the Top Freshmen Contributors from the center and forward positions from last season (in alphabetical order):
The Eagles are blessed with guards by the dozen. In fact, they employ a small lineup much of the time. But that didn’t prevent them from making back-to-back trips to state. Love stepped up as a freshman to provide a big presence that doesn’t slow down their up-tempo style. To mesh with the brilliant Eagle guards, Love had to be able to run, handle the ball and make plays in transition as well as rebound and defend opposing bigs. Love’s versatility was just what the team needed. Watch for this guy’s production to go up as he becomes more a focal point of the team.
The Chargers had a lot of talented players back from their state contending teams. One thing they needed was a long presence in the paint to defend and rebound and run the floor with their guards. Paul fit the bill. What the Chargers didn’t expect was some roster instability late in the season. Paul stepped up his production and finished with some impressive stats. He’s a wiry, springy forward who can block shots and score around the goal. He didn’t have to get too creative offensively as a freshman, but he’s showing some of those skills this summer.
Of the good seasons turned in by freshmen bigs, Premer had arguably the best year. He certainly received the most accolades for his work. He earned all-tournament in a couple early season events, and wound up with honorable mention in 5A from most of the publications as well as all-league honors. He’s big, athletic and skilled and was highly productive (13 points, 7 rebounds) on a team that had some pretty good players. The Panthers should make a big improvement on their 11-10 record as they return a lot of pieces. Premer can be looked to as a leader in his sophomore season.
Ruder impressed when he played up last summer, so we expected him to be able to compete early. He didn’t disappoint, playing a significant role on a competitive Hays team. His stats don’t jump out, but he made a big contribution by defending bigs and hitting the boards. Particularly in midseason, he showed his potential with four games in double figures. Ruder is hard nosed, fundamental and willing to do the dirty work to help the team.
Of all the freshmen bigs who made an impact last year, the ceiling is likely highest for Taylor. He was listed at 6-foot-9 at the start of last season, and reports are that he’s grown some since then. That kind of length, combined with Taylor’s light feet and coordination point to a bright future. Surrounded by talented offensive teammates, Taylor got to focus on defense and rebounding in manageable minutes. He finished the season with 4 points, 6 boards and 2 blocks per game. He experienced a trip to state, where henscored 7 points in the first round loss. Watch for the Cougars to be one of the top teams in 6A with Taylor taking a big step forward.