The Forgotten Five - Quiet Prospects to Watch Moving Forward
- By Michael Miller, Day 120, 2021
It can be a tough adjustment from high school to college. Even for those with high potential, a wrong choice at the next level can stall or even stunt prospect development.
In this article, we take a look at 5 highly regarded recruits, figure out where they have struggled and estimate their future. None of these prospects are currently slated to declare early for the draft, but a hot showing in the tournament could change minds.
C Qwan Songailia (http://collegejbl.com/players.php?pid=10021) - The 7’1, 266 lb. phenom signed with the Memphis Tigers after putting up a stellar 28.8 ppg and 9.3 rpg for the Dowling Maroons. Qwan joined a strong Memphis team which had a 26-5 record in the 2020 season and advanced to the Sweet 16 losing to Ohio State, 83-74. Despite his immense talent, Qwan has not been able to break into the starting line up, averaging only 11.6 minutes per game. He has been hyper-efficient in his time on the court, his Per-36 numbers are 14.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.86 bpg. The issue appears to be he is stuck behind 2 frontcourt upper classmen who were also part of the 2020 team, Omari Woodley and Dedrick Mathias. Unfortunately for Qwan, however, both Woodley and Mathias have eligibility left and neither has been rumored to be an early entrant in the draft. As such, Qwan is going to have to really work on his game in the offseason to break through and take some minutes from Woodley and Mathias.
PF Riley Hamilton (http://collegejbl.com/players.php?pid=6194) - Much like Qwan, Hamilton signed with Georgetown with much fanfare after after averaging 28.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg for Germantown H.S. in Philadelphia, PA. Unlike Qwan, however, Riley’s situation seems more dire because his minutes and production have actually declined as a sophomore with the Hoyas. Riley barely saw the Court during the 2021-2022 season, only playing 58 minutes the entire year. He was completely supplanted by elite freshman C/PF Rashaad Haslem, and unable to take minutes away from C Jake Sherrill who started 30 games for Georgetown last year. Haslem projects to be a lottery pick and will likely declare for the draft, but freshman Corey Fullard and Sherrill will likely still be on the team. It does not project well for Riley, who had such great promise but failed to develop.
SF Devin Wallace (http://collegejbl.com/players.php?pid=6433) - After averaging 27.4 ppg for Southeast High School in Florida and a strong recruiting process, Devin joined the Demon Deacons with much fanfare for the 2020-2021 season. He was an immediate impact freshman, starting all 32 games, scoring 11.9 points per game and 4.8 rebounds. He struggled somewhat in the 2021 CJBL tournament and perhaps it affected his confidence going into the 2021-2022 season. His 3P% fell from .388 to .290 and he showed only slight improvement in all statistical areas. The emergency of sophomore PG Bryce Cleveland, now a projected 1st round pick, has taken away some of the limelight for Wallace. Nevertheless, Wake Forest is 19-11 on the season and projects to get into the CJBL Tournament again. Perhaps the second go-around will be more fruitful for Wallace as he enters his junior campaign.
C/PF Antoine Wallis (http://collegejbl.com/players.php?pid=6052) - After winning the 2020 CJBL championship, the Razorbacks had a great recruiting coup by signing Antoine Wallis after he put up 17.9 ppg and 16.7 rpg for Capitol High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Of all the players on this list, Wallis has been the best and most consistent performer on a good team. It is a wonder why he has not even considered dipping a toe into the draft pool. After a strong freshman campaign where he put up 12.6 ppg and 7.9 rpg, he improved his sophomore season putting up 9.0 but points fell to 11.2 ppg. Much of that decline was in putting up less shots, as anticipated lottery pick freshman PG Isaiah Leonard has taken over more of the offensive load. Wallis still projects as a double-double machine, whenever he decides to go pro. At 22-9, the Razorbacks are primed to make some noise in the upcoming CJBL tournament, and perhaps a strong performance will convince Wallis to cannonball into the draft pool.
PF Alexei Davidoff (http://collegejbl.com/players.php?pid=6020) - Alexei projected as a multifaceted forward after he put up 14.0ppg 16.4rpg 6.6apg 3.9bpg 1.7spg in his senior year. He ended up staying home in Connecticut and playing with the Huskies, and has been a relatively quiet, but consistent, performer during his first two seasons as a starter. He has been very strong in the paint, averaging 1.94 and 1.86 blocks per game in his first and second year respectively. He has also averaged over .75 steals and 3.5 assists in each of his first two seasons. Still, it does not seem like he will ever develop into a go-to scorer or strong rebounder. Although he had 16.4 rpg per year as a HS senior, his rpg was only 6.8 his freshman year and declined to 5.6 in his sophomore season. With stud freshman Tyrese Porter in tow, UConn is currently the 8th ranked team in the country and could make the Final Four in the CJBL Tournament, giving Davidoff a chance to break through on a prime-time stage.