Scouting Micah Potter
Last week the Ohio State Buckeyes picked up their second verbal commitment of the 2016 class when Mentor (Ohio) product Micah Potter picked the school. Potter was brought in to fortify the center position for the Buckeyes, and this weekend he suited up for Ohio Basketball Club on the adidas circuit for the first time as a committed prospect. There is no doubt that Potter as the size already to play division one college basketball in a high-major conference already. He is around 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds with broad shoulders that should allow him to add considerable strength quite easily. Even though Potter can be a physically impressive player, he doesn’t play physical. That isn’t to say he backs down and plays soft, not by a large margin, but he isn’t someone who tries to overwhelm his opponent with strong duck in moves on the post or really tries to use his size to finish through a defender on the low block with toughness and strength. Where Potter showed a lot of ability this weekend was facing the rim both in the mid-range and out to the three point line. Potter is far, far more confident facing the rim than he is with his back to the basket. That said he is absolutely not someone who can shoot while on the move. Because of that Thad Matta will likely find ways to use Potter in pick and pop situations off of high ball screens and also put him in the high post where he can face the rim in the mid-range and make a decision. Not only is Potter dangerous shooting the ball in that area of the floor, but he is also a really good passer, so he could turn and face and take the shot if it is there, or possibly find an open cutter or shooter after surveying the floor. While there is a lot to like about Potter, especially on the offensive end, he struggles to rebound the ball. Now as he gets stronger and more confident that should help, especially when it comes to area rebounding, but he is never someone who is going to be a great rebounder, especially when talking about misses that are out of his area. Knowing his strengths and limitations, it will be interesting to see how Ohio State chooses to use Potter. At times he and Derek Funderburk could easily play together when they are older prospects. Funderburk is more of a long and athletic kid who can move his feet on the perimeter and defend, where Potter struggles. Both Funderburk and Potter and more comfortable facing the rim as opposed to with their back to the basket, but Funderburk is more someone who would like to drive and score off of offensive rebounders whereas Potter likes to play in pick and pop situations. At least at the beginning of his career Potter is likely to be used in a backup role, and possibly I could even see him redshirting. That would allow him to gain strength and get adjusted to the speed and physicality of college basketball without losing a year of eligibility. Ideally Potter would have an excellent rebounding and shot blocking power forward next to him, which would hide some of his deficiencies while allowing him to excel on offense. To an extent Jae’sean Tate fits that role, though none of the others on Ohio State’s roster do. Possibly 2017 in-state prospect Derek Culver would be that guy if Ohio State eventually offers and lands him, but that is a long way away from happening. Overall Potter has the look of a very solid three-star player who gets better through hard work throughout his career and potentially is a starter at the end of his career and a valuable contributor.
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