Scouting Josh Cunningham

Evaluation of one of the top unsigned seniors nationally in Morgan Park F Josh Cunningham, who led his team to a second-straight state title.

Josh Cunningham won't blow up the stat sheet all the time, but he can deceptively get a double-double before you even know it. The lanky 6'8" 4-man recently led his Morgan Park team to a 2nd-straight state championship in class 3A in Illinois, this time as a senior.

Cunningham is a high-motor athlete who plays much of his game above the rim. Especially his senior year, he showed that he had been working on his mid-range game more, and made several jumpers from the elbows and 15-foot range. In the past, he's shown the ability to hit the three, but this season he deferred to his guards for most of the outside shots.

In addition to his improved jumper on offense, Cunningham has a knack for making some pretty impressive finishes at the rim. He's a great leaper for his height and shows the ability to throw down dunks and alley oops, even when contested. His awareness to make the back door cuts gets him some great looks moving toward the hoop.

On the defensive end, Cunningham is one of the best rebounders in the state of Illinois. Even when he can't bring down the first attempt, he keeps the play alive with tips and keeps fighting for the board. Cunningham is very aware on the defensive end, and he's shown that he can be effective in help defense when guarding ball movement around the perimeter. His length can give the offensive player fits when trying to dribble around him.

On the interior, Cunningham also uses that length to block or alter shots. His timing could improve a bit, but he shows good patience when contesting shots at the rim. I wouldn't label him a rim protector as the term is commonly used, but he does deter guards from driving right at him when he's in the low post because of his ability to reject interior shots.

It's hard to project Cunningham's college career at this point because, well, he's uncommitted and unsigned, making him one of the hottest commodities in the senior class nationwide. But his athletic ability and dynamic nature of play should allow him to adapt to most systems as long as he's able to follow up with the physical development that will be required of him, especially if he goes to the Big Ten.


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