Schnider Herard- C, Prestonwood Christian Academy (TX)
Scoring: Schnider is what you would call a true post player. The local big man has great feet around the rim and can score with both hands around the rim. Even when he’s double-teamed down low, Herard has the ability to spin out of the double-team and finish. Despite his size, the rising junior has a quick first step and is not afraid to take his opponent off of the dribble. And if you’re looking for someone to finish above the rim with a big slam, Herard is your man.
Playmaking Ability: Herard has been the focal point of the offense on every team he has played for, so the big man is always counted on to make plays. Whether it’s offensively or defensively, Herard owns the area around the rim and wants everyone to know. While Herard is the focal point of the offense he doesn’t play selfish and can find the open teammate when he needs to. His passing game in traffic is also a strong point, which is important because he is constantly double-teamed.
Defense: With his height and length, Herard is a big time shot blocker who will be able to protect the rim throughout college and beyond. Herard does a good job of staying in the face of his opponent and making every shot a difficult one. The rising junior also does a nice job of rebounding because of his length advantage.
Measureables: 6-10, 242
Ranking: A four-star in the class of 2016 and number 13-ranked center according to Scout.
Hassan Thomas- PF, Woodrow Wilson HS (TX)
Scoring: Despite being listed as a power forward, Thomas scores most of his points from 18-feet and beyond. The rising senior has a sweet stroke and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger from just about anywhere. Thomas lacks elite athleticism however, so he struggles some with finishing around the rim. He does do a nice job of using the backboard on his shots inside 10 feet, giving him an alternative way to finish in the paint.
Playmaking Ability: At 6-6, 200-pounds, Thomas has a quick first step that gives him the ability to beat his defender off of the dribble and either score or pass, but overall, he isn’t the quickest individual. He has good hands and isn’t afraid to the put the ball on the ground around the hoop. Thomas also has a good motor and the guy who can clean up most consistently after his teammates. He’s still a little raw, but he has the ability to be a productive player at the collegiate level.
Defense: Thomas will never be the tallest guy on the court, but he’s got a thick body and isn’t afraid to go head-to-head against his opponents. The Woodrow Wilson senior stays in front of his opponents and uses his hands well when defending. At the collegiate level, Thomas will likely play the three, so he will have to improve his quickness in order to stay in front of his defenders.
Measureables: 6-6, 200
Ranking: A three-star in the class of 2015
Thon Maker- C, Athletes Institute Basketball Academy (Canada)
Scoring: Maker is one of the more gifted 7-footers I have ever seen, especially considering he is just heading into his junior year of high school. Offensively, when I see Maker I see a more athletic Myles Turner. The big man has no trouble manhandling anyone in the paint to position himself where he needs to be to catch passes thrown into him. Thanks to his athleticism, Maker can spin out of double teams for easy layups, rise above defenders for high-flying dunks, and split defenders from the top of the key to easily get into the paint for easy baskets. What makes Maker so hard to guard is the fact that he can also hits the outside shot consistently. Maker has a fluid stroke and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger if a defender is giving him a cushion.
Playmaking Ability: Whether it’s on offense or defense, opponents have to keep an eye on Maker no matter what. The big man has a very advanced skill set and even has dribbling skills comparable to a small forward. Maker runs the floor well, which helps him get out in front of his defenders and has great touch around the rim. Maker’s ability to penetrate the defense is second to none because of his length and long strides, which puts him and his teammates in good position.
Defense: Considering his height and length, it’s no surprise that Maker is a beast on the defensive end. Maker’s quick feet put him in good position to stay in front of his defender and block shots. And overall, Maker does a great job of protecting the rim form penetrating opponents. Maker will need to put on some weight and muscle so he doesn’t get pushed around at the next level, but he’s got plenty of time to do that.
Side Note: There were talks of Maker reclassifying to the 2015 class, but his guardian has come out and said that it is unlikely now. The 7-footer who just transferred to Athletes Institute Basketball Academy in Canada will be one of the most sought-after players in the country for the next two years.
Measureables: 7-0, 210
Ranking: A five-star in the class of 2016 and number one ranked center according to Scout.