Best of HoopSeen 2020: Top 2022 Prospects, part I

As we put a bow on the long, strange trip that the 2020 season has been, we wanted to look back on the best of from our platform. 

Today we dive into our team’s Best of the Class of 2022. We polled our staff on the absolute best they saw from the action. Today we start with the juniors. You are going to want to know more about this group in the years to come. 

RELATED: Best game of 2020 travel season | Top 2023 players 

Malique Ewin

Lilburn, GA
Class
2022
Position
C
Height
6' 8"
School Team
HoopSeen Rankings
National
NR

Call me biased for a big that obviously embraces the mikan drill and I’ll fully admit to it. Ewen’s skill and touch around the rim is second to no one in the country that plays his same position. It was great to see a big man embrace his size and make his mark from block to block. With so few well rounded big men to look forward too, it was a breath of fresh air to watch as Ewen furthered his impact on the game. While some big’s tend to develop at a slow simmer, Ewen has come to a full boil right before our eyes. The national media will soon catch up with his strides. - Tai Young 

Mason Lockhart

Atlanta, GA
Class
2022
Position
PF
Height
6' 7"
Travel Team
HoopSeen Rankings
National
NR

 Georgia has been home to some of the best mid-major big men in college hoops over the years. We’ve seen several all-conference level big men come from the Peach State. I have to wonder if Mason Lockhart is next in line in that same category. The 6-foot-6 forward is consistently productive inside the paint. He knows how to block out and gain position for rebounds and defends his area very well. When it comes to scoring, Lockhart knows how to power through defenders and score in traffic in the paint. He has soft hands and a soft touch. his recruitment has sprouted thanks to his work on the HoopSeen stage. Don’t be surprised to see it continue to grow in the scholastic season. - Justin Young

Jai Smith

Durham, NC
Class
2022
Position
SF
Height
6' 9"
HoopSeen Rankings

Another prospect from the loaded Tea Marie summer travel program, Smith, a native of Syracuse, New York jumped onto the scene with his play at our HoopSeen/BetheBeast Always Live Showcase. The 6-foot-9 forward has a college-ready skill set and has the length and timing to cause problems for the opposition. WIth the news of his transfer from Bishop  Ludden (NY) to Bull City Prep (NC), Smith jumps into our 2022 rankings for North Carolina at #2. Smith really shines on the floor with his ability to run the floor and his rebounding ability. He has a great motor for his size and showed during multiple outings that he can create for himself off the dribble. - Justin Byerly

JJ Wheat

Nashville, TN
Class
2022
Position
PG
Height
6'
HoopSeen Rankings
National
NR

The more I watched Wheat compete, the more I liked him. The more and More I watched him win, the more I liked him as an impact player in college. Wheat was one of the best point guards I saw on the HoopSeen stage this season. I liked him more each time I saw him play. Wheat is consistently good and he is a pilot to teams that win. That’s the most overlooked value in youth sports right now. Wheat makes winning plays and he’s the guy with the ball in his hands when things matter. Few guys do as good of a job as Wheat does when he attacks the rim. HIs speed and strength for a point guard is hard to pair amongst his peers at the 16 and under division. Don’t be surprised to see his recruitment grow into a highly competitive face for his skill set. He reminds me a lot of Myles Tate, the South Carolina point guard now at Butler. - Justin Young 

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