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Elite seniors on the move, what impact will they have?

With class of 2012 power forward Jarnell Stokes‘ (#17) recent announcement here on National Recruiting Spotlight that he’s transferring to Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), he is just one of the many elite prospects switching schools for his senior season to leave his home town to attend a prestigious, nationally known private school. But what kind of impact will all these transfers have? Will Stokes and class of 2012 point guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (#32) help Oak Hill to a National Championship? Will class of 2012 power forward Brandon Ashley (#4) lead Findlay Prep (Nevada) to an ESPN RISE NHSI Championship? Lets take a closer look.

Stokes to Oak Hill

Stokes gives Oak Hill some badly needed depth in the interior since the Warriors’ only other big man is class of 2012 center A.J. Hammons (#48). However, even though Oak Hill has minimal depth the quality of this duo will rarely be matched by opponents. Hammons is a good rebounder and shot-blocker and runs the floor surprisingly well and Stokes can play both inside and out depending on the type of forward he is facing. He can take bigger forwards out on the perimeter or post up smaller forwards making him a match-up nightmare. Stokes will primarily be replacing class of 2011 power forward Sidiki Johnson (Arizona) and may need to stay in the interior more than he would like because of Oak Hill’s depth problem. He and Hammons will have to stay out of foul trouble and be in great condition to be effective for the Warriors.

Smith-Rivera to Oak Hill

Smith-Rivera is a vital addition for the Warriors since Oak Hill lost class of 2011 McDonald’s All-American point guard Quinn Cook (#16 — Duke) to graduation. Smith-Rivera has made a smooth transition from shooting guard to point guard and displays good court vision and passing abilities. He has a high basketball-IQ and consistently gets to the bucket because of his strength which opens up scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. Whenever he’s around the basket, Smith-Rivera seems to always get the ball in the bucket one way or another and he has shown the ability to consistently score in the mid-range game too. He will have a plethora of scoring options around him at every position with Stokes and Hammons down low and class of 2012 small forwards Jordan Adams (#50 — U.C.L.A.) and Damien Wilson (Memphis).

Ashley to Findlay Prep

Ashley’s transfer to Findlay Prep gives them the most formidable front-court in the country. He will be joining class of 2012 power forwards Winston Shepard (#44) and Anthony Bennett in a trio of big men that will be unmatched no matter who they play. Ashley is the best combo-forward in the class of 2012 and has a lot of potential. He is very versatile and can score in multiple ways whether it’s a short jumper, post-up move, or drive to the basket. He also runs the floor very well and is a good shot-blocker due to his length. Ashley is a smart and savvy basketball player too which not only benefits his team but his teammates as well. Hopefully Findlay and Oak Hill meet up in the ESPN RISE NHSI in 2012 so we can see a great match-up between five great big men.

Warren to Brewster

Class of 2012 small forward T. J. Warren (#47) is transferring to Brewster Academy (New Hampshire) along with class of 2011 shooting guard Aaron Thomas, who is taking a post-grad year, to join class of 2012 power forward Mitch McGary, one of the fastest rising prospects this summer. This team also has class of 2013 small forward Deonte Burton (Watch List) so they’re going to have four quality scorers all around the floor. He is versatile on offense by both consistently getting to the basket and knocking down three-pointers. He has a very nice shooting stroke and displays the ability to finish with his left hand around the rim. Warren also uses his size well on the defensive end since he rebounds and can block shots. In addition, he has good shot selection and plays the game intelligently.

Rose to Westbury

Class of 2012 point guard L.J. Rose (#20) transferred to Westbury Christian High School (Texas), a powerhouse who went 37-2 and played for a private-school state championship last year. Rose is a pure point guard who has great floor vision and excellent passing abilities. He isn’t the quickest or fastest guard but he uses his size well and has a high basketball-IQ. He also can score when needed and has a great three-point shot. His ball-handling skills are very good too which is one of the reasons he so good at dribble-penetration. He has shown various moves on the perimeter to create separation from his defender such as a spin move and has knocked down perimeter shots as of late.


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