HUNTINGTON — When 247Sports dropped its final basketball Top 100 list for the Class of 2020 on Wednesday, there was a trio of talent featured within the Mountain State.
Huntington Prep placed three players on the list: forwards Jaemyn Brakefield and Isaiah Cottrell and versatile guard A.J. Hoggard.
The Irish, led by head coach Arkell Bruce, are one of only five teams nationally to feature three players on the list.
Brakefield finished as the top-ranked member of the Irish at No. 49 on the list. He has been a fixture in the 2020 rankings and is the three-time Gatorade West Virginia Player of the Year. Last season, Brakefield averaged 19.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and three assists as the top threat for Huntington Prep. The 6-8, 210-pound power forward signed with Duke in November, choosing the Blue Devils over 32 other high-major Division I offers.
Brakefield was joined in the Huntington Prep frontcourt for 2019-20 by West Virginia University signee Isaiah Cottrell, who will follow in the footsteps of his father, former Mountaineer Brian Lewin (1997-98). Cottrell is a presence on both ends in the post, giving the Mountaineers a shot in the arm as a skilled scorer.
According to Bruce, Cottrell ended the season averaging 18 points and nine rebounds.
“He definitely gives them a needed presence,” Bruce said. “His ability to score down low is something they haven’t really had. He should compete right away.”
Hoggard, a 6-3, 220-pound combo guard, was a player who made one of the biggest jumps of anyone on the final top 100 list. The Michigan State signee jumped 27 spots, going from outside the rankings to No. 84 overall, based on his versatility.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was high on the incoming guard after signing day because of his ability to compete at three positions for the Spartans.
“I do feel comfortable that he’s a guy that can play multiple [positions],” Izzo said to The State News’ Jayna Bardahl. “He passes it good enough, can play some point, he’s strong enough to play almost a four in this day and age. I think he’ll be able to play all over the place, and I think that benefits us.”
Huntington Prep finished with a 22-9 record last season and had five players sign high-major Division I scholarships.