Being a freshman is such a unique time in a basketball player’s journey. Gone are the days of middle school ball, where having the best athlete or tallest player on the court is a near-guaranteed recipe for success. Instead, the real adventure begins (typically) with a myriad of goals and expectations being set in place for these young prospects. Some kids are capable of contributing right away, regardless of stage or surrounding pieces, but it usually takes time for things to develop. Plenty of people were able to see the long-term path for guys like Devon Dotson and Coby White, who contributed heavily as freshmen, but there have been a ton of prospects who simply needed experience. That being said, the tools are clearly in place for Justin Caldwell to become a big-time prospect. 

The 6-foot-8 freshman is already an obvious focal point for Trinity Christian, yet also understands how to make an impact within the team structure. His strong build, long arms, and overall physicality allow him to overpower opponents around the basket—both as a finisher and rebounder. Caldwell is quite coordinated and moves very well for his size, particularly at his current age, and runs the floor nicely in transition. He does a phenomenal job of altering/blocking shots and walling-up without fouling. Caldwell’s offensive arsenal is still developing, but he knows how to utilize his body to secure post position and play through contact around the basket. He attacks the offensive glass and finishes putback opportunities at a healthy rate. It’s still early in the process, but few players in the state can match his toolkit and long-term potential. Add in the fact that he carries no baggage, and Caldwell should be a prospect to monitor over the foreseeable future.