The opening day and first two round of the LakePoint LIVE Showcase Part II have come and gone, with a Saturday jam-packed with a lot of basketball and stories to be told. Here are a few things that stood out and caught my attention today:
Available Guards Aplenty
Our 17U Red & Blue Brackets are filled with guards who have little-to-no Division I interest that I think could make for great recruits at the next level. One of the best guards of the day was Team Curry 2021 point guard Jamarii Thomas, who holds offers from Winthrop & Stetson as well as a number of Division II programs. He’s incredibly quick and bouncy and can beat defenders off the bounce and find teammates at will.
Another under-recruited PG that stood out and had great moments today was Aim High’s George Pridgett. I’ve always been of the stance that he is a no-brainer Division I prospect, but his recruitment currently does not match his talent level. He’s very well rounded, a capable scorer, good decision-maker, and sneaky good defender.
Last is the Atlanta Timberwolves combo guard Brendan Rigsbee. Rigsbee is tough as nails and plays with no fear. He’s got solid size at 6-foot-2, can score the ball from every level, and contributes in a lot of areas that makes teams better and wins games. He currently has offers from Lander, North Georgia, Florida Southern, and UAH. However, if I’m a low major program, I’m taking a very close look here.
Power of the Commits
A number of unavailable players showed why they have been scooped up by collegiate programs and proved how valuable they will be to those programs.
I rarely toss around the word “steal”, but that’s exactly what Charleston Southern is getting in Game Elite Orange wing Kalib Clinton (Pictured). Clinton is gritty, he’s tough, he’s athletic, and he plays with an alpha dog mentality. He’s led his squad to the semifinals tomorrow and should continue his good play there.
Liberty commit & Pro One guard Brody Peebles was the top scorer across the board today, going for 30+ in both games and at times putting his team on his shoulders. The Flames are no strangers to success and winning games, and with guys like Peebles coming down the pipeline, they should continue that trend.
EAB guard and Ole Miss commit Grant Slatten had a fantastic day. He shot the ball well from deep and scored it at the rim and in the paint as well. The Rebels offered Slatten at the end of July, and he committed a few days later. His play at LIVE Showcase II has validated his commitment. He has ideal size on the wing and is a pure shot maker. He should help Ole Miss win games in the near future.
Other Thoughts and Notes from the Day:
· Game Elite Orange 16U 2022 wing Sammy Moss had a fantastic day and might be the biggest standout of our 16U division thus far. He scored 41 in a quarterfinal win and does so many things well on the offensive side.
· Nike Elite Stars five-star 2021 guard JD Davison had moments today where he looked completely unstoppable. He was getting to the rim and out-leaping everyone for buckets.
· The Atlanta Timberwolves White 17U squad is worth the price of admission. They’re popular with the “mixtape row” and it shows. Fun group to watch.
· Team Huncho 17U 2021 guard Andrew McConnell’s game translates so well to the next level. Low and Mid Majors should be making him a priority recruit on their boards.
· It wouldn’t surprise me to see AC Georgia 2021 guard Mannie Harris’ recruitment spike to continue. He’s got all the physical tools and a great skillset to match. I could see high mid-majors and possibly some high majors to kick the tires here.
· EAB 2022 big man Felix Okpara is one of the better shot blockers that I’ve seen in recent years. His size, length, and timing allow him to challenge anything that comes in the paint and his value on that end of the floor is unmeasurable.
· Team Curry forward/center Jonas Aidoo has had a lot of high major programs eyeing him in the past few weeks. And for good reason. He is much improved and has the physical tools for that level of basketball.
· Upward Stars 2022 wing Julian Phillips has as high a ceiling as you can find on a wing. A long 6-foot-7 with a high motor and skill set, it’s no wonder he’s so highly regarded nationally in 2022.
· I love our matchups moving into the semifinals tomorrow. We have some familiar faces in 15U with teams that advanced to the semis in the first installment of the LakePoint LIVE Showcase. Our 16U and 17U games will feature some great player matchups and will be really fun games to watch.