Over the the past couple of months, I attended several high school basketball games. As a result, I came across a variety of different talented prospects with good potential for the college level.
Here are (3) different kids that I have come across and my evaluations of each player . . .
One of the kids that I came across was 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Josh Baker at McClintock High school in Tempe, Arizona. The game I watched featured McClintock vs Williams Field High School. In the game, Josh Baker showcased his ability of being poised and being very selective in his shot attempts.
By the time I arrived in the second quarter, Baker had went 7-for-7 from the field. Each shot attempt was a great shot and not forced. He reads the floor very well - looking in advance before he even catches the basketball. He is not a ball stopper. Baker even used his body well to create space and finish in transition, using his left and right hand in the process. He also used his long wingspan to create deflections on defense. I'm not 100% accurate on his athleticism, which is not important if you have a high basketball IQ, which he has proven to have.
The only improvements that I saw that Baker will need to help him develop into an more elite athlete is developing more strength to stand his ground at the next level. Also, he will need to learn to use his length to stay in front of a more athletic player on defense.
The next game I attended was a playoff game between Ironwood and Agua Fria High School. It was a very good game, especially after Agua Fria had beaten Ironwood earlier this season by 20 plus points. Ironwood wanted to prove themselves that they could compete, and ended the game with a win.
The players that stood out in the game were Ironwood 5-foot-7 freshman Trentez Scales. This kid hit some very big shots during crunch time to lead Ironwood to the victory. Trentez was 5-for-5 from 3-point range. He also broke down Agua Fria's defense, penetrating to the paint and creating shots for his teammates and himself. Trentez is a very quick guard with or without he ball. He has good court vision and does not seem to have a lack of discernment.
There were a couple of plays when Scales got to the paint and looked off his teammate to sale his move, just so he had a more clear passing lane to his teammate.
Scales was also very active on defense. He is so fast that he beats his opponent to their spot, and turns them consistently. What he will struggle with is his size. In my opinion, height does not define a player, but in the basketball world size is often questioned. Scales is a dog on offense and defense, and will be making noise in the state of Arizona, as he continues to develop with head coach Jordan Augustine.
Ironwood's other standout was their junior Ajang Aguek. Aguek used his long 6-foot-6 frame to make deflections, block shots and rebound the basketball. The 6-6 junior had a remarkable game with 16 points and 6 rebounds in the victory over Agua Fria. Aguek is a good set-shooter and a defensive nag. He causes problems guarding positions 1-through-4, based on his extreme length. I'm not 100% accurate on his basketball IQ, but what I do know is that he is very coachable, and will accept any role or challenge that is given to him.
The last game I saw was Sunnyslope vs Liberty in the first round of this year's state playoffs. The super standout was 6-foot-4 junior wing Kyle Fischer. Sunnyslope currently plays him at the 4 position on the court, due to their team's lack of size, but Kyle Fischer is a wing prospect. He is a very long and a true competitor.
The 6-4 junior has an outstanding feel for the game, which gives him a very high basketball IQ. He can do anything the coach asks him - from guarding to scoring. Kyle Fischer is outstanding in his scoring and passing ability. He uses his body very well to finish around the basket, and shot fakes to get opposing defenders off their feet. He is not fancy with the basketball, but is a very strong ball handler and uses his teammates well to score. This kid is mentally tough and can play at a high level.
The only area of his game that Kyle needs to improve is his ability to consistently shoot the basketball from 3-point distance on the floor. Once he develops a consistent 3-point shot, Kyle will become an even more elite player. He can get to the paint, create off the dribble and finish well around the rim. He is a good mid-range shooter with a high basketball IQ, and is mentally tough. Fischer is also a very good defender. He also has good poise, and is a good passer and a great team player.
Kyle Fischer is one of the top juniors in the state, and any coach that gets him is getting a steal.