The Area Codes High Academic Showcase took place this weekend at Desert Edge High School, and included 40 student-athletes for the event that represent scholar athletes across the state. Tournament Director Chad Groth put together a good event that included some serious coaching from the participating coaches, and player development as well. New first-year Phoenix College head coach Duane Eason, and several other guest speakers gave excellent speeches to the participants, which got the event off to an excellent start.
Here are my top individual performers from this year's event (In no particular order) . . .
Ibrahima Camara 6-4 SR SG Bella Vista Prep - 2019 Class
Camara is a nice athletic talent with a very good motor, physical strength and nice athleticism. He has a live body and plays well above the rim, and is an excellent defender that can defend multiple positions on the court. He is a solid shooter of the basketball, but is much more of a slasher and a finisher at this point in his young career. Good in the open floor and a strong finisher. A solid ball handler and passer. Active rebounder. A nice sleeper prospect.
DJ Hawkins 6-6 SR SF Eduprize Prep - 2019 Class
Hawkins (pictured) has really developed over the past year while at AZ Compass Prep and playing against better competition. He recently changed programs, but is just now beginning to come into his own as a college prospect. A skilled wing prospect with a good shooting stroke with range and an ability to play several positions on the floor. A versatile prospect with a good handle of the basketball and sees the floor, and is capable of making plays for others. A solid rebounder. A good overall defender that plays passing lanes. A good finisher in the open floor. A solid slasher and finisher. Has upside as a player. A good sleeper prospect that should see some quality college recruitment late for himself.
Chase Courtney 6-9 SR PF/C Bella Vista Prep - 2019 Class
Courtney is just beginning to realize his potential as a player and come around. After suffering injuries in the past, and as a upperclassman, Courtney is now beginning to get physically stronger and more athletic, which is now allowing him to finish much stronger around the rim and make plays in the paint. Has solid footwork and a good offensive repertoire, although he is still raw offensively, but it suggests that he will only continue to develop his overall offensive skillset over time. A solid shooter from mid-range, and a solid low-post scorer with a good jump hook. An active rebounder and a capable shotblocker. Runs the floor and finishes. Has upside. Son of former NBA player Joe Courtney.
Isaiah Freeney 5-11 SOPH PG South Mountain HS - 2021 Class
Freeney is a slick point guard prospect with an excellent handle of the basketball and a nice overall offensive skillset, that allows him to make plays from anywhere on the floor. An excellent shooter with unlimited range on his shot - capable of scoring anytime in the offense. Knocked down numerous shots from close to 30 feet in the event. Pushes the ball up the floor to the open man, and has very good court vision. A good finisher in the lane. A crafty performer with nice potential for the future as he matures physically. Has a bright future.
Jalen Johnson 6-6 SR SF Bella Vista Prep - 2019 Class
Johnson is another intriguing prospect that has a good offensive skillset with a nice perimeter shooting stroke with range. He likes to stand out on the perimeter and make shots, but could really benefit himself with more slashing drives to the basket, which would also open up his game. He has good size for the wing position, and looks like a poor man's Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA standout & NBA draft pick). A solid rebounder that will get better over time with more physical size, strength and natural maturity. An OK defender. Good passer. Has good upside. A good sleeper prospect for a smaller college program.
Cory Barnes 5-11 SR PG Posten Butte HS - 2019 Class
Barnes had a very strong showing for himself in the event - handling and passing the basketball with precision and making plays for himself and others, almost at will in the event. I have not seen Barnes much over the years, but I am impressed with his ability to play as a pure point guard prospect. He has a nice shooting stroke with range, and is able to make plays at the right time in the offense. Has quick lateral quickness, but lacks true physical size on his smaller frame. Will have a big senior season.
Isaiah Wilson 6-1 SR PG/SG Desert Vista HS - 2019 Class
Wilson is a nice overall athlete that would be a terrific prospect on the football field, if he decided to go that route. His serious athleticism allows him to make plays on both ends of the floor. Once he truly realizes how to impact a game on both ends and utilize his athleticism to affect the game, he will maximize his potential as a player. A good ball handler and passer, but does not have a true position. An active rebounder for his size. An excellent on-the-ball defender, which is his best asset as a player. A good sleeper prospect for a smaller college program.
Isaiah Somers 6-5 SR SF Chandler HS - 2019 Class
Somers is an athletically, well-built wing prospect with a nice frame and a high motor. Still raw offensively, he has the skillset and simply needs more time to work on his craft to polish his shooting stroke and also his overall ability to make plays of the dribble. A solid shooter from mid-range, but needs to add consistency to his perimeter shooting stroke to add range to his shot. A good slasher and finisher. A good ball handler for his size. A solid passer. An active rebounder. A good defender with solid lateral quickness that plays passing lanes. Has upside. Son of former Grand Canyon University standout Dale Somers.
Jeremy Terlon-Rodriguez 6-8 SR SF/PF Desert Edge HS - 2019 Class
Rodriguez is an intriguing prospect with good quickness for his size and an unorthodox left-handed shooting stroke, which allows him to make plays for himself and others off the dribble and inside 15-feet. He is an active player that makes up for his lack of consistency on his perimeter shooting stroke with an aggressive style of play around the basket. A solid mid-range shooter and a solid finisher around the basket. An active rebounder on both ends of the floor. Runs the floor hard. A good defender that plays with reckless abandon and will give up his body for his team. Has potential and upside - he just needs to spend time in the gym to realize it.