The Area Codes Super 80 Phoenix took place last Friday evening on the campus of Arizona Christian University and included some of the top prospects in the state from each class.
Here are my top performers on the night from the final game on the evening, the Best of the Best Game. The game included members of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes. This game included many of the top-rated prospects in the state, and also included several prospects from outside the state of Arizona.
This game was led by the overall performance of South Mountain High School's 6-foot-8 senior guard/forward Zylan Cheatham. While nearing a college decision, Cheatham played with a nice passion for the game and showed excellent energy on both ends of the floor. Cheatham handled the basketball nicely in the open floor, found the open man, attacked the rim when possible and even showed off his perimeter touch, which has improved. While Cheatham, still needs work on his perimeter shooting to maximize his effectiveness on the court, his athleticism and size are glaring attributes and allow him to be very productive.
Cheatham indicated to me after the event that he currently will choose from three -schools - Washington, San Diego State and New Mexico. Each school plays a style that is appealing to Cheatham, so it will be interesting to see which school lands the Top 50 national prospect.
Phase 1 Academy is a new prep school program that has developed in the state. With a strong connection to Nike, the newly-developed basketball program will bring many top-rated national and international talent to the school. The best prospect at the school is 6-foot-8 well-put-together senior forward Ray Kasongo (Univ. of Oregon commit). Kasongo recently committed to the University of Oregon, although Phase 1 head coach Ro Russell indicated before the game that the commitment might not be solid. Kasongo is a physical specimen that began the game with a monster transition dunk over a defender. Kasongo is built like a man already, and while he needs to sure up his ability on the perimeter, his physical size, strength and athleticism make him a very attractive prospect for the future. An elite high major prospect.
Dobson HS 6-foot-5 senior combo-guard Kodi Justice (Arizona State commit) continued his steady play in the off-season. Justice committed so early as a college prospect to the Sun Devils that many basketball scouts and media did not have a chance to evaluate him. Justice is a sharp-shooting guard prospect with a nice overall feel for the game and an ability to stretch the defense at a high rate. While it remains to be seen just how much of an impact Justice will be able to make at the PAC-12 level, his understanding of the game is high and he knows how to play.
6-foot-11 senior post Boubacar Toure of Phase 1 Academy is a nice project for the post position. He possesses nice length and a live body, and looks the part of a high major post prospect, although he needs some serious work still on the offensive end. He is an active shotblocker and runs the floor hard. He should develop nicely over time and could be a well-sought after recruiting target late, unless he pulls the trigger early.
6-foot-5 senior guard Zach Green of Mesquite HS was one of the surprise performers from this club season, and continues to play at a high enough level that suggests that he is worthy of the current college recruitment that he has reeled in. Green is an opportunist that seems to play well each time I see him - regardless of the competition. A nice recruiting target for a low to mid-major division-I program.
6-foot-5 senior wing prospect Warren Smith of Manzano HS in New Mexico had his coming-out-party in this game - showing off strong athleticism and a knack for scoring the basketball. A very good slasher and open court player, Smith is an unheralded recruiting target that was among the best sleepers of the event - possibly the best. Smith advised me that he is currently not being recruited heavily by anyone, but that should change soon, as this young man is a nice sleeper prospect for the mid-major division-I level.
Also from Manzano HS in New Mexico was 6-foot-7 senior guard/forward TJ Holyfield. Holyfield is a long and skilled wing prospect with a superb shooting stroke with a quick release. He likes to float on the perimeter but is also capable of finishing strong at the rim. Also a good ball handler and passer for his size. A very active and good shot-blocker with good timing and nice lift off the floor. Holyfield was the best sleeper prospect from the event, and looks to be a serious mid-major plus prospect, that could develop into a high-major prospect if he takes his time in the recruiting process. Currently receiving his best interest from the University of Auburn.
Phase 1 Academy 6-foot-9 senior post Aaron Ariri is a nice looking post prospect with good size and length. A good post player with some nice moves on the low block and good footwork. Ariri is a mid-major prospect that could see a very good level of college recruitment in a class that lacks many talented true post prospects.
A pair of sophomore prospects, 6-foot-2 Cameron Satterwhite of two-time defending state champion Gilbert Christian HS and 6-foot-2 Tyrell Henderson of two-time defending state-champion Corona Del Sol HS, both showed well in the contest and proved why I believe them both to be among the state's top young prospects. Both prospects are consistent scorers for the future.