The Double Pump Best of the Summer Tournament was held July 18-21 in downtown Anaheim, California at the American Sports Center. The Center is a massive basketball factory that holds 32 full basketball courts. All courts were being utilized from dawn to near dusk.
Of the Arizona prospects that I was able to watch, I believe these are the top “sleeper” prospects that I feel are worthy of more college recruitment. There are many in the state of Arizona, but these four prospects head my list . . .
Pablo Rivas 6-6 SR Cesar Chavez HS (2014) - Team Zona
Pablo was one of the best prospects that I saw the entire tournament. He had very few major schools watching his games, which I feel puts him into the “sleeper” category. Pablo scores the basketball in a very old-school way. He uses his great lift on his jump-shot to bank in most of his shots from the mid-range area, uses pump fakes and ball fakes to score under the basket, and draws his defenders out to the 3-point line. Once he has drawn them into 3-point range, he uses his superior athleticism to rise over them. Pablo is also one of the best rebounders of the basketball that I saw the entire tournament. Once the shot is up, he finds the nearest body and boxes them out and gets the rebound at a very high rate. After averaging 22 ppg and 13 rpg, as well as leading his high school program to a 29-3 record, Pablo is definitely among the elite 2014 prospects in Arizona, and I expect that we will see his stock rise at a tremendous rate during the 2013-2014 Arizona high school season. Pablo currently holds offers from NAU, Denver and Portland State, and is also receiving interest from such schools as UC- Riverside and Tulsa.
Austin Nehls 6-3 SR Catalina Foothills HS (2014) - Arizona Magic Pump N Run 2014
Nehls was one of the main reasons that his loaded 2014 Arizona Magic team reached the Elite 8 in the tournament this weekend. But, he is still not receiving the interest that I feel he is deserves. He scored the ball at all three levels this weekend, and was the most effective from the 3-point line. He hit almost every single shot that he took from that area. He also is a deceptively strong driver to the hoop. He took many defenders off the dribble and bodied them to score the ball, or was able to change his hands in mid-air to score around them. He is also very active on the defensive end. He has great defensive positioning and gets steals because of his ability to read the passing lanes very well. Nehls averaged around 20 ppg for Catalina Foothills in Tucson as a junior, and is, by far, one of the best prospects in all of the Tucson area for 2014. While he is beginning to generate some serious recruitment from some smaller college programs, another strong performance this week in Vegas could improve his recruiting stock even more.
Jake Mortensen 6-6 SR Perry HS (2014) - Arizona Magic Pump N Run 2014
Mortensen may not appear to be the star player on his team, score flashy buckets, or get the big poster dunk, but he is one of the best “glue guys” in his class, and he makes any team he is on better. Mortensen does all the essential things on the court that gets his Arizona Magic Pump N Run team win after win after win at these high level West Coast tournaments. He is an animal on the offensive and defensive glass, and fights for all of the second chance points he can get his hands on. He is also a solid driver of the basketball, as I saw him take his defender off the dribble and score at the rim many times. He won’t shy away from the big shot and proved it when he hit a huge game-sealing 3-pointer vs. a very tough Nor Cal Wildcats team on the 3rd day of action. Mortensen is a player that every college coach needs on their team, due to his hard work on the court and ability to do whatever it takes for his team to get the win. Like Nehls, he is beginning to generate some serious recruitment from some smaller college programs, and another strong performance this week in Vegas could improve his recruiting stock a great deal.
Tarion May 5-11 JR Fairfax HS (2015) - Team Zona
While many people around the state may not know who he is and he may be considered a“sleeper,” Tarion will, in my opinion, be a household name by this time next year. At 5-foot-11, he is one of the most athletic point guards that I have seen at his size. He dunks the ball with ease and excels in transition due to his quickness with the ball in his hands, and his ability to rise over defenders or use his strong frame to bully them around the basket. He also has a very smooth jump-shot with excellent lift. He can shoot from all around the court, but especially from the 3-point line. He is a solid floor leader, as well as a very good passer and always looks up to find an open player for a shot or a player cutting to the basket. Tarion is also hard to guard in the lane, as he possess a very quick crossover that gets by a majority of his defenders. Once by his defenders, he is strong around the goal and scores at a high rate - due to his athleticism and great frame. May is, by far, one the best players in the 2015 class in Arizona and I am very interested to see how he does during the up-coming high school season.