The 14th Annual Arizona Preps Fall Showcase was very hyped up with 5 national scouts in attendance and 3 Arizona scouts on hand as well.
On October 26th at Inspire Courts in Gilbert, the play on the courts didn’t let anyone down. The talent level of the players in the massive facility was the highest in the state this year. There were 120 boys competing on 12 teams along with the 2 best players in state – Dobson’s Jaron Hopkins and Mesa Mountain View’s Payton Dastrup.
After watching 3 games by each player, here were the top 40 High School players on how well they performed plus one 8th grader – picking back up with the top prospects in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes …
Arizona Preps Fall Showcase Class of 2015 Top Performers
Deion James SF 6’6” Empire HS - The last time I saw Deion was on July 3rd at an event in town and he played PF and C, and I noticed he also displayed some perimeter skills to switch over to the SF position. Now flash forward 4 months and Deion is a rare breed of player that can play or guard almost every position on the court. On defense he can start guarding the bigs down low and hold his own with his natural strength and length. He can grab rebounds on the offensive glass and is a great rebounder in and out of his area due to his aggressiveness. He then can start guarding the little guards and wing players due to his speed and timing. If he switches to the SG position, he will need to increase his lateral quickness to stay with the quicker elite guards. On the offensive end, he has shooting range out to about 18 feet and in, with a nice high release that is hard to block. He can handle the ball like a guard and make crafty passes with his nice court vision. He also can play in the post and has an array of moves to use, since it is not foreign for him. This multi-talented prospect seems to be a mid to high major get in 3 years.
Terrence Johnson SG 6’4” Cienega HS - Terrence is a strong, athletic player. His body is chiseled like a football player and he can run and jump with the best players in his class. He has shooting range out to the 3-point line, but seems to be more comfortable with the mid-range shot. His release is extremely high and, since he jumps so high already, it is almost impossible to block. He actually made a clutch 3-point bomb with 1 minute to go in the best game of the day. Right now he is amazing on the break and a very strong defender. There is probably no one better in his class on defense from the SG spot. He also is an underrated passer, as he can find the open man on the break in traffic. I wouldn’t be surprised that he would become a combo guard at the next level to help facilitate to his teammates. As his skill level grows over the next 3 years, his recruitment will take off. He has a high ceiling potentially among the mid to high majors.
Brandon Hoffer PG 5’11” Chaparral HS - Brandon is the best pure PG I have seen in his class. He looks for his teammates with his head up the whole entire time, and very rarely does he turn it over. He has elite quickness and good speed to blow by his man and then find some assists or go all the way for a lay-up. He gets low to the ground, so you can’t steal the ball and he also has a quick crossover to go by you. During the game, he actually moved over to the SG position and started lighting it up. He has shooting range out to the 3-point stripe, and also loves the mid-range ball. He hit 3 3-point shots and 4 mid-range jumpers in one game. At one point he hit 4 shots in a row. You combine his elite court vision, speed and shooting and you get an elite PG. He will have to work a tad harder on the defensive end, but is no slouch. Brandon should be at least a low to mid major player.
Kenzo Nudo SG 6’3” Chaparral HS - Kenzo is the best shooter I have seen in this class. He has range all the way out to the 3-point line. He can shoot from anywhere on the court. He hit at least 8 3’s in the 3 games. He also hit a bunch of mid-range shots along the day. His form is perfect as he squares up towards the basket the same way every time. He is extremely consistent with his release point, which gives him a clean look every time. He also has a good feel for basketball to make smart passes and move without the ball - finding the open spot on the floor and getting his shot off. His defense is solid, as he gives high effort on all possessions. Kenzo is probably a low major player.
Roderick Springer PG 5’10” Buena HS - Roderick is an elite, pass 1st PG, like Brandon Hoffer, that is constantly trying to set up his teammates. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense with his pace and elite court awareness. He will always make the extra pass to give a teammate an open shot to sacrifice for the win. His best move is his hesitation blow-by to go in for the lay-up or kick it out to an open shooter. He can score if he needs to with range out to the 3-point stripe, but truly only looks for his shot if there is no other play to be made. His defense is solid, as he is a fast player with good lateral quickness. Sometimes you almost wish he could shoot more to see what he can do. I’m guessing the older he gets, the coaching staff will let him score more. This unselfish player is a low major prospect.
Rees Plummer PF 6’5” Deer Valley HS - Rees is a very active, long post player with a lot of bounce in his step. Rees is an incredible rebounder and it seems he plays bigger then his height would even suggest because of his long wingspan. He can grab rebounds in and out of his area with his aggressiveness and timing. The lefty also has a nice touch from 15 feet and in. He also can handle the ball a tad for a big, which makes it easier for him to create his own shot. He also can go up and grab a rebound and dunk it back in with his athleticism. A good defender in the post that alters or blocks some shots. He is a tad skinny, which means he might still grow a little, but needs to put on more muscle. He is a low major prospect.
Sean Wood PF 6’4” Marcos De Niza HS - Sean is a high energy, high motor guy who impacts the game with his aggressiveness. He understands how to get post-position down low, catch the ball and dribble to his spot then turn in the lane and go to work. He grabs offensive rebounds in bunches for extra possessions for his team, and then passes out to the PG and quickly goes back to fighting for position in the paint. He won’t win any finesse awards, but can finish his lay-ups with either hand easily. His body has started filling out, so he might not grow that much more - but this tireless worker will always help do the dirty work. He is a D-II type of prospect.
Luke Reynolds PF 6’4” Buena HS - Luke is another very good rebounding PF, who is a super quick 2nd jumper to get extra rebounds in the paint. He goes very high for his rebounds in traffic and grabs the ball and can put the ball up quickly for an easy basket. He actually has shooting range out to the 3-point line, which is rare for a PF, but at only 6’4”, maybe he will eventually switch to the SF role. He also seemed to be getting better as the game wore down as his stamina seemed real strong and started making more plays down the stretch in key moments. He could grow some more, but if he switches positions, he will have to improve his handles. Luke is a D-II prospect currently.
Thailand Gatlin PG 5’10” Perry HS - Thailand is a great pass 1st PG who excels in the open court and gives high effort on defense. When he gets the ball, he immediately pushes the ball up the floor to find a teammate. He has improved his outside shot from the last time I saw him, but still needs a little work. He gets in your face on defense and creates many turnovers by the opposing team. He had many steals on the day, which usually lead to scores on the other end by him or a teammate. He is a fine young man off the court and a great teammate. He is a D-II type of prospect.
Arizona Preps Fall Showcase Class of 2016 Top Performers
Kenneth Arrick PG 5’10” North Canyon HS - Kenneth is the most cerebral PG in his class. He completely controls the flow of the game at his own pace and is a great spot up shooter. He can use his left or right hand, just as effectively enough to where you are not sure which is his dominant hand. He can also pass with either hand, which is rare to see from a freshman. When you leave him open he will knock down the 3-point shot. He got hot on Saturday and hit 4 3’s in a row. He also uses the mid-range shot and the floater to his disposal when needed. He will never blow-by you, but he is so crafty that he will go by you with his incredible way of keeping his dribble alive. He will have to work on improving his speed and defense over the next 4 years. He should be starting this season at the varsity level already, which will give him a leg-up in his class.
Devin Kirby SF 6’5” Florence HS - Devin is an extremely long player that has a beautiful stroke out to the 3-point line. Devin is the younger brother of Maurice Kirby, who just committed to Virginia Tech and happens to be a 6’9” C. I’m guessing Devin will also grow just as tall as Maurice, but they are very different players. Devin is more of a finesse player who can rebound and block shots well on defense when he goes in the paint. On offense, he usually just faces up and shoots from the mid to 3-point line. The times he does go in the paint, he can be very effective. It will be interesting to follow his progression over the next 4 years. His potential is extremely high and he has an amazing support team from his family.
Arizona Preps Fall Showcase Class of 2017 Top Performers
Caleb Simmons SF 6’3” Centennial MS - Caleb is another player that has a brother playing college. His brother is 6’7” PF Desmond Simmons of the University of Washington. Caleb might have more potential than his brother, which is very scary to think how special he can become. He is real long and lean and glides around on the court with good handles. He is in 8th grade and going against 12th graders - and you wouldn’t even know. He has a nice shot out to the 3-point stripe, but seems like his favorite is the mid-range. He can take the ball to the basket and make a floater or lay-up. He is mostly right handed now, but is improving with his left. He also seems to have a solid feel for basketball as he made a few beautiful passes for assists. I’m guessing he will end up a high major recruit in 5 years.
Here are 10 other players who also caught my attention (Not In Order):
1. Airen Randolph SF 6’5” Westview HS 2013
2. Michael Carter Jr. PG 6’0” Westwind Prep 2013
3. Rashawn Avery SG 6’3” Buena HS 2013
4. AJ Warren SF 6’4” Chandler HS 2013
5. Erik Goodwin PF 6’6” Ray HS 2013
6. Kye De Laveaga SG 6’3” Westwind Prep 2013
7. Eddie Little PG 5’10” Basha HS 2013
8. Malik J.D. Sanders PG 5’8” McClintock HS 2014
9. Romano Bottini SG 6’3” Brophy Prep 2014
10. CJ Carson PG 5’10” Fairfax HS 2015