The Mullen's Prep Showcase in the Desert took place in exciting fashion this weekend at the PHHacility in South Phoenix, and featured some of the top prep programs in the West and also a loaded Arizona Western Junior College team that proved how good they will be in the ACCAC this junior college season. Organized by the nation's premier junior college scout Jerry Mullen, one of the nicest and high-character people in the business, this event was loaded with division-I college coaches at this year's event - making for an exciting atmosphere for players and teams in participation.
I was in attendance for the full event, and was very impressed with the level of play and also the overall performance of the teams in the event. The event was terrific overall and exciting for me to watch, especially after covering the ACCAC JUCO Jamboree all day on Saturday. I got my fill of high-level basketball this weekend and came away very impressed with numerous prospects from the day.
Here are my top overall performers from the event this weekend (regardless of class - in no particular order). While there were numerous prospects from the West in action, here are my top performers from the Arizona prep programs in the event . . .
Addison Patterson 6-7 JR SG/SF Bella Vista Prep National - 2020 Class
A native of Canada, Patterson moved to the state of Arizona this summer to attend Bella Vista, and it was a major get for the Scottsdale-based program. Patterson is a superb talent that is well beyond his years in his play. A skilled 2/3 prospect that also is capable of playing the point position as well, as needed. He seems to do everything well, as he is an excellent shooter of the basketball with range on his shot, and also has a very good mid-range game - a lost art form. He is a very good ball handler and passer that sees the floor very well, and is capable of making players around him better - something he should develop a great deal over the next year. He is deceivingly athletic as well, which is a very nice attribute. An active and good rebounder for his size, and a strong finisher at the basket and in the lane. This young man has it all, and looks to be a serious national prospect in America's 2020 Class.
Sadraque Nganga 6-9 FR SF AZ Compass Prep - 2022 Class
Nganga is new to the United States and also the state of Arizona, after moving from Angola this summer. Since moving to the states, Nganga has emerged immediately as a top-rated national prospect - as good as any 2022 prospect in America. He was terrific this weekend in the event, as he looked much improved and more aggressive as a player offensively, and showed an improved perimeter shooting stroke with range. Nganga is a big-time future prospect with a serious skillset and nice length and size already at such a young age. Standing 6-9 in height, he is able to play several positions and is fundamentally sound - a rare find for a player so tall and young in age. He has an advanced skillset that allows him to play as a guard, and also play very effectively on the wing. A prospect with loads of potential for the future and among the elite overall prospects in America's 2022 Class. The sky is the limit here.
Rick Issanza 7-1 SR C Bella Vista Prep National - 2019 Class
Issanza has seen his college recruitment pick up a great deal as of late, and he showed why this weekend - proving that he is among the best defensive post players in the country. Issanza blocked numerous shots at the rim and at the top of the square in the event. He is a rare find as a result of his tremendous size and length. He is a long and strong basketball post prospect that runs the floor hard and is a strong finisher around the rim. He has unique size and agility, and has developed some low-post offensive skills over the past year. He blocks or changes almost every shot in his area, and is also able to extend and alter shots outside of his area when he decides to. Issanza runs the floor extremely well, and is an excellent finisher in transition, where he gets to the rim and finishes above it. An active rebounder that rebounds outside of his area. He has unlimited potential and upside as a player. A sure-fire pro prospect for the future, especially if he continues to work hard.
Terry Armstrong 6-7 SR SF Bella Vista Prep National - 2019 Class
Armstrong is narrowing a college decision very soon, but as the season nears, he is also focusing on his play. A big-time wing prospect with a high motor, Armstrong is a long, ultra-athletic and bouncy wing prospect that plays well above the rim and has good overall versatility. He likes to handle the basketball in the open floor and make plays for himself and others off the dribble. He is especially gifted in the open floor where he is a threat to make plays above the rim, and over and around defenders, or shoot the three-ball in transition. He has a very good handle of the basketball and is a solid passer, and is able to put of points in a hurry. He has excellent range on his shot and is difficult to defend off the dribble as a result. Has improved in his approach to the game, and showed better shot selection this weekend. An active rebounder, but he needs to focus more in this area. A solid defender. Plays passing lanes very well though. Has excellent potential and upside for the future.
Shon Robinson 6-10 JR SF/PF Eduprize HS - 2020 Class
Robinson is a long, and lengthy combo-forward prospect that will likely continue to develop into much more of a wing over the next couple years of high school basketball. He will see the majority of his playing time in the post until he matures physically, but he is a very talented and gifted performer that has a variety of skillsets. He has very good versatility as a player and is capable of scoring inside and out. He has added some good size to his once thin frame, over the past year. Robinson's length though allows him to block/change shots consistently, which is a very nice attribute that he possesses. I would like to see him become much more of a shotblocker over time, as he continue to mature physically. He is also very active on the floor, which allows him to impact shots anywhere near the paint, while also allowing him to rebound outside of his area on the floor. Runs the floor hard and is a good finisher in transition. Had the best dunk of the day in transition - chest-to-chest with a defender after being fouled on the play. One of the hottest prospects in the country's 2020 Class, and a serious prospect for the future.
Jalin Anderson 6-2 JR PG AZ Compass Prep - 2020 Class
Anderson is a high-scoring guard prospect with loads of offensive talent in his physical frame. He proved it in the event, as he went off in the first half for his team, but he would fail to lead his team to victory in the second half. Anderson has a unique ability to make plays off the dribble and get a basket anywhere from the floor. He likes to have the basketball in his hands at make plays off the dribble. He has excellent body control and a change of pace and speed, which keeps defenses guessing and makes it difficult to stay in front of him. He has a nice shooting stroke with unlimited range, which sets up his defender for strong drives to the basket, where he is an excellent finisher and also draws fouls and gets to the free-throw line. Anderson is a lethal guard prospect with the basketball in his hands - a strong playmaker that plays with loads of self-confidence in his ability to play the game. A very good ball handler and passer that is capable of running a team, and also carrying one offensively. He is an excellent penetrator and finisher in the lane, that uses floaters to score over bigger defenders. Anderson has very good lateral quickness and quick hands and feet, which make him an excellent defender as well. He plays passing lanes very well. Anderson has the potential to become a lock-down defender over time, a valuable asset as a guard prospect.