With the summer evaluation period upon us this July, the 2016 class of prospects will take center stage with college programs across the country, as they become the highest priority for college coaches. Here are our some of the hottest prospects in the state that college coaches will be keeping a close eye on this summer . . .
Mitch Lightfoot 6-9 205 lbs. Gilbert Christian HS (Gilbert, Arizona) - Arizona Power Black
Lightfoot is the #1 prospect in Arizona’s 2016 class after many strong performances this spring on the AAU Circuit in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, respectively. He is one of the more elite prospects on the West Coast. One of the first things that stands out about Lightfoot is how hard he competes on both ends of the floor. On the offensive end of the floor, he uses his large frame and wingspan to create space down low and score/ dunk the ball with authority. He also thrives off of contact on the block and converts at a high rate. He demonstrates solid footwork on the block, and is able to hit shots just out to the 3-point line. On defense, Lightfoot is always mobile and aware of where he is. He is a solid rebounder and a better shot-blocker, as he reads what the offensive player is going to do before he makes his own defensive adjustments. He currently holds offers from Kansas, Vanderbilt, Utah, Creighton, Arizona and Nebraska, and he is getting interest from a variety of other high-major schools.
Cameron Satterwhite 6-3 175 lbs. Gilbert Christian HS (Gilbert, Arizona) - Arizona Power Black
Satterwhite is by far the most explosive athlete in Arizona’s 2016 class. A University of Colorado-commit, Satterwhite possesses a very similar frame and athletic ability to former Colorado and current Fresno State guard Jaron Hopkins. Satterwhite’s offensive game thrives when he has his hand on the basketball in transition, where he uses his long strides to viciously attack the basket - where he either dunks the ball or draws a foul. Satterwhite is also a very capable shooter of the basketball, as he can hit the open shot from 3, or create/pull up off of the dribble from 20-feet and in. Satterwhite uses his long wingspan to be very active on the defensive end as well, and has quick feet to detour offensive players from attacking the basket. I personally feel that Satterwhite’s best basketball is ahead at the college level, due to his tremendous upside on the offensive side of the ball.
J.J. Rhymes 6-4 170 lbs Shadow Mountain HS (Phoenix, Arizona) - Team Bibby
Rhymes is one, if not the toughest player in Arizona’s 2016 Class. A very physical driver, Rhymes uses his body and muscular frame very well to bully defenders and get to the basket where he converts at a very high rate. Rhymes is also a very underrated athlete, as he can finish many transition opportunities with a dunk or use his superior athleticism to finish over defenders. Rhymes has a consistent shooting stroke from 23-feet and in, and is capable of putting the ball on the floor and pulling up from anywhere in the mid-range area. He is a solid defender and uses his frame and feet to cut off offensive players from getting into the lane or getting by him. Rhymes had a big 26-point outing during the high school season against nationally ranked Findlay Prep. He currently holds offers from Grand Canyon University, San Jose St, Northern Colorado and Louisiana Tech.
Michael Bibby Jr. 5-11 160 lbs Shadow Mountain HS (Phoenix, Arizona) - Team Bibby
Bibby is the premier point guard prospect in Arizona’s 2016 class. He possesses a near carbon-copy game to his father, former University of Arizona and NBA standout guard Mike Bibby Sr. Bibby Jr. shoots the ball at a very high clip from nearly any spot on the floor and has unlimited range from 3-point distance. He also can find the open spot on the floor to hit a shot, or can also create his own shot off of the dribble from 3-point or the mid-range elbows. Additionally, Bibby Jr. has a strong handle of the basketball in all situations. He keeps his head up at all times when he has the ball in his hands to see if he can find an open cutter, or someone who is in a better position to score the ball than he is. Bibby Jr. can get into the lane easily with a burst of speed, and then will generally look to dish the ball off or will use a floater to score. He also has very active hands on the defensive side, and gives offensive players fits while they are bringing the ball up the court or in a half court set. J ust recently coming off an injury, look for Bibby Jr. to have a great senior year season. He currently has a long list of offers from Texas Christian University, Gonzaga, Memphis, Oregon, Oregon State, USC and Florida State, and he will begin to pick up more interest as the summer progresses.
Devin Kirby 6-10 190 lbs Basha HS (Chandler, Arizona) - Arizona Magic Elite
Kirby could be the best hybrid big in the 2016 class in Arizona. While Kirby possesses a solid back to the basket post-game, he is more of a stretch-type of big, as he can drag out his post defenders and comfortably hit shots out to the 3-point line. Kirby also has a very quick twitch off of the ground and scores a great deal of his points off of put-backs and dunks around the rim. He is a very capable passer out of the post, as he is always looking to see who is open around him when defenders clasp on him. While Kirby does have a skinny frame, he uses it to his advantage by using his length to deflect and detour shots that come his way. Kirby suffered a tough injury in a freak accident during a fast break attempt in a holiday season tournament, and hasn’t played since December, but he will be back for the summer evaluation period. Kirby currently holds offers from Brown, Dartmouth, Grand Canyon University, Rice, Loyola-Chicago and Georgia Southern.
Chris Bowling 6-7 180 lbs Gilbert HS (Gilbert, Arizona) - Arizona Magic Elite
Chris Bowling is looking to have a big July evaluation period to improve his college recruitment and increase his overall exposure to college coaches. Bowling's length and athleticism are nice attributes that he possesses - making him a very attractive prospect. But when you consider his nice ability to shoot the basketball and stretch the defense with excellent range on his shot, he becomes a formidable prospect. Bowling is still really thin physically, but is still very young for his age and should fill out nicely over time. As he matures physically he should develop nicely at the next level – making him a nice recruiting target. He is a good ball handler and passer – a fundamentally sound performer. A solid rebounder, but as he gains more physical strength and size, this is an area of his game that should pick up. A solid defender that uses his length to get his hands on balls and deflect passes. A very good overall prospect that is currently very underrecruited. Currently the best sleeper prospect in the class, when you consider he does not possess an offer yet.