There is still a very nice group of talented prospects still available in the state this spring for college coaches to take a strong look at during the spring evaluation period. Here is a list of the state's top available prospects still available in the state - in no particular order.
Top Available Arizona 2017 Prospects - Part I
Marcus Shaver 6-1 SR PG Shadow Mountain HS (Phoenix, AZ) – (Released from his NLOI from UC-Santa Barbara)
Shaver is a big-time athletic talent at the guard position, and is capable of playing both guard positions, as a result, of his ability to score the basketball at a very high rate. He plays above the rim in the open floor and is a superb athletic talent that has excellent work ethic on and off the basketball court. A big-time scorer with the basketball in his hands, Shaver is able to make plays for himself and others almost at will. A very good shooter of the basketball with excellent range on his shot, Shaver is difficult to defend one-on-one, as a result of his ability to score off the dribble and make plays in the paint, where he is an excellent finisher. A very good rebounder for his size. He pushes the basketball on the break at a high rate and applies serious pressure on opposing defenses. An excellent on-the-ball defender that also plays passing lanes. A potential lock-down defender at the next level. An excellent ball handler and passer that sees the floor. An excellent sleeper prospect that should become an immediate contributor - regardless of the level he lands at. Has gotten it done nationally against the country’s top competition. A former Top 50 national prospect.
Virshon Cotton 6-1 SR PG Hillcrest Prep Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
One of the shiftiest guards around. His handle is very tight/precise, and he can frankly do whatever he wants to with the ball. He has blow-by speed off of the dribble and really is tough once he is in the lane (finishes through contact/ uses body as shield to score over bigger and stronger defenders). He is a capable shooter from 3 (good lift), but really looks at his best when he is getting into the lane - looking for other players flashing to the basket. He holds offers from Northern Arizona, UC-Davis, Southern Utah, NJIT, Robert Morris, North Dakota and Winona State.
Andrija Ristanovic 6-10 SR SF/PF Hillcrest Prep Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
Ristanovic has began to turn heads early this season with his potential for the future and his advanced skillset. Ristanovic is an excellent shooter with range on his shot, and is also able to make plays off the dribble for himself and others. He has a good handle of the basketball and is good in the open floor, where he likes to push the basketball and make plays in transition. Still very thin physically, but his skill level suggests that he will be able to get by until he adds size to his thin frame. Has serious upside as a prospect.
Colten Kresl 6-0 SR PG Chaparral HS (Scottsdale, AZ)
Kresl is a big-time scorer from the guard position and he has a superior knack for making shots from anywhere on the floor. He has the ability to keep his handle alive in the most difficult situations and pass with either hand. An excellent shooter with excellent range on his shot. Able to shoot the basketball from the stand-still position or while on the move. Can create for himself or others off the dribble, almost at will. An excellent ball handler. Solid passer. Capable defender. A very good sleeper prospect from the guard position.
Caleb Simmons 6-6 SR SF Desert Vista HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Simmons has an excellent body already and uses his nice body to bully defenders on the low block, and is also able to step outside to the 3-point line, where he is able to hit shots. Still needs to become more consistent in his shooting stroke from longer ranges. Has a nice mid-range game. Able to score off the dribble and finish plays inside the paint and around defenders. A good ball handler with good versatility. A solid rebounder that needs to focus more in this area of his game. Good open court player and slasher. An active on-ball defender that plays passing lanes and gets deflections. Has good size. A solid looking prospect.
Malik Porter 6-4 SR SG/SF Cesar Chavez HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Porter is the state's most athletic individual talent. Porter has NBA athleticism and very quick lift off the floor, where he is able to finish high above the rim on a vertical jump and in traffic. He is able to catch passes from almost anywhere on the floor and finish high-wire act dunks over defenders. He possesses a long, lengthy frame which allows him to play much bigger than his size suggests, and is an excellent defender that blocks shots like that of NBA superstar Lebron James. Porter is a very much unheralded prospect that has flown excessively well below the recruiting radar for some time. It is still unclear as to whether he will qualify academically, since he still needs to receive a passing test score. If he decides to go the juco route, this young man will become a hot commodity over time.
Mikel Beyers 6-9 SR SF/PF Dysart HS (Glendale, AZ)
Beyers is definitely among the very elite available prospects in the state's 2017 Class this spring. While still a sleeper prospect, this young man should blossom in the future. Beyers is a serious talent with excellent length of body and a nice overall skillset. He has excellent potential as a player, as he is long and rangy, and has a very good ability to shoot the basketball with unlimited range on his shot. While his length and size suggests that he is a post player, Beyers enjoys playing on the perimeter and in the open floor, where he is able to make plays with the basketball in his hands and also finish plays well above the rim. He is a good ball handler and passer for his size, that likes to advance the basketball up the floor, and also runs the floor like a guard. Beyers is also a good and active rebounder that rebounds outside of his area on the floor. He is a solid defender with good lateral quickness, and is an exceptional shotblocker that also has the ability to change shots. He still needs to mature physically and get a body, but once he does, watch out. Beyers is a big-time talent with a very bright future.
Demond Hart 6-9 SR C Cesar Chavez HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Hart is a large post prospect that is still very raw offensively. He has never truly been coached, so he still needs a lot of work overall on his approach to the game. His size though is very attractive, and he possesses very good athleticism for his size – able to finish plays strong at the rim and also keep plays alive with his quick jump off the floor. A very good rebounder and finisher. Also a good shotblocker with excellent timing. Doesn’t score unless off a finish from an assist. Needs to develop his post skills, but can be a force defensively. Runs the floor very well. A project that will blossom over time with serious skill work and focus.
Morningstar Takapu 6-8 SR PF Millennium HS (Goodyear, AZ)
Takapu is a nice talent in the state and a rare find at his true size and skill level. This young man is a physical load and moves like a wing. He also has a variety of offensive moves that suggests that he could see some time on the perimeter as he continues to develop and mature physically. He has a good feel for the game and is able to make plays for himself off the dribble, where he finishes strong at the basket. A good low-post player with good footwork and quickness for his size in the paint. A good mid-range shooter, but still needs to improve his consistency from longer ranges. An active rebounder that gets good low-post position. A good finisher inside that should become much more effective over time. A good ball handler for his size. OK passer. Good low-post defender. Struggles guarding quicker players on the wing, so needs to defend post players until he becomes quicker on the perimeter with his feet. Has the potential to become a very serious prospect over time. A nice sleeper prospect.