The state of Arizona is now absolutely loaded with basketball talent in the state - from top to bottom. As a result, while numerous prospects in Arizona's 2018 senior class have already given verbal commitments this fall and will look to sign with their respective college programs this month, there are still many top-rated basketball prospects still available in the state for college programs to take a very hard look at throughout the high school season, and this spring.
Here is Part I of a long list of top-rated basketball prospects still available in the state of Arizona's 2018 class that college coaches should take a very hard look at this high school season, in preparation for the late, spring signing period (In no particular order) . . .
Both Gach 6-6 SR PG/SG/SF AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ)
Gach is a superb basketball talent with loads of athleticism and a tremendous offensive skillset, which allows him to be very productive at a high level on the basketball court. He also has excellent work ethic and loves the game, and also enjoys putting in the time to develop as a player. Gach came from a small town in Minnesota, and was very under rated, as many had not seen him play. He has the potential as a player and ability that suggests that he is as good a prospect as there is currently in Arizona's 2018 class, almost immediately. You can put Goch among the top overall talents in the state effective immediately, as this young man possesses an excellent handle of the basketball and a pure shooting stroke, with unlimited range and an ability to create his own shot. He has a very soft shooting touch and an advanced feel for the game. He also has unique athleticism, which allows him to get out on the break and make plays in transition - finishing above the rim in a variety of ways, which will bring the crowd to their feet this high school season. A can-t miss prospect. Still needs work done in the classroom to qualify academically.
Abdou Ndiaye 6-9 SR PF/C CGM Prep Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
Ndiaye just moved to the state of Arizona to attend CGM Prep Academy via the state of New York where he attended another prep program last season. Ndiaye is actually a post-grad prospect, but he will play for CGM's national high school program this season. He is a super lengthy and athletic post talent with an ability to run the floor like a wing and superior athleticism, which allows him to play well above the rim and finish plays at a superb rate and in fine fashion. He also has a good overall skill level, which allows him to make shots from the perimeter with a soft touch. Ndiaye is an immediate high-major prospect that immediately will make an impact, and become one of the elite level talents in the state. Combined with other recent high-major division-I level talent that has entered the state, Ndiaye is at the top of the list of available 2018 prospects immediately, and will receive loads of division-I interest this school year.
Stephan Gabriel 6-8 SR SF/PF AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ)
Gabriel (pictured) is a very strong and athletic physical specimen that has the potential to play at the highest level as a result of his overall toughness, physicality and ability to make plays on the floor. Gabriel is a force on both ends of the floor, as a result of his size and mobility, which he uses to bully opposing players and make things happen on the court. A solid shooter with range on his shot, but has a very strong ability to make plays off the dribble at the rim. Finishes well above the rim. Versatile prospect that has amazing work ethic. Plays both sides of the floor. Has big, strong hands and excellent lateral quickness on the court. An active and strong rebounder. Runs the floor hard and is an excellent finisher. A big-time sleeper prospect.
Demarius Jacobs 6-3 SR SG Hillcrest Prep Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
A native of Chicago and a recent transfer to Hillcrest Prep. A very athletic guard prospect with a good overall feel for the game and an ability to make plays for himself and others. An excellent finisher at the rim and in the open floor. A very good slasher. Shoots the ball well with range on his shot, and has a strong ability to make plays at the basket and at the rim. Has a very good handle of the basketball, and also is a good passer that sees the floor. An excellent defender with exceptional lateral quickness and quick hands. Has a bright future ahead of him. Recently de-committed from Southern Illinois and is playing his post-grad year at Hillcrest this season.
Dwayne Walker 6-3 SR PG/SG AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ)
Walker is a left-handed shooting guard prospect with combo-guard capabilities. He has a nice, pure shooting stroke with a quick release that allows him to get his shot off quite well, while also being able to put the ball on the deck and make plays at a high level for himself towards the basket. He is a strong finisher at the rim and has very good athleticism for himself - a very good attribute for a combo-guard prospect. Walker is a good ball handler and passer, but he is at his best scoring the basketball, which he does at a high rate. He is a strong rebounder for his size, which suits him nicely. He is also a capable lock-down defender and has excellent lateral quickness, while also being able to play passing lanes quite well. He is strong in the open floor where he thrives, and is a good slasher as well in the half court set. To maximize his college recruitment, Walker will need to prove that he can play the point guard position consistently, and make players around him better in game situations.
Rashad Smith 6-5 SR PG/SG Hamilton HS (Chandler, AZ)
Smith is a bigger guard prospect that is able to play both guard positions on the floor, but is at his best as a scorer. He is a very good shooter with excellent range on his shot, and a nice ability to make plays off the dribble for himself and others. He has an excellent handle of the basketball and is a very good slasher and finisher in the open court. He pushes the ball up the floor to the open man, and also enjoys having the basketball in his hands. He has good overall size and a quick release on his shot. A good athlete. An active rebounder but needs to continue to focus on this area of his game, which should progress nicely over time. A good on-the-ball defender that also plays passing lanes. Has upside as a player. A good overall guard prospect for the mid-major level, with very good potential for the future. A sleeper.
Meekness Payne 6-7 SR SF/PF Arizona Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ)
An athletic combo-forward that has very good versatility and work ethic. As a result of his work ethic and desire to be a player, Payne has developed a great deal in a short period of time. Payne is a very good shooter of the basketball and has some range on his shot, which opens up his ability to make plays off the dribble and around the basket. An active rebounder that rebounds outside of his area, and is also a very good finisher inside the paint. He has a good jump hook and good low post footwork as well, which allows him to play inside and out. A good mid-range shooter and performer. Runs the floor hard and is an excellent finisher in transition. A very good low post defender – capable of defending smaller players on the perimeter. A good passer out of the post. A strong sleeper prospect that will only get better over time.
Amari Hudson 6-1 SR PG Skyline Prep HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Hudson recently was selected as the Tournament MVP in this year's Arizona Preps Fall Showcase, as a result of his terrific play. He has excellent physical strength and a nice ability to get into the lane and finish strong at the rim. He also has a nice shooting stroke from mid-range and a strong ability to operate from mid-range around defenders - a lost art among guards today. Scoring the ball is the most impressive aspect of Hudson’s game right now, as he can do it with the best of them. He can score from all three levels, but is really at his best from the mid-range, as he is most comfortable and efficient from 18 feet and in. He uses a great variety of step-backs and creates separation very well from defenders, in order for him to score so well. Hudson also uses his strong, compact frame to bully defenders while in the lane and finish strong at the rim. A native of Chicago, Hudson also brings fire and that wanted toughness on the defensive end. He is very active with his hands, which leads to multiple steals and creates fast breaks and points for himself and teammates. He is also laterally quick and is able to cut off players and defer them from where they want to go on the court. A solid all-around guard prospect that has matured nicely over the past two years and is set to have a huge senior season.
Wesley Harris 6-5 SR SF Desert Vista HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Harris had a good overall summer and led his team to a runner-up finish in the Pangos Sweet 16 in California. Harris is an exciting performer with an ultra-live body and motor, and serious bounce off the floor - allowing him to make plays on the court that most prospects cannot make. Harris uses every bit of his good motor to make plays on both ends of the floor. To maximize his potential as a college prospect and to develop as a player, Harris will definitely need to shoot the basketball better and with range, but his ability to play above the rim is glaring and allows him to compete at a high level. An OK ball handler and passer. A solid mid-major prospect.
Jaden Lee 6-2 SR PG/SG Mesquite High School (Gilbert, AZ)
Lee is a high-wire athlete that is a highlight reel dunker. He has better than a 40-inch vertical leap that allows him to play well above the rim. Able to finish big-time dunks in transition, while slashing to the basket or in the lane over defenders. An excellent slasher and finisher that thrives in the open floor. Has a very good mid-range game. A capable combo-guard prospect but enjoys scoring way too much to play the point position full-time. A big-time scorer. A very good ball handler that can create his own shot almost at will. An OK passer. A solid rebounder that needs to focus more in this area to maximize his potential as a player. A good defender that plays passing lanes very well. A capable lock-down defender if he focuses on it. Has star potential over time, just will need to get it done in the classroom to maximize his future on the court.
Christian Anigwe 6-9 SR PF Desert Vista HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Anigwe has a bright future ahead of him. A long, athletic post player that is still growing a great deal physically. Has excellent potential as a prospect. The younger brother of Cal’s Kristine Anigwe (PAC-12, Top 20 HS player nationally). An active four man prospect with a long wingspan. Runs the floor and is a good finisher. Good low post player with good footwork. Solid shooter out to 18 feet. Active rebounder and shot blocker. Still developing and learning how good he can be, but a nice overall talent. A nice sleeper prospect.
Bryce Davis 6-7 SR SF/PF Deer Valley High School (Glendale, AZ)
A big-bodied stretch four-man prospect that likes to play inside and out. At his best around the basket and from mid-range, but he is also able to stretch the floor as needed and make shots from the perimeter with range. Capable of getting overweight, and needs to drop 10-15 pounds to reach his maximum potential as a player. A nice overall physical talent. A good rebounder that does not mind physical contact. Runs the floor. An OK ball handler and passer. Good shotblocker. Has excellent potential and upside.
Jaylin Fleming 6-3 SR PG Arcadia HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Fleming is very much improved and also much physically stronger, and he has yet to pick up a weight. Fleming is an excellent ball handler and passer, and is a pass-first point guard that enjoys running a team and making players around him better. He is electric off the dribble and has an explosive first step. When traveling downhill with the basketball, he is almost unguardable and is able to finish very strong in the lane. He is a strong finisher in the lane and has an ability to get to the free-throw line quite often, as a result of his aggressiveness. He also pushes the basketball up the floor to the open man, and is excellent in an up-tempo offensive style of play. Fleming is also a strong on-the-ball defender that is a capable lock-down defender over time. He stays in front of his man consistently, and forces the offensive player to almost do what he wants them to. Fleming also plays passing lanes and puts pressure on opposing passers. Fleming is also among the finest young men that you will meet - a student-athlete with very high character, on and off the basketball court.
Khot Anyieth 6-5 SR SF Peoria HS (Peoria, AZ)
Anyieth is a very talented and athletic combo-forward prospect that is able to play multiple positions on the floor, and, most importantly, defend multiple positions on the floor. He is a long, lengthy and rangy forward prospect with excellent toughness and a great motor. He accepts challenges on both ends of the floor and enjoys defending the opposing team's best offensive player. He runs the floor hard and is a very good finisher and scorer while slashing to the basket, or in the open court. Offensively, Anyieth can play either as a small forward or as a power forward. He is still very thin physically and will need to add more physical size and strength to maximize his potential as a player. He can score effectively around the basket with good footwork and a nice offensive skillset. He is an active rebounder and shotblocker with good timing. He is a capable ball handler and passer, that needs to continue to refine his overall skills to maximize his production over time. Defensively, Anyieth is a nice asset to any team, as he uses his superior length to contest and block/change shots. He also plays passing lanes very well, and makes it difficult for offensive players to get into any rhythm. This young man has excellent potential over time, and would be an excellent recruit for any smaller college program.
Lahad Adeim 6-4 SR PF Peoria HS (Peoria, AZ)
Adeim has excellent work ethic, and a high-energy motor that he plays with on both ends of the floor. His high motor allows him to play all over the floor, and also make plays for his team on both ends of the floor. He rebounds outside of his area, which makes him very valuable for his team. Offensively, Adeim is still a work in progress. He has a solid left-handed shooting stroke and is a solid mid-range shooter. He does not take many shots beyond the arc, but rather gets scoring opportunities primarily while slashing to the basket and in the open floor. Adeim is a very good finisher and has a long, rangy frame which allows him to make plays at the rim. He plays above the rim, so as he adds more physical girth to his thin frame, he should see his ability to finish develop. While Adeim still needs to develop his offensive skills to make himself a complete player, his activity on the floor is so glaring that he can help any team that he competes for and is an asset to his team. He is a very good sleeper prospect and has the potential to become a nice recruiting target late for a smaller college program.