The early signing period for the 2019 Class is here, but will end on Wednesday, November 21st, after beginning on November 14th. With the end of the early signing period, the majority of Arizona's top prospects will still be available this spring for college coaches to take a hard look at. While some of the top prospects have signed with college programs of their choice, there are still numerous prospects still available for college coaches to evalauate this high school season.
Here are my top available prospects in Arizona's 2019 senior class to watch for this high school season. There are still loads of players still on the recruiting board for college programs to pursue. There are two parts to this story, as a result of the large number of prospects still available this spring (In no particular order) . . .
Rick Issanza 7-1 SR C Bella Vista Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
Issanza is a rare find - a long and strong basketball post prospect that runs the floor and has a variety of offensive skills. He has unique size and agility, which allows him to make plays around the basket with a soft touch and with advanced footwork. 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. He is a good low-post scorer that times his time in the post to make shot attempts, and also finds the open man on the floor when double-teamed. Also an active rebounder that rebounds outside of his area. A sure-fire pro prospect for the future, and if he continues to work hard, the sky is the limit for him. Issanza will be a major target in the spring for many colleges to attempt to land for their respective programs.
Nicholas Elame 6-4 SR PG/SG Bella Vista Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
The athletic combo-guard has a good overall feel for the game and very good versatility. He is a strong driver of the basketball and a very good finisher inside the lane over bigger defenders. He is also a good shooter of the basketball with range, and has a nice mid-range game for himself, which allows him to stop on a dime and make shots. He is a good ball handler and passer that sees the floor. He is also a very good defender that plays passing lanes and has quick hands and feet. Elame has the potential to play at the mid-major level and maybe higher.
Majok Deng 6-5 SR SF Salpointe Catholic HS (Tucson, AZ)
It is amazing that Deng is still available and on this recruitng board. After receiving loads of division-I interest early, Deng saw his college recruitment tail off a bit this fall. Deng is a special talent in the state, and has a unique ability to play the game - possessing a high motor that allows him to outplay his competition consistently. Deng is a high-major athlete with a serious motor on both ends of the floor. He is very active on both ends of the court and plays with excellent confidence - his best attributes as a player. Deng is a very good slasher and open court player, and is difficult for opposing defenders to keep off the glass. He is a mis-match for defenders at this point in his young career, as he is able to play inside and out. Deng is also a very good shooter with range on his shot, but likes to operate from mid-range where he is able to go around defenders and make plays around the paint. He is fundamentally sound and is a very good ball handler and passer. An excellent teammate, as he plays with reckless abandon and is a winner. Deng is also a lock-down defender - his best attribute as a player.
Jimmy Bell 6-11 SR C Bella Vista Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
Bell is an absolute force in the paint and around the basket. After losing loads of weight for himself and refining his approach to the game, Bell had a very strong spring and summer performance for himself, and, as a result, he earned numerous offers for himself. Bell is a true wide-body post prospect with amazing size already for the collegiate level. He has a nice overall skillset and knows how to play the game, and is a good low-post offensive talent that scores effectively with his back to the basket. Also able to face up to the basket and make moves either direction and finish strong around the rim. A strong finisher around the basket. Runs the floor well. A strong rebounder and a good shot blocker. A good passer out of the low post. His added fitness to his once large frame, has improved his ability to play the game a great deal. A nice sleeper prospect that will only gain much more recruiting interest as time develops.
Jackson Ruai 6-3 SR SG Amphitheater High School (Tucson, AZ)
Ruai is actually down to a few schools, so he may actually be done in his college recruitment, but if he decides to open up his college recruitment, he could become one of the more sought after recruiting targets out there this spring. He is an electric guard prospect with a long, rangy body and excellent quickness and athleticism. He plays much bigger than his size suggests as a result of his length and bounciness off the floor. He is a good shooter of the basketball with range on his shot, and can create his own shot effectively off the dribble. He is an excellent finisher in traffic and in the open floor, an area of his game which will really develop over time as he matures physically. He is an excellent defender with good court anticipation and is able to play passing lanes effectively for steals and transition baskets. He has the ability to become a lock-defender over time. He also is capable of playing both guard positions on the floor, although he is at his best as a scorer from the off-guard position. He does like to have the basketball in his hands and make plays for his team. While he should grow still a great deal over the next two years, he should be able to play both backcourt positions over time.
Emmanuel Taban 6-7 SR SG/SF Apollo High School (Glendale, AZ)
Taban is a among the most talented prospects still available for the spring, and this summer, while playing for his club program, The Factory, Taban received numerous offers for himself. As a long, lengthy guard prospect, Taban looked very attractive and showed excellent versatility. This young man has tremendous potential for the future, as he has exceptional upside as a basketball prospect. Possessing a long but very thin frame physically, Taban is the kind of prospect scouts and media enjoy seeing – a long wing prospect with very good overall versatility and a slashing mindset. Taban's best offensive asset is his ability to shoot the basketball with range. He is a solid defender that uses his length and athleticism to defend passing lanes and get steals, while also being able to deflect passes. He has excellent versatility as a player, and should be able to play several positions on the floor over time as he matures physically.
Tyrek Chambers 6-2 SR PG Bella Vista Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
A native of Brooklyn, New York and a recent transfer to the state. An excellent point guard prospect with a terrific feel for the game, and a knack for making plays at a high rate whenever he has the ball in his hands. Loves to have the ball and is an elite ball handler, passer and scorer, whichever he decides to focus on. Makes plays look easy and makes other players around him better. Has a nice shooting stroke with unlimited range and can make shots while in motion or from standstill position. Shares a resemblance to NBA guard Damien Lillard. Pushes the basketball up the floor. Sees plays before they happen. A very good defender that plays passing lanes, and is capable of becoming a lock-down defender. A special talent. Chambers decided to leave Desert Vista this fall and landed at Bella Vista Prep.
Emmanuel Kabasele Tshimanga 6-10 SR C Bella Vista Prep (Scottsdale, AZ)
Tshimanga is a large post talent with big hands and feet and a large frame that he uses to gain excellent inside post position inside the paint. He has good low-post footwork and a nice jump-hook, which he uses effectively to score inside the paint. He has a good overall skill level and is able to step outside and make shots out to three-point distance. Has really improved a great deal over the past several years. His best quality is his size. He runs the floor very well for his size, but needs to trim his weight some to become much more fluid running the floor. He plays hard and competes at a high level. A good low-post prospect that should continue to develop nicely. A very good student with a good personality.
Otis Frazier 6-5 SR SF Buckeye HS (Buckeye, AZ)
An athletic and skilled wing prospect with an excellent motor and a knack for scoring the basketball. A solid shooter with range, but at his best shooting from the standstill position from three, and scoring of off the dribble. A good mid-range player as well. A good ball handler for his size. A solid passer. An active rebounder. A good defender with good lateral quickness, capable of defending several positions. A very good sleeper prospect that I want to see more of.
Dischon Thomas 6-9 SR PF Hillcrest Prep Academy (Phoenix, AZ)
Thomas decided to re-open his college recruitment after committing early to the University of Nevada. He is now seeing his college recruitment take off. Thomas is a superb young talent with a very bright future ahead of him. A long and lengthy forward prospect with loads of talent for the future, and with excellent upside as a player. Thomas is a skilled combo-forward with a solid perimeter shooting stroke with range, and an ability to score inside and out. He has a good length of body and a nice wingspan and is still growing a great deal, which will help him a great deal over time in his ability to develop into a serious division-I prospect. Thomas has a high basketball IQ and knows how to play the post position, while also being able to step outside and make perimeter shots. He always seems to take good shots within the offense. An active rebounder and shotblocker also, Thomas utilizes his length to make plays - an excellent offensive rebounder. Thomas' wingspan also makes him a good shotblocker. He also has good timing as a shotblocker and changes shots of players around the paint. He should really improve in this area over time. He is a strong rebounder, especially on the offensive end where he is able to effectively rebound and get put-backs for his team. He runs the floor very well and finishes strong in transition at the rim. Has a huge upside.
D’Maurian Williams 6-3 SR PG Westview HS (Avondale, AZ)
Williams has seen his college recruitment tail off, although he deserves much higher recruitment. Williams is very impressive in his ability to play the game of basketball and make plays for himself and others. Williams is an advanced prospect that is able to take the game into his own hands and come up big for his team. Williams is a nice prospect that likes to have the basketball in his hands and make plays for himself and others. A tremendous young prospect that should definitely develop into a high-major division-I guard. Williams is a pure-point guard prospect that has excellent size at 6-foot-3 and is still growing a great deal. This young man has worked hard on his game at an early age, and it shows early as he is a very nice floor general with an ability to make plays off the dribble. He has a strong handle of the basketball and is able to handle defensive pressure, while making players around him better - a valuable asset for someone his age. There are very few players his age with his combination of size, strength and skill level. Still a young prospect, Williams is gaining valuable experience on the aau/club circuit, and will continue to blossom as a player and develop into one of the state's elite level talents over time.
Trent Brown 6-0 SR PG Pinnacle High School (Phoenix, AZ)
Brown is a sharp-shooting guard prospect that excels in his ability to shoot the basketball with excellent range on his shot, while also being able to make players around him better. Trent is a floor general with the basketball in his hands and enjoys playing on the big stage. He is a leader with the basketball and is vocal on the floor - something not seen often by young men his age. He advances the basketball up the floor with the pass, and does not mind defensive pressure of opposing guards. A very good ball handler and passer that enjoys getting teammates involved in the play. A good defender. A tough customer as well, Brown is a budding young prospect with excellent potential for the future. He is the son of an experienced college player/coach, Mark Brown.
Lucas Elliott 6-9 SR PF/C Pusch Ridge High School (Tucson, AZ)
Elliott is a nice-looking young post prospect that is developing quickly as a college prospect. He has really improved a great deal, just since the last time I saw him perform in the fall. He runs the floor very well, and has excellent energy on both ends of the floor. He is fluid runner and gets good position on the low block, where he is able to now complete solid low post moves with developed low-post footwork. He is a good finisher that has improved a great deal, as he is getting physically stronger these days through maturity. Elliott is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor, through his tenacity and work ethic inside the paint, which allows him to compete for rebounds and also rebound outside of his area on the floor. Elliott still does not seem to get too many offensive touches often down the floor, so he works to get his hands on the basketball as often as he can. As he matures physically over time, that will change a great deal, as his teammates will definitely look to him more often on offensive trips down the floor. Elliott is a capable shotblocker now, as he possesses a 7-foot wingspan. Over time I predict that he will grow to 6-11 in height, and will become an imposing shotblocker - a nice asset to him as a college prospect.
Jordan Mains 6-6 SR SG/SF Pinnacle High School (Phoenix, AZ)
Mains is a very skilled and sharp-shooting guard prospect that still has a lot of upside as a player and has the potential to become an excellent basketball player over time. He has the potential to grow to 6-8 in heigth. A fundamentally sound prospect with an ability to stretch the defense from almost anywhere on the floor. He has a nice ability to catch-and-shoot the basketball with unlimited range. He is a good ball handler and passer, and has very good versatility as a player - capable of playing several positions on the floor. A good defender that plays passing lanes and also plays with excellent energy on the court. An active rebounder that competes on both ends of the floor. He will need to continue to focus defensively and on rebounding though over time to maximize his potential as a player. An excellent shooting guard prospect with excellent potential for the future.