Prep Hoops Live: Sunday’s Best
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I could have went with the alliterative Sunday Superlatives moniker to wrap up the final day of Prep Hoops Live. But since I burned that card on Saturday. Let’s go with “putting on your Sunday’s best.” Following are five performers…
I could have went with the alliterative Sunday Superlatives moniker to wrap up the final day of Prep Hoops Live. But since I burned that card on Saturday. Let’s go with “putting on your Sunday’s best.”
Following are five performers that caught my eye. After two days spent in the greater Kansas City area. I ventured out into Jayhawk country for Saturday’s action.
Best Athlete-6-4 2023 Burnsville (MN) (pictured at top) No other way to say it. When you are watching the last game of a three day tournament, Skills can tend to blend together a bit. That was why the bounce and explosion of this wing were so eye opening. Just seemed to be moving faster than everyone else out on the court. Showed sudden and rapid change of direction ability in the open court. While I did not see a dunk it was not for a lack of effort. With his size and apparent leaping ability. Bettis is clearly a factor above the rim. Also plays with a high motor and intensity. A top 20 player in the state of Minnesota. And his play backed that up.
Best Closer-6-4 2023 Minot (ND) I struggled to find a category for this impressive lead guard. I settled on closer due to his clutch play in both of North Dakota Phenom’s Sunday wins. Wanted the ball in his hands late in a victory over IBA Illinois Stars. Added an exclamation point dunk as well that showed his athletic upside. Performed similarly in a win over Texas Impact later in the afternoon. As the team from Texas mounted a furious comeback. He controlled the pace and tempo. Finished with 15 and 18 points respectively in both victories. NDP was arguably one of tallest teams in the field. Made him appear a little smaller than what he is. A legit 6-4 prospect with athletic upside, scoring ability and potential point guard skills. That is a lot for a college coach to work with. Gave the handful of coaches watching his games something to think about after the weekend.
Best Ball Handler-5-9 2024 North Central (IN) This compact and stout point guard turned an excellent performance in EG10’s close closing victory over. Minnesota Select. Got off to a bit of a rough start. His coach implored him to keep grinding. I was impressed with how he responded to this request. Just put his head down and began to attack the basket. Accelerated very quickly off a devastating crossover. Used his strong frame to score adequately at the rim despite not bring the tallest prospect. That’s all good but it was the ball handling that really stood out to me. Has such a low center of gravity that he is difficult to turnover. Elusive with the dribble as well. When Minnesota Select needed to foul to extend the game at the end. Lewis simply played keep away to allow the clock to expire. Finished with 14 points. But also showed a lot of intangibles that will not show up in the box score.
Best Slasher6-5 2023 Rochester East (NY) While Lewis is more of a stocky point guard. Barley is the complete opposite. Stands 6-5 and is very skinny and extremely lanky. Despite this frame plays with a surprising level of strength, Got to the basket at will against a Hoops 4 Health squad that featured an excellent rim protector in 6-11 Tyler Van Gorp. Once he got there he knew what to do with it. Exploded to the rim without fear. Absorbed contact and bounced off defenders. Used his frame to seemingly slither through narrow seams in the defense. That is the definition of a slasher. Finished with with 23 points in the victory for NEBC.
Best Scorer-6-2 2023 Shakopee Easy decision to put him here as he had the scoring output of the day. Posted 27 points in a win over Wisconsin Crusaders. Has a unique build for a two guard. Stocky but athletic. Used it to take advantage smaller defenders down into the post. Also good from beyond the arc as he hit three threes. It should be noted that he was playing a replacement team, As the scheduled opponent was dropped. But 27 points is 27 points no matter how you slice it. As his body fills his natural scoring instincts could be magnified.