Posted On: 09/10/17 10:30 PM
The NEO Spotlight Super 60/Top 20 Showcase at Garfield Heights High School in metropolitan Cleveland was filled with great talent ranging from Division I to small college prospects. There was a plethora of high-level, versatile prospects at multiple positions that put on quite the show throughout the day.
Here are the 2019 standouts from the event:
Brandon Haraway (2019/6’1/Norwalk) – Haraway is a great shot creator off the dribble for himself or teammates. He was really impressive on a few possessions walking defenders up before accelerating for one dribble then raising up and burying triples. As a creator for teammates Brandon was able to consistently get to his spots with nice change of speed before finding teammates on kickouts. Playing off-ball, Haraway was able to get to the paint after attacking closeouts and finished at the rim. Defensively he was really active jumping passing lanes and turned a few deflections into transition points for himself or got it up the floor to teammates for dunks and layups. Division II programs should be all over Brandon as a combo-guard that can be a focal point of the half-court offense.
Carrington McCaskill (2019/6’8/Detroit Renaissance) – Carrington was quite possibly the best overall athlete at the NEO Spotlight event, as he tested off the charts in the combine testing portion of the event. During drill work, McCaskill showed a nice midrange jumper off the dribble and a decent shot from beyond the arch when his feet were set. In five on five action he put on an absolute show and was a highlight-reel waiting to happen. In the first game he was matched up against a team featuring top 30 prospect Alonzo Gaffney and it was Carrington that stood out above the rest. In an 8 minute session he finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. He showed elite offensive rebounding ability, he’s an extremely quick jumper that gives multiple efforts and has great touch around the rim with either hand. He brought the house down within the first 3 minutes when he caught a two-hand tip dunk on an unsuspecting defender. All day long McCaskill showed explosiveness in the open floor after grabbing defensive boards and pushing it the length of the court before finishing emphatically. While he needs to refine his skillset in the half-court, he showed some ability as a face up combo-forward that can stretch the floor a bit. There’s no denying though, that Carrington’s best attributes are his physical gifts. His combination of size, length and athleticism is bordering on elite status. If he can tighten up his handle a bit and make his shot more consistent he’s going to be a high major prospect without doubt.
Alonzo Gaffney (2019/6’9/Garfield Heights) – Gaffney has NBA prototype measurements for a forward, standing at a legit 6’10 with shoes and a wingspan exceeding 7 feet. During drills it was obvious the game is quite easy for Alonzo, he’s extremely fluid at that size. During the game portion of the event, his raw talent was simply undeniable. He has a beautiful looking stroke with range out to 24 feet with good arch and nice rotation. While his handle isn’t tight enough to be a primary ballhandler just yet, his ability to change direction and speed at that size as a junior in High School places him among elite company. Defensively he’s a game-changer around the basket with his length, as he blocked several shots and altered a ton more. He’s a willing rebounder on both ends and has tremendous grab and go ability. He was the best prospect at the NEO Spotlight event and is likely to have an offer list that reflects his elite status in the very near future.
Jalen Thomas (2019/6’9/UofD Jesuit) – really liked what I saw from Jalen at the NEO Spotlight event today. During drill work he was burying triples coming off screens in impressive fashion. During games he was extremely active on the glass on both ends of the court, giving multiple jumps and coming down with rebounds in traffic on numerous possessions. Matched up with Alonzo Gaffney on both ends of the court when they squared off in game 1, Thomas was able to pick his pocket clean on 2 occasions leaving some in the crowd a bit surprised. Offensively he didn’t score a ton, but showed really nice vision once the helpside defense brought the double team to him on the block. Jalen has really soft hands and a nice jump-hook over his left shoulder as a back to the basket scorer. More than anything, he doesn’t need to score to impact the game, his motor never stopped going and he rebounded as well as anyone at the event and was a plus rim protector. Already holding a Division I offer from Toledo, he’s going to be a dominant post player in a few years once his frame fills out and he can absorb contact in the paint.