Posted On: 04/5/18 11:08 PM

A Scout’s Take: Geico Nationals’ Standouts (Part 3)

NEW YORK, NY— Christ The King, best described as a storied program when it comes to high school folklore, was the tournament host for the Geico Nationals. Montverde Academy was a force to be reckon with sans the sharp shooting Lone Peak (UT) squad in the quarterfinals. The lethal combination of consensus No. 1 player in the country RJ Barrett and a bevy of D1 caliber sidekicks—Andrew Nembhard comes immediately to mind—would be too much for University to handle in the title game. As a result, this would be the 4th Geico Championship for Head Coach Kevin Boyle and company—and I’m sure there will be a number of reinforcements putting their name in the hat to re-stock a roster that will graduate a bevy of talent.

On the Rise

Jovan Blacksher (Shadow Mountain/AZ)

2019, PG, 6-foot-1, 165 pounds

Joel’s Take: If college coaches are looking for a quick-on-quick point guard, look no further  than Blackshear. His blow-by speed is high level and he has a knack of getting to the rim and finishing. He can knock down open 3s, sets up teammates off the bounce, and has the potential to be a lock-down defender due to his lateral quickness and moxie. Due to his stock rising could he be following in the footsteps of James Akinjo (Salesian HS/UCONN).

Hot and Cold

Kyler Edwards (Findlay Prep/NV)

2018, SG, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds

Joel’s Take: Edwards was outstanding in the quarterfinals, but cooled off in the semi-finals (3-of-17 fga). However, when scouts look at the scoring potential of Edwards, his physical tools and scoring mentality are impressive. He is quite potent in the mid-range area as a pull-up jump shooter, but his 3-point shot needs to be more consistent. Nevertheless, Texas Tech is getting a kid who has a knack to score.

Unsung Hero

Drue Drinnon (University/FL)

2018, PG, 6-foot, 180 pounds

Joel’s Take: The New Mexico signee is all about consistency. Drinnon doesn’t force the issue and understands how to manage the game. He picks his spots and has a stellar pull-up game in the mid-range area. He isn’t a burner, but he changes speeds well and he sees the floor. During University’s run to the championship, he was a player that the coaching staff that could depend on possession to possession.

Mr. Moxie

Jaelen House (Shadow Mountain/AZ)

2019, SG, 6-foot-2, 160 pounds

Joel’s Take: Playing hard has never been an issue as House “brings it” every game—at both ends too. He is relentless in transition attacking the rim and he has a knack to score. Defensively, he picks up his man full court and slides his feet well. However, he needs to improve the consistency of his jump shot as well as his decision-making as he has a tendency to play way too fast.

Steven Ashworth (Lone Peak/UT)

2018, PG, 6-foot-1, 160 pounds

Joel’s Take: Ashworth and his Lone Peak gave powerhouse Montverde Academy all they could handle, and Ashworth was the catalyst. In the 1st half Montverde was dominating at both ends of the floor, but late in the 3rd quarter and the whole 4th quarter, Lone Peak put in a scare into the No. 1 team in the country. Ashworth can shoot it with ease from deep, defends with a fearless mindset, and he delivers timely passes to open shooters. This Utah State signee will go on a two-year mission, but the Aggies are getting a good one.

Blue Collar 

J'Raan Brooks, Garfield

J Raan Brooks (Garfield/WA)

2018, PF, 6-foot-9, 215 pounds

Joel’s Take: The Garfield Bulldogs got smashed in the opening round, but that didn’t stop Mr. Bull Collar from leaving his stamp on the game. Brooks is not a quick leaper, but he goes about his business at both ends. He can drain 3-point shots, finish with either hand on the block, and he’ll finish in transition. It all be hard for Head Coach Andy Enfield to keep Brooks off the floor due to his workmanlike production.

David McCormack (Oak Hill Academy/VA)

2018, C, 6-foot-9, 255 pounds

David McCormack

Joel’s Take: The burly 5-man, who is headed to Kansas, has the physical frame to contribute right away. He is a no nonsense post player who can drop step and finish, snag rebounds, and carve out space in the paint. His motor is consistent and he is always engaged at both ends of the floor.