Posted On: 04/30/18 10:59 AM
Unsigned seniors and prep players have become increasingly prevalent on the AAU circuit in recent years. The Adidas Gauntlet Silver Division in Irvine (April 20-22) was no different, as many of the top teams had at least one 2018 player on their rosters looking for a final shot at an elusive four-year college offer.
Here, we discuss some of the better unsigned senior/prep prospects at the event.
Parsons, a smooth-yet-explosive combo guard, had a strong weekend off the bench for SDA. He has a solid first step, which allows him to get into the lane where he can score off the dribble or drop off the nifty assist to cutting teammates. Parsons perimeter shooting is also solid off the catch, though he needs more balance on his pull-up jumper from mid range. In transition, Parsons is as explosive as a guard on hand this weekend, finishing above the rim with several highlight dunks.
Parsons, who did a prep year at Nation Wide Academy in Oklahoma, reports receiving a 20 on his ACT, which coupled with his GPA makes him a full qualifier. Already holding an offer from Prarie View A&M, Parsons could play himself into additional D1 interest with a strong showing at his team’s next stop.
Canahuate just committed to Central Arizona College after the second live period, but deserved mention in this report. Coming off the bench during the first live period for SDA, the Army-Navy point guard provided a nice offensive spark for his team. He has a deceptively quick first step and is strong enough to finish plays through contact, or make the nifty finish around traffic with his crafty layup package. Canahuate needs to shoot it more consistently from three to open up driving lanes, and while a willing passer, needs to sharpen his decision making off the dribble.
Spivey, a high scoring guard from tiny Aspire Langston Hughes in Stockton, was solid in the Tar Heels win over Coastal Elite. The willowy guard has nice size at 6-4 and very good shooting mechanics (high release point, fluid follow through). He needs to get better handling the ball against pressure, and at the next level he will need to get familiar with the weight room (gets bumped off path easily). If he does those things, he could become a sleeper recruit out of junior college.
The broad-shouldered Mckenzie was easily one of my favorite players to watch over the weekend. Listed in the book as a “power forward,” McKenzie rebounds like a player several inches taller than his listed height. That’s due to his explosive athleticism, solid length and tenacity on the boards. McKenzie was very solid in the high post for the Tar Heels, picking apart Coastal Elite’s 2-3 zone with mid-range jumpers (very good hang time) and pinpoint passers to short-corner cutters. Perhaps the most promising aspect of McKenzie’s game is his court vision, especially in transition, where he delivered several no-look passes to unexpecting teammates for scores. If McKenzie can consistently knock down the three ball, it’s not a stretch to see him becoming a very explosive two-guard recruited by Division 2 schools and maybe a few D1s after a tour in junior college.
Hinson, the 6-3 lefty wing from Helix, played well on the perimeter for Coastal over the weekend. He is a long, explosive scorer in transition and can knock down threes from either wing off the catch. Hinson is somewhat limited off the bounce (stiff hips, drives too high), but showed improvement with his one-dribble pull-up. Hinson will have value at the next level due to his defense. He is a lock-down perimeter defender due to his exceptional lateral quickness and agility and tenacity on that end. Hinson will play with Coastal through the spring and possibly summer to drum up last minute interest, but he would be a nice piece for a local JUCO, where he will be able to expand his offensive repertoire.
“Relentless” is the word to describe Winborn, an undersized guard who is wired to score. Winborn has a compact frame, a quick first step and can finish around the rim through contact with relative ease. In late-game situations, Gamepoint OC turned to Winborn in isolation situations, and more often than not ended with a score or foul shots. Winborn also showed some improved decision making with the pass, but his game management will prove to be critical in his development. He shows flashes, but that area needs to become more consistent in order for him to optimize his potency as a scorer at the next level.