Posted On: 04/12/18 12:23 PM
SAN DIEGO – In addition to some well-known prospects, the Indihoops Battle of the West afforded prospects with a lesser profile an opportunity to showcase their talents. Several players took advantage of the stage and led their teams to solid wins, while others stood out in losing efforts. Here are some of the big surprises from the weekend that was.
Battle of the West – Biggest Surprises
Kyle Paranada, 5-6 2019 PG, Montgomery/ Piranhas
The diminutive guard might be pound-for-pound the best scorer in San Diego. Paranada has an array of floaters and runners that he can get off over bigger defenders due to his craftiness off the bounce. He keeps defenders off balance with a very potent hesitation dribble and use of head fakes, both off the catch and the live dribble. His range extends well beyond the college three to boot. He needs to improve his effort level on defense and his shot selection, but Paranada is an intriguing prospect.
Noah Tumblin, 6-2 2019 PG, Mira Mesa/ Gamepoint 17u Select
Tumblin, who was one of the better guards at this year’s Creme of the County, got lost in the shuffle as his high school had a down year. But he emphatically proved this weekend that he is one of the more unheralded combo guards in the class. A slick lefty with a nice scoring IQ, Tumblin carved up teams from all three levels (nice pull-up, floater and runner package). He also handed out some nifty dimes, and displayed improved toughness on defense. He needs to continue to improve his first step and handle against pressure, but Tumblin, a standout quarterback on the football field, is a definite sleeper in the 2019 class.
Fredy Rivera, 5-10 2019 PG, Oak Park/ Simi Valley Cagers
Rivera was an afterthought on his loaded high school team, but more than held his own this weekend against the top teams in the showcase. The crafty lefty had opposing guards off balance the entire weekend, and attacked the paint to set up his hot-shooting teammates. If left open, Rivera made defenses pay by hitting three pointers with regularity. Developing his off hand is paramount to the next step in his development. It’s not clear if he is in the rotation next year at Oak Park, but that would simply attest to the program’s depth. He’s a starter anywhere else.
Matthew Rivera, 6-4 2020 G, Vista/ Gamepoint 16u Elite
Rivera (no relation to Fredy), missed almost all of last year’s grassroots season with a back injury, and played sparingly as a sophomore at Vista. But coaches expect him to be a big piece of the Panthers next year, and this weekend he showed why. Rivera is blessed with a great basketball frame and solid athleticism and length and a nose for the basket. He is very good in transition, as his straight line speed and finishing ability allow him to start and finish breaks. On the wing, Rivera aggressively slashes to the rim with dominant hand, and if left open he can knock down shots out to the college three. He’ll need to improve his court awareness (dribbles with his head down at times) and get his teammates involved. But if this weekend is any indication, Rivera is going to rise quickly in the 2020 ranks.
Steve Stinson, 5-10 2020 G, Victory Christian/ Gamepoint 16u Select
Stinson plays for a tiny Christian school in Chula Vista, but has big game. The stocky combo guard is a lights-out shooter from three and mid-range, and has the strength to score through contact. He plays a very physical brand of defense, and does an excellent job fighting over screens and staying attached to his man. He can stand to get in better conditioning, which will only make him a better prospect moving forward.