Posted On: 05/1/18 10:40 AM
The Prep Hoops Proving Grounds took place over the weekend in Bloomington, MN, bringing in some of the finest talent in the Midwest as well as a bevy of college coaches looking for future additions to their rosters.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the standout wings from the weekend in the 17u action. The players below are a combination of off guards and small forwards that excelled playing off of the ball. Stay tuned for a list of some of the standout interior players from over the weekend.
Josh Albers – 6’4” SG, Mounds View/Heat Nelson (2019)
The 6’4” Albers came out firing on Saturday against Team 1848, knocking down four shots from deep in their 59-43 victory on his way to 14 points in the contest. He gets good elevation on his jumper, combine that with his size and it is tough to contest him when he rises up. Defensively, he has good quickness and length, which allows him to get into passing lanes and frustrate smaller perimeter players.
Levi Braun – 6’3” SG, Hayden Catholic (KS)/SSA Black (2019)
Braun had the green light in the contest that I watched against Heat MacDonald and he knocked down a number of looks from long range. He has a textbook setup and release, with a quick trigger that allows him to get his shot off in a hurry. Heat players began closing out hard on him in the second half and he showed that he had the ability to shot fake and put it on the deck when the opportunity presented itself.
Noah Chamberlain – 6’6” SG, St. Thomas Academy/Heat MacDonald (2019)
One of the most versatile offensive players from the weekend, the 6’6” Chamberlain is a threat inside and out. He has a silky-smooth stroke from long-range, knocking down a pair of threes against SSA Elite on Saturday. If he had a big checking him he showed the ability to take them off the dribble, covering a lot of ground in minimal dribbles with his length. Chamberlain isn’t afraid of contact either, collecting a couple offensive rebounds for put backs as well.
AJ Dickerson – 6’3” SG, Junction City (KS)/SSA Black (2019)
Dickerson had one of the highest motors that I witnessed all weekend. He displayed a lot of intangibles that you love to have playing on your side, constantly motivating and encouraging his teammates, talking on defense, and always giving it 100% when he was on the floor. Dickerson crashed the boards with reckless abandon, on a few occasions collecting the rebound and pushing the ball up the floor before the defense could get set. He has a solid frame that allows him to power through contact at the rim and finish strong.
Cole Elrod – 6’5” SF, Spectrum/Crossfire Bellefeuille (2019)
Elrod immediately showed that he has bounce, taking a pass on a backdoor cut to open up their game against ND Phenom and flushing it down two-handed. A prototypical slasher, Elrod has a knack for cutting into the seams of the defense and finishing above the rim in the face of contact. Opposing teams need to find him and put a body on him when a shot goes up as he is a menace on the offensive glass, his explosiveness and leaping ability allow him to be a very effective rebounder on both ends. He had 8 in their opening game against ND Phenom and followed it up with 11 against Heat Henderson.
Joseph Ganley – 6’4” SG, Breck/Heat Henderson (2019)
Speaking of players with bounce, Ganley is right there with the best of them. Ganley goes and gets the ball with two hands off the glass and can finish strong above the rim regardless of the size defending him. He only ended up with 6 points in their victory over Crossfire Belle, however, his offensive struggles didn’t impact his effort or effectiveness on the defensive end. He plays good help defense and can challenge shots with his leaping ability as well as make a ball handler work with his agility and anticipation.
Charlie Gorres – 6’5” SG, Park Cottage Grove/Fury Wilde (2019)
Gorres is another athletic wing that showcased a number of tools on Saturday. He runs the floor exceptionally well, getting wide on the wing and finishing strong above the rim. In addition, he showed the ability to knock down shots from deep when left open. He was one of many perimeter players on this squad who played the passing lanes aggressively, creating deflections and steals that led to this group repeatedly getting out in transition.
Miles Mendes – 6’4” SF, Farmington/Fury Kaupa (2019)
I don’t know if I saw a player on Saturday that finished at the rim with more purpose or authority than Mendes. On two occasions against Rip City, Mendes found space in the defense and powered down a pair of booming dunks. In addition to slashing from the wing and finishing on the break, Mendes also showed the ability to post up smaller defenders and finish with either hand. He had 10 points in their win over Rip City.
Reegan Nelson – 6’3” SF, Melrose/Crossfire Bellefeuille (2019)
Nelson is the type of player that will play any position on the court in the name of helping his team. At times on Saturday, he posted up smaller guards with very instinctive post moves for a player that is 6’3”. On other occasions he brought the ball up the floor and initiated the offense, while also showing that he is a very capable spot up shooter by knocking down a pair of triples against ND Phenom on his way to 13 points. He is a very fundamentally sound player, always in good position and making correct decisions with the ball in his hands.
Isaiah Watts – 6’3” SF, Bloomington Jefferson/Fury Wilde (2019)
Watts appears to play much bigger than his 6’3” listing in the program would indicate and he also plays with a very high-motor. He isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint and on the glass, using his strong frame and good positioning to be effective rebounding and defending. Watts finished strong at the rim a number of times and also knocked down a triple on his way to 8 points in their victory against WI Academy.