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Posted On: 05/9/18 2:01 PM
As much as many refuse to acknowledge it, the spring and the summer gives prospects more visibility than the regular season. Such is the reality of today’s Division-I recruiting climate. Recruiting has never been an exact science and plenty of players will always be severely overlooked or vastly overhyped.
The spring season, however, has already created a stage for many to attain the right visibility as they entertain ideas of prolonging their basketball career. Here’s a look at some of the area’s top stock risers heading into the summer
Diante Smith, Choctawatchee
A powerful attacker and unique athlete at 6-foot-7, the talented wing has erupted in quick-hit fashion. Fresh off a visit from LSU, Smith has capitalized on the grand stage the live period has given him. He’s authored proficiency as a sneaky strong slasher who can get into and above the rim. He’s also flashed a dependable shot from beyond the arc. He can score off the dribble and surely does not shy away from the big, timely bucket. His wing span and instinctive defensive play are additionally compelling components of his game.
Playing for the reputable 1Family program on the AAU circuit has mirrored Smith’s quick ascension.
Tyrese Potoma, DME Academy
The 5-foot-11 guard is a crafty lefty with a knockdown presence and a knack for surges to the rim. With a unique floater and a craftiness around the rim, he’s able to finish at a productive rate. While he may not pass the eye test because of his height, Potoma has the attributes to be a steal for a Division-I program late in the game. As a game manager and a workhorse, Potomac is a safe bet with the intangibles. North Dakota has recently expressed interest, as have several other Division-I programs. Though he’s a qualifier, Potoma hasn’t ruled out the option of taking the JUCO route.
Mayoum Mayoum, DME Academy
The 6-foot-4 guard has a real dog in him. He loves knifing into the driving lanes and finishing. The Australian has shown a fearlessness about him, a trait that spreads contagious energy throughout the court. If he can sustain this engine and incorporate a consistent outside shot to his arsenal, the Class of 2020 prospect has the potential to be a very enticing prospect. Strength-wise and with his ability to barrel to the rim, he oozes of high major potential. Stetson, Canisius, and Georgetown have all plunked down scholarship offers.
Mike Moore, Montverde Academy
The crafty 6-foot-1 guard has a smooth left-handed stroke. He’s proved during his post-graduate year that he can play at a high level and produce. While he’s still unsigned and waiting to hear back, he’s got the tools to be a late get on the Division-I market. At an NEC or a MEAC level program, he could author a very memorable career. Moore sees the floor well and rebounds the ball well for a guard. Was a dependable leg of scoring throughout the season while entertaining a competitive national schedule.
Jimma Gatwech, Believe Prep Academy
The 6-foot-4 guard/forward has sneaky and high level athleticism. While that skinny frame of his might put off a lot of recruiters, he makes amends for it with a furious open court game. While he’s bouncy and active at getting to the rim, Gatwech showed consistent 3-point shooting this past season. In the right situation with consistent player development, he certainly has a chance. Gaining muscle and developing a killer instinct would certainly trigger a rise in stock for the Nebraska native.
Jordan Shorter, Fort Lauderdale
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Class of 2021 forward has always been a bit above his time out there. Having never played age-appropriate, Shorter has had some big stages that have propelled his development. He’s got high level athleticism and above the rim finishing. Tweaks to his ball handling and passing have made him more multi-dimensional. He scored 19 points against a very tough American Heritage team and has been in a different zip code ever since. With his no-look passes and ambidextrous finishing ability, Shorter has a crafty nature about his game. He’s developing a reliable shot. Florida recently offered Shorter, who will garner more visibility playing for Team Breakdown this summer.
Lian Lopez, Hialeah Gardens
The big 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward emerged as a real interior banger this season. He averaged 15 PPG and was able to overpower smaller defenders inside, barreling to the rim. The Class of 2020 prospect’s improved outside shooting and defensive tenacity have been integral components in his growth. Should assume some ownership of the program as a junior.
Carl Bigord, Schoolhouse Prep
The Class of 2020 prospect has an engine and an elite finishing ability that pumps promise into his overall stock. He’s got the finely tuned body and upper body strength to be a dependable undersized scoring forward. If he can incorporate a guard’s skill set and prosper in the alpha dog role for next season, he’s got a compelling two years ahead of him.
Markeis Damon, South Miami
The strong, bouncy, and explosive 6-foot-2 guard was a consistent double digit scorer this past season. He’s got the skill set to play both guard positions and can really attack the rim, without a tinge of trepidation. He’s improved his defensive tenacity, with active hands all across the court. His cornerback-esque build makes it tough for ball handlers to get by him or beat him off the dribble.
Dan Didenko, Northeast
The 6-foot-7 gamer is an accurate depiction of Mr. Hustle. His knack for getting after it on the glass and thirst for 50-50 balls gives him the attributes of a quintessential glue guy. While his physicality and rebounding are the most enticing components of his game, he’s incorporated a smooth stroke from outside and has shown timeliness in his knock down acumen.