Posted On: 08/10/18 12:26 AM

Francisco’s Finest: Las Vegas Classic (2019 Surprises)

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Hal Pastner, a well-known Grassroots event organizer, continues to provide coaches and scouts alike with high-level events—and the Las Vegas Clasic is no exception. The NIKE-sponsored teams, led by perennial power Team Takeover, were dominant throughout, but there were a bevy of quality teams and players to consume the eyes of the onlookers. At the end of the day though, it would be California-based Cali Stars that would shock the competition to capture the prestigious championship over Illinois-based Mac Irvin Fire. 

Jaden McDaniels (Federal Way/WA) Club Team: Seattle Rotary

2019, PF/WF, 6-foot-9, 210 pounds

Jaden McDaniels
McDaniels is a major talent, but he needs to play more assertively at both ends.

Joel’s Take: It may be a shock to see McDaniels on the surprise list considering his meteoric rise in the national rankings. However, despite the physical gifts, McDaniels has some areas that need attention. Yes, his perimeter skills (ball handling/playmaking/passing/shooting) are impressive at his size, but his assertiveness and lack of physicality were concerning. Playing with more purpose in mind will elevate his game. 

Alexandre Saleh (Prolific Prep) Club Team: NBBA 17U HGSL

2019, PF, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

Joel’s Take: Saleh showed a solid all-around skill set. He can shoot it from deep, exhibited solid face-up skills, and he played with savvy and assertiveness. His inside-out skill set caught our eye as well as his rangy frame. One of the better sleepers in the West. 

Blaise Beauchamp (Hopkins/MN) Club Team: Howard Pulley

2019, CG, 6-foot-1, 155 pounds

Beauchamp can stroke the 3-point shot

Joel’s Take: One of the better shooters I saw at this event was the undersized Beauchamp. The pin-point shooter from Minnesota is also quite the playmaker as he created a number of plays for teammates in the half court set.

Miles Squiers (Redwood) Club Team: NBBA 17U HGSL

2019, SG, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds

Joel’s Take: Squiers a strong scoring guard who is a knock down shooter. He gets lift on his shot both in the mid-range area as well as beyond the 3-point line. He plays with assertiveness and has high IQ for the game. 

Babatunde Ajike (Camden Catholic/NJ) Club Team: Team Speed

2019, WF, 6-foot-6, 190 pounds

Joel’s Take: In our one viewing I’m not sure what his complete skill set is, but there are many other attributes that will be attractive to colleges. The athleticism (bounce/quickness) is evident and he sprints in transition to finish plays. His length and motor makes him a productive rebounder at both ends of the floor and overall looks like a solid glue-type at the next level. 

Marcus Tsohonis (Jefferson/OR) Club Team: Seattle Rotary

2019, SG, 6-foot-4, 170 pounds

Tsohonis is a multi-skilled guard

Joel’s Take: Tsohonis is one of the better all-around skilled prospects in the Pacific Northwest. He has that prototypical wing-type frame and his ball skills were impressive. He is an allusive scorer in traffic due to his slashing style, but he can also nail the outside shot. He plays a bit too fast at times which leads to turnovers, but implementing the ability to change speeds in the open court will improve his efficiency.