Francisco’s Finest: UAA Finals Underclassmen Standouts

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Posted On: 08/8/18 12:32 AM

Francisco’s Finest: UAA Finals Underclassmen Standouts

HENDERSON, Nev.— It reached 119 degrees in “Sin City” but it was nice and cool—more like chilly—in the friendly confines of Coronado High School where Under Armour presented their additon of club basketball madness—The UAA Finals. There were a plethora of eye-catching moments as well as some stellar prospects—young and old—including 2020 Anthony Edwards and 2019 Nico Mannion. 

Anthony Edwards (Holy Spirit Prep/GA) Club Team: Atlanta X-Press

2020, CG, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds

Joel’s Take: This was my first look at Edwards since the Pangos All American Camp and I did not come away disappointed. With his club team, Edwards dominates the ball and pretty much did whatever he put his mind too. He has the frame, athleticism, and skill to be an NBA player someday. He can break defenders down with the dribble at will, gets into the lane with ease, and has the body control and hang time is mindblowing. When his jump shot is flowing—which was most of the time—he is best described as “unguardable.”

Michael Saunders Jr. (Lawrence North/IN) Club Team: G3 Grind

2020, PG, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds

Saunders Jr. is a winner due to his assertiveness at both ends.

Joel’s Take: When it comes to winning, look no further than Saunders Jr. He has strong frame, tight handle, and he has the strength to finish through contact. He puts pressure on the defense with his aggressive style and he is fully engaged at both ends of the floor. He gets into opposing guards and dominates them with his physicality. Offensively, he shows a nice combination of faciliating and scoring. 

Jaden Springer (Rocky River/NC) Club Team: BMaze

2020, CG, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds

Joel’s Take: One of the best all-around guards in the UAA circuit and the country for that matter is Springer. He can play on or off the ball is equally adept at either scoring or facilitating. He has a great burst off the dribble, a tight crossover, and he has the strength and bounce to finish in traffic. He can knock in the 3-point shot and mid-range pull-up, but those are areas that need to continue to improve. 

Jaemyn Brakefield (Huntington Prep/WV ) Club Team: Lousiana Supreme

2020, WF, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds

Joel’s Take: “Smooth Operator” would best describe Brakefield’s game. The skilled lefty can knock in deep jump shots, attack the defense in the open court, and his passing acumen is impressive. He plays the game at a great pace, snaps passes to open shooters, and can finish over the rim in transition. However, defensively he needs to be more assertive as a lock-down defender as well as in the passing lanes. 

Elijah Hutchins-Everett (Montclair Immaculate/NJ)   Club Team: WeR1

2020, C, 6-foot-11, 215 pounds

Joel’s Take: Hutchins-Everett fits that newly emerging 5-man that is dominating line-ups at all levels. He is a rim-running “big” who affects the game with his length and bounce. Due to his nimble feet, quick jumping ability, and nose for the ball he can dominate the game in the areas of rim protection, rebounding, and explosive finishes. 

Lamont Butler (Riverside Poly) Club Team: West Coast Elite

2020, PG, 6-foot, 170 pounds

Butler is a true game manager.

Joel’s Take: Butler will not “wow” you with speed and quickness, but he is the ultimate game manager. He has good size and strength and he always plays on balance. He has a solid pull-up game, moves the ball on offense, and is an excellent leader—not too mention he had his clutch gene flowing as he hit a couple of freethrows to advance his team in the playoffs.