Posted On: 09/23/18 7:12 PM
PrepHoops Oregon will be hitting up open gyms in the Portland Metro area this next month to get an early look some of the top teams. Thursday’s stop was at Central Catholic, where head coach David Blue is working with some young, but very talented players. A handful of varsity guys were not present due to football (notably Sataievior Ayilola) but most of the squad was there ready to play.
In attendance watching the action were Portland assistant coaches Ben Johnson and Kramer Knutson and Portland assistant coach Zach Payne.
Here are the main players we observed:
Darius Gakwasi (2021)
The 6-foot-5 sophomore was the main attraction and the top guy the coaches came to watch play. Overall, he played very unselfishly and sought to set up teammates more than looking for his own shot – which was good because his perimeter shooting was pretty off. But he handled the ball well and showed good court vision, hitting the open man on the break a number of times. It’s his potential as a ball-handling wing that has colleges very interested in him, already holding a scholarship offer from the University of Portland.
Isaiah Amato (2020)
The 6-foot-4 junior was probably the second main guy the coaches came to see, especially since he was out most of the summer with a hand injury. It may not have completely healed as Amato may not have hit a single perimeter shot all day. But it’s clear why many are enamored with him as he’s a point guard with size and athleticism. His handle and passing were crisp, and he was able to use his size and athleticism to finish plays around the basket and on defense, blocking Gakwasi numerous times on perimeter shots.
Tyson Parker (2019)
Parker might have been the top performer on the day. The 6-foot-2 senior has always played hard, but it really paid off in this open gym session as he was constantly in motion with or without the ball. He drove to the basket with confidence and was able to finish his drives at the basket. Parker was around the ball on the boards and on defense, and served as a secondary point guard to whoever was handling the ball. The lone senior with varsity experience on the team, he is getting D-III/NAIA/JC college recruiting attention.
Gaige Ainsle (2020)
We were hoping to get a good look at the 6-foot-7 junior post since his AAU team didn’t play much locally this summer, but he only played one game before he had to leave. While his shot was off and he didn’t score, he did play aggressively on both ends and ran the floor well. Along with Ayilola, Ainsle will no doubt be one of the Rams top inside players this season.
Aidan Slater (2022)
The incoming freshman already has a solid build and a great shooting touch – during play he was hitting long range bombs from well beyond the three-point line. Given the amount of ball-handlers already on the team, Slater should easily find a role his first year of varsity ball as a spot-up shooter as long as he moves well without the ball to find open spots on the floor.