Posted On: 03/21/21 5:22 PM

The high school season is over and tryouts have already taken place for many of the grassroots teams who play on the shoe or Prep Hoop circuit. Although last season was abbreviated, a lot of the top players got to travel and compete with some of circuit teams in various tournaments. Now that all circuits should be competing (even with Covid restrictions), teams will want to place the best team they can on the court to compete at their respective finals. In this article, I will look at some players who could be assets to circuit teams who may be looking to add offensive and defensive punch to their teams this grassroots season.

Patrick McCraney Patrick McCraney 6'0" | CG Neville | 2022 State LA (6’1" | Neville | 2022)

McCraney played with LivOn towards the end of the summer last season and may again don the LivOn jersey.  He also plays with a team out of the Monroe area to keep himself busy.  McCraney is one of the better combo guards in the state and has become a better distributor recently.  His game will frustrate defenders because they cannot take away one thing.  If he plays on the circuit again, watch out. 

Patrick McCraney Patrick McCraney 6'0" | CG Neville | 2022 State LA (6’1" | Neville | 2022) McCraney played with LivOn towards the end of the summer last season and may again don the LivOn jersey.  He also plays with a team out of the Monroe area to keep himself busy.  McCraney is one of the better combo guards in the state and has become a better distributor recently.  His game will frustrate defenders because they cannot take away one thing.  If he plays on the circuit again, watch out.  Pat Williams Pat Williams 6'5" | SF Wossman | 2022 State LA II (6’5" | Wossman | 2022) Williams is already a freakish athlete that can run the floor and rebound at a high level.  His athleticism would be a welcome addition on the floor because he has the ability to switch onto smaller players and is long enough to defend taller wings.  Williams would really be helpful if he can make teams pay from the perimeter.  His energy alone would be infectious to one of these circuit teams.   Marquarius Johnson Marquarius Johnson 6'1" | CG Southwood | 2022 State LA (6’1" | Southwood | 2022) On the circuit, teams can never have too much shooting.  Johnson is one of those players who can make things easier for interior players because he can stretch the floor.  His shooting ability can give bigs or players playing in the post more manueverability in the paint.  Johnson also has a flair for making buckets late halves and games.  If given a chance, Johnson would make a positive impact on a circuit team.  Nick Maryland Nick Maryland 6'2" | CG Simsboro | 2022 State LA (6’2" | Simsboro | 2022) No one is Carlos Stewart Carlos Stewart 6'1" | CG Dunham | 2021 State LA .  However, Nick Maryland Nick Maryland 6'2" | CG Simsboro | 2022 State LA has some of the traits that Stewart possesses.  He can attack teams in multiple ways offensively while playing stellar on-the-ball defense.  If a team gets in a situation where they need to press, Maryland can play the top of the press and is accustomed to creating turnovers that way.  His athleticism and overall ability would be a true asset to any circuit team.   J’Michael Gray J’Michael Gray 6'0" | PG Franklin | 2022 State LA (6’1" | Franklin | 2022) Gray is a former district MVP that knows how to play the point guard position.  He is very good at probing the lane with the dribble and playing in the open court via the break or turnovers.  Gray is good in the mid-range as well and gives defenses fits when he is hitting that shot.  7 on 7 may be a reason we do not see Gray on the grassroots scene.  However, he would be a good pickup if a circuit team needs a lead guard.  Zach Fenn Zach Fenn 6'2" | CG St. Paul | 2022 State LA (6’2" | St. Paul’s | 2022) Grassroots and circuit teams need a player who can do pretty much everything on the floor.  Fenn is a player who fits that mode.  He can facilitate if he is the primary ballhandler, move and cut if he is playing off the ball, and is very good as an offensive rebounding guard.  Fenn can shoot from the outside as well.  He is a player who is a tough person to guard.  His game is well-suited for circuit play.  Calvin Collins Calvin Collins 6'4" | SF BTW (Shreveport) | 2022 State LA (6’4" | BTW-Shreveport | 2022) An active wing who knows how to play with his back to the basket describes Calvin Collins Calvin Collins 6'4" | SF BTW (Shreveport) | 2022 State LA to a tee.  He can also step out and nail a baseline jumper with regularity.  Collins is a player that is hard to keep off the boards and gets to the free throw line often because of his activity.  He would be a matchup problem for guys who are slower than he.  A circuit team who needs a rebounding wing would find a good add in Collins.   LivOn Fleur-de-Lis began their grassroots season this weekend while Louisiana Elite (UAA) and O.W.E. (Prep Hoops Circuit) will begin their travel seasons soon.  Many players will also play with local teams in smaller tournaments during the months or April and May.  Look for your favorite high school player as the grassroots season gets going this month.      

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