This evaluation looks at eight players from a recent event I was able to attend, that performed well in the games I was able to watch. This event had various age groups for both boys and girls, but my focus was on the Boys Varsity Division, which was the top division on the boys side. I did not see every game played in this division, but was able to watch the top teams in the Division, based on how they finished in the event.
The Boys Varsity Division had some promising high school prospects on display, but it was very clear by the end of the event that Chris Carter was at the top of that group. The most intriguing aspect of Carter’s game is his physical versatility on both ends of the court. Carter has a large wingspan and quick leaping ability, which allows him to assert his game on offense and defense. Carter is a beast on the boards and uses his long reach and positioning to collect rebounds over taller players. Carter was dominant on offense all weekend, and led his team in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game and a personal best 29 points in the team’s 2nd game. Around the rim, Carter uses his leaping ability to throw down as many dunks as he can. Carter has good hands and was highly efficient scoring around the basket, with a lot of those points coming on 2nd chance opportunities off his own rebounds. Carter did a great job of waiting for his point guards to penetrate the defense, and once they collapsed he found open spots in the paint for countless dunks off the slip pass. As defenses tried to adjust and pack the paint, Carter showed his range and shooting ability by knocking down 11 threes throughout the event. Carter displayed his capabilities as a high impact scorer from all 3 levels, great rebounder on both ends, good handles to run the transition offense, and his energy at the rim was impressive. As a junior, if Carter really develops a tighter handle with the ball he will have a lot of options at the next level.
Myers had his lead guard skills on display all weekend and continues to show he is one of the top point guards in Central California. In the opening game for Clutch Elite, Myers had a team high 13 points in a tough loss to Desert Storm. Myers had to do a majority of the heavy lifting scoring the ball, but his strength as a player is his playmaking ability and court vision. Myers has great size and length at the lead guard spot, as he is able to survey over the defense and find teammates with accuracy and efficiency. Myers has tight handles in traffic, nice use of the hesitation to create off the perimeter, long strides to get by his initial defender, uses his length in a variety of ways to finish at the rim, uses his superior court vision to deliver some flashy assists, and makes good decisions in the open court. Myers can guard multiple positions, disrupts passing lanes with his length, alters shots at the rim or on the wing, and rebounds very well allowing him to push the ball in transition. If Myers can develop more consistency from beyond the arc and possibly a year of postgraduate play, he could find himself at a D1 program.
McCarthy can flat out shoot the ball from deep at a high clip. This would be an accurate, yet lazy description of his overall game. Yes, McCarthy is a lights out shooter from behind the arc, as was evident by the 12 threes he knocked down throughout the weekend. However, there is a lot more to his overall game, which is why I had him as one of the top performers from the weekend. McCarthy averaged 15 points per game for Desert Storm, and was pivotal in the team’s success throughout the event. Due to the threat he poses from beyond the arc, McCarthy had plenty of opportunities to create off the perimeter. McCarthy has good ball handling skills, nice use of the jab-step to get his defender off balance, has a good burst of speed to get by his opponent, the strength to take and finish through contact at the rim, has a great touch around the basket, and showed to be a creative finisher at the rim. Although McCarthy has the ability to create his own offense, he is toughest to defend when he is moving without the ball. McCarthy really understands floor spacing, how to run tightly off screens to create separation, and in the open court he runs to his spot and is ready for the catch and shoot transition corner three pointer. There is a lot to like about McCarthy’s overall game, and one unwritten rule of basketball that remains consistent, there is always room on a roster for a knockdown shooter. High Academic Prospect with a 4.25 GPA.
Wells, a player that I was familiar with prior to this weekend, displayed his skills and capabilities to impact the game in various ways throughout the event. Offensively, Wells is able to score in numerous ways and uses his length, height and skill to score efficiently. Wells had a team high 17 points in their semifinal loss, as he was connecting from deep, hit a few mid-range jumpers, and asserted himself on the offensive glass allowing for quick put back finishes at the rim. Wells has a nice stroke from deep, and with his size and length he is able to raise up over shorter perimeter defenders with relative ease, and showed consistency from the three point mark. Wells is an effective three level scorer, and with his ability to connect from deep defenders have to overplay him, which opens up lanes and mid-range opportunities. When driving off the wing, Wells showed really good handles and crafty moves to get to his spots, can stop on a dime, and has a sweet pull-up jumper. Wells rebounds well, alters shots and can guard multiple positions on the defensive end. Really impressed with his shot making ability and taking what the defense gives him.
I was only able to see Webb play once, but the Sacramento hooper was in his bag in the championship game and hit big shot after big shot to get his team back in the game, before a tough loss in overtime. Webb has a dynamic offensive arsenal and eclectic shot making ability, that is assisted with his great ball handling skills. In the championship game, Webb’s team was down double digits at the half. In the 2nd half, Webb started going to work and the opponent had no answer for him. Despite the overtime loss, Webb finished with a team high 20 points scoring in numerous ways. Webb has great handles, really good footwork, quick 1st step and blow by ability, a solid build to take contact, and can score from all 3 levels effectively. Webb likes to get into his defender, then uses the stepback move to create seperation. He did this time and again down the stretch, hitting this tough shot from the mid-range and beyond the arc. Webb uses the hard pound dribble to get his defender off balance and then uses his eclectic moves to get by the initial defender and apply pressure on the backline defense. The shot making ability and degree of difficulty that Webb was knocking down shots was truly impressive and his game will translate nicely to the next level as a scoring combo guard.
I first saw Skinner a few years ago at Devin Ugland’s Hoops by Ugland Skills Summit and he was one of the top performers, showcasing his ability to light it up from deep. Last weekend, Skinner displayed growth in his game, and after taking a gap year due to the impact of Covid-19 Skinner is looking to be more than just a shooter for a program at the next level. Skinner played the lead guard spot frequently throughout the event, and with his size and shooting efficiency he is able to survey over the defense, showed improved creativity coming off screens, and a crafty ability to score at the basket. Skinner is a good ball handler, has added the moves needed to create separation from his defender, improved his ability to read defenses and make plays for himself or for teammates. Skinner moves nicely off the ball and with his height and shooting efficiency, he does a great job getting open for catch and shoot scoring opportunities. Skinner has the shooting capabilities, size, and understanding of the game that could be helpful to a lot of programs at the next level.
Shackelford plays with great energy and physicality on both ends of the court. He has solid offensive skills, able to score from the perimeter beyond the arc or the mid-range jumpshot, uses his physical build and moves to attack the basket and finish through contact with consistency, and can play in the post or on the wing. Relentless motor, and a player that will get you extra possessions off of pure hustle and determination.
O’Neill is a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc, has the handles and moves to create off the dribble, moves nicely off the ball to create separation for catch and shoot opportunities, and has a good feel for the game. Connected on 5 threes in the game I was able to scout him.
Hernandez is a crafty left handed, true point guard. Hernandez has great court vision, puts pressure on the defense by attacking the paint, finds open teammates around the basket once the defense collapses, and has improved his accuracy from beyond the arc. Tough minded defender, rebounds well, excels pushing the ball in transition, and is a pass first floor general.
Egbe is a glue guy that can be inserted in any system and will fit in smoothly. Egbe is an elite rebounder for his size, constantly on the attack on offense, can stretch the floor from deep, a lock up perimeter defender that you can put on the opponents best offensive guard, and brings energy levels up as soon as he gets on the court. Loves to get gritty, diving on the floor for 50/50 balls, and gets opponents off their game with his intensity.