Chad Groth’s Easter Classic Elite Performers Recap
Phoenix, AZ – The 5th Annual Phoenix Spring Showcase is now Chad Groth’s Easter Classic. This event was held at Phoenix College, Sierra Linda High School and Inspire Courts in Gilbert, AZ. 100 games were played starting Friday afternoon April 6 and ended late Saturday night on the eve of Easter Sunday as some of the best basketball games this spring took place.
Let’s see who really stepped their game up this weekend, as over a dozen junior college coaches attended looking for players and scouts and media also dropped in to watch the action like Pointguardu.com, Westcoasthoopsreport.com, Vegaspremierball.com, Hoopsreport.com, Scout.com, Collegehoops.net, Hot100hoops.com, AZcentral.com, Tristatehoopsreport.com, Fivestarbasketball.com and Areacodesbasketball.com.
This is part II (two) of three reports of the rising stars of tomorrow.
Bryce Alford, Danny Granger Hurricanes (NM) 2013 – Solid prospect that can do it all and has a quick release as the 6 foot 3 point guard has a gifted basketball IQ and was outstanding with his play. Alford should be ranked in the top nationally but that doesn’t bother him, he continues to work hard and his game often takes after his father Steve Alford (Former NBA player) now the head coach at the University of New Mexico where his son Bryce has committed to play college basketball.
Cullen Neal, Danny Granger Hurricanes (NM) 2013 – Neal was impressive Saturday afternoon and showed plenty of flashes of his clutch shooting ability. The 6 foot 4 long and wiry in length has a nice shooting touch from outside and has a good feel for the game. Neal lets the game come to him and can really score if needed and attacks the basket against the best. Really impressive to watch, gave a verbal to Randy Bennett and St. Mary’s.
Payton Banks, Compton Magic (CA) 2013 – The 6 foot 6 prospect plays every position on the floor, can handle the PG also and knows how to score, unselfish player but likes to win. Banks really attacks the basket and can defend well with ability to create steals and block shots in transition defense. Banks recruiting is mostly Pac 12 & Mountain West schools.
Jaron Hopkins, The Magic (AZ) 2013 – Pound for pound the most athletic and bouncy guard in this event. Hopkins now 6 foot 5 is so quick with the ball and has the ability to score at will and takes over games with his toughness and court vision. Hopkins list includes Stanford, Cal, Harvard, Boise State, Colorado and San Francisco.
Paul Watson, Compton Magic (CA) 2013 – The 6 foot 6 slasher played all weekend at a high level and currently ranked in the Top 50 nationally on rivals, certainly lived up to it. Watson is very athletic with the first step that can be very explosive and finishes well on the break. His list includes Arizona, UNLV, New Mexico, Arizona State, Oregon State, USC, Boise State, Penn State, Fresno State, Texas Tech and Marquette. Duke expresses interest last week.
Joe Boyd, Aces Dream (AZ) 2013 – Boyd is 6 foot 9 and still growing, has skills in the post and has a nice face-up jumper. Still a little raw but can be more effective on defense. One of the best post players this weekend and one to watch this spring as he de-committed from New Mexico State last fall.
Drew Bender, The Magic (AZ) 2013 – The 6 foot 5 combo guard did things well on the floor that sometimes never shows up in the box scores, Bender can handle the ball well on offense and defends the lanes well. One thing Bender showed this weekend was his deep shooting range and mid range game, the up-tempo guard has heavy interest from Harvard, Colorado, UC Irvine, Oregon State and Princeton.
Torrian Epps, 5 Star Hoops (NV) 2012 – Epps is one of the wiry wings of the Easter Classic, he really is a high-flying athlete and can hit the pull up jumper or finish in transition. The 6 foot 4 unsigned senior is a solid DI prospect but will opt for Junior College, likely to sign with Matt Gordon and Phoenix College.
AJ Hess, Team Metro (AZ) 2012 – Hess listed at 6 foot 6 is a no brainer steal for any division I program looking for a long and lanky pure shooter. Hess is the best shooter in Arizona left on the senior unsigned list by Area Codes Basketball Scouting Service. His jumper was very consistent all weekend and scores buckets in a hurry. As of late UNC Charlotte and a few others expressed interest.
Caleb Carter, 5 Star Hoops (NV) 2012- Carter was very active on both ends of the floor, at 6 foot 5 is a beast in rebounding and tries to dunk everything. One player that never took a play off this weekend as he will pick up some DI looks this spring and summer with his athletic ability and heart.
Dorian Pickens, Arizona Stars (AZ) 2014 – Pickens played well against better talent this weekend. Only 6 foot 4 and rebounds at a high level as he knows how to rebound on both ends of the floor. Pickens showed he can put the ball on the floor and scores well on the baseline. Already offered by Arizona State.
TK Edogi, AZ Magic Elite (AZ) 2012 – The 6 foot 7 forward had three big games as he showed he could not only score but was the best rebounder of the showcase. Edogi is very athletic and raw but knows how to score.