I was able to see a lot of new faces at Big Shots Nationals in Rock Hill last weekend, and they were good ones. The 16U and 17U divisions were stocked with prospects worthy of attention and kept me busy in each game slot. Here are 6 different guys in 2021 and 2022 who made sure that their names would be remembered.
2022 PF Sasha Letino (Big Shots Tri-Cities)
The knock on a lot of young posts is that they’re raw and undeveloped, but that is not the case with Letino. Out of the 2022 forwards I watched during the weekend, I felt like he showed the most diverse set of tools. He has a big body but moves with it well, gets up off his feet to play above the rim easily, and stays active on the glass. Letino’s touch in the paint is good and he showed the potential to a legitimate floor-stretcher. I was also impressed with his ability to put the ball on the floor from about 15 feet and in to finish with either hand. Letino hasn’t reported much going on with his recruitment yet, which I found very surprising. He should have a lot of suitors before long, it would be smart for programs to jump in now.
2022 W Jaden Daughtry (Team Marsh)
Daughtry played up in the 17U division of the event but that didn’t stop him from being a physically imposing presence on the wing for Marsh. His 1st half performance in Marsh’s game against Upward Select was one of the better stretches of scoring that I’ve seen over the past few weekends. Every time he had the chance, Daughtry came right at the defense and fought through multiple hits on his way to the basket. His height and big frame allowed him to finish through contact consistently and he stepped out to the 3-point line a few times when the defense adjusted. Daughtry is a capable ball-handler who knows where he wants to go and can be a matchup problem for a lot of guys because of his size. He’s one I want to track going forward to see how his game develops and matures.
2022 W JP Haggarty (PSB Elite)
This tournament wasn’t technically my 1st time seeing Haggarty, but it was the first setting in which I was able to get a good, longer look at him. I came away from the event wondering why his recruitment was so light. Haggarty just announced that he will be transferring to Lake Norman Christian and reclassing to 2022, a move that should allow his recruitment to explode. Even as a 2021 prospect, he was impressive physically and with his maturity. Haggarty is a very efficient offensive player, hardly needing any dribbles to score. He has a strong upper and lower body, shoots efficiently from the outside, and does little things that are helpful. Activity, toughness, and production are all terms that could be used to describe him. You know you’re going to get solid scoring and rebounding outputs from Haggarty every game without many mistakes.
2021 PG Bradlee Haskell (Flight 22)
I had heard good things about Haskell after he created lots of buzz from a big HS season and I’m glad I was able to finally see him in-person. Haskell might go a bit overlooked because he’s not one of those guys with crazy athleticism or trying to be flashy, but I was really impressed with his ability to run a team and make winning plays. Haskell is patient and under control in the halfcourt, seeing the whole floor and capitalizing quickly once an opportunity to create presents itself. He puts guys in the right places for their shots, gets his own baskets when needed, and has a calming presence at the helm of the offense. Defensively, he is savvy and anticipates well. I think he took 3 charges in the full game I watched and racked up a handful of deflections and steals. With offers from Winthrop, High Point, and UNCP in hand, he seems to be deserving of more traffic.
2021 G Brandon Murray (Playmaker Academy Pumas)
“Big guard” is a term that is thrown around loosely today, but Murray really does fit that description. He’ll be doing a post-grad year at IMG this upcoming winter and is a guy whose body is already fit for the college ranks. You wouldn’t expect a guy with his big, wide build to have the explosiveness that he does. Murray is hard to contain off the bounce and gets up & over the rim with force to finish through bodies. The aggression he plays with is not like many others; Murray is in attack mode all game and is going to give multiple efforts to get things done. His intense, physical approach is evident on defense as well, he’s constantly on the prowl trying to force turnovers or collect rebounds to ignite transition opportunities. While shooting isn’t his strongest area, Murray will take some jumpers and is effective enough to make you respect it. LSU and VCU are his most recent offers since the event, and they wont be the last.
2022 PG Darius Kane (Team Disciples)
Another 2022 who was playing 17U, Kane more than held his own when I watched him in Rock Hill. His end-to-end speed was right up there with any prospect I saw during the event. If you allowed him to get to his left hand in the open court, there wasn’t much the defense could do to keep him in front. Kane got past initial defenders and into the paint time and time again. Once he did so, Kane struck a good balance of contact layups and finding other teammates. I also liked the edge and chip he played with, which was needed against a team filled with bigger, older guys. Kane has the athleticism and toughness to be a above-average rebounder as a PG and will keep you honest with his outside shooting ability. There isn’t much talk surrounding him currently, but he is a solid prospect.