We’ve gone over some high-level underclassmen and the top 2021 prospects at the Military Circuit; now it’s time to take a look at a plethora of under-the-radar guys. Prep/post-grad programs are always good for a handful who fall into that category and there are even more than usual given the current climate we’re in. Coaches will want to mark down the names of the following 7 guys.
6’2” G Jordan Battle (Hargrave)
There isn’t a huge drop-off in production when someone from Hargrave’s high-powered starting group has to go to the bench; Battle comes right in and gives them a spark both offensively & defensively. He’s a strong athlete who can attack the rim and pops off the floor quickly to finish with power in transition. His dexterity and ability to handle in the open court is competent too, along with his ability to move without the ball while playing alongside some talented guards. I liked how Battle found opportunities for jumpers off the dribble both on the break and in the halfcourt, getting himself clean looks with regularity. He uses his strength well on the defensive end to contain ball-handlers and his speed allows him to be a problem in passing lanes. It’s hard to understand why he doesn’t have a single offer in-hand currently; he averaged 14.5 PPG in Hargrave’s 2 games and is a low-maintenance player. I think his offer situation will change soon.
6’5” SF Jayshawn Moore (Combine)
If you were looking for a multi-dimensional player at the Military Circuit, Moore satisfied that desire and then some. At 6’5” with extremely long arms, Moore plays pretty much any position for Combine at different times throughout games. He acts as a primary ball-handler at times and can do so effectively. He’s not an overwhelming athlete but keeps defender off with a strong body, uses his length, and plays at his own speed with the ball. He’s patient and pretty physical inside; along with being able to convert with both hands in the paint, Moore will hit occasional jumpers to keep the defense guessing. When guarding bigger guys, his long arms help him when contesting & altering shots, and he has good timing when protecting the basket & rebounding. Although he’s best defending on the interior, I think he can guard some wings as well. Central Michigan just came in with an offer and Moore has the attention of a lot of other schools.
6’3” CG Joryam Saizonou (Beckley Prep IJN)
Saizonou and Kaden Warner formed a dynamic backcourt pairing for IJN at the Military Circuit, combining to average close to 40 PPG in their 2 games. There was a nice balance of production between the duo and I liked Saizonou’s maturity in letting Warner get his while still staying active & aggressive himself. He’s very skilled with the ball in his hands, athletic, and uses a mixture of patience & smooth, fluid speed to get downhill and draw help defenders. There were multiple times where I thought he was going to get stuck in traffic but he found ways to be productive and had some impressive off-hand finishes. He is a respectable outside shooter as well and has the ability to guard PG’s or SG’s. I like the combination of things he brought to the table during the weekend and he should continue to be a serious target for D1 programs this spring. He’ll be a nice finished product with physical development.
6’8” SF Anouar Mellouk (Fork Union)
One of the better long-term prospects at the event, Mellouk has great physical tools at close to 6’8” that immediately catch your attention. Mellouk is a graceful athlete who runs fluidly with long strides and can get up off the floor effortlessly & with explosion. Those qualities are on display most in transition, but also in the halfcourt. He can sweep & go from the wing and get all the way to the rim in 1 dribble to extend & finish. Shooting is not an issue for Mellouk either as he connected on 3 3’s in 2 games while averaging 14 PPG. The defensive prowess he brings is just as impressive; Mellouk’s agility and freedom of movement allows him to guard perimeter players but he also has the length & quick leaping ability to erase shots often. He has picked up offers from Howard and UMKC this week and is deserving of an even heavier recruitment. I think he has a bright college future.
6’2” G Jeremy Baker (Liberty Heights)
Another weapon alongside Elijah Jamison and PJ Edwards in the Liberty Heights backcourt, Baker averaged 12 PPG in their 2 wins. He came in with an aggressive mentality off the bench in both games and provided an important scoring punch in the tight matchups. Similar to Jamison, Baker goes to the basket with strength and welcomes physical play when slashing. He runs on his toes and has good straight-line speed when attacking, but his strong, wide frame allow him not to get too sped up or ahead of himself. He has some leaping ability too that helps him inside & when elevating on his pull-up, along with possessing a good understanding of how to use his body to create better looks. He’s a good one to take a closer look at as he has already learned to be a complimentary piece with LHAI and won’t need to be ball-dominant to contribute.
6’9” F Chase McKey (TSF)
A prospect I was able to see a good bit during his time at Johns Creek High School, the post-grad year has clearly been productive for McKey. The TSF staff has him playing with more toughness and with a higher sense of urgency than I saw from him during his HS days, and it resulted in a very good outing against IMG. Facing some trees on the interior, he found ways to work around and find open spots for dump-offs, stepped out to put the ball on the deck, and did not show any timidness when going up against length inside. He stuck to his strengths throughout the game and ended with a final line of 15 points & 7 rebounds. The ball skills and mobility he has at around 6’9” will get coaches excited and when you use those effectively with a team like IMG on the other side, it says a lot. Hampton offered him on Tuesday, I’m interested to see what turn his recruitment takes in the spring.
6’2” PG Amir Spears (Mt. Zion)
Spears was a joy to watch in both of Mt. Zion’s games, leading them to a win over Fork Union and then helping them in a close contest with IMG. He averaged 13.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 3 SPG for the weekend. He was locked in from start to finish in the matchups and used his quickness extremely well both offensively & defensively. He can be a pest on the ball by turning offensive players & picking their pockets, but also plays passing lanes well with anticipation and quick reactions. His quickness makes him hard to keep in front when he has the ball too, he’s unselfish and makes slick, timely passes to teammates. The lefty gets defenders on their heels and did as good of a job as anyone in the event at getting to his pull-up jumpers. He looked to insert himself into as many plays as possible and brought energy to the team that was contagious. There’s hardly anything out there on him; if a program does some more digging, they could pick up a hidden gem.