Here I dive a little deeper into some of the 2022 & 2023 prospects who had notable performances at Session 1 of the OTR Sweet 16. A few are guys I hadn’t seen previously, while others are familiar faces who keep producing and elevating their game.
6’4” 2022 CG MJ Collins (Team Curry)
Collins is quickly becoming a popular recruit and helped himself a lot last weekend. He put up 20 points in both Curry games I saw, and did so with an impressive package of tools. He’s comfortable from just about anywhere on the court with his smooth, confident game. Spot-up shooting isn’t an issue for him but he’s also a really good shooter off the dribble and can operate out of ball-screens. He makes sure to get low & stay low and does a good job of keeping defenders off balance by changing speeds. His touch in the paint is good, but there are also moments when Collins doesn’t have to worry about that as he can get up explosively for dunks. Murray State and Wofford were his first offers, but now ETSU, Appalachian State, and Charleston Southern have entered the mix with a handful of other schools in frequent contact.
6’1″ 2022 PG Juanse Gorosito (Upward Stars)
Having only been in the U.S. since November, Gorosito started to create a little buzz around his name during the winter but has taken that to another level this travel season. He took advantage of the stage at the Sweet 16, most notably with a dominant stretch against the Nightrydas in which he scored 12 points in the 1st half. Gorosito lacks no confidence and when he gets going, it is fun to watch. He has a strong body, an effective outside shot that he shoots with range & quickness, and can make things happen off the bounce. His creative handle and package of finishes inside were on display in this particular game, but Gorosito also knows when to hit teammates after drawing help defenders and is savvy when operating in the halfcourt. Washington State and Southern Utah have extended offers to him within the last week.
6’11” 2022 C Braden Pierce (Georgia Legacy)
One of the biggest players in the entire state of Georgia, Pierce has come a long way and is starting to become a serious interior presence for the Legacy. It seems like he comes close to getting a block triple-double at least once each weekend, and probably will soon if he hasn’t already. Although there’s still some rawness to him as a finisher, Pierce has gotten tougher fighting for position inside, keeps the ball high, and has displayed nice footwork throughout the spring. He’s aggressive as a rim-protector and moves pretty well for a guy his size, which makes for a difficult guy to challenge inside who saves a lot of points for his team. With how big he is and the consistent progression he has made over the last year or so, his development will be closely tracked by coaches the rest of the summer.
6’2” 2023 G Treymane Parker (Atlanta Celtics)
The younger brother of Kwe Parker, Treymane brings a similar type of excitement to a game and has a solid package of skills to go with it. He has a scorer’s mentality and is able to explode to the rim off of 1 foot without much momentum and can do some from far away from the basket. His 1st half showing against Team Curry on Saturday morning was impressive, as he showed a slick handle and the ability to quickly elevate into pull-ups from both 3 and mid-range. His shot-selection and decision-making will need to be reeled in some, but he can create a lot of offense given all of the traits mentioned. This weekend will give me another chance to see him; his natural athleticism and how he can put up points are attractive.
6’3” 2023 SG Blue Cain (B-Maze Elite)
Coming into the spring, it had been a while since I had the chance to watch Cain live. He has not disappointed, looking improved in multiple parts of his game and producing consistently against top competition. Cain has been getting notoriety for his high-flying abilities for quite some time, but he’s also a very well-rounded scorer who’s competitive and has a solid build. I’ve been really impressed with his ability to get to mid-range spots and stay on balance through contact. Even when he’s going fast in transition and taking off in the air, he has great body control and is able to slow down & stay on balance to finish inside. He shoots well off the dribble, has range, and stays composed. Tennessee offered him earlier this month while Syracuse pulled the trigger in February; there are sure to be more on the way soon and his phone will be ringing off the hook once June 15th hits.
2023 G RJ Johnson & 2023 WF Carson Muse (Team Grind)
These 2 carried Team Grind to a victory in an anticipated Alabama matchup with Pro One late on the final day of the Sweet 16. At the 16U level, they both create matchup problems due to their positional size. You won’t find many 2023 prospects with the physical make-up of Johnson, he has the body of a guy who’s in his 2nd year of college, not 2nd year of high school. Even when he wasn’t able to get fully past guys when driving, he created contact and overpowered them to get to the hole. He’ll have to keep evolving his game as he faces older guys and others who are physically mature, but Johnson is patient with the ball in his hands, is capable shooting off the bounce, and has leaping ability as well. I’d like to see him again soon.
At 6’6″, Muse has legitimate perimeter ability and is able to either take slower guys out to the wing and go by them or use his body to punish smaller defenders as he makes his way to the basket. He has a good understanding of keeping the ball high and away from opponents when attacking. Although he didn’t shoot many, Muse’s outside shot is clean and seems reliable. He’s also a good vertical athlete, especially off of 1 foot, and plays hard. His efforts were huge in the 2nd half and he had some dominant stretches. He’ll become a heavily recruited prospect before long.