By Benji Oxman
MVP: 2023 6’5 PG Freddie Dilione (Word of God)
This was the easiest pick of the group. Freddie had two near triple-double performances in two wins for Word of God over the week. Word of God’s Thomas Carr describes Freddie as a unicorn because of his rare combination of size, athleticism, vision & scoring ability. Dilione put together two complete performances that made it difficult to find many flaws in his game. I think you will start to see Freddie Dilione on national recruiting rankings as the travel season progresses and his offer list should continue to grow. He picked up an offer from Providence yesterday in addition to a handful of other MM-HM offers, along with FSU and UVA both inquiring since the weekend.
Top Shooter: 2023 6’5 SG Truman Claytor (Word of God)
Truman had the best shooting performance of the weekend in Word of God’s victory over Liberty Heights as he knocked down 8 3’s. Truman is a big-bodied two guard who has the ability to get hot in a hurry. Truman has smooth mechanics and shoots the ball with confidence. Against Liberty Heights Truman hit several shots off the catch, got to his spots in the mid-range, hit a few tough off the dribble 3’s & threw down a dunk. His game was so impressive he earned offers from Coastal Carolina & Jacksonville State this weekend.
Best Passer: 2022 6’3 PG Brayden Reynolds (Western Reserve)
Brayden Reynolds was one of my favorite players from the weekend. His ability to dissect defenses was notable whether it was in transition, pick & roll or simple drive & kick scenarios. Brayden seemed to rarely turn over the ball or miss an open teammate, things were slowed down for him and he sees the game a play ahead. Brayden is a quick guard with good size at a strong 6’2-3″ and is also a solid athlete. Brayden had a play in transition against Springfield Commonwealth where he was being chased down by a 7-footer and with no fear threw down one of the best dunks of the weekend. Before reclassing to 2022 Brayden held offers from Air Force, Army & Navy. Now as a 2022, Brayden has a strong amount of interest from a variety of MM level schools but I feel he’s deserving of some offers at this point.
Highest Motor: 2022 6’11 C Deng Majak (London Basketball Academy)
The 6’11 center seemed to be flying around all weekend pulling down 10+ rebounds in every game. On the offensive side Deng is still raw but he’s showing flashes of what his future can look like down the road. Deng showed flashes of aggressiveness around the rim, solid hands catching passes from guards and defensive potential by protecting the paint. Intriguing prospect to keep an eye on in Canada.
Top Big: 2022 6’9 PF Elijah Jones (Mt. Zion)
Elijah’s size, strength & aggressiveness made this an easy pick for the top big man. Elijah ran the floor hard every trip down and his guards rewarded him with easy dunks in transition. Jones also does a really good job holding his seal in the post and when he receives the ball on the block, he’s got good feel and footwork to give himself easy buckets. Elijah currently holds offers from Hofstra, Austin Peay & Old Dominion. I expect a few others will jump in late to try to steal a really talented prospect.
Top Competitor: 2022 6’2 G Jahsire Sheriff (TSF Post-Grad)
I was listening to JJ Reddick’s podcast with Draymond Green last week and they were discussing why so many lottery picks don’t pan out. Draymond was convinced the main reason why happens to be so many top prospect’s lack of competitiveness and that NBA front offices need to recognize competitiveness as a skill. With that in mind I was paying more attention than normal to every player’s competitiveness. Jahsire was in a class of his own when it came to competitiveness. Sheriff made big plays attacking the paint down the stretch against IMG and clearly energized his team. Jahsire also took extreme pride in his defense and was a pest guarding the ball full court. He was diving on the floor, encouraging teammates and clearly was doing whatever his team needed to win. Anyone looking for a guy who competes no matter who he’s matched up against should look at Jahsire Sheriff.