The Arizona Preps Fall Showcase was a bit down this year, as the talent wasn't quite as good as it has been in past years. However, there were still several players who caught my eye over the weekend. Here are some impressions gathered over a couple days of action.
Royce Woolridge, 6-1 SO SG/PG Phoenix (Ariz.) Sunnyslope. I'm hoping Woolridge can eventually play the one, but he's a two right now. Shot doesn't look great coming out of his hand, but he's a very good shooter. He had a stretch over a couple games where he didn't miss a three-pointer – and he must've taken eight or nine of them. Very good body, with long arms. However, there is a question about where his body goes from here, as he looks very physically mature. He's a good, not great, athlete. He's got a scorer's mentality and he scored from multiple spots on the court. He's a likely high major prospect.
Ryan Howley, 6-5 SR SF Flagstaff (Ariz.) Sinagua. Howley is a sleeper in the 2008 class. He's got a solid body and he's pretty bouncy. His shot is very good to the stripe and his ball skills overall are more than adequate. Very nice feel for the game and he plays the right way. Smart kid who is definitely worth a look at the mid major level.
Carrick Felix, 6-6 SR SF Goodyear (Ariz.) Millennium. Felix was very impressive at this event. He's very long and bouncy – an above average athlete. Ball skills overall are ok, but he made a couple plays that showed his considerable upside. ESPN's Joel Francisco noted that he looks like a Bobby Jones type and that's a good call. Same kind of body and game at the same stage. He's not quite as far along offensively as Jones was as a senior, but he's got a chance to be a very nice player. He supposedly has some work to do to qualify in the spring, but mid majors looking for a three in April should have him on their list if he makes it academically.
Marcus Ruppel, 6-6 JR SF Glendale (Ariz.) Deer Valley. Ruppel has a good body, with length, and he moves very well. He's a good athlete with some bounce. He finished very well at the rim and his shot is definitely playable at this stage of his career. His handle was solid, but he didn't show any passing ability. It may be there and I just didn't see it because he never passed the ball. That's certainly an area he needs to work on. Granted, it's a showcase type event, but you still want to play within a team concept. Overall, though, I was very impressed with Ruppel as a prospect. He's definitely a mid major prospect and quite possibly a high major.
Jahii Carson, 5-8 FR PG Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe. I really like Carson's game. Excellent feel for the game, makes good decisions and understands what it means to be a point guard. His shot is good enough at this time, but he's a very good handler and passer. The one question on him as a prospect is his size. If he gets bigger, he's a likely high major prospect.
Colin Borchert, 6-7 JR PF Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge. Borchert has a fair amount of skill, and he's a pretty good athlete, but his feel for the game has been slow to develop. He makes quite a few bad decisions and his shot selection is very poor. He's got the size and athleticism to be an effective player inside, but he prefers to spend time on the perimeter over-handling the ball. At this point, he's a mid major prospect.
John Bailey, 6-7 SO PF Mesa (Ariz.) Dobson. Bailey has a decent frame, with good feet and nice hands. He's not yet strong enough to hold his position in the paint, but he should be fine once he adds some weight. He's got nice skills both inside and on the perimeter. Decent stroke to the stripe, but takes him a while to get it off. Shows the makings of a nice little jump hook. He also competed well in the games I saw. It's still early, but he projects as a potential mid to high major prospect.
Michell Watt, 6-8 SR C/PF Goodyear (Ariz.) Desert Edge. Watt has a decent frame – bit narrow through the shoulders -- and he moves fairly well. Just a fair athlete, but he gets up pretty quick and he's got good feet. Offensive skills are pretty limited at this point, but he's worth a look at the low major level.
Jordan Didier, 6-6 SO PF/SF Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's. Didier might be close to 6-7 and his ultimate position is still up in the air. But he's a long and fairly athletic forward with pretty good ball skills. He needs to play a little more physical game, but that will likely come as he adds weight and strength in the coming years.
Tyler Russell, 5-11 FR PG/SG Goodyear (Ariz.) Millennium. Good-looking kid with a long and live body. Pretty good quickness and a decent stroke. Handle and ball skills overall need to improve, but he's got the look of a potential player down the road.
Arizona Preps Fall Showcase
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