OTR Hoops: Underclassmen Standouts from The Gauntlet – April 14, 2024

SUMTERVILLE, Florida, – On the Radar Hoops returns to Florida for the second annual The Gauntlet. This year’s edition features many of the top programs in the state of Florida as well as competitive independent teams from around the Southeast. Here is a look at the top underclassmen at the event.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

Sam Mitchell – 321 SuperSonics – 2026

Mitchell is a southpaw who shoots the ball with a feathery touch. He has terrific length with long arms and legs. He can finish in the paint and affect the game in traffic. But when he finds space around the arc, he can quickly turn the momentum of the game. We saw this on Sunday afternoon. Back-to-back 3-pointers in a tight game with less than three minutes to play gave his team the lead and a victory.

Ralphy Diaz – Miami Triple Threat – 2026

Of all the players we evaluated, it would be hard to find another player who turned in a weekend bigger than Diaz. He averaged more than 30 points per game over the weekend. We sat in on the biggest game of the tournament where he scored 41 points for his team. Diaz can let it fly from way beyond the arc. And he has enough size to score over outstretched arms in the lane. He did all of this while playing up on the 17U level. Diaz is a name you will want to track for the next few years.

Christian Ricks – 904 Elite – 2026

Sometimes smaller guards get overlooked because of their lack of size and stature. However, Wilkes is a player that makes you notice with his play. He is a crafty point guard who can pass-dribble-shoot as well as any in the gym. He does a great job of using ball fakes to get defenders leaning the wrong direction. He makes the most of those opportunities. We watched him score 26 points on Saturday afternoon.

Maddox Palmer – 1 Family Hoops – 2026

Palmer’s game is worth noting. He is a big wing with skill and fundamentals. Listed at 6-foot-5, he can defend several positions both on the frontline and on the wing. It is his ball skill and shooting touch that will earn him consideration at the next level. He proved he can create and finish shots in the midrange at this tournament. Palmer’s physical tools along with his natural ability are a good combination to bank on.

Sebastian Feliciano – FAA Kings – 2027

Feliciano is a young guard who is just beginning to come into his own. Although he is merely a freshman, he possesses almost expert level ball handling skills. He handles the ball as if it is on a string. And he can pull a jumper in the blink of an eye. He is a player who should be trending as a top prospect in the state of Florida in the next few years.

Samfree Sarante – Miami Triple Threat – 2027

We watched Sarante drop an easy 36-point game for a win on Sunday afternoon. He is a young kid who projects a wing scoring specialist. He has an instinct for scoring the ball. He has solid form on his jumper when he releases it from the arc. He also has touch and arc when he shoots in traffic or off the dribble. The freshman is a talent to track in the Miami area.

James Rivera – Austin Rivers SE Elite – 2027

Buy stock on Rivera’s game right now. He is a talented left-handed forward with a versatile skill set. He has a long wingspan that allows him to rebound and alter shots in the paint. He can also step out to the perimeter and sink the occasional jumper when it is in the flow of the offense. The freshman has yet to fill out physically. There is another world of production that is waiting for Rivera once he grows into it.

Jonathan Hemingway has been a National Evaluator for On the Radar Hoops since 2013. He has been involved in the basketball community since 1995 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him at JLHemingway@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @JL_Hemingway.