#OTRHoopsReport: Who is On The Radar? – December 26, 2014
4-star post MJ Cage has expanded his game and has the potential to be a top 100 prospect nationally. Photo cred – Davide de Pas
The Holiday Season is always a great time for basketball on the national scene. Our OTRHoopsReport.com evaluators covered multiple events and recorded evals for our college coach clients while also providing a national media context for our readership at OntheRadarHoops.com. We documented a number of classic performances with our LIVE Game Blogs from these venues. If you have not already, read about Jaylen Brown, Ben Simmons and Harry Giles delivering classic performances at the City of Palms. Days later Alabama signee Dazon Ingram put up a near triple double at the Steel City Invitational. However, there are stories and players to be talked about that may not have hit the headlines over the holidays. Here is a look back at some of the prospects who have entered our attention and are now On The Radar.
On the Radar Prospects
Darius Allen (Melbourne, Fla.), Florida Air – 2016
Allen had the play of the Holiday Season with his dunk that shut the lights out at the City of Palms. That play may be what most people remember about the 6-foot-4 forward after the City of Palms, however he was already noted in our notebook because of his productive play. The physical athlete is position-less in the way that he can make plays along the baseline or step out to hit jumpers from beyond the arc. His athleticism translates to the defensive end as well.
Watch the dunk here courtesy of @EliteMixTapesNC:
Shawn Bernard (Mobile, Ala.), Faith Academy – 2015
You cannot argue numbers and championships in the game of basketball. At the end of the Steel City Invitational on Monday night, the 6′ point guard had both of those things on his side. His 15 points, 6 steals and 3 assists were huge in knocking off J.O. Johnson in the climax of the biggest tournament in the state Alabama. Outside of the numbers that Bernard put up was the plays that he made that shifted the momentum in favor of his team as they claimed the championship in this game. His energy on the defensive end also keyed the shutdown of 4-star wing John Petty of Johnson in the final quarter of the night. Bernard’s play-making abilities should be sought after by college coaches who are looking for a floor general in future years.
Michael Cage Jr. (Santa Ana, Calif.), Mater Dei – 2016
Cage will be a prospect that will be talked about more consistently in future months. The 6-foot-10 prospect has expanded his game and is playing with more confidence for his Mater Dei team this year. In an opening round match-up versus Webster High School (MO), he showed the ability to hit the open 3-point jumper while also having the athleticism to tip-dunk in traffic. What Cage may lack in elite athleticism, he makes up for with a high motor and a polished skill set.
Michael Buckland (High Point, N.C.), Wesleyan Christian – 2016
Playing alongside of two of the best players in the class of 2016 in Harry Giles and Kwe Parker, it could be easy to overlook the 6-4 wing from the Tar Heel State. His play for the Trojans was not lost on our staff as he went toe to toe with the nation’s elite and proved that he belonged. Buckland could be classified as a shooting specialist as he has the stroke to punish defenses with space. However, what we saw specifically in a match-up Whitney Young was his willingness to be aggressive in attacking the rim with the drive. He will be a player that will track with interest for months to come.
Kyante Pines (Theodore, Ala.), Theodore HS – 2015
Playing alongside Dazon Ingram is proving to be a fun experience for Pines as he helped his team claim third place in the Steel City Invitational. He dropped 20 points on 10-14 shooting in the process. The 6-4 wing was terrific in transition and finished at the rim even while taking the bump. Pines even hit the spot up 3-point jumper, which points to even a brighter future ahead of the unsigned senior. Watch Pines as he becomes one of the more mentioned unsigned seniors in the state of Alabama in the postseason.
Anthony Mosley of Whitney Young ranks near the top of unsigned point guards in the nation. The strong, physical prospect sports a good build while being crafty with his footwork to get his shot off. He was solid in the two evaluations at the City of Palms.
If you do not know Darius Perry’s name yet, go ahead mark in down. The 4-star combo guard from Wheeler played a huge role in the Wildcats winning the City of Palms championship this past week. The class of 2017 guard has grown a few inches since last year and now is listed at 6-2. Coach Doug Lipscomb will be able to count on a consistent presence from Perry for years to come.
One of the more impressive individual performances of the Holiday season was turned in by Cullman’s senior point guard Lawson Schaffer. His ability to create and be fearless with the ball in his hands drew excitement from everyone in attendance at Samford’s Pete Hanna’s Center.
The talent of Dylan Smith is undeniable despite his early struggles in a game versus Ramsey at the Steel City Invitational. At 6-5, Smith can create his own shot in the mid-range while also being able to draw fouls and get to the line. The Hoover senior will be on our watch-list of top unsigned seniors in the region.
Exposure & Showcase Opportunities
Coverage – Georgia Challenge Headliners
Coverage – Elite Basketball Academy All-American Camp
Coverage – CoachHemi.com Fall Workout
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB
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