The Gauntlet – Eye-Catching Guards
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The second of four trips to Florida headed back to Mainland HS, and there was some great talent in the gym once again to follow up The Opening March 25-26.
Our third look is at guards whose play at both ends and as versatile weapons was hard to miss.
By: Keith Agran
Aidan Agnew | G | 2024 | Born to Impact Elite 17U (pictured at top)
Refers to himself as Big Guard and he’s got the goods to back it up, a body that gets into and through contact as a scorer is one thing but it’s the surprising quickness he uses at his size to blow by for a creative scoring package, great enthusiasm and “want” to have the ball in his control, with teammate Trey Murray made up a top 2 or 3 backcourt on hand, has been playing well on our radar for a couple of years as a known name and continues to make strides to what could be a really productive college career.
A little taller near 6-5 and stronger than last year when he stood out much like teammate Jordan Naylor did for the then 16U Tampa guys in gold and black, shoots the heck out of it at a high clip even for travel ball when space can be found too easily and total shot attempts are perhaps more available, a natural maturity could be seen in the drive game as the added bulk and size and a quicker first step doubled his dangerousness, has all the tools for the next-level.
This roster was filled with interesting guys led by Alexander Springs who we featured in our Do-It-All piece, Fontaine is pure lights out if left open and the confidence was brimming, he like all the guys from this exciting roster got bigger and stronger after an impressive 15U showing last year with OTR, Fontaine’s movement is catching up to his superb awareness and great head for the game as a scorer and passer.
A stirring athlete who played some at both PG and the wing and affected the game from both, great lift as a wing attacker but also was effective at the top of the offense, showed real defensive versatility guarding 1 to 4 where needed, the kind of guy athletically you get on campus and hone the deep shooting while you’ve got him.
Versatility was the name of the game for Nealy as a somewhat smaller Ball 4 Lyfe group asks him to play and guard on the interior and he does that well, but offensively he’s a face-the-basket guy and used the bounce effectively for a power drive game and some mid-range action as well, at 6-5 with a good frame he can fill a bunch of potential roles at the next level.
Immediately drawn to Anroman as he was both noticeably sound and exuberant on the floor, encouraging and on-court coaching his guys the passion and knowledge of the game was evident, he backs up those critical intangibles with a bunch of talent as a lead guard prospect too, quickness to create gaps and deep shooting are key modern-PG items and Anromna can unleash either.
I use the term “low to the ground” and “bowling ball” a lot as purely complimentary terms and Major is both, when analyzing the 6-foot and under crowd there are certain things they’ll need to exude to make it to the next level and basketball instincts are key among them, Major excels there and is a true PG who as a sterling athlete runs a club with unselfish yet explosive qualities.
As impressive as Naylor and Brown were all weekend for PSB I couldn’t help but keep coming back to Peterson’s play, not overly flashy or supremely athletic he was however enormously effective and efficient, he makes winning plays as a passer and can go on some scoring runs vs defenders who take his game lightly, deep shooting and ballhandling and high IQ ball highlight this hidden gem absolutely worth a look.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019, and also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
November 27, 2023
November 27, 2023
November 21, 2023