The NIBC hosted three days of prep school action in LaPorte, IN in mid January. The powerhouse league provided many prospects to showcase with some games being competitive and others…not so much.
Jarace Walker 6’7 220 SG/SF – IMG Academy 2022 (Houston)
Walker (pictured) had a big showing, consistently putting up big numbers all around. He’s athletic, very mobile, and makes some shifty/swift moves with the ball for someone his size. He shot it well with proper rotation coming out of his hand, going 50% from 3PT in the three games. He rebounded well and can grab and go after defensive boards. His half-court passing was nice too, good patience and perfect to put in the middle, hitting the open man or driving from the top of the key. 3.2/1 assist/turnover is very good for someone of his size and volume. He didn’t force his scoring, blending inside/outside offensive ability, averaging 17 points on 61.3% FG%. He was solid defensively as well with two blocks and a steal per game but there are times he gets beat on the perimeter, despite showing light movement at his size. Walker was big in IMG’s undefeated showing.
3 Game Averages: 17 points, 61.3% FG% (19-31 FG), 50% 3PT% (3-6 3PT), 66.7% FT% (10-15 FT), 8.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1.7 turnovers
Chris Livingston 6-7 220 SG – Oak Hill Academy 2022 (Kentucky)
Livingston had his ups and downs in his three games. In Oak Hill’s 91-49 blowout win against Wasatch Academy, he displayed his open floor athleticism, knocked down two of his four 3PT attempts, and showed solid passing ability on his way to 15 points (5-10 FG). In his second game, he was passive and only scored eight points on 3-7 shooting, eventually fouling out in the 70-56 loss to La Lumiere. He rebounded back with 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals in the 99-68 victory over Bishop Walsh. Although he settled for a lot of deep 3’s, he showed his shot making ability and how tough he can be to stop in transition which led to scoring eight of his points from the foul line. He’s more effective in triple threat to penetrate as he doesn’t have a lot of creativity or wiggle off the dribble. He wanted the ball more in the post as he had the mismatch on multiple occasions, but his team didn’t always find him. Defensively, he can show more commitment, but he demonstrated capability on that end in spurts.
3 Game Averages: 13.7 points, 46.4% FG% (13-28 FG), 27.3% 3PT% (3-11 3PT), 70.6% FT% (12-17 FT), 6.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.3 steals, 3.3 turnovers
JJ Starling 6-5 195 PG – La Lumiere 2022 (Notre Dame)
Starling consistently had the hot hand, shooting 7.3 3PTers a game and connecting on 40.9% 3PT as La Lumiere went 2-1 at the event. He shoots well off the catch and while on the move as well, as he gets his feet set quickly coming off curls with a textbook release. In addition to his shooting, he attacked the rim with a quick first step with the ball and displayed open floor athleticism in each game. He scored using minimal dribbles and although he’s been labeled as a combo guard, he served as a scorer and let Jeremy Fears handle the point.
3 Game Averages: 19 points, 47.7% FG% (21-44 FG), 40.9% 3PT% (9-22 3PT), 87.5% FT% (7-8 FT), 5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2 steals, 1.7 turnovers
Judah Mintz 6-4 180 SG – Oak Hill Academy 2022
Mintz was Oak Hill’s most consistent weapon, reliably putting up points in each game. Although he wasn’t a 3PT threat, making only one of his five shots in three games, he’s still going to impact the scoring column. He’s not real explosive but he’s very good scoring around the rim. An area where he absolutely thrives, is midrange shooting/scoring and drawing fouls on jump shots, as he stays under control even when he looks like he’s taking his momentum one way to bait the defender into a foul. It worked multiple times and he converted 18 of his 21 free throws over the weekend. Mintz was solid passing the ball and not too turnover prone as much as he had the ball in his hands.
3 Game Averages: 19 points, 54.3% FG% (19-35 FG), 20% 3PT% (1-5 3PT), 85% FT% (18-21 FT), 4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1 steal, 1.7 turnovers
Devin Ree 6’9 170 SF – Oak Hill Academy 2022 (LSU)
Similar to Livingston, Ree had a roller coaster of production; not missing a shot with 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and no turnovers in his first game against Wasatch, then went 1-6 FG with only three points and three rebounds in the loss to La Lumiere, then finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds in the final game against Bishop Walsh. Even with the rough game against La Lumiere, Ree showed his ability to hit shots with just a little bit of space with good mechanics as he doesn’t waste any motion and got hot quickly to score in bunches, shooting 53.8% 3PT% in his three games. He has good size for a wing and made some nice passes too. His size is a plus on the defensive end as well, showing some versatility. One turnover in a total of 82 minutes of play is pretty impressive.
3 Games Averages: 11.3 points, 55.6% FG% (10-18 FG), 53.8% 3PT% (7-13 3PT), 87.5% FT% (7-8 FT), 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 turnovers
Caleb Foster 6-4 175 PG – Oak Hill Academy 2023 (Duke)
Foster was effective slashing with his tight handle and good awareness of reading the help defense to hit the open man. He’s not much of an above the rim finisher but he utilized his floater when appropriate. He does need more consistency from distance, going 4-16 from 3PT land with a high arcing shot that came short of the rim a few times. He turned it on in time of desperation towards the end of the game against La Lumiere, consistently making a play for himself or a teammate at the right time in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Overall, Foster was solid in Oak Hill’s 2-1 weekend with his ability to control the pace and IQ on display, recording only two turnovers in 80 minutes of action.
3 Game Averages: 15 points, 47.4% FG% (18-38 FG), 25% 3PT% (4-16 3PT), 100% FT% (5-5 FT), 4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 turnovers
Christopher Bunch 6-8 180 SF – Wasatch Academy 2022 (Syracuse)
Although it wasn’t the most efficient set of performances, Bunch was an effective punch for Wasatch. They’re a tough team who play hard and physical, with Bunch being a piece of that puzzle. He’s a good athlete with solid size and although he went through cold stretches, he has ability to light it up from outside. He doesn’t stand out as a rebounder with a total of seven in his three games but is a solid shot blocker for position, including a chase down on a Gradey Dick fastbreak dunk attempt. Bunch has some areas he can improve; playmaking and getting to the free throw line along with previously mentioned shooting efficiency and rebounding, but he flashed his skill set in Wasatch’s three games.
3 Game Averages: 11 points, 30.6% FG% (11-36 FG), 30.8% 3PT% (8-26 3PT), 100% FT% (3-3 FT), 2.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, 3 turnovers
Keba Keita 6-9 225 PF – Wasatch Academy 2022
Although Wasatch lost all three games, Keita was a double-double machine and efficient offensively. He started the event off slow with three points and two rebounds in the loss to Oak Hill but turned it on in the next two games, posting 14 points (6-6 FG) and 13 rebounds in the 64-50 loss to Sunrise Christian Academy, and 12 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the 73-67 loss to IMG Academy. He’s athletic and quick off the ground, displaying good timing on his jump not only as a rebounder but as a shot blocker as well, recording two and three blocks in his final two games respectively. He plays within himself, not trying to do too much, thriving as a rim runner, and cleaning up around the basket. He has good hands and stays alert on both ends.
3 Game Averages: 9.7 points, 72.2% FG% (13-18 FG), 42.9% FT% (3-7 FT), 9 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1 turnover
Jeremy Fears 6’0 175 PG – La Lumiere 2023 (Michigan State)
Fears played hard and found ways to consistently get his shot off despite his size and lack of explosive ability. Although he had more shot attempts than points, he was big for La Lu’s offense. He handles the ball well, changes speed, and can stop on a dime for a midrange jumper. He needs more consistency from 3PT range, but he was a force getting to the rim. There were times he looked to draw fouls rather than get a better look but overall, he’s under control with the ball. He passed the ball well too, racking up eight assists in the game against Oak Hill.
3 Game Averages: 10 points, 34.3% FG% (12-35 FG), 18.2% 3PT% (2-11 3PT), 80% FT% (4-5 FT), 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2 steals, 2.3 turnovers
Aden Holloway 6’0 170 PG – La Lumiere 2023
Holloway was fantastic, putting on an incredible shooting display, including a 22-point game on seven shots (5-7 FG, 4-4 3PT, 8-9 FT) against Oak Hill Academy. He’s a very good ball-handler, and although he’s not an explosive athlete, he got to the rim using triple threat or live dribble. He missed a few layups in the 74-46 win against Legacy Early College, but he didn’t miss much after that. His set point on his shot is a little bit low, but he got it off and showed he can connect off the catch or dribble. He only had eight points in the 63-55 loss to Montverde Academy, but Holloway had an impressive overall showing.
3 Game Averages: 15 points, 50% FG% (14-28 FG), 66.7% 3PT% (8-12 3PT), 81.8% FT% (9-11 FT), 3.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.3 turnovers
Coen Carr 6’7 215 PF – Legacy Early College 2023
Legacy lost all three games, and they weren’t very competitive, but Carr had his share of intriguing plays. He’s an incredibly explosive athlete, dunking in a variety of ways; dunking off his right, left, or both feet a few times throughout the event. His ability to rise up quickly translated on the defensive end as well, blocking shots including a chase down that he didn’t even appear to be a threat to get to on one play and rejecting a jump hook as a help defender on another. He does need some offensive work when he doesn’t end with a jam, but he showed some ability to pull-up in small doses. Carr’s best game was against Sunrise Christian Academy with 20 points on 7-9 shooting in the 86-65 loss.
3 Game Averages: 14.7 points, 60.7% FG% (17-28 FG), 25% 3PT% (1-4 3PT), 3.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1 block, 1.3 steals, 2 turnovers
Mark Mitchell 6’7 190 PF – Sunrise Christian Academy 2022 (Duke)
Mitchell’s best game came against Wasatch, scoring 21 points and drew numerous fouls, making seven of his 13 free throw attempts in the game. He’s best scoring within 15 feet of the basket. He has a way to go as a shooter, only making one 3PTer in his three games and tends to push his shot with inconsistent ball rotation. He looked to take advantage of his size mismatch in the post, sometimes he made the right move but didn’t consistently convert. However, there were times his execution was on point, including a drop step dunk working out of the post. He can benefit by keeping his head up as he missed open teammates a few times and can be quicker on reads in general. Overall, Mitchell provides solid tools and talent, helping Sunrise Christian to win all three games by double digits.
3 Game Averages: 13.7 points, 48.4% FG% (15-31 FG), 20% 3PT% (1-5 3PT), 58.8% FT% (10-17 FT), 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 turnovers
Gradey Dick 6’7 200 SG – Sunrise Christian Academy 2022 (Kansas)
Dick’s a great shooter with limitless range connecting on 43.8% 3PT% on 10.7 3PT attempts per game. He shoots well off the dribble and gets his shot off against tight defense, even when fading a bit. His shot opens his driving opportunities; after catching the ball a quick look at the rim opened a baseline drive every time and although he’s not much of a slasher, he can still make the right play when getting ran off the line. He’s not real quick laterally, but deflected numerous passes and came away with four steals against Wasatch Academy. He has room to improve as a playmaker and rebounder but he’s a tremendous asset to Sunrise’s offense.
3 Game Averages: 21.7 points, 46.5% FG% (20-43 FG), 43.8% 3PT% (14-32 3PT), 68.8% FT% (11-16 FT), 3.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1 turnover
Scotty Middleton 6’6 180 SF – Sunrise Christian Academy 2023
Middleton started out the event blistering with 19 points, connecting on all seven of his shot attempts in the 71-61 win against Montverde Academy. In his final game against Legacy Early College, he only scored three points while making one of his seven shots. He came off the bench and provided a scoring spark, hitting a mix of 3’s and layups averaging 10.7 points per game. He has a slight frame with long arms and moves well defensively. He plays well off the dribble and finishes well above the rim.
3 Game Averages: 10.7 points, 55% (11-20 FG), 38.5% 3PT% (5-13 3PT), 83.3% FT% (5-6 FT), 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.3 turnovers
Dariq Whitehead 6’6 205 SG/SF – Montverde Academy 2022 (Duke)
Whitehead struggled in the first two games: scoring 12 points (4-13 FG) in the loss to Sunrise Christian and followed up with five points (2-7 FG) in the 78-45 win against Bishop Walsh. He was off to a slow start settling for 3’s and putting up a few airballs. He’s a high-level athlete with a strong build and has no problem getting his shot off, but this wasn’t his strongest weekend. He had some stronger takes to the rim in the win against La Lumiere, scoring 26 points, but I don’t think we saw his best in any of his three games with an underwhelming 35.7% FG%.
3 Game Averages: 14.3 points, 35.7% FG% (15-42 FG), 30% 3PT% (6-20 3PT), 63.6% FT% (7-11 FT%), 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1 block, 0.7 steals, 1 turnover
Vincent Iwuchukwu 7’1 220 PF – Montverde Academy 2022 (USC)
Iwuchukwu only played ten minutes in the first game against Sunrise Christian, he got pulled quickly letting Cameron Corhen step into three quick 3’s, going scoreless with four rebounds. He followed up with 13 points (5-7 FG) in the second game against Bishop Walsh. Overall, he’s raw offensively but has a good-looking free throw, making three of his four, and flashed a face-up baseline jumper. On the plus side, he’s athletic, an instinctive shot blocker, and is vocal defensively. His final game, he finished with four points and five rebounds against La Lumiere. Iwuchukwu recently left Montverde for Southern California Academy.
3 Game Averages: 5.7 points, 58.3% FG% (7-12 FG), 75% FT% (3-4 FT), 4.3 rebounds, 1 block, 1.3 turnovers
Jalen Hood-Schifino 6’5 190 PG – Montverde Academy 2022 (Indiana)
Hood-Schifino has good size and build for a point guard. He gets into the lane pretty well, showing a running hook, and ability to score at the rim. His lack of shooting hinders him, going 2-14 (14.3% 3PT%) from downtown despite getting a lot of good looks, and only shot 33.3% from the floor. He is a solid rebounder for position and can immediately get the offense started after a defensive board. He’s also a solid playmaker, which is a plus with all the weapons on Montverde, tallying up nine assists in the game against Bishop Walsh.
3 Game Averages: 8 points, 33.3% FG% (10-30 FG), 14.3% 3PT% (2-14 3PT), 50% FT% (2-4 FT), 3.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover
Dillon Mitchell 6’7 180 SF – Montverde Academy 2022 (Texas)
I’m not sure where to begin with Mitchell, but he was Montverde’s most consistent player and great all-around. In his first game against Sunrise, he scored 29 of his team’s 61 points on 13-14 FG in 32 minutes, along with 10 rebounds. He followed up with 14 points on 7-8 FG in 14 minutes against Bishop Walsh. In his final game against La Lumiere, he scored 10 points on 5-7 FG and nine rebounds. In his three games, he scored a total of 53 points in 78 minutes on 29 shots (86.2% FG%), missing a total of only four shots. He’s a tough lefty, battling inside to score in congestion with great touch whether he uses the glass or puts it right in the rim using his reliable jump hook. His jump shot didn’t look bad, and he made his only 3PT attempt, but he didn’t show much from the perimeter. Same story as a free throw shooter, it doesn’t look bad, but he went 2-7 from the foul line. He’s vocal, long, and athletic; getting his hands on everything defensively, jumping passes to show off his high-flying ability on the break. He also has no issue showing his athleticism in the half-court, reading tip-slams and other dunk opportunities against a set defense.
3 Game Averages: 17.7 points, 86.2% FG% (25-29 FG), 100% 3PT (1-1 3PT), 28.6% FT% (2-7 FT), 8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1 block, 0.7 steals, 1.3 turnovers
Keyonte George 6’5 190 PG – IMG Academy 2022 (Baylor)
George did fine in IMG’s first two games but put it together in the final game against Wasatch with 27 points (7-16 FG, 4-8 3PT, 9-10 FT) and eight rebounds. His quickness and ability to change direction with the ball allows him to get into the paint, and he stays under control, reactive to the defense with good instincts. He’s more of a streaky shooter than knockdown at this point but he ended up shooting 41.2% 3PT% for the weekend so there’s not much negative to say. If he’s going to be a combo at the next levels, his primary ball handling duties can improve but he’s been solid. IMG played zone on defense, but George stuck to the ball well when needed.
3 Game Averages: 15.7 points, 46.7% FG% (14-30 FG), 41.2% 3PT% (7-17 3PT), 85.7% FT% (12-14 FT), 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 turnovers
Jaden Bradley 6’3 170 PG – IMG Academy 2022 (Alabama)
Bradley struggled shooting and connecting, missing all three 3PT attempts and despite good body control at the rim, he’s not real explosive and missed a lot of layups, going 0-5 from the floor against Wasatch. He’s a good ball-handler and distributor, with all the talent around him, he has no issue getting his teammates involved. Defensively, he came away with three steals per game, but picked up a lot of fouls in the process.
3 Game Averages: 9.7 points, 43.5% FG% (10-23 FG), 0% 3PT% (0-3 3PT), 90% FT (9-10 FT), 5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3 steals, 1 turnover
Eric Dailey 6’7 220 PF – IMG Academy 2022
Dailey’s strong and tough inside, scoring amongst the crowd while using either hand. He has good versatility as a forward as he moves well on the perimeter and smooth around the basket. He does need more consistency from 3PT, going 1-8 from the perimeter. He secures rebounds well and does a solid job moving the ball to make the right play. Defensively, he was able to hold his own against any position he was assigned or switched on.
3 Games Averages: 13 points, 45.7% FG% (16-35 FG), 12.5% 3PT% (1-8 3PT), 66.7% FT% (6-9 FT), 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 blocks, 1 steal, 1.7 turnovers
Noah Batchelor 6’6 185 SG – IMG Academy 2022 (Memphis)
Batchelor’s a deadeye shooter with very good range, nearly automatic in catch and shoot situations. He plays well within IMG’s flow, not hunting for points or doing anything outside his game, generally just spacing the floor and ready to catch while spotting up. If the shot’s not available, he keeps the ball moving. Batchelor only took three 2-point field goals in his three games, two came on back-to-back plays where he caught an inbound oop that he had to reach back to catch, then Jaden Bradley got a steal to find him cutting for another two-hand jam. Batchelor’s shooting put him in the 50-50-100 club.
3 Game Averages: 14 points, 52% FG% (13-25 FG), 50% 3PT% (11-22 3PT), 100% FT% (5-5 FT), 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 steal, 0.7 turnovers