2022 Grassroots Showcase: Top Overall Performers
LOUISVILLE, KY - The 2022 Grassroots Showcase is in the books for the second NCAA Live Period. Some stories were started. Some stories were continued. Which players caught our attention as the top overall performers from the weekend? Meet our first round of the top dogs.
When we look at the class of 2023 as a whole nationally, I think we need to start having a serious conversation about Xavier Booker as a contender at the top. We saw the full resume from him at the Grassroots Showcase. He’s a threat as a shooter, rebounder, shot-blocker, rim-runner and overall high ceiling guy. On opening night against a fellow nationally-ranked 6-foot-10 player in John Butler, Booker went to work. He scored 27-points, torched the nets for four three-pointers, he grabbed rebounds off the rim as soon as he could and started the break. Long term, there wasn't a higher ceiling player in the field and no other player drew as many head coaches as Booker did. Last year we saw the Thompson twins of Florida PRO and Anthony Black of 3D Empire have their signature moments. This year, it was clearly Booker.
Find me a wing who is having a better spring on our HoopSeen Association than Byrd. Find him. It will be tough to do so. When you chalk up the wins and who Team Trezz has beat, it is hard to look past Byrd’s body of work. He’s long, lean, active and agile. Those traits have made him one of the toughest players to defend from the HSA. You can see his confidence rising each and every time he steps out on the hardwood. He recently became fully qualified and it will be interesting to see how college coaches approach him moving forward. Byrd is a talent and basts a trajectory that could yield positive dividends at the next level.
There is a reason why a post-centric program like Iowa wanted to lock him up early for a commitment. Freeman is a prototypical Big Ten problem in the paint and each and every game he proves that point. He’s gotten bigger, stronger and even more productive at his position. Throughout the Grassroots Showcase, Freeman was too tough to contain around the rim in every category. Because his team is so good in the halfcourt as an offense, he was in a constant position to produce. Freeman owned the stage during the last NCAA Live Period of the spring.
Rogers had one of the best showings of any big man here in the field at the Grassroots Showcase. He’s tough around the rim, active above it and productive in transition. From a consistency standpoint, the post from Atlanta was tops in his position during the four games of action. What a weekend from him. The Atlanta All-Stars consistently place talented post players in college. Rogers is certainly next. His recruitment has legs and will continually grow into a priority player. Head coaches from Belmont, Lipscomb and Indiana State were on hand to see him - and the rest of the All-Stars - on the final day of action.
Skilled prospect who is always under control. Saran is a good passer with court vision and is a good positional rebounder with a high basketball IQ. Saran is a member of the Turkish National Team and is now at Asheville School in North Carolina. He was a double-digit scorer most of the weekend and when he was on the floor, the game seemed to flow better. I like him at the mid-major level and he told us that he is getting recruited by UC-Santa Barbara and has offers from Radford and Stony Brook. - Justin Byerly