Grassroots Showcase: @JustinDYoung's notes from opening night
LOUISVILLE, KY - The Grassroots Showcase tipped off in big fashion on Friday night at the Kentucky Expo Center. Who caught the attention of Justin Young?
STILL AT IT
Mid Pro Academy is one of the best teams here in the field at the Grassroots Showcase. The midwestern team won the Grassroots Basketball Association 16 and under national championship, last summer in Orlando and the band is back together for a senior season run. They’ve added some more pieces to the rotation, too.
The team is anchored by Iowa-bound big man Owen Freeman, who is bigger and better than the player that we saw from him last season. He’s such a load to handle at this high school level down low. When he suits up for the Hawkeyes, he has a chance to develop into a real go-to option for the Big Ten program. Don’t be surprised if he’s an anchor player for coach Fran McCaffery.
The straw that stirs the drink for Mid Pro is point guard Brock Harding, one of the premier mid-major prospects in the nation. He’s so dialled in as a decision-maker and playmaker that he raises the profile of the entire team. If consistency is on the grading scale for the type of player you can expect in college than Harding has a chance to be a pilot of a program that consistently wins 20-plus games in college.
Value winning plays and winning players. That’s a recipe that never gets stale. So when a guy like Trey Byrd and Team Trezz come along and ride a wave of winning in the spring, take notice. The 6-foot-7 unsigned senior from North Carolina drilled a game-winner in the nightcap against Gain Elite out of Minnesota. Byrd and his club are undefeated so far on the HoopSeen Association platform and Byrd is playing like a man worthy of a good hard look from a Division I school that needs a versatile forward. He’s trending as well as any player in our league and any player in the South’s available 2022 class.
The 1-2 punch of Jaborri McGhee and Logan Feltman played like guys who wanted to send a message to college coaches. The available class of 2022 prospects played well in a tough loss to 3D Empire. McGhee knocked down a couple of three-pointers and was in a constant attack mode. Feltman, a 6-foot-8 forward, knocked down a big three, blocked or changed a shot and scored around the rim.
HI, MY NAME IS…
In the premier match-up of the night, the packed house crowd came to see the viral hoopers. Hopefully they left for an appreciation for the play of the 1 of 1 guard Graham Worland. The 6-foot-4 guard showed off a nice shooting touch and was always in a position to make a play. His IQ kept his team’s offensive attack in contention throughout. He plays at Greensboro Day under the legend Freddy Johnson and you can tell Worland is used to a big assignment and role. In a first impression game for me, he’s firmly planted on my value list for guards in the South’s 2023 class.
Garwey Dual has strung together a number of events that warrant a deeper dive into consideration by high-majors and post-season contenders from the mid-major. The 6-foot-5 guard is a monster on the defensive end of the floor. He’s active on the glass and has an extra burst of explosion that is hard to contend with. The 6-foot-5 guard from Carmel (IN) plays with an edge and purpose that warrants the uptick in recruitment that we’re pumping.
Carl Parrish, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Miami, was the go-to option for Florida PRO on Friday night. The speedster in the red, white and blue mixes scoring and playmaking well for his club. Keep an eye on him this weekend. He opened the action off with a showing that warrants a deeper dive.
If I’ve learned anything since the Grassroots Basketball Association it’s this - 3D Empire is going to have some dudes. The Texas program has a big man worth taking a look at in 6-foot-10 forward Myles Amason from Birdville (TX) HS. We saw a soft touch and good hands down in the paint. For a long-term play, Amason has a ceiling that has some serious space in it for growth. It’s not surprising that he said Butler and Davidson have made inquiries with him already.