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Statements Made: LA Hoops Fest Scouting Report

Statements Made: LA Hoops Fest Scouting Report

The word got out about the most recent Mal Mundy Hoops Fest Tour Statement Session.

Over 30 college coaches came down to South Side High in Youngsville, LA, to scout over 40 prospects on the last Sunday before school starts up. South Coast scout Chris Dodson was in the gym and came away impressed with a few players still looking for offers.

Most Impressive: I've got Jaylen Peters (Liberty) as the best player in the gym for long stretches, and it wasn't particularly close at times. The two-man game with Chris Birden (Newman) was clicking, but Peters was the player who made folks stop taking notes and just watch. It helps that it seemed the rest of the team started deferring to his leadership pretty quickly, and that the other teams seemed to want to avoid Peters. Yet he still erased mistakes, could correct actions on the fly, and made some impressive instinctual plays on pure athleticism.

You'll hear if Peters is on the court. A defensive leader, smart with instant energy; anyone recruiting on winning attitude alone should offer Peters immediately. He called plays for others and was a step ahead on both ends. Peters disrupted almost every action on defense and found ways to score without the ball on offense. Peters said his favorite part of the game is playing in transition because of all that can happen on a fast break.

“When I’m alone on the court, I like to work on tougher shots," Peters said. "I'm not the quickest with the ball so shooting, finishing over or through a defender is a big part of my game.”

Self-aware and credited teammates without prompting, Peters says he is ready to run as senior, “especially at Liberty where I have great guards who can find me at the rim.” Social media is full of highlights. Now, I need to see a full game.

Most Overlooked: Clayton Blackledge (St. Louis Catholic) bossed in the first game, just a solid performance knowing the situation. Not going to get a lot of shots early and was the only available big man; no one else on team above 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6.

I talked to him about cardio afterwards. Somewhat stiff, he needs to take some yoga classes to get more speed and flexibility in the hips. Get him a new desk in class or stretching bands with a mat in the back for plyometrics. It would also help his second jump on the boards. He missed a few rebounds trying to reload and get balance. However, when he is fresh, there is some dominate tape.

He moved opposing bigs completely out of the paint, then won the race back down the floor more than a few times. He held positions on offense, giving the perimeter-heavy roster room to work. Blackledge understands and enjoys the dirty work of basketball. He smiled after setting a solid screen, the same as he did after a short jumper.

Blackledge rolls to the rim well, with purpose. He sealed defenders with force and finished second chances on the first try with no trouble. He’d be a winning culture staple in low D1 practice and could become a starter. He finished with both hands and hit a 14-footer after tossing something off the court. He wasn’t fazed, just came back into focus for a pass and hit the shot in rhythm.

He had another pick and short-roll floater off glass that looked on purpose. If it was a fluke, the kid might have a career in poker if hoops doesn't work out. He talked more on defense when tired. No big man subs were available. but he was still doing work. He seemed to get a lot out of the run, but still wanted more when interviewed.

Notables Needing Longer Looks:

Jordan Comanche (Wossman) works back on defense. Helps cover mistakes and runs the floor. Beats his man to spots, gets space. Shot-form consistency seems off but making me a believer with every made shot. The jumper form fluctuates, but he hits the open shots. A contested floater was wildly off the mark. Need to see more, but there are plenty of reasons to be more curious about Comanche.

Chris Shiflett Jr. (Evangel) has hands slower than head, but the talent to catch up. Sees passes but sometimes telegraphs because he sees that play so early. Needs a bit more deception to pull off the flashy stuff at 5-foot-9 or it seems more like trying to force plays even in traffic. Talent is there though. Can finish crafty layups. Nice touch on high-arcing floaters.

Javon Johnson (Bossier) will go chest-to-chest with anyone. Gets downhill, tough handles with someone on the hip. Attacks lazy defense, gets to the rim, stays in rhythm. Seemed a solid shooter. 

Jeremiah Lucas (Bonnabel) and Gavin Lucas (Bonnabel) are similar to Johnson in that both play like they are comfortable on concrete courts outside in the heat. Handles, passing vision, anticipation and can shoot. Bonnabel's two-guard tandem will be a pair to watch.

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