East Championship: 2027 Guard Standouts

Darrell Davis (Team Takeover): Davis tends to be the straw that stirs the drink for this talented Team Takeover group. He’s an ultra-quick lead guard who put his extreme end to end speed on full display this past weekend. He provides paint touches at a high volume by using his speed + handle to an advantage in transition or the halfcourt. Davis also proved to be a flexible finisher who also flashed some craft when converting tough finishes in the lane. The DMV floor general put together a strong circuit season and he’s a prospect to track moving forward in the 2027 class.

King Gibson (Team United): Gibson helped lead Team United to the championship and he was another guard who had a stellar circuit season. He’s a top-tier athlete given his blend of explosiveness, positional size, and vertical pop. A capable playmaker who flashed some intriguing playmaking chops while showing growth as a decision-maker. True defensive specimen who has the foot speed to defend in space, plus he possesses the positional size and athleticism to contain most wings on the perimeter. Highly coveted transition scorer who displayed his verticality in the open floor by finishing above the rim frequently. The North Carolina native already holds a Texas A&M offer, however it’s easy to see why more will come his way in the near future. 

Jamaal McKnight Jr (Team Durant): McKnight Jr led the charge in the backcourt for Team Durant en route to a final four appearance this past weekend. He’s another ultra-quick lead guard whose a shifty ball handler that needs minimal dribbles to get to his spots on the floor. He put pressure on the rim, consistently created offense, and scored from multiple levels over the weekend. McKnight is a potent pull-up scorer who provided consistent shotmaking, especially inside the arc. He also flashed improving range throughout the winter and he converted a few jumpers from three-point range in Pennsylvania as well. Defensively, he’s a pest defending the ball due to his blend of lateral quickness, tenacious instincts, & quick hands.  

Justin Urey (Expressions Elite): Urey is yet another shifty guard who popped out during the East Circuit championships in Pennsylvania. He’s a true floor general who had a strong balance of scoring and playmaking for a prospect his age. His combination of speed, ball skills, and quick bursts allowed him to put consistent pressure on the rim against opponents. Urey flashed his craft, touch, and flexibility when converting some tough finishes in the lane. Defensively, he’s a scrappy on-ball defender who showed off his quick hands and his ability to defend in space.

Nazir Tyler (DPS): Tyler continued his big circuit season by helping guide DPS to an East Circuit championship. He’s a physical point of attack ball handler who thrived at leveraging his strength to create openings downhill. He’s also a hard-nosed finisher around the rim who has the strength to absorb and finish plays through contact at the rim. Tyler is still developing as a shooter, however he flashed some perimeter shotmaking by knocking down a few jumpers outside the paint over the weekend. He’s a highly productive and tough positional rebounder who used his physicality to an advantage on the glass. Quick, tough, and disruptive on-ball defender who tended to make opponents uncomfortable when guarding the ball.

Noah Johnson (DPS): Johnson caught my eye over the weekend and he was another DPS product that helped them earn an East Circuit championship. He was a consistent creator of offense who gave his team a reliable playmaking spark. He used a variety of dribble moves to beat his man off the bounce which helped pick apart opposing defenses. Johnson had a strong feel with the ball in his hands and he was able to deliver accurate passes to open teammates on the floor. Defensively, he certainly bought into DPS’s grit and grind style with his tough + scrappy on-ball defense. 

Anthony Mauro (The Ivy): Mauro has been one of the headliners during this year’s East Circuit and he put together some strong showings at championship weekend. He’s a highly skilled guard who is a capable shotmaker, creator, and playmaker with the ball in his hands. He uses a polished handle to create space to settle into self-created jumpers which he converted at a solid clip in Pennsylvania. Mauro’s high-volume scoring and high-IQ allowed him to be a constant threat on the offensive end of the floor. He’s a talented prospect out of New Jersey and he’s yet another notable 2027 prospect to keep eyes on in the Northeast.

LJ Smith (TSF): Smith put together some strong outings on the offensive end and he’s a talented scorer. He’s a capable self-creator who has the versatility to convert jumpers off the bounce on the perimeter. He’s a smooth mid-range scorer with a quick trigger off the bounce, plus he showed notable growth as a decision-maker throughout the winter. Smith also flashed his spot-up shooting value by moving quickly without the ball in his hands to find open space on the perimeter for catch & shoot opportunities. 

Jacob Canton (NY Rens): Canton is a quick-twitch and physical athlete who has the versatility to score from multiple levels. He’s a tough slasher off the bounce with a quick first step, plus he’s an explosive finisher at the rim. He flashed some pull-up touch this weekend and thrived at scoring in isolation situations. Canton is a fluid space-creator who has the handle and speed to create space for open jumpers. He’s a laterally quick defender who has the physicality to wall off opposing slashers attempting to get downhill. 

TJ Allen (PSA Cardinals): Allen had a strong game against NY Rens and he’s another guard who can fill it up in the scoring column. He brings a mature approach to the game while playing at a composed pace with the ball in his hands. He’s a lethal mid-range scorer who possesses an abundance of pull-up touch inside the arc. Allen’s a shifty point of attack ball handler who is loaded with burst which ultimately allows him to get to his spots on the floor to score. His blend of speed and IQ were on full display in this game, however the best is ahead for Allen. 

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