East Warmup: Friday's Standouts & Storylines


Elliot Cadeau, Tahaad Pettiford, & Meleek Thomas lead New Heights Lightning (EYBL)

The UNC commit provided paint touches and created advantages at his own will during Saturday’s action. The 6-foot-1 floor general strung together some highlight reel plays by finishing above the rim when given a runway. Cadeau is a consistent creator who also displayed his pin-point passing accuracy when the ball was in his hands. He’s a skilled processor who brings plenty of flair + explosiveness off the bounce. 

The Auburn commit popped out from the start with his scrappy, tenacious on-ball defense. His quick hands and instincts made him a highly difficult defender to beat off the bounce. I came away most impressed with Pettiford’s reliability as a shooter on Saturday. He knocked down an array of spot-up attempts from behind the arc, plus he flashed improving touch & confidence in the mid-range area. He’s a dangerous player in the open floor given his speed, burst, and vertical finishing. 

The Pittsburgh native brought a calm and collected demeanor to Manalapan on Saturday. The quick-twitch creator made a living inside the arc while utilizing his potent pull-up game. He’s a heady playmaker who has the feel and IQ to pass out of help defense when needed. Thomas is a reliable spot-up shooter from three-point range as he demonstrated plenty of catch & shoot fluidity as well. He’s a notable headliner in the 2025 class and he’s a prospect that should be closely monitored on the EYBL Circuit this upcoming season. 


Matthew Gilhool & Izaiah Pasha shine bright for Philly Pride

The Pennsylvania native played with a ton of passion and grit during Saturday’s slate of games. The skilled, left-handed big displayed an improving offensive game and increased confidence. A legitimate floorspacer at 6-foot-10 who possesses an appealing touch for a prospect his size. Gilhool also showed off a noticeably high-IQ with his low post passing and off-ball cutting. He was an assertive rim protector who used his timing, size, and functional length to disrupt opponents shots.

Another Pennsylvania native, Izaiah Pasha is a guard to keep tabs on in the Northeast as he recently decommitted from Iona. He’s a tough and productive guard who brings plenty of two-way value on the floor. Physical slasher who used his body + functional handle to create open angles downhill. Capable spot-up shooter that proved he could score on the perimeter when given enough space. Tough on-ball defender who was laterally quick and walled off opposing guards attempting to get downhill. He’s an underrated guard who could be poised to make some noise this upcoming AAU season. 


Rio/Shoreshots young trio stands out 

Hart put together some impressive sequences of play during Saturday’s slate of games. He’s a long and rangy athlete who appears to have made some growth as a floorspacer. Converted a few spot-up jumpers from behind the arc, plus he looked fairly fluid in the process of doing so. Used minimal dribbles to slash downhill and he made some strong reads when operating in the short roll. Possesses the physical tools & makeup to be utilized as a switchable defender given his build, size, and athleticism. He’s still far from a finished product, however there’s a lot to like in the long term. 

Blackley is a long and athletic guard who impressed in my first live viewing in quite some time. He was a bursty creator who had the wiggle and speed to provide paint touches when needed. He flashed a confident pull-up game inside the arc, plus he was able to knock down some three-point jumpers during todays action as well. Blackley was an energetic defender who had the speed, size, and length to effectively defend either guard spot. His consistent scoring prowess and physical profile for a guard make him a prospect trending upwards in the 2025 class. 

The freshman had his fair share of promising moments on Saturday while playing up for Rio/Shoreshots. He’s a long and skilled wing prospect who possesses a smooth skillset on the offensive end. He showed off his fluid pull-up prowess in the mid-range area. Derkack isn’t the most creative space creator, yet he’s methodical at getting to his spots & he plays within his game very well. He was a capable handler in the open floor who had the touch to finish at the rim. He’s still developing physically and building more confidence in the process, however he still had a highly productive day at the East Warmup. 

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