Jordan Holiday Classic: Scouting Observations

MADE Hoops intern Jackson McGuire was on hand for Wednesday's action at Jordan Holiday Classic. Below, he empties the scouting notebook from the day's games.




Tahaad Pettiford - My first viewing of Pettiford was an impressive one. Pettiford (18.4) has a lean body and has some of the class's best movement skills, including change of direction, acceleration, shifting weight, quickness, and speed. He uses his handle and movement skills to leave defenders in the dust and finishes at the rim using his elite body control. He creates easy looks for his teammates with his passing and gravity. He likes to push the ball when pressed and knows how to use his eye to manipulate the defense and create openings. Pettiford is also a high-level shotmaker, but he settles rather than getting to the rim. He can be a positive perimeter defender, but the effort isn’t always there. The same could be said with his off-ball defense, although both should improve with less ball-handling responsibilities. 


Alex Massung - Massung played well and displayed the ability to get downhill and finish. When Pettiford left the game, Massung kept them in the game consistently and efficiently scoring. He does a solid job getting past his defender, but his most impressive work comes with his footwork around the rim. Massung has multiple moves to avoid shot blockers or get past defenders trying to take charge. He will be an off-ball guard who can attack closeouts and finish at the rim at the next level. 


Anderson Diaz - Diaz was one of the youngest players on the court but looked like one of the two best players. Diaz has a good handle and seems to get by defenders with ease. He also has a strong understanding of how to change heights, speeds, and paces. At this point, Diaz doesn’t have the strength to finish at the rim but does have good touch and finishes in the short and long mid-range. Diaz can also step out behind the three-point line, and his percentages will only increase as he becomes stronger. He also showed his ability to slide his feet and stay with ball handlers. 


Brandon Stores - Stores was impactful because of his strength and shooting touch. He did miss some of the game because of an injury. He is approximately 6’5 but equipped with broad shoulders, although he is not explosive. At the high school level, once he gets good positioning, he is unstoppable. He can take one or two dribbles and create a smidge of separation using his body. After creating space, he simply makes shots. Stores’s range extends to behind the three-point line, although he does have a tough time creating separation from behind the three-point line because of his lack of agility. Once Stores does have a head start, defenders have a tough time stopping him. Stores is not exactly looking to pass the ball once he gets in the post, which might be a problem at the next level. 

 Tai Turnage - Turnage has his flaws but is a very solid player with his combination of shooting and heady player. Turnage’s ability as a pull-up shooter is top-tier, and he can shoot off balance. He is capable of making high-level touch passes and finding open teammates. Turnage struggled to create separation against athletic defenders and will likely have to play off the ball in college. 

The backcourt of Diaz and Turnage is awesome, and they will be a threat in the CHSAA. I liked how St. Ray’s consistently ran plays to get Stores good positioning. It will be interesting to see how they match up with Boogie Fland and Adam Nije because Diaz and Turnage are both small and thin. For Hudson Catholic, they likely would’ve won this game if Pettiford didn’t have to sit out for part of the game. I did like how Pettiford operated with the ball instead of running off-ball actions that wasted clock. 

 Adam Njie - Adam Njie is one of the most underrated players in the class. Njie touches the paint at will, but it was his improved shooting that had me impressed. His shooting form seems much more compact and efficient. If Njie can consistently hit catch and shoot threes, he will draw closeouts and force defenders to play farther up which would make it even easier to get into the paint. He also seemed comfortable getting into pull-up mid-range jumpers after shifting defenders. He has been a good finisher doing a good job absorbing contact and finishing with either hand. Njie has always been a high-volume ball handler and passer (7.04 assists per 40 during EYBL). He has also shown the ability to create turnovers (2.41 stocks per 40 during EYBL) and cause havoc guarding opposing guards. 

Jermel Thomas- Thomas seems much more confident than last season and he was doing some impressive things with the ball in his hands. Splitting handling reps with Nije, Thomas excels with and without the ball combining a good handle and shotmaking. He hit multiple off-the-dribble threes set up by his space creation. Aside from his play, I came away impressed with the teammate and his body language. He has a mature approach and doesn’t seem to get sped up and calms down his teammates. 

Treyvon Lewis - Lewis (2026 class) would be an absolute steal for a college. Lewis seems to impact the game consistently and has a nose for the ball. He has a good feel for the game and seems to understand where the ball is and where is going. Lewis got multiple offensive rebounds turning them into efficient looks. He has no fear and throws his body around while attacking the rim and gets to the foul line a lot. Defensively, he uses quick hands to poke at the ball and create turnovers. Lewis often would create a turnover, run the court, and get a layup. Not only does he work hard, he is an impressive athlete. 

Munir Greig - Greig was not impressive and his ranking at this point seems too high. From what I have heard, he is old for his class while not being particularly good. He does have a nice frame and is comfortable taking threes but does not make them at a high rate. He occasionally uses athleticism to make highlight plays but overall the production isn’t there. 

Nasir Rolls - Rolls is a sturdy guard who is a confident and capable scorer. He showed the ability to score from multiple levels, especially in the paint. He is also a promising shooter who can hit catch and shoot threes. His handle is still a work in progress but the scoring flashes were promising. 

In a game where Cardinal Hayes dominated, I came away impressed with how well Nije and Thomas play together. Both are now comfortable playing with or without the ball and I’m excited to see how the two progress throughout the year. 

 Ian Jackson - I have struggled to evaluate Jackson over the past few years. Here is what I wrote in the summer of 2022. “… Jackson will also show flashes as a passer and at times does a good job moving the ball around… He also needs to become a more consistent shooter from deep. Defensively there are some major issues, on and off the ball. Jackson seems to lack effort at times and lets guys go buy him. When locked in he looks like an elite on-ball defender and really slides his feet well. He gets lost off the ball, locked in or not, and is often in a bad help position. On the positive side, Jackson has the chance to be an elite block shot guard with his leaping ability…” Jackson’s shot looks much improved and consistently hits open threes. He did have two bad misses at the rim but overall the finishing and ability to get to the rim was solid. Unfortunately, I still don’t see Jackson as a primary ball handler at the next level because of his playmaking. He showed effort defensively for the whole game doing a great job guarding Will Riley and giving him no space. He made it extremely hard for Riley to get shots off and his recovery speed is elite. I still have my doubts considering his age, but it was an impressive game for Ian Jackson. 

Elijah Moore- Elijah Moore will be an effective off-ball guard in college because of his shooting efficiency and versatility. Moore can shoot off the dribble, catch, or movement scoring from three or in the mid-range. He looked more comfortable operating although he rarely gets to the rim but his touch around the rim is nice. Regardless of how comfortable he is on the ball, the ball rarely leaves his hands when he starts dribbling, and doesn’t have much value creating for others. I still do like his outlook at the next level because of his shooting and off-ball activity. 

Dellquan Warren - Warren handled the ball and showed promise as a defender. Warren is fast and does a good job attacking the rim while still being calm. He utilizes a turn-around jumper but still showed the ability to hit shots at the rim from different angles. Warren didn’t shoot the ball but he has a 31.7 3P% and 55.3 FT% according to Cerebro. He is also a quality passer and does a good job feeding the dunker's spot sporting a 1.7 AST/TO according to Cerebro. 

Will Riley - Riley is a long wing who is an elite shooter. Without Riley, this likely would’ve been a blowout for his ability to score and the attention that draws. He has a high release that is virtually unblockable, meaning he has more time when releasing his shot. Riley also is great inside the arc being able to shoot over smaller defenders and score efficiently using touch shots. He has range a few feet behind the three-point line and his shot will only get better as he gets stronger. Riley has room to improve as a ball handler which is improveable. The bigger problem is the lack of bend and flexibility making it hard for him to beat quick defenders. Riley struggled when Ian Jackson matched up with him. His defense was encouraging and did a good job guarding a variety of players and using his length to pester ball handlers. 

Tommy Vaughn - Vaughn is a talented scorer who hit timely shots to help send the game to overtime. He excels as a shooter from both the mid-range and behind the arc where he can rise over defenders to get his shot off. He is a talented ballhandler and knows how to create space to get his shot off. How he develops as a playmaker and off the ball will be key to his development. 

Onyx Nnani - Another young and talented prospect for the Phelps School, Nani is tall, long, and thin. While not a perfect prospect, Nnani combines a base level of skill being able to shoot, dribble, and get to the rim. He hit shots from the perimeter while showing some movement ability finishing at the rim. Nani also showed the ability to cut and made an easy target for his teammates. He has potential defensively with his length and movement skills. While he is a solid ball handler, his handle needs to be tightened and he needs to look to pass when driving more

Dylan Harper - Harper is one of the best players in high school basketball because of his ability to dribble, pass, and shoot while showing real defensive capabilities. You have to respect the way Harper is willing to continuously put his body on the line while handling the ball as much as he does. Very few players, if any, can prevent Harper from getting into the paint because of his strength and handle. He operates well off ball screen as well. The only knock on Harper is his inconsistent shooting

Isaiah Brown - Brown looked a lot better than he did against LuHi. He showed the ability to consistently get past defenders using his speed. He has a compact frame and does a good job finishing at the rim. Brown is a work-in-progress shooter but is capable of hitting shots from behind the arc. His bread and butter is his ability to get by defenders and generate efficient offense but any added shooting would make him that much better. Brown willed Don Bosco after Harper went down with an injury keeping his composure and consistently attacking the rim. He is going to be an effective college player. 

Brady Loughlin - Loughlin doesn’t do much except shoot the ball, but he shoots the ball incredibly well. He can hit from multiple steps behind the three-point line and is a real threat to defenses every time he touches the ball. He isn’t a bad ball handler but he doesn’t create advantages and he doesn’t process the court incredibly quickly. Loughlin needs to continue to work on his conditioning to reach his potential. Defensively, Loughlin will struggle guarding players at the college level because of his lack of agility and size. 

Kevin Asprilla - One of the better big men in high school basketball, Asprilla showed his rim protection. He knows where to be and uses his length to bother and deter shots at the rim. Offensively, he is a good offensive rebounder and does a good job cleaning up putbacks. Asprilla’s ability to knock down free throws is a good sign of his development as a shooter. It would be beneficial for Asprilla to get more reps in dribble handoff and short-roll situations if he wants to reach his potential. Overall, his ability to get offensive rebounds and understand defensive positioning is more than encouraging for his long-term outlook. 

Brandon Lee - The Patrick School was fairly balanced, but Lee showed scoring from all three levels. He showed a strong ability as a shooter hitting multiple threes from different spots. Lee also attacked the rim utilizing a solid frame to get into the defense. His ability to score was the difference maker in an upset win for the Patrick School. 

The Patrick School had many different players who were solid. William Syndor was impressive with a combination of length and shotmaking in the mid-post. Assane Mbaye had flashes of rim protection, Jaiden Glover showed flashes of being an impact defender, and Abdoulaye Konate of being a solid glue guy. 

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