West Circuit Championship: Red Lea8ue Takeaways

Not always does the most talented group on paper end up triumphant, but this winter out West, they did. After coming out hot in session 1, AZ Unity came back down to earth over the following session with numerous stumbles along the way. Back at full strength heading into Championship Weekend, Unity did what all knew they were capable of doing — claiming their third straight Red Lea8ue title out West.


AZ Unity | 5-11 Guard | 2027 | 14.4 years old 

The straw that stirs the drink all winter long, Prescott strung together arguably his most dynamic session when it mattered most. Loaded with twitch, creativity, heady playmaking and dexterity at the rim, good things when the ball was in his hands. Plays off two feet, ultra comfortable creating out of the mid-range, handles pressure at an advanced level and has grown more patient attacking a tilted defense as the winter has rolled on. While often at a length deficit, the Arizona native showed real progression as a rim finisher throughout the Circuit. Prescott's proven to be able to elevate and accentuate the strengths of the talent around him and did just that in Vegas.



AZ Unity | 6-9 Wing | 2027 | 15.0 years old 

Arguably the most intriguing long-term 2027 prospect on the West Circuit, Osaruyi had been hobbled by injury through the first two sessions. A return to action come session 3, but it was clear he'd require some time and reps to get back to himself. And come the West Championship, Osaruyi had his sea legs back under him. Rolling out three prospects in the frontline all over 6-8 provides plenty of mismatch issues, so opponents have tended to rely on zone against Unity. Osaruyi served key in the middle of the zone, showing patience as a playmaker for others, finishing over traffic with his length and stepping out to space the floor as a shooter with greater fluidity than he's shown prior. On the other end, Unity turned up the pressure through stretches — throwing the 6-9 Osaruyi out in front to wreak havoc in the passing lanes. While it's certainly possible Unity claims the Championship without a healthy Osaruyi, him getting back to himself left no doubts when it mattered most.


AZ Unity | 6-3 Guard | 2027 | 14.3 years old 

As much as I could, I attempted to continuously tout the value that Branch III provided this ultra-talented Unity group as a connector and two-way player all winter long. Come Championship weekend, it was more of the same. The wiry 6-3 guard provides so much value that may not find it's way into the box score, but establishes flow on the offensive end and disrupts the oppositions on the defensive end. Makes fast, heady decisions as a connector consistently, a lively cutter off the ball who can spur quick offense when things bog down and carries a mature grip for when to push the pace or to slow things and attack a mismatch. The soft touch shooting stroke, progression handling on the ball and surplus of physical upside aside, Branch III has an approach and wiring as a multi-faceted wing that's worth betting on long-term.


LA Soldiers | 6-4 Wing | 2027 | 14.9 years old 

LA Soldiers under Matt Barnes surged to the Red Lea8ue Finals, searching for this individual groups' second consecutive Championship. While their balanced attack throughout the winter has allowed for it to be anyone 1-8 on their roster to steal the show any given game, it was Roebuck who's been the steadying force offensively. At a well-built 6-4 with a refined blend of footwork, instincts and pace, the physical wing quickly became one of the toughest individual guards' the Red Lea8ue had to show. Surgical in the mid-range, crafty creating space, hard-nosed finishing through contact and loaded with counters off the bounce to get to his spots. While there's still a ways to go, Roebuck showed growth both physically and as a defender over the course of the Circuit. 



LA Soldiers | 5-11 Guard | 2027 | 14.3 years old 

It was clear from the jump that Munoz, ultra shifty and polished as a ball-handler, would be a figure throughout the winter. That proved to be a fact, but even more so, his progression as a finisher and overall assertiveness offensively impressed thoroughly. Similar to Prescott, for a small guard who's proven to be a wizard on the ball and capable of getting wherever he wants in the half-court, being exposed to finishing reps against bigs pushing near seven-footers at such an early stage has proved extremely valuable. The bump in confidence of  attacking through the chest of rim protectors come Championship Weekend rather than resetting the offense like earlier in the Winter proved to be an impressive development.  Skilled, smart, competitive and plays with no fear, Munoz should be an impact player at the next level before long.



LA Soldiers | 6-2 Wing | 2027 | 15.1 years old 

As previously mentioned, the depth of the LA Soldiers allowed for a different piece to step and swing any given game — over the back-half of the Circuit, it was Holden who stepped up through numerous stretches. A tough matchup offensively given his frame and a multi-faceted, high-wired defender on the other end. A prime ancillary piece for this group given his feel for not doing too much, but making quick decisions and finding pockets of space within the half-court offense. There's plenty to build on moving forward and the boost in assertiveness throughout the winter is a positive indicator.



Seattle Rotary | 6-2 Guard | 2027 | 15.2 years old 

Losing KJ Hightower and Keaundre Morris to injury down the stretch of the Circuit was a big hit for Rotary, but it opened the door Tripp Haywood's breakout. Carrying much more responsibility on the offensive end, Haywood stepped in and thoroughly impressed with his athleticism, ball skills and foundation as a shooter. Fast-twitch, fluid movement skills to go with plus length, a roaring motor and advanced instincts, the defensive impact was there from the jump, but the Renton, Washington native showed plenty of intrigue down the stretch of the Circuit as a slasher, movement shooter and live dribble playmaker on the offensive end. Another enticing 2027 track in the PNW.



Seattle Rotary | 6-2 Wing | 2027 | 14.8 years old 

The smooth-shooting wing has had his moments throughout the winter, and stepped up alongside Haywood down the wire for Rotary. A deadeye firing off the catch, Davis spaces the floor with confidence and continued to impress with his ability to get it off with minimal time and space. Mature shot-prep, strong feel as a relocation scorer and has shown flashes of defensive aptitude. Long-limbed and in the early stages physically, there's a ton to like looking ahead.



Vegas Elite | 6-3 Wing | 2027 | 15.3 years old 

From front to end of the Circuit, there weren't many more productive players than Vegas Elite's Ilan Nikolov. A proven shot-maker loaded with confidence — creating space in the mid-range, firing off the catch, driving closeouts to get to a pocket of space or coming off screens to fire over length, Nikolov showed to be the most dynamic shooting threat out West over the course of the winter. 



Vegas Elite | 6-1 Guard | 2027 | 14.4 years old 

The best basketball is far ahead for Johnson, but the flashes continued to shine bright at Championship Weekend. Wiry and twitchy with a lightning quick first step, the 6-1 guard has proven to be a handful attacking the rack when aggressive. Bullish on the outlook defensively, as we've seen the point of attack flashes when he's dialed in, blending lateral speed, quick hands and length to get underneath ball-handlers and disrupt the oppositions flow. Physically, as a shooter and as an aggressor overall, there's plenty of room to grow but undoubtedly one that should continue to blossom at a high level over the coming years for the Bishop Gorman Gaels.

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