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Magic Men - A San Diego Spring AAU primer

April 26, 2019

 

 

For the first time in two years, the top rising senior prospect is not donning an EYBL jersey. 

 

But like TJ Leaf and Jaylen Hands before them, 6-7 2020 WF Chibuzo Agbo is donning the garb of the Compton Magic, in an effort to secure the high-major interest that has eluded him to date.

 

Agbo is joined by 6-2 point guard Yassine Gharram, arguably the No. 2 prospect in the 2020 class locally, on the Compton Magic's top team, which competes on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit.

 

Will the "Magic touch" boost the stock of Agbo and Gharram as it did their predecessors? Where are the other top rising senior prospects playing? Where will San Diego's top programs be during this lone "live period" weekend? And who is Mikey Williams?

 

We have your answers in our annual Spring AAU primer.

 

What's up with the two live periods this spring and summer?

 

This is one of several years in the past where the late Easter holiday eliminated one of two April live periods, leaving coaches only one weekend to get out and see prospects with their AAU teams. In July, however, a major change to the NCAA recruiting calendar based on recommendations from the Rice Commission - which sought to reduce the influence of grassroots clubs in the recruiting process - led to the elimination of two of the three evaluation period weekends, leaving only July 11-14 as the only live period where nonscholastic (grassroots, AAU, etc) teams will play. Prospects can participate in one of several NCAA Youth Development camps held July 23-28.

 

What does this mean? If you're a mid-major 2020 prospect, it's tough news. With the late signing period becoming dominated by the transfer market, and coaches feeling the pressure to win now more than ever, the mid- to lower-major prospects have even fewer opportunities to make a lasting impression. The moves have been universally  panned by coaches and basketball aficionados across the country.

 

How many D1 prospects will emerge in 2020?

Currently, San Diego's 2020 class has three prospects with a Division 1 offer - Agbo, Gharram and Brandon Angel, a 6-7 wing forward for Torrey Pines. 

 

Of those prospects, Agbo has the highest ceiling, and with the recent departure of Compton Magic star guard Johnny Juzang, who announced he would be reclassifying to 2019, Agbo has an even bigger opportunity to shine. 

 

Gharram continues to come into his own, and has a lot of buzz as he enters the live period weekend. He has good size, savvy and vision as a passer, and his shooting and scoring are peaking at the right time. 

 

Angel, who was on the cusp of a breakout weekend, won't suit up this weekend for Gamepoint Elite after suffering an ankle injury earlier this month. But schools have shown major interest after a breakout weekend in the Adidas Gauntlet Qualifier earlier this month.

 

Several prospects hover on the cusp of D1 interest, including Francis Parker point guard Kimo Ferrari, St. Augustine forwards Luke Haupt and Nakial Cross,  Balboa Schools forward DeShaun Cooper and wing Emmett Neal, San Marcos wing Elijah Randall and Helix forward Maurice Holmes, to name a few.

 

The "Mikey Williams Show" has arrived 

 

The most highly anticipated high school basketball prospect in San Diego since DeAndre Ayton is finally set to make his high school debut this winter. 

 

Mikey Williams, a supremely athletic 6-2 combo guard with a social media following that rivals some NBA stars, will matriculate at San Ysidro High School to play under head coach Terry Tucker. 

 

But until then, Williams will once again attract huge crowds on the grassroots circuit, suiting up for Compton Magic-Team Thomas, a merger between the Magic and the nationally recognized team fielded by Williams older brother, former SDSU F Malcolm Thomas, and coached by Tucker. 

 

Many writers who follow middle school hoops peg Williams as one of the Top 3 prospects in the rising freshman class, some have him at. No. 1. 

 

Guards galore in 2020

San Diego's rising junior class is stocked full of guards that will have an impact at whatever level they land. 

 

In addition to Gharram and Ferrari, Poway PG Adam Sevier, Carlsbad PG Jailen Nelson, Christian PG Miles Williams, Serra PG Alex Bell, San Diego G Steve Stinson and Olympian PG Gio Martinez are all capable of taking over games with their playmaking, speed, passing and scoring. 

 

Gamepoint Elite rejoins, Coastal Slayers 16u join Adidas Gold ranks 

 

After a year hiatus where no San Diego team was represented on one of the three major sneaker circuits, two programs will carry the mantle.

 

Gamepoint, which has the longest history with the Adidas brand, has its 15u, 16u and 17u squads on the top Adidas circuit. The Coastal Elite Slayers 16u, which has turned heads with its early season demolition of Under Armour standout Powerhouse 16 UAA, also received a slot on the Gold Circuit. 

 

Several programs - Coastal 15u Slayers, California Select, Gamepoint Select and West Coast Flight - will compete in the Adidas Silver Division and other local tournaments. 

 

Major mergers

 

There were two significant mergers that shook up the AAU landscape. One occurred last September, when the San Diego All-Stars and the San Diego Soldiers programs merged, unveiling the partnership at the 2018 3P Creme of the County.

 

The new program, the SDA Soldiers, is under the umbrella of the Oakland Soldiers, and will have one team - the 15u North squad - participating in Nike affiliated events. 

 

The second merger was announced on the eve of the spring grassroots season, as the San Diego Sharks/SEAL Team announced a partnership with California Select under its name. The merger yielded two 15u and 16u, "black" and "red," and a 17u team that participate on the Adidas Silver Gauntlet. 

 

Where they'll be

 

All games to be held April 26-28, 2019

 

Gamepoint

Elite: Adidas Gold Gauntlet, Mansfield TX

Select: So-Cal Live Spring Showcase, The MAP Sports Facility, Garden Grove CA

 

Coastal Elite Slayers 

16u Slayers: Adidas Gold Gauntlet, Mansfield TX

15u, 16u Premier, Select: Pangos Spring Live, Santiago HS, Garden Grove CA, Firebaugh HS, Lynwood CA, Santa Fe HS, Santa Fe Springs CA

 

SDA Soldiers 

15u North: Hoop Jam Classic, Atlanta GA

15u-17u Gold: West Coast Elite Spring Kick-Off, American Sports Center, Anaheim CA

 

 

California Select

Pangos Spring Live, Santiago HS, Garden Grove CA, Firebaugh HS, Lynwood CA, Santa Fe HS, Santa Fe Springs CA

 

NP4 Elite 

So-Cal Live Spring Showcase, The MAP Sports Facility, Garden Grove CA

 

And 1 Academy

West Coast Elite Spring Kick-Off, American Sports Center, Anaheim CA, Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana CA

 

West Coast Elite San Diego

West Coast Elite Spring Kick-Off, American Sports Center, Anaheim CA

 

West Coast Flight

N/A

 

Lark's Elite

N/A

 

San Diego Elite

Pangos Spring Live, Santiago HS, Garden Grove CA, Firebaugh HS, Lynwood CA, Santa Fe HS, Santa Fe Springs CA

 

 

San Diego's Top 25 2020 prospects*

 

1. Chibuzo Agbo, 6-7 WF, St. Augustine/ Compton Magic

2. Yassine Gharram, 6-2 PG, Foothills Christian/ Compton Magic

3. Brandon Angel, 6-7 WF, Torrey Pines/ Gamepoint

4. Luke Haupt, 6-6 WF, St. Augustine/ Team Why Not

5. Beon Riley, 6-5 G, Cathedral Catholic/ Dream Vision 

6. Kimo Ferrari, 6-0 PG, Francis Parker/ Gamepoint

7. Nakial Cross, 6-7 PF, St. Augustine/ WCE San Diego

8. Elijah Randall, 6-5 WG, San Marcos/ WCE San Diego

9. Maurice Holmes, 6-6 WF, Helix/ WCE San Diego

10. Kailen Rains, 6-4 G, San Ysidro/ Cali Rebels

11. Jailen Nelson, 5-10 PG, Carlsbad/ WCE San Diego

12. Kobe Sanders, 6-5 SG, Christian/ Gamepoint

13. Jalai O'Keith, 6-5 WF, Foothills Christian

14. Adam Sevier, 5-10 PG, Poway/ WCE San Diego

15. Noah Fields, 6-6 PF, Rancho Buena Vista/ WCE San Diego

16. Savaughn Davis, 6-3 G, Mission Bay/ SDA Soldiers

17. Albert Pichardo, 6-3 G, Army Navy/ SDA Soldiers

18. Miles Williams, 5-10 PG, Christian/ SDA Soldiers

T-18. Patrick Roberts, 6-9 C, Christian/ Gamepoint

19. Alex Bell, 5-10 PG, Serra/ SDA Soldiers

20. Matthew Rivera, 6-4 WF, Vista/ Gamepoint Select

21. Cobey Harraway, 6-4 G, Army Navy Academy

22. Jake Tawhiao/ 6-3 G, Mater Dei Catholic/ Gamepoint Select

23.. Sam Dudley, 6-3 G, Santa Fe Christian/ California Select

24. Reggie Everett, 5-11 G, Lincoln/ NP4 Elite

25. Zach White, 6-1 PG, Bishop's/ California Select

 

*Does not include fifth-year seniors or prep school prospects 

 

Top players playing on non-San Diego Teams

 

2023: Mikey Williams, Team Thomas; Jahzare Jackson (San Ysidro), Strive For Greatness (EYBL), Jurian Dixon (San Ysidro), Team Why Not

2022: Dimitrius Dudley, Jr., (San Ysidro), Team Why Not

2021: Chris Howell (San Marcos), Derrien Carter-Hollinger (Foothills Christian), Oakland Soldiers; Thomas Notarainni, Obinna Anyanwu, Alex Wade (Cathedral Catholic), Dream Vision Next, Tyson Robinson (El Camino), Kamron Beacham (Oceanside), Clarence Martin (Mater Dei Catholic), Team Harden Arizona; DJ Sanders, DM Sanders, Momo Stokes (Bonita Vista) OC Magic; Wayne Hampton III, Nicholas Fowler (Hoover), U.T.U. Gorillas 

2020: Yassine Gharram, Chibuzo Agbo, Compton Magic; Beon Riley, Dream Vision; Luke Haupt, Team Why Not

 

 

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