Where they'll be in July - A FTH AAU primer
As you'r reading this, I am in a second-floor office at the American Sports Center, waiting for Opening Night of The Stage Act Four to begin, as travel basketball's first evaluation period of July is underway.
Where will San Diego's top players be? Which prospects have the most to gain - or lose - during the final travel basketball month of the season?
Here's a brief primer to help answer some of those questions.
1 . Which San Diego prospect has the most riding on July?
The easy answer would be Jurian Dixon, but another player I think that needs to have a strong July is Mater Dei Catholic's Kristian Gonzalez. After a mixed high school season, Gonzalez has gotten lost in the conversation of best 2023 guard in San Diego. But he's had some good moments playing with the Oakland Soldiers AAU program and when I saw him in June he looked in better shape, injury free and much more dynamic. A solid July could go a long way in helping him solidify the D1 interest that he had earlier in his career.
In the junior class, 6-8 Cathedral Catholic forward Ryan Enos was a hot name during the Spring AAU period due to his play with Players Play, but struggled at Section 7 as his team went 1-3. Enos needs a solid month of July to continue that upward trajectory as one of the West Coast's more intriguing power forward prospects.
2. Which seniors' stocks are on the rise after June?
Jurian Dixon used a powerful performance at Section 7 to elevate his stock in the eyes of some elite programs, including St. Mary's, San Diego State and Wyoming. His Saints back court mate Jaded Matingou netted his first Division 1 offer and looks poised to rack up more if he continues his strong play.
Watch out for Otay Ranch guard Elijah Newsome (San Diego All-Stars). He had a big performance at the UC San Diego team camp as well, and while he's not being recruited by D1 programs, he should be getting D2 interest and could use a strong July to make sure it comes his way.
And while he doesn't play in San Diego, 2023 G Michael McNair Jr. (Linfield Christian/ Gamepoint Elite) has seen the conversation around the 6-5 combo guard go from possible D2 recruit at the start of June to a mid major guard target with teams like Boston University and Yale monitoring him in at the Adidas Gold Championship in South Carolina.
3. Which juniors' stocks are on the rise after June?
A couple of players that really boosted their stock in June included 6-7 2024 Mission Bay "point forward" Charlie Hutchison, 6-3 2024 Lincoln G Kyelin King and 2024 St. Augustine PG Lolo Rudolph.
Hutchison had a strong run of tournaments at SDSU, Section 7 and UC San Diego, and the Tritons have taken notice, making them a recruiting priority in the junior class.
King shined at the SDSU Team camp before going down with an injury that kept him out the rest of June, but colleges are going to be intrigued by his good size for a guard, length, slashing ability and defensive prowess. He's playing with the San Diego Hornets at the Pangos Sweet 16 this week.
And Rudolph used Section 7 to reintroduce colleges to his improved floor game and physical growth (he's a legit 6-2 now and one of the fastest players with the ball on the West Coast). He had a host of colleges watching him and his Oakland Soldiers 16u EYBL teammates on the opening night of the Cali Live Tournament on Wednesday.
4. How does Mikey Williams' desire to attend college change his recruitment?
The prevailing thought was that Williams would likely head the professional route in lieu of going to college, but changed the conversation after the Pangos All American Camp when he told a reporter that he was all in on college. He took his first official visit last week to Kansas, and expect a number of the elite programs in the country to jump into his recruitment with full force.
5. Where will most of the San Diego teams be the first live period?
A large group of San Diego programs (SDA, Gamepoint, Coastal Elite, California Select, West Coast Flight) will participate in The Stage Act 4 at Open Gym Premier in Anaheim during the first live period. Several of the West Coast Elite San Diego teams will be at the WCE Summer Classic at AIM Sportsplex in Seal Beach. And several other programs, including the San Diego Hornets, will be at Dinos Trigonis' Pangos Sweet 16 at the MAP Sports Complex in Garden Grove. Players Play will be at the Cali Live Summer Showcase at the Momentous Sports Complex in Irvine.
Gamepoint 17u Elite, Coastal Elite 16u and California Select's 16u Gold Team will be in South Carolina for the Adidas event. West Coast Elite 17u San Diego Ramirez is in Massachusetts for the Boston Hoopfest