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HoopsReport's "Arizona Middle School Preseason All-State Teams" Part II: Class 2018
By: Jeff Meadows
CLASS OF 2018
Arizona's class of 2018 is EXTREMELY SOLID and resembles it's big brother (class of 2014) a bit with its HIGH LEVEL guard play and it's SUPERIOR POST PROSPECT(s) as you will see in this segment. So kick back, relax and enjoy this year's segment of HoopsReport's Arizona Middle School Preseason All-State Teams "Class of 2018".
CHAD GROTH’S THOUGHTS ON ARIZONA’S 2018 CLASS Arizona’s 2018 class is a very interesting one that is probably among the state’s top 3 classes regardless of class and the things that stick out the most are experience, high major/level talent and future physical growth. (EXPERIENCE) All of the players that made the HoopsReport’s Preseason All-State Teams have been playing on a very competitive level locally ever since the young tender age of 8. Regionally they have been playing on a competitive level for at least the past two years and 4 of the players on the first team has at least one year under their belt of playing on at the highest of levels nationally which is something that no other class in Arizona has done going into the 7th grade. (HIGH MAJOR/LEVEL PROSPECTS) This class has three prospects that are nationally ranked by at least two or more the nation’s top scouting services/websites the only class in the state that has more is the 2013 class which tells you that not only are these young players experienced but they’re talented. (FUTURE PHYSICAL GROWTH) When dealing with middle school players the one thing that always plays a major factor in their development is physical growth and when I look at this class it already his above average size not to mention the fact that there are always kids that will just sprout up out of nowhere which will probably add even more depth to an already deep and talented class that I will watching closely for the next couple of years.
ARIZONA'S CLASS OF 2018 FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS
Alright, let's get things started with an extremely talented prospect whom I've had the opportunity to watch up-close and personal for a few years now and as time passes this "Young Baller" continues to improve and he's blossoming into what I figured he would, Kwame Hymes "KJ" 6'2 (F) Desert Sky in Glendale, AZ is PRIME AND READY TO HOLD DOWN HIS SPOT AS A FIRST TEAMER. Hymes is a very VERSATILE (F) who is an EXCELLENT POST PLAYER ON BOTH ENDS and it doesn't stop there, Hymes will step out on the perimeter and knock down mid range jumpers as well as 3 pointers which is one of the main reasons why he is a first teamer: VERSATILITY. Hymes played in Chad Groth's Areacodes "Scholar-Athlete Academic Showcase" this past September and Hymes performed at a very high level against the state's top freshman and sophomores. Defensively, Hymes is a SUPREME SHOT BLOCKER and good low post defender and the minute that Hymes attends a top regional and national camp I'm sure that he will have a good chance at making HoopsReport's class of 2018 National Player Rankings. With all of that being said, Hymes will end up growing to about 6'7-6'11 and with Hymes skill level being what it is, don't be surprised if at the end of the day; Hymes ends up making a run at becoming the TOP PROSPECT IN ARIZONA'S 2018 CLASS BEFORE ITS ALL SAID AND DONE!
This "YOUNG TOP PROSPECT IN THE MAKING" can do multiple things and can play multiple positions on both ends and if you are still unaware of whom I'm speaking of, he goes by the name of Amari Hudson out of South Point Middle School in Phoenix. Amari is a 6'2 HYBRID (F) who has a GREAT BODY and is an ATHLETICALLY GIFTED YOUNG PROSPECT who loves to put his superior athleticism on display and to go along with his great athleticism, Amari is very strong and physical and has huge mitts (hands). Amari is a new arrival to the state of Arizona by way of the WINDY CITY (Chicago, IL) a place where NATIONAL TOP PROSPECTS ARE BRED year in, year out! Offensively, Amari can do pretty much what he wants to most defenders because of his very good foot speed, quickness, high level skills and total game. Amari's mid range game is solid and his ball handling out on the perimeter is above average as well. When defending Amari, if he gets buy you, you stand the chance of being TOMAHAWK DUNKED ON. Defensively, Amari is just as much an ANIMAL, as he blocks shots and gets steals whether he's in the post fronting the opposing big man just in time to come up with the steal or playing the passing lanes on the wing, getting the steal and racing down the court for the "Throw Down". I really like this young top prospect and by the looks of his father, Amari should grow to about 6'6-6'8 with a good amount of muscle and If those things happen, we are looking at an ELITE LEVEL PROSPECT WHO WILL DEFINITELY HAVE A VERY GOOD BASKETBALL CAREER! And oh by the way, I would like to see him perform at a top regional and national camp/event so that I can scout him accordingly and look for Amari to have a very explosive season.
This next prospect is Arizona's class of 2018's TOP GUARD; this young man goes by the name of Bryan Baptiste out of Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley. This 5'5 DEFENSIVE DOMINATING (PG) is a PROVEN PROSPECT ON A LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL LEVEL. Baptist is a great athlete and just may be the MOST ATHLETIC PROSPECT in what is a SUPER ATHLETIC CLASS. Baptiste is a prospect that is hard to categorize or put in a specific position because he does so many different things but (PG) fits best. Baptist has played in ALL OF THE TOP LOCAL CAMPS, SHOWCASES AND TOURNAMENTS AS WELL AS TOP REGIONAL AND NATIONAL CAMPS starting with where he made his very first appearance at Chad Groth's "ADIDAS MIDDLE SCHOOL EXPLOSION SHOWCASE" at the showcase Baptiste performed at a very high level and was named the TOP 6TH GRADER AT THE SHOWCASE by HoopsReport and soon after Baptist played in Chad Groth's Areacodes "Arizona Spring Middle School Showcase" where Baptist was rated the #2, 6th grade prospect at the showcase and a few months after that Baptist attended the "INVITATION ONLY" John Lucas "Future of the Game West Coast Camp" in Las Vegas, NV. This camp consisted of the very best 6th and 7th grades in the country and by the end of camp Baptiste was rated the #4 overall prospect by Clark Francis Hoopscooponline and to cap of his spring and summer Baptist attended yet another one of the nation's premier middle school camps the "Adidas Jr. Phenom" in San Diego, CA where Baptiste played well enough to be rated the #17 (SG) at the camp by Hoopscooponline as well as HoopsReport's "Adidas Jr. Phenom" class of 2018 Top 50 but Bryan exclemation point on his outstanding spring and summer was when played in Etop Udo-Ema's FULL COURT PRESS "Arizona Frosh/Soph Camp" which consisted of top freshman and sophmores on the West Coast and Bryan had what I felt was his best showing of the spring and summer as he knocked down multiple mid range shots and dished out countless amonts of assist and in doing so, Bryan also handled the pressure from the older players extremely well as he controlled the pace in each of his games. Offensively, Baptiste is an EXCELLENT PENETRATOR and a good passer, his outside shot has and continues to improve. Defensively, Baptist is the TOP DEFENSIVE GUARD IN HIS CLASS. Baptist is a HIGH/ELITE LEVEL PROSPECT and if he grows to 5'10-6ft., that should be good enough to remain a HIGH LEVEL/ELITE LEVEL PROSPECT and once our 2018 National Player Rankings are completed you can bet your bottom dollar that Baptiste will be in them but where you ask? I guess you're going to have to stay logged on to HoopsReport to find out.
Next up is a BIG TIME PROSPECT that I have watched play quite a bit over the past 3 years but I've only seen him play once over the past year but just seeing him that one time was enough for me to know that he is every bit of a TOP PROSPECT that felt he was. Teddy Allen 6'2 (F) out of Desert Ridge Jr. High in Gilbert is a VERY SKILLED POWER FORWARD who for a "Young Fella" his size has very good footwork which he displays anytime he gets the ball near or around the basket. Teddy has played up a grade ever since he was in the fifth grade on the state's premier 8th grade AAU team (Crusaders) and is a key player on the team. Like I said at the beginning of Teddy's description, I haven't seen Teddy play hardly any over the past year but his skills, skill level, size and attributes are that of a HIGH/ELITE LEVEL PROSPECT and in order for Teddy to remain that by the looks of his style of play and physique, I would say that If Teddy grows to about 6'6-6'9 he will DEFINITELY REMAIN A HIGH/ELITE LEVEL PROSPECT and I would love to see Teddy at a TOP REGIONAL/NATIONAL CAMP so that I can scout and rank him accordingly.
BEST OF THE BEST
All HoopsReport regulars know that we always save the BEST FOR LAST AND TODAY'S LAST IS FIRST. Let me try and make myself a little clearer, he is NÚMERO UNO, THE TOP DOG, THE KING, THE MAN or just plain old #1! Yes people #1 IN THE WORLD, 6'7 (W/F, PF) Marvin Bagely is the CLASS OF 2018'S #1 PROSPECT. Let me just start by saying that I've had the pleasure of watching this young man play for the past 3 years and I must say that HE WAS A STUD THEN AND IS A STUD NOW and I can honestly say that I SEEN THIS DAY COMING. For those of you whom have yet to see Marvin play I can tell you this, HE'S PROBABLY THE MOST SKILLED BIG KID THAT YOU'VE EVER SEEN IN HIS GRADE (7th) and to watch him play is a site to behold. Marvin is the kind of player that make bad coaches look good and good coaches look great and he's truly a ONE MAN WRECKING CREW. Each and every game that I've seen this young man play he has TOTALLY DOMINATED EACH AND EVERY ONE AND HE ALWAYS PLAYS UP A GRADE. If I were to list all of the local, regional and national tournaments that Marvin has participated in and won Most Valuable Player honors it would probably take me two full page articles to list all of them so I won't even attempt to do that but what I will do is go over a couple of events that Marvin attended and wrecked shop at Chad Groth's Areacodes "Spring Middle School Showcase" (which had top west middle school prospects) where Marvin earned MVP honors. At the PANGOS "Triple Crown" in Long Beach, CA which had TOP WEST COAST MIDDLE SCHOOL PROSPECTS and Marvin took home the MVP honors and oh yes, there's the John Lucas "Future of the Game West Camp" in Las Vegas, NV which had the nation's top 6th and 7th prospects in attendence and Marvin came out of that one with a #2 OVERALL RANKING but his performance that weekend set the stage for him to eventually grab the number #1 spot. There are only a hand full of national websites/scouting services that rank middle school players and HoopsReport is one of them and another website that ranks middle school players on a national level is DunkDog.com out of New Orleans, LA and it's Sr. Scout/Editor Spencer Pulliam (who resides in Greensboro, NC) have been "Hot on the trail" especially when it comes to middle school hoops for the past couple of years and its Founders Gabe and Chris Corchiani who know a little something about the game of basketball, Chris played for NC State 1887-1991 and in the NBA. DunkDog's Sr. Scout/Editor Spencer Pulliam has seen plenty of young prospects perform over the years, had the pleasure of watching Marvin play this past spring and summer and here's what he had to say about MARVIN.
"Marvin Bagley has all the tools of a long-term prospect. Today, he is the most talented 7th grader in the nation. If he can ignore the distractions that come with that early label, and continue to improve as rapidly as he has in the last year, he will be considered one the best high school players in the country sooner than later".
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR MARVIN TO PLATUE?
Is it possible for Marvin to PLATUE? Of course it is but with my 22 years of knowledge/experience in this field which means I've seen a vast number of prospects at all grade levels, shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds and I would have to say that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT HE WILL PLATUE and I say that for many reasons and one reason is the fact that he has such great size (6'7 and not scrawny) and you throw in the fact that he's so skilled and talented right now that to me, it would be one if those things/situations that I'd say is almost impossible to happen. Ok, let's just say that from this moment to the time he's a senior Marvin only grows 1 more inch and his skill set only improves one more notch, he would probably still be good enough to if not remain Arizona's top prospect in the 2018 class, he will remain more than likely at least top 2-3 prospects but like I said, I just don't see that happening.
REACHING A MILESTONE
In today's sports when a player reaches a milestone it's a pretty big deal especially when it happens to a milestone that you are the VERY FIRST PERSON TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PARTICULAR MILESTONE well Marvin can add being ARIZONA'S FIRST PLAYER TO BE RANKED CONCENSUS #1 . As far back as I can remember, Arizona's highest ranked players are/were: Sean Elliot (#7 class of 1985), Richard Jefferson (#5 class if 1998), Mike Bibby (#5 class of 1996), Jerryd Bayless (#5 class of 2007), and Mark Meadows (#3 class of 2006) NEVER BEFORE HAVE THE STATE OF ARIZONA HAD A #1 PROSPECT IN ANY CLASS UNTIL NOW.
PLAYER DESCRIPTION OF MARVIN BAGELY
My player description of Marvin Bagely is this, Marvin is a TOTAL MISS MATCH FOR ANY AND ALL PROSPECTS THAT HE COMES ACROSS DUE TO HIS GREAT SIZE AND SUPERIOR GOD GIVEN TALENTS/ABILITIES. Offensively, Marvin has just about every single component that one could have like a very good mid range game and he can also step out and drain the 3 ball. Marvin also has the ability to play out in the step out on perimeter which always creates matchup problems for opposing teams. Defensively, Marvin just simply SHUTS DOWN THE OPPOSING TEAMS INSIDE PLAY as he seems block just about every field goal attempt by the opposing teams inside players, I've even seen Marvin cover soo much ground that he was able to come from the blocks, close out and block a perimeter attempt by the opposing teams perimeter player. Marvin is a special and gifted prospect.
My PREDICTIONS or PROJECTION of Marvin is that after looking at and analyzing the situation CAREFULLY it tells me this, there's a GREAT CHANCE THAT MARVIN WILL REMAIN ARIZONA'S TOP PROSPECT IN THE CLASS OF 2018 and he will more than likely remain a TOP 5 PROSPECT NATIONALLY. At this time I would like say CONGRATULATIONS MARVIN YOU'RE OFFICIALLY THE #1 PROSPECT IN ALL OF THE LAND AND YOU ARE ALSO ARIZONA'S CLASS OF 2018 #1 PROSPECT.
CLASS OF 2018 PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAMS
Bryan Baptiste 5'5 (PG) Combs Middle School (Chandler)
Amari Hudson 6'2 (F) South Point (Phoenix)
Teddy Allen 6'2 (F) Desert Ridge Jr. High (Gilbert)
Kwame Hymes 6'2 (F) Desert Sky (Glendale)
Marvin Bagley 6'7 (F) Phoenix
Terrence Hunter 5'8 (PG) Vista Del Sur (LaVeen)
Jaden Lee 5'9 (G) Country Side Middle School (Surprise)
Isaiah Rhymes 5'11 (G/F) Roger Rant (LaVeen)
Cameron Taylor 6'1 (F) Alhambra Traditional (Phoenix)
Robert Burgess 6'3 (C) Centennial (Phoenix)
Ari Danzy 5'6 (PG) Thomas Heck (Phoenix)
Kyle Harrison 5'8 (F) Summit School (Ahwatukee)
TJ walker 5'8 (W) Highland Jr. High (Gilbert)
Daniel Martinez 5'10 (F) Osborne Middle School (Phoenix)
Anthony Wilson 6'1 (F) Madison Meadows (Phoenix)
COMING UP "CLASS OF 2019"
I hope you enjoyed HoopsReport's Arizona's Preseason Middle School Preseason All-State Teams Part II "Class of 2018" segment. Stay logged on for our third and final segment "Class of 2019".
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