Looking at Arizona Best Prospects at Mid-season
By – Ed Baur
As Arizona teams move from their non-conference and holiday tournaments schedules into league play, one thing certainly stands out – the impact of prep schools! A number of Arizona Interscholastic Association member-schools have been the victims of the current trend of local players migrating to the recent influx of prep schools in the Phoenix area. By my estimation, over the past 12 months alone, more than two dozen top players (including two D1 guard prospects in the Class of 2021 who transferred during the holiday break) have left their high school teams to join one of the half-dozen prep schools in the Phoenix area.
Is this trend a good thing or a bad thing? For the schools and teammates impacted, certainly it is not a good thing at all. For players making the transfer, let’s hope it’s a good thing. For the ‘hobby’ fan, like myself, well, it simply has led to a far less interesting local prep scene as the prep teams basically play out-of-town schedules.
So, where are we at the halfway point of the season?
Well, if you live in The Valley of the Sun or you’re planning on visiting in January-February and you want to take in a game to two, I’d suggest seeing the following teams: Avondale Millennium (11-5), Mesa Skyline (15-2), Glendale Ironwood (16-2), Phoenix Desert Vista (13-2), Phoenix Sunnyslope (13-4), Phoenix Arcadia (12-3), Gilbert Perry (10-6) and, if you want to take a drive down to Tucson, top ranked Salpointe Catholic (15-0).
Class of 2023
Landon Schumaker (6’6” – Basha) – Although Schumaker is the biggest guy on his 8-8 team, you’ll find him playing primarily on the perimeter. His aggressive play and good ball skills have produced 12 ppg and 7 rpg. He works hard on defense and his big body takes up space.
Royce Ramos (6’6” – Pinnacle) -- Ramos has a big body but he’s already developed solid ball handling and shooting skills. Plays with confidence. Pinnacle is coming off back-to-back state championships and in a rebuilding year (4-8) Ramos should see plenty of floor time to develop.
Roosevelt Washington (6’2” – Cesar Chavez) -- With the loss of both starting guards in recent days to prep schools, Washington will now be the Champion’s featured player. He’s long and very active at both ends of the court. Washington is a high level athlete who’s a solid scorer, and his numbers will increase greatly now in league play as he becomes the featured player.
Mark Brown (5’11” – Mountain Pointe) – Brown has a strong handle and can score from outside or in the paint (13 ppg). He’s got a strong lower body and plays hard.
Cody Williams (6’2” – Perry) – Williams is quick and plays with confidence. He’s a shooter who needs to work on his passing and decision making at this point, but he is definitely a player to watch.
Matthew Henry-Harrison (5’10” – Buckeye) – Although he’s prone to making mistakes at this stage of his game, he does possess great quickness and decent ball skills while finding his way to 14 ppg, 4 rpg and 3 spg. He should be his team’s first option over the next three seasons so his numbers could be impressive.
Adonis Thomas (6'3" - Glendale, AZ/Ironwood) Thomas is lanky and skilled. He's a knock down shooter and, has quality handles. He's got a high ceiling due to his guard skills, basketball IQ and general feel for the game
Andrew Camacho (6'0" - Peoria, AZ) Camacho is a walking bucket per my friend Chad Groth of Area Codes Basketball.