By; DeAjai Dawkins
6’7 2021 Carl Thorpe Jr (Team Swish)
I don’t make it an intention, but I have gotten accustomed to the habit of completely investing my interest into the recruitment of a new prospect. This weekend, I was introduced to an unsigned senior who I believe is flying ridiculously below college coach’s radars. Carl Thorpe is a 6’7 forward with incredibly impressive rim protection instincts as well as the comfort to handle the ball on the perimeter. While he did not necessarily display 3-level scoring, some of the characteristics were there. Thorpe’s shot form is clean and he has a quick enough release to handle the speed of the college game. I do not at all understand how he has managed to reach this point in his senior season without any official offers extended, but I plead coaches in the market for a reliable forward to inquire about Carl Thorpe Jr.
6’0 2021 Alexei Iturbe (Upward Stars JP 17U)
One of the most consistent players of the entire weekend was 2021 Alexei Iturbe. Coming off a 5A All-State season, Iturbe displayed what was a set of college-ready skills sought after in your common lead guard. Despite standing shorter than your average elite guard, Alexei’s ability to score from all three levels, as well as his keen knowledge of the game, stood out in every game he played in. He was truly his team’s conductor, as all sequences seemed to flow through his play. I am curious to see how his skill-set and knowledge is built upon at the college level, as Alexei Iturbe as a college senior will be a sight to see.
2024 6’7 Jack Weckerle (Charlotte Royals 15U)
My perception of potentially elite high school talents changed after witnessing a post player develop from a near offensive liability to a high major division one recruit. Watching that player’s development allowed me to understand that low post players develop at a different rate than others, and promising young prospects should be given rightful attention regardless of how dominant they seem in that moment. Jack Weckerle is what I would call a promising low-post prospect. Currently standing at 6’7, Jack’s height does not necessarily jump out amongst fully developed post products, but I find Jack’s size intriguing as a freshman with an exceptional wingspan. My favorite qualities in Weckerle at the moment include the fluidity in which he moves in the low post, along with the security he grabs rebounds and entry passes. With three remaining years in his high school career, I find it hard to imagine a scenario where Jack does not become a major player in the 4A space by the time he’s a senior.
2022 6’4 Marvin Hires (Upward Stars 17U)
Marvin was one of the more unique prospects I watched this weekend, boasting a dual-sport background that aids his play. For his high school, along with his talents on the hardwood, Hires is a difference-maker at receiver on the football team as well. Marvin has the body of a tight end commit, and has a very evident low post strength that really aids in his ability to create both with and without the basketball. I was especially surprised to see that Hires shows no hesitation or lack in fluidity operating on the wing. With his athletic background, I should not be surprised at the lateral quickness nor flare that Hires plays with. I would hope to see these characteristics on the wing more this season, as I believe a college really may be able to find value in a strong wing player with Hires overall tools.