Each summer season, the grassroots landscape is home to dozens of programs that don’t play on a major circuit yet possess a roster full of next-level talent. There are numerous examples worth citing, but few with better depth, coaching, and overall appeal to college coaches than Garner Road Whitley. Sure, their roster isn’t overloaded with multiple high-major prospects but that’s part of what makes them so enticing. Not only do they appeal to a variety of different levels, but this group legitimately understands how to operate as a unit on both ends of the floor. So, let’s take a closer look at their roster…
In many ways, 5’10 ’21 Manny Sepulveda is arguably the most valuable player on the team. He’s their primary ball-handler and thrives as the lone true floor general, showing the necessary patience and understanding to effectively run a team on both ends of the floor. Sepulveda is a sharp, heady playmaker with excellent poise, pace, and end-to-end speed. He utilizes his quickness very well on both ends of the floor, effortlessly getting downhill and touching the paint on offense while mirroring his assignment and forcing turnovers on defense. Sepulveda makes intelligent decisions with the ball in his hands and rarely has a miscue or lapse in judgement. He will be a successful floor general for a variety of programs at the next level.
Next, they might have the most complementary frontcourt grouping of any team in the state with guys like 6’8 ’21 Nick Boone, 6’8 ’21 Tre Morgan, and 6’8 ’21 Ryan Maslow (and Eric Wynn, featured below). Boone is a wiry, high-motor forward/post prospect with excellent defensive instincts and a low-maintenance identity. He’s a reliable rim-protector with great length, timing, and understanding of angles. Boone rebounds the ball well, displays touch around the basket, and can knock down the occasional perimeter jumper. Meanwhile, Morgan always seems to stand out with his motor and rebounding prowess. He has a strong, sturdy frame from the forward/post position and knows how to make an impact without necessarily requiring a ton of offensive touches. Morgan alters shots well, finishes effectively through contact, and simply plays a clean, straightforward, hustle-oriented game on both ends of the floor. Finally, Maslow is a fairly skilled forward/post prospect with floor-spacing ability. He’s a quality cutter with rebounding instincts, defensive understanding, and the ability to operate within two to three dribbles. All three definitely belong at the next level.
Every team seems to need toughness, and one would be hard-pressed to find a tougher, grittier duo than 6’2 ’21 Xavion Atkinson and 6’2 ’21 Sheick Samoura. Atkinson is a strong, powerful wing prospect with a multipurpose skillset and rugged two-way identity. He possesses great length and seems to get downhill whenever he desires, whether in transition, as a cutter, or off the dribble. Though Atkinson does just about everything well on offense, his defensive prowess is arguably as appealing as any part of his game. He’s a game-changing presence on that end of the floor, simply able to overwhelm opponents with his blend of IQ, motor, strength, and aggression. Though Samoura offers a lot of those same qualities, he adds another extremely useful dynamic to this team. The two of them together pose major problems for the opposition, but each can still alter the action as individuals. Samoura just recently received an offer from Air Force, so expect this duo to continue turning the heads of college coaches for the foreseeable future.
Though they were without 6’8 ’21 Eric Wynn and 6’6 ’21 Ayinde Taylor during their most recent showing (Summer Havoc), both guys are still certainly worth mentioning. Wynn is a big, strong, fairly skilled big man with great hands and the ability to space the floor with efficiency from the perimeter. He operates well out of the post and displays soft touch as a finisher. His recruitment has started to pick up, but Wynn will likely collect a slew of offers over the next twelve months. Meanwhile, Taylor is a long, fluid forward prospect with notable defensive prowess. He’s a solid athlete and plays with an edge on both ends of the floor. Taylor moves well for his size and displays semblance of a useful jumper along the perimeter. Like everyone on this roster, he will have an opportunity to further his playing career at the next level.