By: Kevin Moses

Player: Jack Mumford
Twitter: @JackMumford0
Height: 5’10, 161
Class of 2024
School: Ascending Life Prep, AZ

Munford is an electric stick of dynamite with a ton of energy and hustles with a tough gritty skillset. Jack is a pure point guard that effectively runs a team with a high IQ processing the defense and with precision, picking it apart. An outstanding catch-and-shoot athlete is a sniper and a threat every time he touches the ball with a scoring opportunity. Jack has a beautiful touch from outside but with the ability to break down the defense off the bounce to create an opportunity for himself or his teammates. The perfect floor general always looking to always make the right play without forcing bad shots or making bad decisions. Jack plays poised and under control managing the flow of the game with perfection. Never speed up and understands how to manage tempo and when to change it to change it. Jack also can excel off the ball when it’s not in his hands with great motion and finding his spots for that catch-and-shoot opportunity. In addition, Jack is a solid scrappy defender with that speed that gets him steals and forces turnovers as he gets in passing lanes quickly and reads plays before they happen for deflections. In the AAU session, Jack matched up with multiple 4- and 5-star prospects and more than held his own and excelled proving that he and his team were worthy of attention. Last season, Jack averaged 14.3 points (while shooting a blistering 44 percent from long range), 7 assists, and 2 steals per game. Can’t foul him either as he shoots 92 percent from the line. The biggest improvements Jack made were to his body gaining 15 pounds and becoming more physical while increasing his vertical and lateral quickness. Jack’s goals for the upcoming season are to help lead his team to a championship while helping them to develop into a better team and as young men.

Player: Xavier Bland
Twitter: @BlandXavier
Height: 6’2 , 170
Class of 2025
School: Blacksburg High School, VA

Bland is a current version of Larry Bird.† Not overly athletic but very gifted and efficient. Xavier is a steady head that you can rely on every time he shoots. Almost automatic. Xavier never forces or takes bad shots. A beautiful three-point shot that is a work of art. Crafty and electric off the bounce as he gets it to the rim with ease. Xavier is a fierce cutter finding seams in the defense. He is a high-energy and non-stop hustle guy.† Xavier seems to always make the right plays being so fundamentally sound, he is a tough cover. He beats you with a high IQ and fundamentals. One of the most defensively solid kids out there as well. A knack for getting into the passing lanes and making steals regularly. Not easy to score over him either like an oak not easily moved. Not to mention his rebounding and passing are also rock solid. †In the AAU session, Xavier shot over 50 percent from three while setting himself apart with his hustle, grit, and toughness to go with that great shooting. Xavier truly came into his own and attended elite camps. His steady improvement is clear, and this team is going to catch some people off guard of how good they really are as Xavier and Wade lead the way. Xavier’s favorite memory of the summer is that he was a starter on a loaded HGSL team and was still efficient and consistent. The biggest improvement since last season was adding size and strength, making it easier to get to that cup. And he does it well. Xaviers goal for the upcoming season is to help lead Blacksburg to the state tournament and earn a few all-state honors along the way. No doubt in my mind this will happen. Been watching closely and was the ultimate glue guy but lived for the big moment to rise and knock down that big clutch shot.

Player: Mikey Mitchell
Twitter: @Mikeytoshifty05
Height: 5’9 , 150
Class of 2026
School: Tucker County High School

Mitchell is a magical facilitator always looking to make the perfect play. With strong handles Mikey is shifty and creative both for his teammates and himself. Mikey can bring the rain from deep. But explosive off the bounce with blow-by speed and a strong finisher. Mikey has great court vision and the IQ to make some amazing plays. A solid scrappy defender. The biggest improvements over the summer for Mikey were his defensive swagger and footspeed to be an absolute pest on the defensive side of the ball and his ability to be explosive attacking off the bounce. Utilizing his speed would be a huge boost and it paid off. Last season, Mikey averaged 10 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds a game. This upcoming season, Mikey is to help his team get to that championship and win it with a ton of work, dedication, and intense energy. Going to be a monster season. Coaches should know Mikey has a rock-solid work ethic. This gem is intense and passionate to have an impact. Mikey won’t pass on the best opportunity understanding itís the fit that matters most.

Player: French Biltcliffe
Twitter: @Frenchbiltclif3
Height: 6’4 ‘ 180
Class of 2024
School: Busche Academy Lions

Bilcliffe is a dynamic athlete who can check many boxes. He is a strong triple-threat scoring option and high percentage. Whether French is shooting the long-range bomb or attacking off the bounce, French is fierce and hard to contain. He can put on a scoring clinic in a flash. French is a three-point sniper with unlimited range but is a master at finding the gaps and seams to get high-quality shots for himself or as a true leader, he dishes that rock very well too. Extremely high IQ. French reads the floor extremely well and loves to pick the defense apart whether for his shot or for others. But now he is a nasty defender as well. You’re not getting easy baskets anywhere near him. He can pick a pocket and be on the break in a blink. He contests and blocks shots well with his size as an advantage with his leaping ability. French mixes it up on the boards well too. Like I said, he checks every box. French’s biggest improvement has been his defense, now I have to call it swagger as it was always good but now, it’s special. Last season French averaged 21.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting a blistering 40 percent from downtown. The numbers don’t lie, this gem is the truth. Now in the States, French has set his goal to excel against American players as he proves he can play at a high level even with the pace of the game here. Already made the top squad at Busche, and that alone proves not only that he can compete. but thrive. This season will be one to watch French elevate their game even more and punish every defender they put before him while being a lockdown defender on this stage as well.

Player: Cohen Palmer
Twitter: @CPalmer2026
Height: 5’7 , 120
Class of 2025
School: Delta High School, MO

Palmer is a dynamic young stud that does it all. Cohen has a very high offensive IQ that he uses to play multiple positions. Cohen has strong ball-handling skills that help him be a nice facilitator. His ability to score from anywhere on the floor makes him a real problem. Defenders have to pick their poison. Cohen can rain threes or attack off the bounce. Fueling his teammates for easy scores is always the fear you have trying to defend Cohen. Always keeps you guessing. Even thrives defensively with scrappy on-ball defenders. Cohen always draws the assignment of guarding the best player you have to offer. Cohen is fearless and fierce on both ends, taking on any challenge put before him, with the mindset every possession is a battle he must win. Offensively, the objective is to get a score and defensively lockdown so they don’t score. That’s heart right there, can’t teach that. Last season, Cohen averaged 14 points, 7.82 steals, and 1 block. Cohenís biggest improvement since last season is attacking the rim and aggressively getting to the rim against any defender. Understanding that it’s tough for smaller players to score inside, Cohen worked hard to be a better, stronger finisher, even among the trees. He knows no one is giving him anything so he must want it badly enough to take what he wants out there, holding nothing back. Cohen’s goal for this season is to be more of a leader. After the successful season of winning the conference championship as a freshman, this kid knows how to win, developing early to win and stay consistent. You have to put in the work and team focus gets it done. With a driving desire to repeat and put his team on the map as one that is known for winning championships. Building a winning tradition that lets everyone know, every time they step on the floor it’s 80 points and a win.