Las Vegas – This past weekend was the first of four NCAA Live Periods that will take place in April and July. I attended the Pangos Sweet 16 NCAA Certified tournament hosted by Pangos Director Dinos Trigonis held at Bishop Gorman High School, Sierra Vista High School, and Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event consisted of 5 divisions for age groups 15u through 17u, with the top division, 17u Invitational, being held at the main facility at Bishop Gorman High School. I attended games at Bishop Gorman on Friday night and all day Saturday, but was not present for championship Sunday. However, I was able to see all of the teams from the Invitational Division and a few other games from the other divisions that played at Bishop Gorman. This is a three-part article that looks at the top performers from the event based on graduation class, starting with the senior class of 2022. The players are listed in alphabetical order and not based on a ranked order. The players selected and evaluated in this article are based on my own observations with some feedback from the other scouts and coaches in attendance. I begin the 2022 class with Salim Arikat.
2022 6’8 Salim Arikat (Petaluma/CA) Team Rampage National 17u:
Arikat is a stretch four that can light it up from beyond the arc and leaves his imprint on the game in multiple ways. Arikat has nice footwork and good moves to score at the basket, the size and length to finish over taller defenders, and is active on the offensive glass to provide second-chance points. Arikat has a decent handle, and with his ability to knock down the 3 ball, he is able to attack off the dribble and get to the mid-post jump shot. Arikat was a crucial scoring option for Team Rampage all weekend long and showed that he can score at a high clip from all 3 levels.
2022 6’11 Jeremiah Cherry (St. Mary’s/AZ) Players Play Elite 17u:
Cherry is an imposing force in the post with the ability to space the floor from the 3-point line. Cherry was one of the biggest players in the event and has made some solid progress in his overall game since I last saw him live last Summer. Cherry is a high-level rebounder, has improved his footwork and agility to protect the basket, and has a nice touch when finishing around the basket. Cherry has good post moves and looked more explosive when finishing at the rim, as he had some monster throwdowns when slashing to the basket. Cherry is a tough player to defend, as he is an efficient shooter from beyond the arc.
2022 6’7 Jalen Foy (Canyon Springs/NV) Hard 2 Guard 17u:
Foy is a forward/wing that has good moves to operate in the post and can stretch the floor from beyond the arc. Foy had a huge opening night game against Belmont Shore 17u, as he showed his versatility as a scorer and made his presence felt on the boards. Foy has good footwork, knows how to create separation to score around the basket over taller players, and can hit the mid-range shot with accuracy. He is efficient from the 3-point line and has enough handle to attack when defenders close out on his perimeter shot, which allows him to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line where he was nearly automatic. Foy is solid on the glass and has good touch on his finishes around the basket.
2022 6’3 Taviontae Jackson (Las Vegas/NV) Hard 2 Guard 17u: featured in the picture
Jackson is a true lead guard that applies relentless pressure on the defense when the ball is in his hands. Jackson put on a show in multiple games this past weekend, which wrapped up with a 39 point showing and the game-winning three-ball. Jackson has elite handles and keeps the ball on a string, looks to get downhill using the hesitation and great burst of speed to get into his opponent, and is a creative finisher and tough bucket getter around the rim. Jackson has great bounce and gets off the floor quickly, which led to countless putbacks all weekend. He is a great rebounder and that allows Jackson to put the foot on the gas and play at a pace that generates a lot of fouls and trips to the line.
2022 6’6 Dylan Jones (Westlake/UT) Salt Lake Rebels Gray 17u:
Jones is a lengthy shooting guard that is lethal with the 3 ball from any spot beyond the arc. Jones was the leading scorer for the Rebels, as they won the Invitational Division 17u Championship. Jones is a knockdown 3-point shooter that does not miss when he heats up. In an era of combo guards and wing/guards. Jones is a true shooting guard that has a pretty form to his shot. He has solid handles, which allows him to put the ball on the deck and get to the mid-range shot, as defenders have to overplay the three-point line. Jones moves fluidly off the ball and uses off-ball screens to get open, and is always in a ready position to catch and shoot threes. His constant movement and size allow him to get his shot off in tight spaces over outstretched defenders. Jones rebounds the ball well and runs the wings in transition.
2022 6’9 Jeremiah Nyarko (Sierra Canyon/CA) Belmont Shore 17u:
Nyarko is a physical presence in the post on both ends with quick leaping ability to control the glass and protect the rim. Nyarko has good touch on finishes around the basket, is effective with the mid-range shot, has the strength to finish through contact at the rim, and has enough handle to advance the ball off the rebound. Nyarko can put the ball on the deck and get to the basket for electrifying finishes above the rim and is effective with the 3 ball off the dribble. He was a force in the post for Belmont Shore 17u all weekend and has garnered interest from several D1 programs.
2022 6’8 Tyus Parrish-Tillman (Clovis West/CA) EBO 17u:
Parrish-Tillman is a true forward that can score effectively in the post, as well as stretch the defense with the 3 ball. Parrish-Tillman was impressive all weekend and played a key role in EBO 17u winning the consolation game in the 17u Invitational Division. Parrish-Tillman is a monster on the boards, is a quality rim protector that times his blocks nicely, and has enough handle to push the ball off the glass and get the ball up the court. He has a smooth stroke from the high post, and was impressive with his accuracy from the 3-point line showing he can be a stretch four at the next level. Parrish-Tillman has good footwork and post moves to score the ball around the basket amongst the bigs, and his ability to connect from the perimeter can put a lot of pressure on the defense, pulling their bigs away from the basket.
2022 6’9 Elijah Price (St. Anthony/CA) Carson Lightning 17u:
Price has the prototypical basketball build, with size, length and skill, and his presence in the post on both ends of the court. Price finished the weekend with a huge game against EBO 17u in the consolation championship game, going for 32 points and 16 rebounds. Price has a massive wingspan to control the boards and protect the rim, and enough handle to get the ball and push up court. Price has good touch around the rim, is effective with the mid-range shot, and looks to play above the rim. Price is a player that still has room to improve as an outside threat and improvement on his ability to create off the wing, which would make him a complete player on both ends.
2022 6’4 Dylan Sanders (Astravo Academy) Salt Lake Rebels Gray 17u:
Sanders is a lead guard with a solid frame and the tools to score the ball or make plays for his teammates. Sanders had an impressive weekend, as he helped lead the Salt Lake Rebels Gray squad to the Invitational Division 17u Championship. Sanders has a physical build that he uses to bully his way to the basket, with the strength to finish through contact. He is efficient from beyond the arc, has solid court vision to make plays to find open teammates, and has a strong handle on the ball to control the pace of play. Sanders is active on the boards, which allows him to get out in the open court and push the tempo in transition.
2022 6’1 Raydon Thorson (Phoenix Prep/AZ) Simply Fundamental 17u:
Thorson is a lead guard that has the handles and shift to keep relentless pressure on the defense throughout the game. Thorson led Simply Fundamental all weekend, as he made play after play to create for himself or his teammates. Thorson has elite court vision, dynamic handles, shifty moves to shake his defender, and routinely finds open teammates in tight windows for wide-open looks. Thorson uses his quick burst of speed to get into the paint, and is a creative finisher at the rim amongst taller players. Thorson can stop on a dime and is accurate with the mid-range jumper.