OPS’ Josh Codinera (Basketball Analyst – US Area) was in attendance for the 2023 National Prep Showcase Invitational from Ferbuary 2-5 in Rhode Island, Providence. He compiled some notes on scouting his standout players.

Due to record-setting windchill in the Rhode Island area, my scouting schedule was cut in half, limiting the number of prospects for which I was able to take a closer look.

Here’s a reminder of what I look for at this level: 

  • Raw physical tools and any areas of improvement
  • Skillset at their current level and comparing as they continue to develop

It should always be noted that it is very easy for a future high major or NBA prospect to dominate physically at this level. Without further ado, here are my standouts from NPSI.


Thierry Darlan (6’6 Scoring Guard, NBA Academy Africa – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Rim-finishing length and touch, Transition on-ball speed, Decision-making improvement 

Projected Roles: Advantage creator, Transition initiator/finisher

  • Darlan was at his best-creating advantages in semi-transition. He has a combination of quick feet and long strides that allows him to push the pace in space. He can get to the rim or make basic passing reads in transition or out of the PNR. 
  • Comparing back to his performance at Tarkanian Classic, Darlan showed improvement in his decision-making. He looked to make the best read as opposed to constantly looking for his shot. 
  • He uses his length well for mid-air adjustment finishes at the rim and he had multiple up-and-under finishes using his extended arms around defenders. He also flashed pull-up shooting in the mid-range and out to the 3 pt-line. 

Churchill Abass (6’8 Forward/Center, NBA Academy Africa – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Explosive two-foot bounce and powerful upper body frame

Projected Roles: Vertical finisher, Second chance creator, Rim protector

  • Abass is physically imposing at this level. He has a powerful upper-body frame (particularly filled-out in the shoulders and chest) that is combined with a quick/explosive two-foot bounce. 
  • Despite being undersized as a big, he makes up for it with constant activity and early work, using swim moves to fight for rebounds on both ends. He can get out in transition, roll hard to the rim, rim run, and finish plays above the rim. 
  • He is not afraid to power through contact for two-hand dunks. Interested in seeing Abass show some skill flashes outside of the paint, maybe as a slasher from the mid-post – he can make quick spins off contact in the post. On defense, he likes to find ways to contest shots at the rim showing decent instincts as a rim protector, even jumping wing-to-guard passing lanes.

Yaak Yaak (6’10 Center, NBA Academy Global – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Target size as roller/duck-in threat, FT shooting touch

Projected Roles: PnR Roller, Drop defender

  • Relative to this level, Yaak is a massive target as a roller and duck-in threat. His size at 6’10’ with a wide shoulder span allows him to carve out space around the rim. He isn’t the most mobile or explosive, especially in his load-up, but he can use his body to finish around the rim or draw fouls. 
  • Yaak showed great touch on his free throw mechanics, especially at the top of his release. Interested to see if he can flash range outside of the paint and attempt mid/long-range shots due to his fluid mechanics. 

TJ Power (6’9 Forward-Wing, Worcester Academy – Class of 2023, Duke Commit)

Standout Traits: Perimeter shooting versatility flashes, Closeout-attacking and first-level decision-making

Projected Roles: Floor spacer, Movement shooter, Action initiator 

  • In the lone half of my viewing, he impressed with shot-making from the perimeter, making 1st level reads and slashing off the catch. 
  • He flashed some versatility as a shooter – he made a couple of above-the-break catch-and-shoot 3s trailing in transition and a between-the-legs snatch 3. When he got a hard closeout, he found driving lines to the rim. One of his best plays was when he initiated a PNP in early offense and made a live dribble left-hand hook pass for a 3. 

Dragos Lungu (6’5 Combo Guard, NBA Academy Global – Class of 2023, San Diego Commit)

Standout Traits: Slashing playmaking flashes

Projected Roles: Secondary playmaker, Corner spacer

  • Lungu is one of the first-ever Romanian D1 prospects. He made good decisions as a slasher, had a couple of decent passing reads off the catch, and flashed some finishing craft with reverse finishes coming from the right side.

Eric Dailey Jr (6’8 Forward-Wing, IMG Academy – Class of 2023, Oklahoma State Commit)

Standout Traits: Frame, Interior touch

Projected Roles: Transition finisher, Second-side playmaker/cutter

  • Dailey Jr has a big frame for a wing. He likes to find driving lanes getting to his left hand and he can make plays when he gets downhill attacking a closeout. 
  • He was at his best in transition, finishing 3-on-2/2-on-1 advantages. He doesn’t have the most explosive first step or vertical, but he can counter it with some post-footwork and craft, as well as some connective dump-off/kick-out passes when he attracted a second defender. He flashed a floater and up-and-under push shot.
  • Post-publishing note: Announced as 2023 Hoop Summitt Participant on February 14

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