2022 Border League (Las Vegas, NV)

OPS’ Josh Codinera (Basketball Analyst – US Area) was in attendance for the first session of the Border League Event from October 14 to 16 in Las Vegas. He compiled some scouting notes on his favourite standouts and interesting players.

When evaluating at the prep level it’s important to understand most guys aren’t finished products. You have to be able to contextualize physical tools, skillsets, and how these elements scale as the level of play increases. For a High School level event, the things I look 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.

My projection of roles focuses mainly on the college Division 1 level with a nod to its translation to the prospect’s professional career.

Topflight Standouts

Vyctorius Miller (6’6 Scoring Guard, AZ Compass – Class of 2024)

Standout Traits: Handle, On-Ball Speed, Shooting Touch

Projected Roles: Primary advantage creator and playmaker, Transition initiator and finisher

  • Vyctorius has good size at 6’5 with a solid frame to fill out for a two-guard. His speed, handle, and flexibility to change direction allows him to create advantages – finding gaps in transition and from a standstill in the half-court. Once Vyctorius gets stopped on his initial move, he can counter with reactive crossovers or high/low pick-up & side steps to get in the lane to shift defenses.
  • There was one play where he attacked three defenders in transition, used an in-n-out into a pound dribble high over pick-up to get past the first two and kicked out to the corner just as Cameron Boozer came over to contest at the rim. That play flashed his on-ball speed, reactive instincts and stride flexibility.

  • AZ Compass is a highly talented team able to create many transition scoring opportunities from their defense. Vyctorius does a great job of filling lanes in transition, pushing the ball and leaking out to put pressure on the opposing transition defenses. He is comfortable going up for dunks off one or two feet – seemingly higher off one.

Cameron Boozer (6’9 Forward-Wing, Explorers – Class of 2025)

Standout Traits: Play Finishing Versatility, Footwork and Coordination, Off-Ball Processing, Shooting Fluidity

Projected Roles: Floor Spacer (both Shooting and Vertical), Play Finisher (Roll threat, slasher, lob threat) and Transition Initiator

  • Cameron has a solid baseline of a 6’9 elite play finisher. He is a versatile play finisher – he can go to the rim efficiently through backdoor cuts, catching lobs from hard rolls, and push shots from post seals. He makes smart reads off-ball to cut into advantageous spots on the court. His physical tools – 7-foot length+ paired with a coordinated and balanced footwork at this level allows him to finish over or through defenders.
  • The Explorers don’t have the depth to compete with upper echelon prep teams at Top Flight necessitating possessions to be initiated by Cameron. He doesn’t have the burst or handle currently to consistently create for himself, but he can definitely make passes attacking from the top of the key from a pop or attacking a closeout with one or two dribbles.
  • Cameron has a smooth shooting stroke – his shot has fluid energy transfer especially when he gets his feet set above the break. He has great shot prep and loads up well in his one-two catch and shoot gathers. Watch below as he executes a fluid catch and shoot off a pop.

  • As he progresses through the levels (college and pro’s), his versatility as a play finisher will give him ample opportunities for playing time while he develops on-ball reps to initiate. He’s only a sophomore in High School and he’s comfortable grabbing the ball + pushing the ball in transition.

Cooper Flagg (6’9 Forward-Wing, Montverde – Class of 2025)

Standout Traits: Defensive tools (Length, footwork, screen navigation, and upper body stability)

Projected Roles: Multi-positional point of attack defender and rim protector, Transition initiator, Connective passer, Play finisher

  • Flagg’s defensive tools – his length and ability stabilize his upper body while sliding his feet or in position combined with anticipation to place his hands in the path of the ball – was the most exciting part of his upside and those tools were on full display at topflight.
  • He uses his plus 7-foot length to alter or block shots on-ball and navigates screen while having the responsibility to guard the best opposing on-ball creators.
  • Watch below as Sebastian Mack gets past Flagg initially but Flagg stays on his hip and reaches to block the apex of his release as the help comes over.

  • Offensively, Flagg can grab and go to initiate in transition. He’s currently at best making connective passes at the top of key finding cutters or teammates coming off pin-downs. He has a developing shot but it’s a clean release coming off his wrist-flick.

Jared McCain (6’4 Combo Guard, Corona Centennial High – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Shooting and shot prep, Power and strength getting downhill

Projected Roles: Shooting floor spacer and movement shooter, Point of attack defender (possible multi-positional), Closeout (secondary) play maker

  • McCain’s skillset allows him to be utilized in several types of actions, he has the footwork and shot prep to shoot off movement actions including pin-downs, DHO’s and Iverson screens.
  • He has compact shooting mechanics allowing him to comfortably generate enough power to shoot from well behind the HS level 3. He showcased deeper range attempts which is ideal for a shooting floor spacer.
  • His frame should allow him to defend up a position or two. He has a strong base with quick feet (in short spans) which allows him to attack closeouts well and attain advantages powering through defender’s hips. He can maintain his dribble and stride while a defender is attempting to bump him off his path, as shown in the video below.

Bronny James (6’3 Combo Guard, Sierra Canyon – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Shooting off movement, Movement efficiency

Projected Roles: Secondary play finisher, Connective passer, Tempo/ pace setter, Point of attack defender

  • James’ shooting outburst for 31 points (6/7 from 3) against LV Orange (aka Bishop Gorman) gets all the praise from his performance at Border League but it his movement/athletic efficiency that stood out to me. Every stride/step he takes is under control without any energy leaks. It doesn’t take much effort him to rise above the rim and when he does, it is explosive.
  • Combining his athletic efficiency and compact shot prep, James can generate the necessary power to load up for fluid energy transfer on movement shots. He displayed this relocating to the right 45 slot, catching on balance, rotating his shoulders to align with the rim
  • As he progresses to higher levels his ability to shoot and use his fluid athleticism to attack/play making off the catch will be scalable as a secondary scorer/connective playmaker.
  • Another aspect of James’ incredible feel and processing is that he will be able to control the pace of play when the ball is in his hands. He can hit guys ahead in stride to create early offence opportunities and he can also set the table, get guys into position to run actions or manipulate the second level of defenses.

Sebastian Mack (6’4 Scoring Guard, Coronado – Class of 2023)

Standout Traits: Quick release, Shooting gravity

Projected Roles: Shooting floor spacer, Secondary play finisher

  • Mack is smooth pullup shooter. He has a great wrist-flick when he loads up into his shooting pocket giving him the ability to get his shot off quick. Coronado had him coming off multiple movement shooting actions – pin downs, elevator screens, and flares. His percentages weren’t amazing, but he had to create a load of the offence for the team.
  • His gravity as a shooter garnered hard closeouts, allowing him to get downhill and finish around the rim.

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