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2021 National Prep Showcase: Top Unsigned Prospects

Isaiah Miranda. Credit: @twinvizuals (IG)

In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, the Pro Insight staff highlights some of the top unsigned prospects from the National Prep Showcase, which was held earlier this month in New Haven, Connecticut:

Last weekend, some of the top prep teams in the nation gathered in New Haven to unofficially kick off the prep season with the National Prep Showcase. The three-day event featured five-star recruits and many available prospects for all levels, and was attended by college coaches and NBA scouts alike. Below, we highlighted some of the top unsigned prospects, who introduced themselves with great performances or solidified their status as prospects to prioritize, moving forward.

Avery Brown

2022 | 6’2” | Guard | Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

Game 1: 11 points (4/13 FG, 1/3 3PT), 3 REB, 2 AST

Game 2: 9 points (2/7 FG, 2/4 3PT), 3 REB, 2 AST

Brown is a solid shooting combo guard, who is very right-hand dominant. The Connecticut native thinks score-first and, when crowded, will usually penetrate right, but will pull-up for a three-pointer when left open. Brown is able to withstand contact on penetration and is a quality free throw shooter. The NMH senior has above-average downhill burst, but is not particularly vertically explosive. He has solid size for a lead guard, but needs to think more pass-first than he does, currently. He’s a positional defender, who earns steals more from anticipation than lateral quickness or length. Brown is a vocal leader with interest from Cal, UNLV, and Pittsburgh.

Desmond Claude

2022 | 6’5” Guard | Putnam Science Academy (CT)

Game 1: 12 points (4/7 FG, 2/3 3PT), 5 REB, 3 AST

Game 2: 7 points (2/4 FG, 0/0 3PT), 3 REB, 3 AST

A normally aggressive, skilled and efficient CG/PG with size, Claude was likely the best available long-term guard available in attendance. He embraces contact and frequently gets to the free throw line, where he’s a solid shooter. He has good overall court vision and benefits from his positional size. Claude plays with a degree of patience and a high basketball IQ, as well. The Connecticut native generates steals through his mix of length, anticipation and deceptive lateral quickness. Claude plays fairly upright, which can appear stiff, at times. Claude should be a better rebounder overall, given his size, strength, and understanding. The Putnam Science star is a legitimate three-level scorer with court vision, while being able to function as a primary or secondary ball-handler, due to his size and court vision. Pittsburgh, Louisville and Xavier are among the programs pursuing the 6’5” Claude.

Desmond Claude. Credit: @twinvizuals (IG)

Arturo Dean

2022 | 6’0” | Guard | Putnam Science Academy (CT)

Game 1: 10 points (4/9 FG, 1/1 3PT), 3 REB, 2 AST

Game 2: 26 points (10/15 FG, 4/5 3PT), 9 REB, 5 AST

Arturo Dean had one of the most impressive two-way showings at NPS. While he may be undersized, Dean is extremely strong and embraces physicality. His point of attack defense causes havoc and creates turnovers. Laterally quick, with the strength to absorb shoulders and elbows from ball handlers, Dean leaves no breathing room for opposing guards. PSA is a team that thrives when their defense can create turnovers and Dean (as well as St. Bonaventure commit Barry Evans) is the head of that snake. Once out in transition, Dean has end-to-end speed and an ability to find teammates streaking down the floor. Dean also excels on offense in the half court. Similar to his defensive style, Dean constantly attacks, getting to the paint and using his explosiveness to finish at the rim. He can finish with either hand and has no fear attacking even the biggest rim protectors. When the paint is closed off, Dean has displayed the ability to take and make three-point jumpers, and finished 5-for-6 overall from range on the weekend. Over the two-game showcase, Dean averaged 18 points and 6 rebounds. The Miami, Florida product currently has interest from St. Bonaventure, Pittsburgh, New Mexico, NJIT, Niagara, Bryant, Wagner, and LIU.

D.J. Jackson

2022 | 6’3” | Guard | Montverde Academy CBD (FL)

Game 1: 19 points (9/15 FG, 1/2 3PT), 10 REB, 0 AST

Game 2: 25 points (9/12 FG, 1/2 3PT), 4 REB, 2 AST

A right-hand dominant Canadian shooting guard, Jackson was one of the best available seniors at the National Prep Showcase. The Montverde postgrad has a mechanical, calculating game, which helps limit turnovers. He’s very good at creating opportunities for steals, primarily through his impressive level of anticipation. For his size, he’s a solid rebounder, particularly on the defensive glass. Jackson is an adequate passer overall, but still needs to tighten his left-hand and his mid-range pull-up. The 6’3” prospect is a solid scorer overall with a mature, battle-tested game. He has earned earlier offers from Mississippi State, Seton Hall, USF, Iona, as well as recent interest from George Washington and Indiana State.

Isaiah Miranda

2023 | 7’1” | Big | Springfield Commonwealth Academy (MA)

Game 1: 28 points (13/19 FG, 2/4 3PT), 7 REB, 0 AST

*only played 1 game*

One of the highest upside players in the country, Miranda had, perhaps, the strongest overall performance of his young career. Through a mix of both being a late-bloomer and having a massive growth spurt, going from 6’4” to 7’1,” Miranda has managed to maintain a nice semblance of perimeter skills that he can now pair with the length to be able to go toe-to-toe with any big in the country. At NPS, he, most importantly, stayed mentally locked in. Miranda is a plus shot-blocker with a thin frame, who runs the court well. The Rhode Island native has range out to beyond the three-point arc (2/4 versus IMG), but is most effective rim running, while displaying a relatively soft touch around the basket. Kentucky, Providence, Syracuse, and St. John’s were in attendance, while UConn, Memphis, USC, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Oregon, and Washington are all in hot pursuit of the high-upside big man. Miranda can be available as a ’23 or as a ’22, having re-classed last season.

DJ Richards

2022 | 6’5” | Guard | Montverde Academy CBD (FL)

Game 1: 13 points (5/13 FG, 2/6 3PT), 2 REB, 0 AST

Game 2: 32 points (11/19 FG, 2/7 3PT), 2 REB, 0 AST

DJ Richards is part of the talented three-headed monster that made up the Montverde Academy CBD backcourt. A slasher with a quick first step, Richards had one the weekend’s top individual scoring outputs with a 32-point performance during Montverde’s second win of the weekend against St. Thomas More (CT). Combining efficiency with volume, Richards scores from all three three levels; attacking the rim, making mid-range jumpers, and stepping out to three-point range. The brother of WNBA player Didi Richards, DJ brings above-average size and vertical pop to the backcourt and currently holds an offer from Minnesota.