In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Matt McKay recounts initially becoming involved in the grassroots hoops scene, and highlights a group of prospects from the fifth-annual Prime Time Top 40 Showcase (PT40) in Portland, Oregon:
In 2018, after a handful of years working in multiple NBA front offices, I was let go by the Hornets following a regime change. At that point, I made a concerted effort to dive as deep as I possibly could into the grassroots realm of hoops.
Starting in my own backyard in Portland, my first call was to Reggie Walker, a.k.a @reggieprimetime, the man behind vaunted events like the Les Schwab Invitational and Nike Hoop Summit as well as the reason we’re here — the Prime Time Top 40 Showcase. Reggie graciously provided an opportunity for us to work together on the PT40’s fourth rendition in 2019 and just like that, the Prime Time Sports x Pro Insight working relationship was born.
After being forced into a hiatus in 2020, the PT40 was back in full force this past weekend. It was our youngest group yet, with nearly half of the attendees being underclassmen, but they have a chance to go down as the most collectively talented camp roster since the event’s inception in 2015.
In case you missed it, Pro Insight’s Michael Visenberg wrote an informative event recap and measurements analysis, comprehensively covering last Saturday’s showcase. Below, we’ll spend some time analyzing 14 of the 2021 PT40’s biggest ‘stock-boosters,’ while touching on an additional 12 players that caught our eye last weekend at Gresham High School.
Barlow HS (OR) | 6’1.75” Guard | 2025 | 14.9 years old
Recruitment: Washington State, Portland, San Francisco (offers)
The second-youngest prospect in attendance showed plenty of glimpses as to why he’s been touted as one of the best players nationally on the MADE Hoops circuit throughout middle school. Atkins has an incredibly mature feel for the game for someone his age, an elite off-the-dribble scoring package, and a uniquely impressive shooting touch. No one at camp could speed Atkins up, which is all the more intriguing, considering he’s yet to play his first official high school game. Look for him to make noise early and often at Barlow.
Lake City HS (ID) | 6’10.25” Big | 2023 | 17.7
Recruitment: Pepperdine, San Francisco, San Jose State, Utah Valley, Idaho (offers)
One of just two non-Oregon or Washington players in the building (we’ll count Koren Johnson as a Seattle guy, since that’s his hometown), Buchanan made his presence felt on both ends of the floor throughout the day, while representing the state of Idaho extremely well. A talented shot-blocker and rim protector with great timing while contesting shots, Buchanan also flashed an ability to score over either shoulder in the post and knock down mid-range jumpers on the offensive end. He’s someone we expect to pick up steam recruiting-wise over the last two years of his high school career.
Eastside Catholic HS (WA) | 6’9” Big | 2024 | 15.7
Recruitment: Colorado, Washington, Washington State, UNLV, Montana (offers)
Cofie is a prospect we’ve had our eye on for awhile at Pro Insight, and with his performance at PT40, it’s safe to say that he lived up to our lofty expectations. With a high-major frame at his disposal, the sophomore big man seemingly adds layers to his game by the month. Cofie showed an ability to overpower opponents in the paint and finish strong, stretch the floor out past the high school three-point line, grab a board and push, as well as rebound effectively in and out of his area. By the time he’s ready to transition to the next level, we guarantee he’ll have more power-five opportunities than the current three programs who have already offered.
Curtis HS (WA) | 6’3.75” Guard | 2024 | 15.9
Recruitment: Washington, Washington State, Portland, San Francisco, Cal Poly, Montana, Southern Utah (offers)
After watching Diallo torch the nets at adidas 3SSB in July with Team LaVine (WA), he was someone we simply could not ignore when compiling the list of this year’s invitees. A physical specimen with elite tools for an 18-year-old, much less a 15-year-old, the Curtis High School standout has a bright future ahead of him. In addition to his natural athleticism, Diallo relentlessly competes on defense, maintains his balance with impressive body control as a slasher, and keeps the defense honest with his jumper. He’s evolving into a complete player very quickly and at the same time it feels as if he’s just scratching the surface. We’re not claiming that you heard it here first, but ‘Zoom’ could realistically become the next dude from Tacoma.
Lake Oswego HS (OR) | 6’5.5” Forward | 2025 | 15.5
Recruitment: Portland (offer)
A significant piece to the ridiculously successful Rose City Rebels (OR) 2025 MADE Hoops squad, Grady arguably had the most productive day of any of the camp’s incoming freshmen. To even remotely hold one’s own in an environment surrounded by prospects going at your neck that are up to four years older is remarkably impressive. Grady did more than hold his own — he was in serious contention for best shooting touch in the building, consistently showcasing his effortless mechanics and 25-foot range all day. When run off the line, his touch extended to his floater. He displayed some mid-post game, as well. Far from a finished product, we anticipate Grady making linear strides in his development under the tutelage of Lake Oswego head coach Marshall Cho.
Timberline HS (WA) | 6’2.75” Guard | 2023 | 17.2
Recruitment: Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, San Francisco, Portland, Eastern Washington, Cal Poly (offers)
This year’s PT40 featured six “alumni” who’d participated in 2019. Hicks was one of them. We didn’t do official rankings that day, but he unofficially may have been six-of-six. The level of improvement across the board for the combo guard has a storybook feel. After covering events, we often assign superlatives to the camp’s top performers, and on Saturday, we named Hicks the PT40 MVP. He’s a high-motor offensive engine that scores at all three levels, constantly keeps the defense on its heels and someone that absolutely thrives in transition. We project that it won’t be long until Hicks picks up his first offer outside of the Pacific Time Zone.
Roosevelt HS (OR) | 6’2” Guard | 2024 | 15.8
Recruitment: Portland, San Francisco, Portland State (offers)
Calm, cool and collected. Not to sound too cliché, but those three words accurately describe Hill’s game. The sophomore PG rarely gets sped up, frazzled or flustered, and brings a nice balance of scoring, shooting and distributing to the table. Hill’s feel and skill level are both so refined for his age, that it’s almost as if he’s bored out there, at times. Our challenge to the Roosevelt and Rose City Rebels standout is to rev his motor on a more consistent basis, which will pay dividends as he progresses in his career and transitions up levels. All that said, Terrence Hill is one of the most talented players in the state of Oregon, regardless of class.
Wasatch Academy (UT) | 6’1.5” Guard | 2022 | 17.9
Recruitment: Arizona, Washington, San Diego State (Koren’s top-3)
Meet the alpha dog of this year’s PT40. Johnson, a recent transfer from Garfield (WA) to Wasatch Academy (UT), appears to be following similar Seattle-to-Utah footsteps as another PT40 alumnus, Gonzaga’s Nolan Hickman. All superlatives and comparisons aside, Koren Johnson is a flat-out bucket-getter. He needs zero help from teammates to generate offense, and he can do it from 25 feet out just as easily as at the rim. The 6’1+ guard is a seasoned, creative ball-handler who can create space on-demand, but a lot of us knew that coming in. What Johnson showed on Saturday that really stood out from previous viewings was his defensive intensity — it was great to see him pick up full court and sit down and be a bulldog on the ball. Whichever program lands him will be getting an instant impact player at the next level.
South Medford HS (OR) | 6’3.5” Wing | 2022 | 18.1
Recruitment: D2 and LM interest
Most likely the least-heralded prospect pertaining to recruitment on this list, Malcolm is ironically the most show-stopping athlete of the bunch. Couple that with his outlandish length (measured at +6” arms) and a high motor and you have a recipe for success, no matter the level of play. Malcolm completely jumps off the page from a physical tools standpoint, but there’s more to his game than that. He’s a smart, unselfish ball-mover on offense that plays the right way and looks to get teammates involved. Aside from throwing it down on multiple defenders at once, there aren’t many frills to his game — and that’s a good thing. He keeps things simple and efficient. On the defensive end, he’s a big play waiting to happen, thanks to his timing as a shot-blocker and quick reaction time as an anticipator. If you find yourself in Southern Oregon over the next few months and it happens to be a South Medford gameday, we assure you Malcolm is well-worth the price of admission.
Iolani HS (HI) | 6’0.75” Guard | 2025 | 14.4
Recruitment: Portland, Chaminade (offers)
Our youngest prospect in attendance and the furthest from home, Mandaquit wasted no time ensuring the six-hour flight from Honolulu to participate in a six-hour event was worthwhile. The 2025 PG immediately stood out as a stout on-ball disruptor on defense and a set-the-table floor general on offense. His feel for the game on both ends is beyond his years and his no-nonsense approach to the game will serve him well, moving forward. Judging from the University of Portland offer within 24 hours of the event, it seems we weren’t the only ones to notice Mandaquit’s clear-cut division one upside.
Lincoln HS (OR) | 6’7” Wing | 2023 | 16.8
Recruitment: Yale, Eastern Washington, Southern Utah, Idaho State, Seattle U (interest)
The taller of the Seely-Roberts twins, Malachi spent Saturday doing his best Duncan Robinson impression, completely setting Gresham High School’s brand new nets on fire. A legit 6’7 with a strong understanding of how he best impacts the game, Seely-Roberts put on a special range shooting display and more impressively, he did it off the catch, on the move and off the bounce. There’s always room on rosters for shooters of Seely-Roberts’ caliber, and it will only be a matter of time until his college offers list begins to reflect that.
Tualatin HS (OR) | 6’7.25” Wing | 2024 | 16.4
Recruitment: San Francisco (offer)
There’s a ton to like about Steppe as a prospect, beginning with his positional size, versatility on offense, and his advanced ability to function as a secondary playmaker from the wing. After watching him operate with such pace, confidence and maturity, it’s hard to believe he’s just a high school sophomore. It’s noteworthy that he’s older for his class, but that doesn’t mean Steppe, who has an endearing ‘old man game’ nuance to his play style, is anywhere close to being done developing as a player. Already very comfortable getting things done from 17 feet and in, we’ll look to see Steppe extend his game out past the college three-point line over time, while inevitably adding to his current list of offers and interest.
Garfield HS (WA) | 6’6.75” Forward | 2023 | 16.7
Recruitment: Arizona, Washington, Portland State, Montana (offers)
USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp invitee Jaylin Stewart did not disappoint in his PT40 debut. The near-6’7” forward has size and length you can’t teach and excellent basketball genes (his father played at USC and professionally). These traits are complemented by a versatile two-way skillset that consistently manifests itself via strong finishing, straight-line driving, playmaking for others, and breaking up plays on defense. When engaged, Stewart is a full-on force on both ends. It’s always unique when a prospect can be both the initiator or the recipient of a lob pass, and Stewart fits that mold. Needless to say, the forecast is bright for the multifaceted junior.
West Seattle HS (WA) | 6’3” Guard | 2022 | 17.3
Recruitment: Eastern Washington (offer)
Speaking of elite basketball genes, enter the grandson of SuperSonics legend Slick Watts and the son of former University of Washington standout and pro hooper Donald Watts. If this list of stock-boosters was ranked in order of ‘level of boost’ instead of alphabetically, Watts would likely be number-one. One of the handful of 2019 PT40 participants in attendance, the West Seattle combo guard turned what were glimpses two years ago into a full-on coming-out party, this weekend. His high comfort level with the ball in his hands is perpetually evident, his range extends well-past the NBA three-point line, his shooting stroke is consistent and repeatable, his motor is nonstop; and as an athlete, if he gets his footing right, he’ll do things like this. Considering he’s younger than a good amount of 2023 prospects, we feel confident saying that Watts’ best days on the court are still ahead of him. There’s a certain ‘pure’ quality to Watts’ game, likely stemming from the fact that he only played in his first AAU tournament ever 12 months ago. As he continues to garner competitive game reps, Eastern Washington (his lone D1 offer) will assuredly have some steep competition when it comes to vying for Watts’ services.
Next, we’ll outline a group of hoopers that caught our eye for one reason or another, offering some quick context on why each stood out.
Tre Blassingame | Auburn HS (WA) | 6’5” Guard | 2022 | 18.2: positional size and secondary playmaking
Kavon Bradford | Benson HS (OR) | 6’1” Guard | 2023 | 17.1: north-south burst and vertical athleticism
Isaac Carr | Central Catholic HS (OR) | 6’2.5” Guard | 2025 | 15.7: range shooting and secondary playmaking
Jalen Childs | Sunset HS (OR) | 6’3.5” Guard | 2023 | 17.0: positional size and physicality
Miles Goodman | O’Dea HS (WA) | 6’8.5” Big | 2024 | 15.9: abnormally high upside and ability to stretch the floor
Luke Johnson | Central Catholic HS (OR) | 6’8” Forward | 2022 | 18.3: mobility and floor-spacing
Austin Maurer | Cascade Christian HS (OR) | 6’11.25” Big | 2024 | 17.1: size and touch in the paint
Utrillo Morris | Roosevelt HS (OR) | 5’7.5” Guard | 2024 | 15.7: special motor; likely led the camp in deflections
Christian Rowell | Lake Oswego HS (OR) | 6’6.75” Wing | 2022 | 17.3: range shooting and straight-line driving
Legend Smiley | Garfield HS (WA) | 6’4.75” Guard | 2025 | 15.0: positional size and fluidity as a mover
Jared Sucher | Sherwood HS (OR) | 6’3.25” Guard | 2023 | 16.8: low-mistake player and range shooting
Mason Williams | O’Dea HS (WA) | 6’3.5” Guard | 2023 | 16.3: positional versatility and two-way upside