Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier recaps an event-filled Saturday in Arizona, highlighting standouts from the middle school, high school and college levels as he recounts his ‘24 Hours in the Desert.’
As a young evaluator first out on the trail, “firsts” are quite frequent — your first road trip, witnessing your first buzzer-beater, completing your first “double-dip” (scouting back-to-back games in either the same or nearby cities), your first interview with a player, your first time crashing on your friend’s couch following a 12-hour drive, etc. Over time, you become more desensitized to moments like these.
In the past, I viewed myself as more of a freelance scout for all 30 NBA teams vs. working for one team in an official capacity, but I’ve still been able to rack up about 100,000 miles (and counting) in my Toyota Camry over the last several years going from gym to gym. Initially, I was focused on the draft and began my own site. For the better part of the past two years, I’ve been on staff with Pro Insight as a recruiting analyst, focusing heavily on covering the grassroots level. Over the years, those scouting “firsts” have come less regularly, but this last weekend in and around Phoenix, I experienced a completely new “first”: covering middle school, high school, and college basketball all in one day.
Below, I’ll break down my 24 hours in the desert, with the prospects that caught my eye* between a full day at the MADE Hoops West League (middle school) in Gilbert, MADE Hoops West Showcase (high school) in Phoenix, and Arizona State vs. Stanford in Tempe:
*Disclaimer: there were plenty of outstanding prospects I wasn’t able to catch in person throughout the day, just as a byproduct of only being in one gym at a time, and hopping from venue to venue.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STANDOUTS
Koa Peat / 2025 / Big / AEBC (AZ)
Standing at 6’6” with long arms and a mature frame, Peat’s blend of size, coordination, and skill-set immediately popped. He’s a modern inside/outside big who is light on his feet and is starting to stretch the floor. With a tight handle for his age and position, Peat is able to navigate traffic and make plays or convert tough finishes at the basket in impressive fashion. Peat has all the tools to be one of the top players in the 2025 class and is a prospect to monitor over the coming years. When the time comes, he’ll very likely have his choice of high-level D-1 offers.
Nigel Walls / 2025 / Big / Team Swoosh (NM)
Walls was one of the more unknown prospects coming into the event, but at 6’6” with plus-length and upside to continue growing, he stood out amongst the crowd. The slender big flashed his ability to run the floor, stretch the defense, and move his feet in space. While he’s still growing into his athleticism and body, the long term upside is evident. Walls also impressed with his natural feel for the game and fundamental instincts. Walls’ best days are ahead of him and he’s someone who could evolve into a national recruit by the time he’s an upperclassmen.
JJ Mandaquit / 2025 / Guard / Sons of Hawaii (HI)
Coming into the event I was excited to see Mandaquit in person as I’d seen his name flash across my timeline following the previous MADE Hoops session. In person, it was easy to see why he is such a highly-touted player as his confidence, advanced creating ability, playmaking chops, and scoring instincts were all on display. He’s a quick guard who rose to the occasion to lead the Sons of Hawaii to multiple victories on the day. At the end of the day, Mandaquit has a shot to become a household name in his home state and make an impact at the college level.
Parker Jefferson / 2025 / Big / Pro Skills (TX)
This is a young big with clear physical tools who knows how to get buckets in the post with his advanced footwork, soft hands, and touch. Jefferson was also comfortable stretching the defense 15+ feet out. Already with some serious size at his disposal, he projects to have ideal traits at the center position by the time he’s ready for the college game. Jefferson projects as a productive, versatile inside/outside big man who could become a double-double machine sooner rather than later at the high school level. Will be a high-level recruit in the 2025 class.
Maper Maker / 2025 / Big / AZ UPlay
Off the top, Maker has incredible physical tools for someone his size, at approximately 7’0” tall with long arms and big hands. Fluid athlete who flashed his ability to run the floor with guards as well as cover the perimeter. Acted as more of a drop-off scorer inside, but has the potential to create a bit more on the perimeter down the road. Maker has some serious upside as a versatile offensive weapon. He will undoubtedly turn some heads in high school due to his size and skill-set combination. Maker will look to follow in his older brother Makur’s footsteps as a possible top-100 player in the 2025 class.
HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUTS
Paolo Banchero / 2021 / Big / Seattle Rotary (WA) / Committed: Duke
Banchero has long been a special prospect, but his combination of perimeter skill, IQ, size, and athleticism are what make him a top-rated player in the 2021 class. Boasting a deep offensive bag that allows him to dissect defenses however he pleases at the high school level, Banchero will only become more lethal once the three-point shot starts dropping with increased frequency and consistency. Banchero projects to be a highly-efficient combo big at Duke who will be a nightly triple-double threat. Likely top-five selection in the 2022 NBA draft.
Frankie Collins / 2021 / Guard / Air Nado (NV) / Committed: Michigan
Collins continues to make strides this season with his feel for the game and ability to run an offense as a lead guard. A natural scorer, Collins has the ability to generate space off the bounce or carve up defenses as a slasher. He’s a big time finisher who can get downhill in a hurry and poster unsuspecting defenders. Looking forward, he’ll continue refining his PG skills in the Michigan program. With Collins, we’re looking at a scoring guard who will likely make an immediate impact and could work his way into the first round pick conversation down the line.
Mike Foster / 2021 / Forward / Hillcrest Prep (AZ)
Foster’s tangible package of grown-man strength, high motor, size, creation, and functional athleticism makes him an extremely difficult individual to contain when rolling. He’s a tough shot taker and tough shot maker who rose up in the big moments against Air Nado and Seattle Rotary. He’s one of the more unique prospects in the class — and still putting it all together — but Foster has all the tools to be a special player at the pro level. He projects as a productive scorer and rebounder at the next level — most likely a one-and-done prospect who has a chance to be taken in the first round of the 2022 NBA draft.
Alpha Chibambe / 2022 / Guard / Air Nado (NV)
Chibambe has pro-level physical and athletic specs standing at 6’5"at 215 pounds with an approximate 40-inch vertical. The former JSerra (CA) guard is a recent addition to Air Nado and has made an immediate impact as a dynamic finisher at the basket and as a secondary creator. Chibambe is continuing to round a corner in his development and projects to be rated much higher by the end of the season. Longterm, he’s likely a multi-year college prospect who’s draft stock could boom if things continue trending in the right direction.
Shane Nowell / 2021 / Guard / Seattle Rotary (WA) / Committed: Arizona
Nowell’s ability to physically impose his will on both ends, create space, rebound, facilitate and stretch the floor really stood out throughout the day. He’s a strong, high motor athlete who will be someone to plug and play from day one at Arizona. He has some flair about his game that will likely be better showcased with more spacing at the college and pro levels. Nowell projects as a multi-year college prospect who could have a breakout sophomore season. There’s a lot to like about his longterm pro outlook — he’s already an accomplished player, but it also feels like he’s just scratching the surface in terms of his ultimate upside.
Josh Christopher / Freshman / Guard / Arizona State
While Christopher didn’t put up major numbers vs. Stanford, his scoring diversity and iso creating ability were evident. He has a wide variety of offensive moves that he can go to in the half court or on the break. He’s a tough cover off the bounce due to his advanced handle and tight footwork. He's a potential three-level scorer at the highest level with additional development and reps. Christopher projects as a mid-to-late first round selection in the 2021 NBA draft. He’s currently tracking toward an NBA role as a dynamic scorer, whether as a starter or as a spark off the bench.
Marcus Bagley / Freshman / Forward / Arizona State
Bagley boasts an NBA-ready body at 6’8” and 215 pounds that allows him to play either forward position. He fits the 3-and-D mold that meshes well with the modern game. He’s still taking the next step in his development arc as a high-level scorer and playmaker, but he has all the tools to find a home and stick as a productive player at the NBA level. Bagley projects as a late first/early second-round selection in June, as a potential cost-effective forward who could provide impactful minutes on his rookie contract.
Remy Martin / Senior / Guard / Arizona State
Martin’s veteran leadership has been huge for a young Arizona State team, especially during a COVID period where teams have to manufacture their own energy in an empty arena. While he isn’t the most gifted player on the court in terms of his stature, Martin does a good job maximizing the tools at his disposal and currently leads the Sun Devils in scoring at 18.0 points per game. While it’s not a lock Martin hears his name called on draft night, he’s definitely someone who has the mental toughness to work his way onto a roster after a productive summer league or training camp. He falls within the late second round/undrafted bucket but is one who could carve his way onto a roster, in time.
Oscar da Silva / Senior / Big / Stanford
The senior Stanford big man isn’t the best athlete or strongest player on the floor, but he uses his IQ and craft to consistently produce for the Cardinal. He looks much improved as a face-up threat and showcased his impressive footwork and body control when attacking off the bounce vs. ASU. The Munich, Germany native is averaging an impressive 19.5ppg/7.3 rpg/2.6apg and his production has been as efficient as anyone in the country. He projects as someone who has a legitimate chance to hear his name called in the latter half of the second round in June and has the potential to earn his way onto an NBA roster.