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Event Recap: Derek Smith Invitational


In the latest edition of P.I. Pulse, Basketball Analyst David Hendren highlights a group of prospects who stood out during last weekend’s Derek Smith Invitational, powered by MADE Hoops:


MADE Hoops put on a highly-anticipated event at Louisville’s St. Xavier High School, filled with a blend of national talent and top teams from the local area. The headliner game of the weekend, Prolific Prep vs. reigning GEICO champs Link Academy, was a heavyweight division clash between two national title contenders. This game also served as a homecoming for elite 2026 prospect Tyran Stokes. Fans from all around the area were in attendance, creating a fun, lively atmosphere. Pro Insight was on-hand to catch all of the action live and compiled some notes below on some of the most impressive performers.


Eye-Catchers


AJ Dybantsa

6’9” Wing | 2025 | Prolific Prep (CA)

The dynamic wing put on an offensive display against Link Academy, showing off his offensive versatility. Dybantsa has the ability to create for himself and teammates, using his long strides and deceptively quick handle to break down defenders. Once he gains an advantage vs. the defense, he has the ability to score from all three levels, making him an incredibly dangerous offensive threat. He can elevate in the mid-range with hang time, making his shot difficult to contest. Considering his lanky stature, shooting over high school defenders is a breeze for him. Dybantsa also possesses the length and finishing capabilities to finish around the rim with touch, along with the comfort level to stretch the defense with his range shooting, both OTD or as a spot-up option. What has really heaped open up his offensive repertoire is his improved playmaking. With his Prolific teammates being very capable offensive threats, themselves, this only increases Dybantsa’s impact as an all-around offensive juggernaut. The number-one prospect in the class of 2025 did not disappoint in yet another standout performance over the weekend.



Jalen Shelley

6’8” Forward | 2024 | Link Academy (MO) *Arkansas signee

The Arkansas-bound senior flashed his full skillset in a competitive matchup with Prolific Prep. Shelley is unique thanks to his point-forward capabilities — he has the ability to push the ball up the floor at his size as well as the instincts to make smart reads as a playmaker. There is no denying his ball skills, but what popped last weekend was the key ingredient to his true offensive ceiling: his jumper. Shelley hit multiple threes in the game, and when his J is falling, he’s truly dynamic offensively. When the defense has to close out hard to him, especially if he’s being guarded by a bigger, more interior-oriented player, he has the mobility and straight-line driving prowess to blow-by the first line of defense and knife into the key. Once he beats his opponent off the bounce, he’s capable of elevating and finishing at or above the rim with authority. Defensively, Shelley is switchable and comfortable guarding in space. He has the length and size to stick with forwards along with the lateral footspeed to stay in front of guards. Continuing to improve upon the consistency of his three-point shot and filling out his frame will increase his long term upside.



Zoom Diallo

6’4” Guard | 2024 | Prolific Prep (CA)

When a team is full of elite talent, players have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. One of the players who has done that with supreme efficiency is Zoom Diallo. The Tacoma, Washington native has taken on the role of being table-setter for his teammates, sacrificing shots and offensive usage. He displays sound playmaking feel and instincts, constantly making the extra pass, while finding rollers and open shooters, alike. Diallo routinely gets into the paint like it’s his job, using his first shifty step to establish his balance — in the key is where he brings toughness and creativity as an ambidextrous finisher, as well as sticktoitiveness, playing with a nose for the ball as an offensive rebounder. He consistently makes timely plays for his team, with the latest example being his massive o-board in crunch time vs. Link, which created another scoring opportunity for his team. Diallo’s will, toughness and commitment to winning is inspiring to watch.



Tyran Stokes

6’7” Wing | 2026 | Prolific Prep (CA)

The hometown product put on a show for the fans, making several highlight plays which highlighted his outlier explosiveness, especially in transition. Stokes will challenge opponents at the rim offensively, embodying the dictionary definition of a fierceless finisher in the paint. In the half-court, Stokes creates advantages and is a talented playmaker in his own right on the wing, displaying a unique level of processing and creativity as a decision-maker. He makes the right read often, helping maximize offensive efficiency for his team. Defensively, Stokes has a high-level ceiling due to his impressive physique and athletic traits. He has a strong frame and a plus-wingspan, allowing him to guard all over the floor. He can protect the rim as a helpside defender with his length and verticality, while also being disruptive as an on-ball defender. With the physical tools, budding skillset and two-way impact, the number-one spot in the 2026 class is his to lose.



Derrion Reid

6’7” Forward | 2024 | Prolific Prep (CA)

Derrion Reid simply thrived this past weekend, displaying what has now become his trademark high-level efficiency on offense. His contribution off the ball is elite, whether it’s spotting-up from deep, or making himself available as a cutter and transition rim runner. Reid’s ability to finish through traffic is clear, as he uses both his athleticism and strength to convert opportunities around the rim. He has the ability to isolate in the mid-post to get downhill, or convert off dribble penetration from his teammates as a lob threat or as a finisher from the dunker spot. Defensively, Reid has the strength, length and mobility to guard a variety of different skillsets. In some situations, he can even guard centers due to his overall physical presence, grit and toughness. A high major school will be lucky to have Reid, next season.



Tre Johnson

6’6” Guard | 2024 | Link Academy (MO) *Texas

Johnson is a three-level scorer with an everlasting edge to him. He brings constant tenacity and wants to impose his will on defenders. He uses his handle and quick release to leave his mark as a shot-creator. He seems to continuously add different shot-types to his bag, whether it’s a step-back, floater, fadeaway, Johnson finds a number of ways to create offense. With so many capable creators within the Link offense, Johnson’s ability to play on or off the ball makes it easy to slot him into any lineup combination. From an intangible standpoint, Johnson has taken on a leadership role with this Link Academy squad, where he’s responsible for holding his teammates accountable. Ultimately, his sense of urgency as a scorer feels like it will translate to any level.



Bryson Tucker

6’6” Wing | 2024 | Bishop O’Connell (VA)

Tucker is a calculated scorer with polish who knows how to navigate the floor with his functional handle. He has coordinated, advanced footwork, which helps him to get to his spots, create space in the mid-range, both with his back to the basket, or off the dribble. Tucker also has the ability to take advantage of switches, using his size to shoot over smaller defenders, or break down bigs with his handle to get into the paint. He’s also a contributor on the glass, using his vertical athleticism and length to retrieve balls off the rim. Wherever he ends up next, he’ll be a fun watch and remains someone to keep an eye on ahead of the 2025 NBA draft.




Quelron House

6’1” Guard | 2024 | Seneca HS (KY)

The local product was downright terrific as a scorer over the weekend, finishing with 37 points in a close victory over Shabach Christian (MD). House has a knack for creating space in the mid-range, using an array of dribble combinations to get his spots. He understands how to navigate ball screens to generate open looks for himself. House also uses hesitations to shift defenders, then accelerates out of his dribble to stop on a dime for a pull-up. Despite being undersized, he likes operating out of the mid-post, as well, where he will use fadeaways and step-backs to create separation from his man. He can face-up or play with his back to the basket, which is rare for someone his size. What makes House’s production even more impressive is he is clearly the focal point of the offense, but still continuously scores the ball, no matter the defensive coverage. He also showed flashes of live-dribble passing, adding to his intrigue. He still has an open recruitment, so those interested should look to get involved before it is too late.



Additional Standouts


Neiko Mundey

6’3” Guard | 2026 | Shabach Christian (MD)

The young guard impressed over the weekend, flashing his scoring potential and intriguing pull-up game. Mundey has more of a combo guard-type game, as he looks to score first, but has some playmaking capabilities, as well. As the lead handler on this Shabach Christian squad, he carries a decent burden offensively. High majors schools such as Syracuse and Florida State have already offered.


Jasiah Cannady

6’2” Guard | 2026 | St. Frances Academy (MD)

The talented sophomore displayed his two-way versatility over the weekend. Defensively, Cannady takes pride in his craft. He stays low in a stance and keeps his feet and hands active. He is vocal and stays connected with his teammates on D. His motor contributes to his effectiveness as a POA defender, clearly determined not to get beat off the bounce. Cannady showed the ability to stretch the floor offensively, as well, hitting as many as 6 triples in one game over the weekend. He has a combo guard skill set, with the ability to penetrate and find teammates, or play off the ball and stretch the floor with his touch from the perimeter.


Armelo Boone

6’4” Guard | 2025 | Frederick Douglass (KY)

Boone is an under-recruited combo guard who stands out due to his production on the offensive end. He has the athleticism to finish above the rim, combined with touch from the perimeter. He put on a shooting display in Louisville, knocking down movement jumpers off in-bounds plays, doing a nice job of squaring up. Not only was he knocking down catch-and-shoot looks, but showing the ability to convert pull-up jumpers in the mid-range. When defenders would close out hard, he would get into rhythm with his pull-up, or get downhill and elevate around the rim with his effortless athleticism. Look for Boone’s recruitment to pick up in the future, especially among quality mid-major programs in the area.



DeMarcus Surratt

6’3 Guard | 2026 | Frederick Douglass (KY)

Another standout from over the weekend was DeMarcus Surratt, a high-flying local prospect. Surratt’s vertical pop is intriguing, as he can finish through or over the defense. He had an electric poster dunk in transition, indicative of his explosiveness. Even though Surratt is known for his slashing ability, he also provided some glimpses of his shooting ability, knocking down multiple threes, showing to be especially proficient from the corners. He has the ability to stretch the defense, but also take advantage of poor closeouts and attack the rim. With time and athletic tools on his side, expect his recruitment to pick up in the future.







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