Updated: Apr 29
In the latest edition of 'P.I. Pulse,' Rookie Scale's Jon Chepkevich partnered with Pro Insight to cover this past weekend's MADE Hoops Midwest Mania event in Westfield, Indiana — highlighting stock-risers and top performers:
An unfortunate side effect of the COVID-19 global pandemic has been a cloud of uncertainty shrouding the recruiting landscape for thousands of incredibly talented young basketball players. The development curves of these teenage athletes can often be quite steep in a very short period of time…so the limited opportunities these athletes have had to showcase the growth and development of their game has resulted in a swift game of catch-up for scouts and evaluators.
Throw your stars and composite rankings out the window, because there are about to be some major shake-ups.
*Disclaimer: There were approximately 300 teams playing on nearly twenty courts across five venues simultaneously over the course of the three-day event. As such, it wasn’t logistically possible to get scouting eyes on each and every high-caliber prospect in person throughout the weekend, but below we’ll be highlighting standouts we were able to catch in person.
6’8” | Wing | E1T1 (17U) | Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (FL) | 2022
Simply stated: Dillon Mitchell is an absolute stud.
Mitchell was sensational throughout the entirety of the weekend. Most notably, he stepped up to the challenge of guarding Emoni Bates — making his case as one of the premier defenders in the class of 2022 by giving Bates all he could handle en route to a blowout victory.
6’8”+, high IQ, fluid athletes that can dominate a game without commanding high usage are few and far between — a rare archetype that every team desires.
Coming into the weekend, Mitchell ranked outside the top 100 in his class — expect that to change drastically. Mitchell is easily a top-30 recruit in my book.
6’7” | Wing | Team Final (16U) | Imhotep Charter (PA) | 2023
Edwards is a prime example of a young man who was only somewhat on the radar (only three high-major offers) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and is on the precipice of a post-lockdown meteoric recruiting rise.
Edwards popped every time he set foot on the court with great positional size/length, a smooth lefty stroke, fluidity in space, and flashes of one-foot vertical pop.
He showed impressive toughness and will-to-win in the 16U championship tilt — fighting through nagging cramps and helping his team mount an incredible 20+ point comeback against Houston Hoops.
While he’s on the older side for his class, Edwards still seems to be growing into his body. If he can shore up his balance, lower body / core strength, and add some muscle to his frame as he matures, he has the potential to blossom into one of the top wings in the class of 2023.
6’4 1/2” | Wing | UPLAY Canada (17U) | Dream City Christian (AZ) | 2022
The first game I scouted on Friday night featured a talent-laden UPLAY Canada squad that boasts a handful of high-caliber recruits. It became very quickly apparent that Shaedon was different. He kicked the event off with a couple of high-flying, thunderous dunks that had the gym buzzing, knocked down several high-degree-of-difficulty pull-up jumpers, and dazzling acrobatic finishes with gravity-defying hangtime.
While he’s always been an impressive athlete, he has grown and put on muscle since he was last scouted in person and has evolved into one of the most explosive vertical athletes in prep hoops.
He’s not only a blue blood caliber talent due for a significant bump from a composite ranking in the 70’s, but will likely find himself more firmly on NBA radars, going forward.
6’10” | Forward | Team Final | Montverde Academy (FL) | 2022
Duren took a bit to get himself going but once he did, he was an absolute force. Boasting a freakishly chiseled 6’10” 230-pound frame and a 7’5” wingspan, Duren made his presence felt as a ferocious offensive rebounder. He levera