In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight contributor Mitch Libanoff recaps the Sunshine Classic by highlighting several prospects who differentiated themselves earlier this month at the NIBC event:
The second weekend of the 2022-23 NIBC Season tipped off December 1st in Montverde, Florida as Montverde Academy (FL), IMG Academy (FL), Long Island Lutheran (NY), La Lumiere (IN), and Legacy Early College (SC) all took part in a fantastic weekend of December hoops. We were treated to some very high-quality basketball over the three day slate, as these rosters are loaded with D-1 commits and prospects. There was a ton to make note of throughout the six games played, as the level of play brought out some terrific — and intriguing — performances. Pro Insight has assembled a list of the most notable prospects from the weekend, highlighting five players who demonstrated unique skills and traits or had otherwise memorable performances.
*Analytical References: Cerebro’s Glossary
Most Intriguing Prospects
(in alphabetical order)
6’7” Forward | 2023 | Legacy Early College (SC) *Michigan State commit
C-RAM: 9.2 (Silver Badge - #4 overall in event)
Coen Carr is the epitomic ideal of an “Izzo Guy”. In Layman’s terms, Carr was: physical, high-energy, and efficient. Coen worked a nice two-man game with junior guard Elijah Crawford, setting solid screens at the top of the key, catching well-timed lobs, and showing off his soft hands and intuitive cutting, working the baseline behind defenses. He often simply out-worked opponents getting to rebounds and exploding off the floor to contest shots at the rim. Coen also displayed solid shooting mechanics and touch during warmups, potentially indicating an ability to positively stretch the floor in pick-and-pop scenarios. Unfortunately for Coen (and the rest of the Legacy team), he was a bit overwhelmed by the collective length, skill, and shooting of the Montverde squad in Game 3, and struggled to make much of an impact in just 23 minutes of action. That being said, it was a weekend full of positives from Carr, displaying his relentless energy, explosiveness, and range of skills throughout.
6’4” Guard | 2024 | Long Island Lutheran (NY)
C-RAM: 9.7 (Silver Badge - tied for #2 overall in event)
Edgecombe had what was easily the best single-game performance of the weekend in Long Island Lutheran’s victory over Legacy in Game 1. VJ was in attack-mode from the opening tip, demonstrating three-level scoring instincts and aptitude. The lean, muscular guard possesses a super-quick first step and a smooth jumper. His athleticism and frame enabled him to rebound “above his weight” against opposing bigs, as well as absorb contact on drives and fastbreak attempts at the rim while still being able to get the shot attempt up. VJ displayed fast hands and an impressive gas tank, maintaining his effort level and activity on the defensive end despite putting up 20+ shots and playing all but one minute. The athletic toolkit combined with his scoring prowess definitely made VJ one of the standout prospects of the weekend.
6’8” Forward | 2025 | Montverde Academy (FL)
C-RAM: 10.7 (Gold Badge - #1 overall in event)
First there was Bret Hart. Then there was Bryan Danielson. Now…there is Cooper Flagg — master of “limb work” (the Professional Wrestling act of focusing attacks on one of your opponents’ limbs or body parts to inflict damage). Cooper Flagg is a master of limb work in that he’s a master of utilizing his own limbs to inflict damage on the defensive end of the court. Flagg has an intuitive grasp on distance control while playing defense, both on-ball and off-ball. He constantly played far enough off his man in order to be a deterrent near the paint that opposing teams had to account for him on every possession, while simultaneously knowing he would be able to close the distance and recover to his man should the ball make its way to him and alter or prevent the shot attempt entirely. While defending on-ball, Flagg routinely angled himself to funnel ball-handlers where he wanted them to go, while pestering their dribble with probing hands. Offensively, it wasn’t a great weekend shooting the ball by Flagg. However, he showed intuitive passing and “connector” skills — consistently swinging and moving the ball and keeping the offense flowing or finding the teammate with the hot hand.
6’7” Forward | 2023 | La Lumiere (IN) *Louisville commit
C-RAM: 7.6 (Bronze Badge)
Kaleb Glenn might have been the most physically impressive prospect in the gym at the Sunshine Classic. His 6’7”, long-armed, muscular frame contained a strong first-step, explosiveness off one foot, and the ability to slide laterally switch across multiple opposing players defensively. Kaleb’s off-the-dribble burst from a standstill or triple-threat position and ability to explode off the floor enabled both several strong drive attempts and converted dunks, as well as being a relentless presence on the boards. Kaleb was also a confident shooter in both games, and even though the threes didn’t fall against IMG Academy, he showed a confident shooting form from outside, which should keep opposing defenses honest.
6’9” Forward | 2024 | Montverde Academy (FL)
C-RAM: 7.4 (Bronze Badge)
Newell’s performance over the course of the weekend left us more intrigued than any other prospect. The junior currently measures in at 6’9” but probably isn’t done growing. He’s a lean, athletic, left-handed forward who possesses quick, nimble feet, flexible hips, and impressive dexterity of his age. There is a fluid, easiness to his movements, and he smartly covers ground laterally on defense with quickness. Asa’s shooting mechanics from three-point range looked smooth and repeatable, and looks to be something he’ll comfortably have in his arsenal. Newell’s competitiveness, motor, and fiery disposition were evident in his constant activity on both ends, as he tried multiple times to dunk over opponents as well as contest their attempts at the rim just as aggressively. It’s not hard to visualize Asa’s early performances in the NIBC season resulting in him quickly rising up most class rankings.