Team Thrill Showcase Stockrisers

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We were in the greater DMV-area over the weekend for the Team Thrill Showcase. This was a loaded event in with clubs from multiple shoe-circuits present in addition to elite independents all facing-off under one roof at the Randy Smith Recreation Center.

With plenty of nationally recognized prospects taking the court, there was no shortage of star power in the building. But the platform also provided opportunity for the following under-the-radar gems to take advantage of the spotlight.

 

Michael Moore (6’9/2022/Team Thrill)

The best rim protector in the building. Period. Moore was an absolute monster in preventing would-be layups by either blocking or altering attempts at the rim on multiple possessions in every game we viewed live. He also made an impact jumping passing lanes for steals and turning those TOs into easy transition buckets. Offensively, Michael was a solid dumpoff option in ballscreen action and finished well around the rim in addition to attacking the offensive boards for putbacks. He also flashed the ability to hit perimeter shots on one occasion, knocking down a 17-footer where he looked really comfortable. Moore is 6’9, agile, gets off the ground easily, runs the floor very well and has a non-stop motor. He’s entered our 2022 watchlist as a 3-star prospect (full profile here) that has some Kenneth Faried qualities to his game. Low-mid majors in need of a defensive-oriented big that will provide offense via lobs/dumpoffs/putbacks should definitely have eyes on him.

 

Elmarko Jackson (2023/6’3/WeR1)

This was our first live viewing of Elmarko and he made a huge impression. He may have been the best guard in the gym for an event loaded with talent. Jackson goes around 6’3 and is very shifty with a live dribble. He consistently created space off the bounce with change of direction/speed dribbles. Athletically, the standout sophomore displayed good first-step acceleration, great strength/body control and finished through contact at the rim multiple times. We really liked his pull-up game, as he gets solid lift from his lower body while maintaining balance and good mechanics on difficult shots. While he was most most impressive as a scorer, Elmarko had some intriguing flashes as a playmaker for others. He consistently collapsed the defense with ease and was able to find teammates on dumpoffs for easy layups once the help defense cut off his driving lane. Jackson has entered our database as one of our initial 4-star prospects in the 2023 class (full profile here), and has the look of one of the premier guards in America. Elmarko is a no-brainer high-major prospect that Power 5 coaches should be on immediately.

 

Naji Reid (6’1/2022/Philly Pride)

Reid made his presence felt in a high-level matchup against Team Takeover by knocking down six triples and finishing with 20+ points in a win for Philly Pride. Naji was undoubtedly the best shooter at the event, displaying NBA range with consistency from multiple spots on the court. What really popped-out though was his ability to get shots off against closeouts from the lengthy athletes of Team Takeover. Reid has a high release-point and good arch on his shot which allows him to shoot over the top of a defense. While at his best as a floor-spacer, he did have one impressive finish over a 6”10 Center from TTO where he displayed good body control. We’re not aware of any offers for Naji just yet, but we expect that to change in short order.

 

Zaire Wells (6’5/2022/NY Gauchos)

Zaire definitely caught our attention during our first game of the day on Saturday versus DC Premier. A lengthy 6’5 – 6’6, he has a prototype physical profile for 2/3 at the next level with the ability to add 25 pounds of muscle mass. In terms of skillset, Wells flashed a potent pull-up game from distance after rocking a defender with a left-to-right crossover. He thrived as a slasher, navigating his way through tight spaces off the bounce from the wing and converting at the rim. Zaire was dynamite in transition, where his combination of straight-line speed, ballhandling and elevation make him a nightmare to deal with. He is the epitome of the word upside, as he’s already producing at a solid clip but not even close to scratching the surface for what he can be long-term. For now, Wells has entered our 2022 watchlist as a three-star prospect (full profile here) and we look forward to further evaluations this Summer.

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