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Prospects to Watch: Arizona
by Ani Umana, Future150 (12:06 PM CT, Wed September 10, 2014)
Corona Del Sol (AZ) freshman forward Marvin Bagley.
Corona Del Sol (AZ) freshman forward Marvin Bagley.
Ani Umana
Ani Umana:

Future150 Southwest Recruiting Analyst. Covering high & middle school basketball in TX, LA, OK, NM, AZ.

Nashville, TN (Future150) -- This is part two of our series, taking a look at top prospects from around the Southeast and Southwest. Today, we focus on Arizona.

The one theme I noticed about Arizona prospects this year is versatility. Most of the players on the list are effective playing in multiple positions, and that is a benefit for the coaches. It also helps them in their recruitment and production on the floor.

1. Marvin Bagley, 2018 SF, Corona Del Sol:

I know, I know. the article says 2016 and 2017 prospects, but I felt wrong to leave out the Future150 number one prospect in the nation for 2018. The 6'10" Bagley will make an impact immediately in high school just based off height, length and athleticism. What makes him special is he can play multiple positions from the 3-5. He puts the ball on the floor and can go coast-to-coast with the ball in transition. He possesses a solid mid-range jumphot and runs the lanes very well for a big man. The lefty drives mainly to his strong-hand and also finishes heavily on it, and although he can put the ball on the floor, he does not have a quick handle with the ball. However, at 6'10", he can play in the post and on the perimeter. Bagley will create matchup proplems for opposing teams as he gives coaches the luxury to have a big lineup with him or go small with him at center.

2. Carlos Johnson, 2016 SF, Shadow Mountain High School:

At 6'5" and 230-pounds, Carlos Johnson reminds me of a smaller version of Baylor Bears forward Ricardo Gathers. Johnson is a handful to guard as he can post up on smaller guards and even on bigger players than him due to his strength. Over the years, he has been explosive off the ground and finishes above the rim and finishes well with contact. He possesses solid ball-handling abilities, although he needs to still improve and develop a consistent pull-up jumper. His three point shot needs to be more consistent and we would want to see how well he fares against guarding quicker and skinnier guards on defense. Regardless, Johnson is a handful to guard due to his versatility and has the ability to dominate games.

3.Mitch Lightfoot, 2016 PF, Gilbert Christian School:

A 6'8" power forward who has verbally committed to New Mexico, Lightfoot is a player not too many have heard about but has the skill set to be a a presence in the paint. He plays with a high motor and looks to dunk the ball at any chance he has. He has good footwork in the post and is mainly effective as a back to the basket player. He runs the lanes well and spreads the floor for his team. Right now, he cannot play small forward as he doesn't possess good ball-handling abilities but can bring his defender to the perimeter and shoot the 15-20 foot jumper. Not a flashy player, but a player that is very effective and active in games.

4. Markus Howard, 2017 PG, Perry High School:

Ranked #1 in the state of Arizona by Future150 in 2017, Howard is a must-see point guard. Quick with the ball in his hands, he has good vision especially off drives and in pick-and-roll settings, and although only standing at 5'11", he holds a solid frame with him that should only get bigger. Not very explosive in regards to jumping ability but still finishes well around the rim with high-arching floaters and layups. It will be interesting to see how much Howard has improved since last season. 

Under The Radar:

Mike Bibby Jr., 2016 PG, Shadow Mountain High School:

A third generation player whose grandfather Henry Bibby, and father Mike Bibby, played in the NBA. A smooth point guard that is smart with the ball. He plays the pick-and-roll very well as the ball handler and has good vision in the half-court setting. He is more of a set shooter right now, and finishes around the lane effectively with floaters. Needs to add more bulk to his frame and not very quick either, but has a high basketball IQ that gives him an advantage over opposing guards. It will be fun to see him grow as a player as he has a high skill set that just needs to be consistently shown.


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