Charleston, SC - November 15, 16 & 18 - TD Arena was the site for the Charleston Classic. I departed my home in suburban Atlanta at 7 am and hit the road for Charleston. My GPS said the drive would take 4.5 hours and I told myself I can make it in 4. So that was my focal point as I drove west on I-20, well that and figuring out which audiobook to listen to. I settled on "David and Goliath" by Malcolm Gladwell, put the car in cruise control at 80mph and before I knew it I'd arrived at TD Arena in a little over 4 hours.
I walked up to the entry on Burns Lane and taped to the unassuming white double doors, it said "NBA Scouts Entry" that gave me the biggest smile, I walked in gave the security guard my name and she handed me my credential for the event. Now that I am official, I can tell you who I saw and who stood out.
The most noteworthy NBA Prospects were - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Ahmed Hill and Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), Carsen Edwards, Matt Haarms and Nojel Eastern (Purdue), Vasa Pusica (Northeastern), Kellan Grady (Davidson), Dontae Hall, Herbert Jones, and John Petty (Alabama).
There were also a few guys that put themselves on my radar moving forward, Dexter Dennis Fr and Jamarius Burton Fr (Wichita State), Aaron Wheeler R-Fr (Purdue), Shaquille Walters R-Fr (Northeastern), Jon Axel Gudmundsson Jr (Davidson) and Tevin Mack R-Jr (Alabama).
Carsen Edwards (6'1 Jr. PG) was by far the most spectacular prospect at the tournament, he has a mix of elite shot-making ability and sheer athletism. His ability to catch & shoot and pulling up off the bounce with the elevation he gets on his jumper makes it difficult to contest, couple that with an electric first step which had him in the lane at will.
Vasa Pusica (6'5 R-Sr. PG) was the most surprising prospect at the event, he was masterful in middle Pick n Roll action throughout the tournament. He made timely passes to the roller or to the lifting shooter in the opposite wing. He turned the corner looking to score if the defender trailed he got in the paint to make floaters & layups if they went under he buried 3's from the top of the key.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6'5 So. PG/SG) was by far the best prospect at the event, and I'm not just saying that because his team won the tournament and he won the MVP. He seemed to do everything well, he rebounded at a high clip, he made some impressive passes out of the Pick n Roll, hit wide open 3's, got to the basket, made timely pull-up mid-range jumpers and he defended on and off the ball. I was even impressed with his postgame attire when everyone else was rocking sweats he came out in slack, a button-up with a tie and vest. It was like he was letting everyone know that he was there to handle Business!
Overall, my first experience of NCAA Feast Week was great, I scouted some great NBA Prospects, connected or reconnected with several NBA Scouts and Executives and most importantly gathered some very valuable intel. Scouting reports for the above-mentioned players are available by request only. Until next time.....