The travel season ended on Sunday, allowing these players to apply some rest to their bodies and properly recover from what can be a grueling summer. There were a lot of quality prospects in the building over the week and many guys received offers from their appropriate level. That being said, we will be focusing on five specific guys who outperformed expectations and stood out amongst the crowd.
6’6 ’21 Redford Dunton (Garner Road)
Watching a prospect’s growth is probably the most enjoyable thing about being on the analysis side of basketball, and Redford Dunton has grown tremendously over the last calendar year. In terms of uniqueness, Dunton is in a class of his own. There are plenty of guys who stand around 6-foot-6, but they simply cannot match his combination of savvy or overall feel for the game. Offensively, he looks quite comfortable in a variety of roles and is able to manipulate opposing defenses in numerous different ways. In this setting, Dunton was playing up two levels and was still the most polished player on either team. He showcased the ability to handle the ball and effectively create scoring opportunities for teammates, both in transition and the half-court sets. Dunton still has a very unorthodox shooting form, but it goes in from all three levels at an efficient clip, so there should be no rush to change things. He’s a well-rounded athlete, able to switch between the interior and perimeter with ease—on both ends of the floor. Dunton can be featured off-ball, where he is able to apply constant pressure as a scorer, but also shows the IQ, willingness and desire to make the extra pass whenever possible. He’s already playing above the rim pretty regularly and should only continue to turn heads over the next few months, where he’s likely to emerge as the leader of Heritage High School.
6’8 ’21 Cesare Edwards (Upward Stars)
As mentioned, there were a lot of quality prospects on display, but none could match the sheer upside of Cesare Edwards. He has an incredible amount of potential, but it should also be noted that Edwards is already the most productive two-way player on his team. Whether national scouts recognize it or not, Edwards is genuinely special, and should definitely find his way into the upper echelon of the Class of 2021 sooner than later. He’s already a quality rim-protector with the ability to step out and defend guys on the perimeter. For whatever reason, opposing teams think they are able to take advantage of Edwards, but that never actually comes to fruition. Offensively, he is quite capable of creating for himself, or spotting-up and converting on one three-pointer after another. Edwards is a great athlete who frequently plays above the rim on blocks, dunks, and rebounds. He runs the floor well and shows a terrific understanding of his skillset. The 6-foot-8 prospect is simply a two-way monster; he’s already extremely talented, but there is still so much room for him to grow. It’s not far-fetched to believe that Edwards can feasibly be considered a top-25 prospect in his class, especially if there is more improvement to come.
6’3 ’20 Keishon Porter (Twin County Kings)
The game of basketball can be much kinder to some prospects than others, but Keishon Porter is a great example of someone pushing back against adversity to reach his goals. Earlier this summer, Porter injured his wrist and was looking at being sidelined for the entirity of his travel-ball season. Instead, he fought through the pain and still contributed however possible, but he still didn’t look fully restored. Well, this week was a huge turnaround for his recovery. Porter looked back to normal from the opening tip and had an excellent showing throughout the event. Offensively, he is one of the focal points for this team, given his ability to take over and demand attention while constantly applying pressure as a scorer and transition threat. Porter shot the ball pretty efficiently from beyond the arc, but also welcomed opponents to challenge him at the rim, where he finished nearly everything and absorbed so much contact. He also displayed the ability to generate pull-up opportunities off two or three dribbles, especially in the midrange area. All that being said, Porter’s most valuable attribute is his motor, which seemingly never stops. There was one specific sequence where Porter dove for a loose ball on offense, got up and started running once everyone was already at halfcourt, but he still stopped the fast-break bucket with a block at the rim. His ability to cover ground and make plays in transition is something special to see, but Division I programs should give a hard look to the two-way wing, as he will outwork anyone in his path.
5’10 ’22 Elijah White (Academy Prep)
The point guard position is unlike any other, given the instincts and unselfish nature that one must possess, but Elijah White has embraced his role as a floor general and was simply elite this weekend. Offensively, watching White manage his four teammates is like watching a conductor of a symphony. He is so incredibly smart and meticulous with his movements that anyone who tried to guard him ended up with their feelings (and ankles) seriously hurt. The most impressive thing about White is his ability to make the correct read every single time, even under duress from double-teams. He is among the best at getting “hockey-assists,” which means his pass immediately leads to another pass, turning into an assist, but giving no statistical credit to White. He doesn’t seem bothered by it, since his IQ and feel for the game are truly as high as they come, and he’s more focused on generating quality shots for his teammates. His passing is incredible, but White certainly has scoring capabilities, both at the basket and from beyond the arc. White knocks down those shots with no issue, but he’s still pretty selective about picking his spots, and would rather create an opportunity for an open spot-up shooter in the corner. He exudes leadership and it’s evident in the way he runs a team. There is so much to like with this young guard prospect, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on his progression going forward.
5’8 ’21 Kadyn Dawkins (Team Cobras)
It has been said numerous times, but once more won’t hurt: the Class of 2021 is going to be absolutely incredible, but especially so for the point guard position. Throughout the last year, we’ve seen numerous high-level guards, but not enough people are talking about what is brewing with Eastern Guilford’s next star, Kadyn Dawkins. The high-IQ floor general made a noticeable impression with his play over the weekend, facilitating and controlling the action on offense. We’ve seen the young guard with his school team various times, but this was the first setting where Dawkins was able to call the shots. He was the clear-cut leader of this squad and it was obvious in the way he set up others on offense. Dawkins is unselfish and always looking to create an opportunity for others, but there are times when he needs to take over and hunt for his own shot. He isn’t physically imposing, but his blend of IQ, passing, and scoring makes up for any size advantage. Dawkins’ performances put him in an elite class of prospects at Phenom Southern Jam, but he should continue developing on both sides of the ball. Expect us to be watching his growth closely over these next few years.