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MadeHoops MidWest Mania: Top Performers

By Samad Hines, 04/26/21, 11:00AM EDT

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2022 SG Nick Smith Jr. of Sylvan Hills (AR) photo by Jeff Gammons

This past weekend, the world of AAU hoops was on full display with multiple events going on all at once in different cities across the country. Locations like Atlanta, Indianapolis, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and others were filled with top programs and prospects from all over. 

I was able to make my way to Indianapolis, Indiana for the loaded MadeHoops Midwest Mania event and got to look at a plethora of some of the elite talent from across the nation. 

A lot of great talent was in the building and on full display and below we take a look at which prospects had amazing outings this past weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

2022 SG Shaedon Sharpe (Dream City Christian, AZ)

Shaedon Sharpe came into this past weekend as one of my expected stock boosters this grassroots season and he certainly filled the hype with his incredible play this past weekend. Sharpe averaged 22.1 PPG while shooting 51% from the field in three out of the four games I witnessed him play with UPlay EYBL (CAN). The 6-foot-5 shooting guard showed his pro potential all weekend. Sharpe put his full skill set on display and opened a lot of eyes. His elite athletic ability, great body control while taking contact, sportscenter like dunks, and finishing ability were all on display. Shaedon was also able to create his own shot, connecting on multiple shots from off the bounce, and rebounded fairly well. NBA scouts have already had their eye on the junior shooting guard as he continues to grow in his overall development. 

2022 SG Nick Smith Jr. (Sylvan Hills, AR)

Brad Beal Elite's Nick Smith Jr. is one of the best scoring guards in the loaded 2022 class. He proved that during his time in Indianapolis and averaged 19.0 PPG while shooting 53% from the field in two games I noticed. Besides his scoring ability, Smith Jr. was very impressive with his ability to be a playmaker and create scoring opportunities for his teammates. The 6-foot-4 linky two-guard was able to show his versatile skills at point guard and while the defense expected him to score on most occasions, Nick was able to find the open man. He scored from all levels of the floor throughout the weekend. He is a reliable perimeter shot maker, has a nice in between game, and able to score in transition as well. Again, one of the best scoring guards in the 2022 class. 

2023 F Justin Edwards Jr. (Imhotep Charter, PA)

Took in some 16U action on Sunday and one of the best prospects in the 16U division was without a doubt 2023 wing Justin Edwards of Team Final (PA). Edwards was extremely impressive and did not have much buzz nationally coming into this past weekend. He is a scoring wing with great size at 6-foot-6 plus. He holds long arms with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, able to create his own shot, and could be an explosive finisher when attacking the rim. Justin displayed his perimeter shooting skills and was able to hit a few catch and shoot shots from the wing spots during his time in Indianapolis. He is a name to keep an eye on in the 2023 class and could receive much more national attention as he develops over the years. A "BUY STOCK NOW" type prospect. 

2023 PG Wesley Yates III (Beaumont United, TX)

If you have not heard the name Wesley Yates III by now, then you should for sure lock his name in and keep tabs on him over the next couple of years. Yates III helped his Houston Hoops (TX) 16U squad reach the Midwest Mania title game over the weekend and put on one of the best performances you will see all spring, summer. He finished with 33 points (11-21 FG 9-16 from 3) and 7 boards in the 16U bracket title game despite the one point loss. Yates has great upside and could climb the rankings possibly. He is a 6-foot-3 point guard with a fullback like body, an elite perimeter shot maker, can finish inside, holds a nice feel for the game, rebounds, and makes next level passes. He is a microwave type scorer and hit eight three's in the first half of the championship game this past weekend. Coming off an incredible sophomore campaign at Beaumont United (TX), where he helped secure a state championship going 31-0. 

2022 C Dereck Lively II (Westtown School, PA)

Playing alongside Jalen Duren, Lively II was also impressive throughout the weekend as well in Indy at the MadeHoops Midwest Mania event. Dereck is an extremely intriguing prospect in the 2022 class and shows pro potential. He is a legit 7-foot-2 big man with an elite 7-foot-0 plus wingspan. Dereck secures rebounds at a very high level, an elite shot blocking big man, a rim runner, plays with a very high motor, and has shown his offensive versatility as he hit a couple three's this past weekend. He can be considered as a walking "double double" type prospect and plays with amazing energy. Lively II is one of the most consistent prospects you will find in the 2022 class and never plays out of his position. 

2022 PG Jaden Clayton (Dream City Christian,  AZ)

Junior point guard Jaden Clayton was fantastic this past weekend in Indianapolis at the Midwest Mania event and had himself a stock rising type of performance. Clayton has become one of my sleepers in the 2022 class and should receive some much more needed attention from college coaches. He is a 6-foot-0 point guard who can control an offense, an elite playmaker, outstanding vision, and very good ball security. The Canada native rarely turns the ball over. In two games I witnessed, Jaden combined for 21 assists with only 3 turnovers. He was the elite floor general and was extremely unselfish with UPlay EYBL (CAN). Jaden was also able to hit shots from all levels, rebound for a guard his size, and was a pesky defender snagging a couple steals.  

2023 PG Isaiah Collier (Wheeler, GA)

2023 point guard Isaiah Collier was another one of those prospects that stood out this past weekend as I took looked on some 16U action on Sunday. I am already very familiar with Collier's game and he was as good as advertised playing against some other elite talent. The 6-foot-3 floor general finished with 18 points (7-15 FG and 3-6 from 3) and 3 steals despite the loss on Sunday morning. Isaiah has improved his overall offense game over the last couple of years and was confidently shooting three's in the game I witnessed and with range. He holds excellent size, physical frame has also improved, an elite on-ball and off-ball defender, and can make his way inside the defense and finish with consistency at the rim. Isaiah is a competitor and will play at an 100% motor throughout the entire game. One of the best overall playmaking guards we have in that 2023 class. 

2022 F Dillon Mitchell (Bishop McLaughlin, FL)

Dillon Mitchell had himself a more eye opening type weekend in front of the national media and scouts in Indianapolis at the Midwest Mania event. Mitchell might not be the flashiest prospect or big time scorer, but he effects the game in many ways every time he is on the floor. Dillion displayed his elite defense and versatility over the weekend as he was responsible for guarding highly rated prospect Emoni Bates in a showcase game and did an amazing job holding him to a bad shooting percentage. He is a legit 6-foot-8 forward with a next level wingspan. Dillon has a college ready body, holds elite athleticism, an explosive forward, can "wow" you with his powerful finishes, and rebounds at a very high rate. A couple NBA scouts have already told me they will be keeping tabs on Dillon Mitchell over the next few years and as he develops his game.

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