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Circuit Scouting

2022 Border League Takeaways

By Samad Hines, 10/17/22, 4:30PM EDT

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The Border League showcase has already made a statement as one of the must-go-to preseason showcase events before the high school season every year since the event debuted back in 2020. 

The 2022 showcase event was definitely the most loaded it has ever been with multiple highly rated prospects and some of the top teams in the country participating in the event out in Las Vegas. 

College coaches were also able to attend a few games to spectate. Schools like UCLA, UNLV, Portland, LMU, Texas, Vanderbilt, Kansas, BYU, and plenty more college coaches made their way to Las Vegas this weekend. 

The talent in the city was electric and here we take a look at a few observation that took place over the 3-day weekend at the Border League. 

2023 Caleb Foster's Stock Rise

Caleb Foster has been one of the biggest stock-boosters, in terms of long term potential, over the last few months. The 6-foot-5 point guard is coming off an outstanding grassroots season in the Nike EYBL and has bought that same confidence over to the high school season. Foster is finishing out his high school career at Notre Dame High School in California. The future Duke Blue Devils played extremely well out in Vegas at the Border League. He is able to score the ball on all levels and facilitate at an elite rate. Caleb knows how to utilize his size against smaller defenders and an impactful prospect also on the defensive end. Some NBA personnel have already told me they will be keeping tabs on Foster over the next year or so. 

Donda Academy (CA)

Kanye West's sponsored program, Donda Academy, is coming into their second straight season with their basketball program. New head coach Dorell Wright made his coaching debut this past weekend and the nation got to see what this year's team would look like. 2023 Robert Dillingham (Kentucky) is the headliner for this season's team once again, alongside 2023 A.J. Johnson and 2023 J.J. Taylor. The Doves went 2-1 out in Las Vegas at the Border League which included a comeback win over the host school Bishop Gorman (NV) in their last game. The questions coming into the season, how good is Donda Academy? What is their roster looking like? It is still too early to tell how good this group will be this season on the national level, but one thing is for sure, Dorell Wright will have this group playing hard and the right way. The Doves will have a few other national games as the season goes along, which includes stops at the City of Palms Classic (Fort Myers) and Spalding Hoophall Classic (Springfield).

2023 Chris Johnson's Stock Rise

Kansas commit Chris Johnson has started his senior season running the point guard for one of the nation's most powerful basketball programs Montverde Academy (FL). The 6-foot-4 guard was beyond impressive for the Eagles this past weekend in Vegas as he helped them secure the Top Flight Division title. Johnson is already known to be one of the best pure scorers in the 2023 class and has always had more to his toolbox that he will certainly be able to prove this season if he continues to run the one for Kevin Boyle. His ability to score the ball puts a lot of pressure on defenses and Chris has such a high IQ that he is able to also be the distributor in most cases. The future Jayhawk is very unselfish and is a prospect you can trust to make the right read when he has the ball in his hands. NBA scouts and personnel have already told me they will continue to keep tabs on the 6-foot-4 guard over the next year or so.

2024 Dedan Thomas Jr. and Liberty (NV)

Liberty High School, who are the NAIA class 5A defending champions, were very impressive out in Las Vegas at the Border League showcase. The Minutemen defeated two current preseason top-30 programs, SoCal Academy (CA) and Notre Dame (CA), in route to going 3-1. Liberty has certainly entered the conversation as a top-25 public school program and led by 2024 Dedan Thomas Jr. The 6-foot-1 point guard started off his weekend with a 37-point performance against top-25 Southern California Academy (CA), getting the win. Thomas Jr. has already been considered the number one point guard in his class. His Jalen Brunson, Fred VanVleet like game never goes unnoticed. 

Montverde/AZ Compass Prep Battle

The top-2 preseason ranked national teams coming into the 2022-2023 high school season gave us a battle and what could be the 2023 GEICO Nationals championship matchup in March, April. Montverde Academy (FL) and AZ Compass Prep (AZ) finished out the Border League showcase in an overtime thriller where Montverde Academy came out as champions of the Top Flight Division. These two teams were loaded from top to bottom and featured at least twenty next level division one prospects combined. Both Montverde and AZ Compass are scheduled to meet again during the regular season on November 22nd in Utah as part of the 5 For the Fight National Hoopfest. 

2024 Taj Degourville

One of the biggest stock boosters from the Border League out in Las Vegas this past weekend? 2024 Taj Degourville of Durango (NV). Degourville was one of the most consistent prospects throughout the weekend and had an eye-opening performance. He is a 6-foot-5 athletic guard that plays with a high motor and has the ability to score in multiple ways. The junior wing displayed his elite versatility on both ends of the floor against the top ranked prep schools he faced over the weekend, guarding every position. Degourville had some explosive plays at the rim, was able to show he can be consistent knocking down perimeter jumpers, and being a playmaker for his team. The college coaches in attendance had their eyes on him during his time at the Border League and he should be receiving much attention over the next few months. 

Other Standouts of the Border League

Las Vegas was filled with talent across the board all weekend long with multiple standouts. 2023 Sebastian Mack had himself an eye-opening weekend, one of the Nike EYBL's leading scorers this past season. Mack averaged 30.6 PPG 42% FG 45% 3PT through 3 games with Coronado (NV) in the Top Flight Division. Mack is one of the most undervalued prospects in the class. He consistently plays hard, able to finish through traffic, and hit shots from all over the floor. 2025 Cameron Boozer just seemed unstoppable, showing shades of his father Carlos Boozer. The 6-foot-9 sophomore averaged 12.3 PPG 55% FG 36% 3PT and 10.3 RPG through 3 games in the Top Flight Division. Boozer was dominate inside the paint and proved he is capable of stepping out on the perimeter to knock down threes. 2023 G Garwey Dual (Providence) is a prospect I thought has long term potential as long he continues to develop. He is a 6-foot-6 guard with an elite wingspan, can handle the ball, and utilizes his length on both ends of the floor. Dual's best attributes come from the defensive side of the ball. He is an elite perimeter defender and super engaged as an off-ball defender. 

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