Uncovering Recruiting Gems Around The Country!

In my latest of my pieces for Ballislife.com, I did a bit of bouncing around throughout the country. Some layovers and delayed flights blended with a number of college and NBA games. I stopped to check out a few practices throughout my travels, along with hitting a number of games in both Minneapolis and one more in my hometown of Cleveland. While the teams that I saw weren’t in the Ballislife FAB 50 over the past couple of weeks, there was some serious talent who you’re going to be hearing about on the college level and in recruiting circles very shortly.

Here are a few of the top players that I saw in Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, and New Mexico over the past two weeks:

Nasir Whitlock, 6’1, PG, DeLaSalle HS (MN), 2023
My personal choice for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball, Whitlock is putting up straight video game numbers for Minnesota powerhouse DeLaSalle. He dropped an absurd 52 points against storied Minneapolis program Hopkins HS (who has the state’s top 2026, Jayden Moore) and followed that up with a 29-point, 5-assist outing in a blowout win the following Tuesday. The Lehigh-bound point guard is a walking bucket, blending deep range with an automatic pullup from mid-range. Whitlock is not a guy who is going to wow you with his speed or athleticism, but plays the game at his own speed and has a great change of pace. Whitlock is the prime example of a dude who didn’t need to play on a shoe circuit (ran with Gain Elite) to make it D1 and who simply continually got better throughout his high school career.

Assane Diop, 6’10, PF, Accelerated Prep (CO), 2023
A consensus top-60 recruit nationally, Diop has the chance to be a key piece in a Colorado’s outstanding recruiting class. Assane has been well known on the scene for a few years now, but has continually improved. Upon stopping by practice in Denver, the biggest improvement that you could see in the 6-foot-10 Senegalese big man was in his shooting and ball handling. He has the ability to not only keep the defense honest with his jumper, but also create for self/others.

Daniel Freitag, 6’2, PG/SG, Bloomington Jefferson HS (MN), 2024
Considered by most to be the top junior in the state of Minnesota, Freitag is one of those rare two sport dudes who legitimately has Power 5 offers in both basketball and football. An elite on ball defender, Freitag uses his chiseled physique and quick hands to apply immense ball pressure. The Howard Pulley guard is outstanding using his shoulders to finish through contact, has developed more consistency as a shooter, and has made serious strides as a lead guard. Whether it’s football or basketball, you’ll be seeing Daniel Freitag on a tv screen playing for a big time program come 2024.

Jayden Moore, 5’11, PG, Hopkins HS (MN), 2026
The consensus number one freshman in the state of Minnesota has lived up to the hype, averaging 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists a night for one of the state’s most legendary programs. With two years of varsity playing experience under his belt, “Judah” is not your average freshman. Playing the game with a court savvy well beyond his years, Moore sees the game a play ahead. He is outstanding in quickly pushing the ball up the floor, makes high level passes out of pick and roll plays, and is outstanding making proper reads against different defensive coverages. Playing up two years last summer in the Adidas 3SSB 16U with J-Suggs Sizzle, Moore gained an offer from West Virginia, but that is merely the first of a plethora of high major offers to come.

Brady Wooley, 6’8, PF, Orono HS (MN), 2025
The fastest rising sophomore in the state of Minnesota, Wooley is the type of new age forward that everyone is looking for nowadays. He’s not going to put up huge numbers, but impacts the game in so many ways. Wooley is a skilled passer who can stretch defense out to the 3-point line, does a great job of finding open areas to flash/cut offensively, and uses length to provide a formidable shot blocking presence. Wooley has already been on campus at Minnesota and Iowa State with many more to join once the live period starts.

Shemarion Hardy, 6’2, SG, Cleveland Heights HS (OH), 2023
Not a huge name, Hardy is the type of inner city dude who you hate to play against. Playing for former NBA guard JR Bremer at Cleveland Heights (and in same conference that I played in myself), “Mar” is an athletic lefty who is consistently in attack mode. The bouncy combo guard has no shortage of dog in him, great elevation on his jumper, and the ability to finish over the top of you in transition. He has been one of the bright surprises in the city of Cleveland this season and is a name to remember throughout his college career.

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