IRVINE, Calif. – On the final day of the Magic Memorial Day weekend presented by the Compton Magic, a pair of 2023 lead guards stood out while leading their teams to the finals of the 16U Division. The Compton Magic’s Darius Carr, I knew about, while Jason Fontenet Jr. of the AZ Firestorm made a great first impression.
More on them and others from the final day of action in Southern California.
2023 GUARDS CARR AND FONTENET JR. IMPRESS
In the 16U Division, the host team Compton Magic and Arizona based Firestorm seemed to be on a crash course towards meeting in the finals. It happened, and much of it was because of the play of their lead guards. Darius Carr for the Magic and Jason Fontenet Jr. for the Firestorm.
Thanks to a buzzer beating jumper from Fontenet, the Firestorm emerged with the title but I want to discuss Carr first.
Over the last year, players in California have faced as many restrictions due to Covid as any in America. Still, the sophomore at Los Angeles Cathedral has been able to find a spot in 247Sports top 75 ranking of the 2023 class. He certainly backed that up throughout the weekend and I was impressed with his play.
An athletic driver, Carr is absolutely relentless in his attacking of the basket and he’s a big-time finisher at the cup. He is a good passer, makes enough jumpers to keep defenders on their heels and shows big time potential as a defender. New Mexico was the first school to offer Carr and he told me that San Diego State and Cal have been in recent contact.
Not to date myself, but I’ve been doing working in the field long enough that I remember watching Jason Fontenet Jr.’s father play in high school before a college career at New Mexico State and Oregon State. Like his dad, Fontenet Jr. has won a State title at Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary’s and he’s well on his way to playing college basketball at a pretty high level.
Pushing 6-foot-4, Fontenet Jr. is a well-rounded guard. He puts pressure on defenders with his athleticism, makes shots and leads his team by example and vocally. He’s got early offers from Portland State and Washington State and has talked to Pepperdine and Stanford about possible June visits.
Both Carr and Fontenet Jr. will be playing with their high school teams at the Section 7 event in Phoenix during the first June live period and coaches will certainly have them on their list to watch.
MONDAY NOTES FROM SOCAL
A member of our top 150 in the class of 2022 at 247Sports, PJ Haggerty came up big for the Houston Superstars when they needed him most. Haggerty made a clutch three, some tough drives and opened the floor for his teammates during a competitive win over the Factory from Arizona during the finals of the 17U Division. In particular, I was impressed by the job 6-foot-7 combo forward Sean Elkinton did in stepping up. A high school teammate of Haggerty’s, Elkinton made timely threes all weekend and did some nice work around the basket. He’ll earn scholarships this summer.
A seven-footer from the class of 2023, the Factory’s Noah Amenhauser is certainly a work in progress. But, there’s a lot to work with. I was impressed by Amenhauser’s skill as a shooter and low post scorer. On top of that, he’s a very alert and skilled passer from the block. His first offer came from UC Santa Barbara and I’ll be interested to see what types of schools get involved this summer.
The Dream Vision 16’s fell in the semifinals to Firestorm but I actually had a chance to watch them multiple times throughout the weekend. So, I wanted to mention their sophomore shooting guard Rodney Brown Jr. and sophomore small forward Kevin Patton Jr. A long and lean 6-foot-4 two guard at Temecula (Calif.) Rancho Christian, Brown has good range and should be a good finisher at the rim and one the break once he fills out physically. Patton Jr. will be part of a loaded Compass Prep program in Phoenix and has already landed his first offer (from Northern Arizona) and he’s right at the edge of turning into a really nice player. He’s around 6-foot-7, can play a little inside and out and the wing has a good frame that will fill out nicely. Both of these guys have a chance to make huge leaps over the next few months.
Lastly, I want to mention a couple of freshman guards from Arizona. Marcus Wilson of the Firestorm 15’s and Adam Njie of Team Harden AZs 15’s. Both showed lots of ability attacking the rim, they play hard and they are productive scorers. They are just pups, but both appear to have nice futures ahead of them.