Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Pennsylvania prospect could be riser
By Adam Finkelstein
As a scout, one of the things you pride yourself on is being able to forecast a prospect’s ascension before it actually happens. A couple of weeks ago, I came away from a Team Scan AAU practice convinced that 2014 small forward Terry Larrier would be one prospect to play his way into multiple high-major offers during the upcoming evaluation period.
This past weekend while the college coaching community was in Atlanta for the Final Four, I was hoping to get another jump start on the upcoming grassroots season so I made my way to the Team Final scrimmages in New Jersey, anxious to get my first look at Mikal Bridges.
Bridges came into his junior season at Great Valley High School in Pennsylvania as a virtual unknown. By the time the season ended, he had scored numerous offers, including from the likes of St. Joseph’s and Temple along with additional interest from Georgetown, Florida, Xavier, VCU and others.
Although Bridges didn’t necessarily stand out like a high-major prospect should during this past weekend’s event, the tools and talent that have so many coaches intrigued were easily recognizable. Most importantly, this is a guy who is only just scratching the surface of his potential after sprouting up four inches in the last seven months.
“When I saw him in the fall he was 6-3,” Team Final director Rob Brown said. “He’s 6-7 now and the doctor says he could be 6-9.”
Bridges is reminiscent of another similarly long and talented swingman who emerged as one of the biggest stock risers in the Northeast after running with Team Final last year.
“He’s a little bit similar to (Syracuse signee B.J. Johnson),” Brown said. “He’s relatively new to the game and new to this high level of AAU. He’s a really good shooter, a good ball-handler and has a high IQ.”
While Bridges looked like a player adjusting to a new team this weekend, he’ll need to assert himself pretty quickly because this group will be depending on his offensive contributions, especially behind the 3-point line.
If and when that happens, he could very likely join Larrier as another Northeast region prospect who could be on the verge of seeing his recruitment go to a whole new level.