Tokyo Samurai Showcase - Event Recap
The coronavirus has impacted players all over the world, including those hoping to get to New England.
The Tokyo Samurai are an AAU youth basketball organization in Japan that annually travels to compete in the United States and sends players to local prep schools.
Unfortunately this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they weren't able to make that trip and, consequently, haven't gotten the exposure to college and prep coaches here in the states that they were counting on.
They already have players committed to St. Thomas More, St. Andrew's, and others, but last Friday, they held a showcase in Japan, highlighting top players in the area with hopes of coming to the United States.
College or prep coaches interested in any of the players below should contact Kris Thiesen, Toyko Samurai's head coach, at email@example.com.
Class of 2020
6'9", Center, Frank Phillips College (TX)
Uniform - #167 Black Jersey (all three games)
Eval - Adeola is a true big man who will be heading to junior college in Texas next year, where he should be D2 eligible after one year and D1 eligible after two years. Adeola has a massive 7'3" wingspan and a wide body. He's a tough, powerful big man with good size and strength. He's rugged and physical inside, and a powerful two-foot leaper who can finish emphatically. He's a competant passer out of the post who is working to extend his game away from the rim on both ends of the floor.
6'3", Wing, Tokai University (JAP)
Uniform - #165 White Jersey (all three games)
Eval - Ehara enrolled in Tokai University in April, at the beginning of their academic school year, although no basketball has been played. His goal is to come to the United States as part of the 2021 class, essentially as a 1st year transfer. He's a strong-bodied wing and positional mismatch. He's willing to take smaller defenders into the post, and very efficient in that range, but also understands how to get places off the dribble despite a lack of explosive quickness. He's equally versatile defensively, where he can guard bigger guys inside or switch onto guards on the perimeter.
Class of 2021
6'4", Combo-Guard, St. Thomas More (CT)
Uniform - #160 Black Jersey (all three games)
Eval - On his way back to STM next year, Mosaku is a lanky lefty with the versatility to play all three perimeter positions. He has good perimeter size, speed, and a smooth jumper. He's a crafty scorer and finisher who can make plays coming off ball-screens, but is also capable of creating for his teammates. Defensively, his size, length, and quickness allow him to guard multiple positions and disrupt opposing ball-handlers on the perimter.
6'1", Guard, St. Thomas More (CT)
Uniform - #42 White Jersey (all three games)
Eval - Another incoming STM product, Youngblood is an athletic guard who plays with pace and bounce alike. He excels in transition but can also slash effectively in the half-court. He's shifty changing pace off the dribble and can create for both himself and his teammates. He can make open shots when in rhythm but is working to make that a more consistent part of his arsenal against the type of defenders he'll see next year in the NEPSAC.
6'2", Shooting Guard, St Mary's International School (JAP)
Uniform - #35 Black Jersey (all three games)
Eval - O'Flaherty is a crafty and versatile guard with a high IQ with aspirations to come to the states for the 2021-22 academic year, either a post-grad or college freshman. He has a smooth shooting stroke with deep range and no fear when attacking off the dribble. He handles the ball well, gets out quick in transition, and has a wide array of finishes with both hands. He sees the floor well, can slide over to play some point, and is also a playmaker on the defensive end with quick hands and good anticipation.
6'9", Center/Forward, St. Andrew's (RI)
Eval - Fegurgur was in Gaum last Friday and not permitted to travel to the showcase, but is nonetheless expected to be in New England this fall and play for St. Andrew's. He's known as a nimble and active post with good footwork who fits the modern style. He can score with his back to the basket but also face-up and attack off the bounce. He has a soft touch out to 15 feet and continues to extend his range farther onto the perimeter. He has bulked up to 220 pounds and can play either the four or the five. Defensively, his game is advanced, especially as a rim protector due to his ability to get off the ground quickly.
6'2" Combo Guard, Japan Amateur Pro League
Uniform - #40 (White Jersey - Top 14 Game, Black Jersey - Game 1 & 4)
Eval - After graduating from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in California, Roberts will be spending a post-grad year in Japan, playing in the Pro B League while maintaining his amateur status. Roberts was a young senior last year and so he's still filling out his frame, but his athleticism, pace, and first-step make him an especially difficult defensive cover, especially in the open floor. He also owns a solid skill-set in the half-court and has reportedly made strides as a passer. As he builds up his body and develops his lead guard skills, his game should go to the next level.
Class of 2022
6'5", Wing, Torrey Pines High School (CA)
Uniform - #152 Black Jersey (all three games)
Eval - Scott, who plays his high school basketball in California, is a lanky wing and budding shot-maker who doesn't need much seperation to get his shot off. He shows flashes of being able to put the ball on the floor and athleticism in the open floor but just needs to continue to fill-out physically and build up his body to realize his versatile potential.
6'2", Point Guard, Zama High School (JAP)
Uniform - #170 (White Jersey - Top 14 Game, Black Jersey - Game 1 & 4)
Eval - Another player with aspirations to come to the US, either via prep school or direct to college, McNeill is a true point guard with good size, strength, and toughness. He uses his body well, thrives on contact and can explode through it. He plays a drive-first style right now but has shooting potential with good mechanics and balane when he's in rhythm from behind the arc.
Class of 2023
6'5", Wing, St Mary's International School (JAP)
Uniform - #158 White Jersey (all games)
Eval - Igwe is a young wing with clear upside. While he's still growing into his body, he already has good positional size and terrific length with a 6'10" wingspan. He's a quick leaper who is a good offensive rebounder and finisher. He shoots it consistently to the mid-range area and is working to extend his range and also evolve as a ball-handler and creator. He reportedly played through a broken bone in his foot at this showcase and is hoping to eventually come to the US either for prep school or college.