Basketball Recruiting - The Cassidy Awards: The War Before the Storm
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The Cassidy Awards: The War Before the Storm

Finley Bizjack
Finley Bizjack (Courtesy of Pangos Camp)

CARROLLTON, Texas – The War Before The Storm showcase event is in the books, and it included no shortage of impressive performances from prospects both well-known and new to the recruiting radar. We weren’t able to watch all of the long list of marquee games that unfolded simultaneously at the event, but Rivals.com dishes out some awards centered around the matchups we were able to observe.

EVENT COVERAGE: Cassidy's takeaways

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Rivals Roundtable: Rankings, remembering 2021 cycle, commit fits

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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BRIGHT FUTURE: Finley Bizjack

Bizjack turned in one of the weekend’s most impressive performances by a sophomore and certainly has the look of a top-100 prospect. Playing against a talented Texas Impact squad on Sunday, the Dallas-area combo guard poured in 24 points and doled out a handful of impressive assists in a comfortable win. Bizajack is known for his scoring but he did some impressive work on the glass over the weekend as well. He currently holds offers from Stanford, DePaul and TCU. Wisconsin is also in contact and is seriously mulling making things official.

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SCORING SURGE: Arterio Morris

Morris is a top-100 player for a reason and is capable of taking over a game from a scoring standpoint, which is exactly what the four-star did in the first half of a Saturday afternoon game at the War Before The Storm. Morris scored 20 of his team’s 30 first-half points and kept his squad afloat in a game it ultimately lost. Ideally, Morris will get more consistent when it comes to shooting the ball from distance, but he’s certainly able to create his own shot and blow by larger defenders with a quick first step.

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REMEMBER THE NAME: Tre Johnson

Just a freshman, Johnson scored 10 points and grabbed roughly six rebounds playing up a grade level in a game on Saturday afternoon. The class of 2024 prospect has the length to be an elite defender and boasts a smooth pull-up jumper and some incredible versatility for a player of his young age. Oklahoma State offered Johnson a scholarship following his performance at the event, and it seems as though there will be plenty more to come in the year ahead. Johnson, who plays for Team Griffin and Dallas’ Lake Highlands High School, has top-50 potential.

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STOCK UP: Jaxon Kholer

Kohler arrived at the event as the No. 132 player in the 2022 class, but looked like a candidate to slide up a few spots in the next update. Playing for the Utah prospects, Kholer was a nightmare on both ends for each team he played. The 6-foot-8 center is as physical as prospects come and could pass for an offensive tackle prospect if he picked up a football. He played the role of bully on Saturday, going for 20 points and 16 rebounds while flashing impressive footwork in an afternoon game against Dallas Showtyme Elite. Kholer impacts the game in multiple ways on both ends. If he develops a better jumper, he could become even more dangerous than he already is.

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WELL-ROUNDED: Keyonte George

The highest-ranked 2022 prospect that played in the event, George showed flashes of why he carried a five-star rating. Playing for the Texas-based Southern Assault program, George is as confident a guard as there was at the event, forcing the action and making his team’s offense go. George has impressive court vision and scores the ball as needed in both games we watched. George impressed with his facilitating but absolutely wow’d with his defense, forcing turnover all weekend and showcasing a truly elite moro on both ends. Following a game, George stated that.

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MATCHUP PROBLEM: Jerry Deng

Deng has the build the inside-the-paint banger and boasts an incredibly strong lower body. He’s certainly capable of impacting the rebounding battle and has relatively solid hands. Where he surprises, however, is with his ball-handling and ability to shoot it somewhat consistently from long-range. The 6-foot-7 power forward knocked down three 3-pointers in a 23-point performance while looking unbelievably comfortable playing on the perimeter. Deng holds a handful of high-major offers, but says he’s in closest contact with Akron, who seems to be the de facto leader for the time being.

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NEW TO THE RADAR: Quion Williams and Collin Chandler

Williams arrived at the War Before The Storm with little recruiting fanfare but certainty looked like a Div. I prospect for most of the event. The 6-foot-5 forward, who moved to Texas from Arkansas last year, took over a game in the second half, scoring 11 points and showing off some solid court vision when it came to facilitating. He didn’t seem to be the most consistent score on the floor, but drastically impacted multiple games on the defensive end. Just what level he’ll play at in college will hinge on how he develops in the year ahead, but there’s no doubt he could help a Div. I program. Williams currently holds offers from Troy and Oral Roberts.

The Utah-based Chandler looked the part of a high-level prospect during the event. So while the long, athletic combo guard entered the weekend without a star ranking. That will soon change. Chandler has the upside of a Rivals150 prospect and colleges are taking note as well. On Saturday, he pushed the tempo and got up and down the floor while showing off a smooth mid-range game in a 14-point performance that saw him play above the rim and showcase his athleticism. Chandler has offers from Stanford and Utah. BYU and others are also in touch.