Christopher Johnston, Jayrell Diggs Nova Scotia MVPs Cap Off National Showcase Circuit
Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State), Nevell Provo (Loyola), Gentry Thomas (UC-Riverside) and Nate Darling (UAB) are a few of Nova Scotia’s most notable talents over the past five years. A new wave of talent made their mark at the final stop of NPH’s National Showcase Circuit this year, a bunch with intentions of reaching the NCAA level or the highest level in USports.
Christopher Johnston (2018/2019) and Jayrell Diggs (2021) stuck out all weekend at Acadia University, and earned Upper and Underclassmen MVPs respectively in the 6th Nova Scotia Showcase.
For a province with under 1 million in population, the ratio of talent to population is so high. Many that will not be listed here, will be included in a report that goes out to over 100 NPH subscribed coaches at the NCAA, USports, CCAA and JUCO levels.
Both Johnston and Diggs were two-way players, which added to their stock. Neither took a possession or drill off, and both came in correct after a strong off season in training.
The stamina, speed and strength factored into Johnston and Diggs having strong showings at camp. From a physique standpoint, a chiseled frame allowed them to absorb contact on their way to the rim and still come up with finishes.
While there were several other prospects who held their own and made a name, the two names above came in most ready.
Johnston was the epitome of East Coast grit. On the defensive end, he blocked shots all day whether on a chase down in transition or as a help side defender. Moreover, he was constantly in the passing lanes coming up with steals and finishing above the rim.
The word potential is one that I’ve grown to despise, however using it with a prospect like the aforementioned Diggs is safe. A 2021 prospect with upside that is being maximized as a result of his level of focus and the support system around him.
Diggs’ ceiling is similar to that of Lindell Wigginton, who is starting his year at Iowa State after making a name for himself at Oak Hill.
His physical development is ahead of schedule and well in front of even most seniors. As his body continues to mature, he is growing into having an intimidating stature.
His first step gives him the burst to get past the first defender. His strength allows how to finish through contact while getting bumped on his way to the cup.
Outside of the MVPs, there was still several who continued building on their stock; both prospects we were familiar with prior to camp, and others that made their splash this past weekend.
Cairo Berry is a 2020 point guard, Scotia born and raised and raising his level of play as the years pass.
Berry checks off in the speed, IQ, and playmaking categories. He can set the table for teammates through his blow by ability which forces a second defender to step out at him.
An improvement in his three point shooting makes him a real threat for when defenders choose to sag off. In the lane he has really good touch using a floater which is a vital part of his game among the trees for a small guard.
Moving on to the forward position. There isn’t much size in Nova Scotia as a whole. It’s a guard oriented place for the most part. Whenever there are bigs in the house, they take advantage and handle their business.
Joseph Frenette was all business and owned the paint, operating both out of the high post and low post. His mid-range jumper sunk with consistency and his feel around the rim was primo. Using the rim as protection was tactical.
Frenette specialized in the paint and from mid range, in the meantime my eyes were locked in looking for other specialists; guys that have a defined role at the next level.
In our seminar at camp, we defined the prospects identities and created a self-evaluation process that enables each prospect to clearly target their strengths, weaknesses and value that they bring to the next level.
The seminar portion of camp is an eye opener for all prospects because it provides a realistic indication of where their skill, academics and mindset is at, and whether or not that lines up with their goals.
2019 shooting guard Ryan Munro is a specialist that had his stuff intact. On day one of camp he seemed to be one dimensional as a spot up shooter. By day two, he had shown some of his off the dribble abilities and by the final day looked like a two guard transitioning to the one for the next level.
Having his shooting touch from the perimeter brings immediate value in a day and age where the basketball is played and scored either at the three point line or at the rim.
Tyquel Murnaghan of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is an intriguing 2020 graduate to keep track of. The combination of length and attention to detail helps his case in terms of projection.
The younger crop is who we really need to lock in on. With things coming to a close on the NPH Showcase Circuit, it is vital that prospects spend the next 4-6 weeks before their high school and prep seasons, conditioning and fine tuning their skill sets.
With the right game plan there are many who were at camp that can maximize on their potential.