The Cassidy Awards: Under Armour Association in Texas
FRISCO, Texas - The second weekend of the Under Armour Association circuit unfolded in the Dallas suburbs this past the weekend, and it featured countless Division I-bound prospects. Rivals’ Rob Cassidy was on hand all weekend and dishes out some awards based on the performances he saw.
2023 Rankings: Top 30
MAN OF THE HOUR: Arterio Morris
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: No player at the event had a more newsworthy weekend than Morris. Not only did the Dallas Showtyme point guard put up one of the weekend’s most impressive performances, but he made waves by committing to Texas just before taking the floor on Saturday morning. Morris’ combination of court-vision, jump shooting and athleticism is exceedingly rare. The weekend saw him make a push to be included in discussions about the top point guard in the 2022 class.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Morris is committed to Texas.
MR. BOTH ENDS OF THE FLOOR: Kel'el Ware
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: New haircut, same game. Ware arrived in Texas having chopped off his trademark braids. But while he looks different in photos these days, he impacts games in the same, massive way as always. Playing for in-state All Arkansas Red, Ware finished at the rim with incredible regularity and changed dozens of shots on the defensive end. Ware’s massive wingspan allows him to play even bigger than his 7-foot frame. He’s a willing rebounder that posted an easy double-double in one game on Friday evening.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Ware took official visits to Arkansas and Oregon in June in addition to an unofficial to Ole Miss. He intends to make a decision this fall and plans to visit Texas in addition to a few other schools before announcing his choice.
YOUNG BULL: Bryson Tiller
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: The future is incredibly bright for Tiller, a class of 2025 prospect that spent the weekend playing multiple years up for the 17U Atlanta Xpress and wasn’t one iota intimidated by the big stage. The long, athletic Tiller plays with the confidence of a high school upperclassman and had no problem asserting himself for stretches in the two games we saw. He’s already an effective rebounder and inside scorer. If his jumper and defense continue to develop in years to come, the sky's the limit for his potential.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Discussing the college future of a class of 2025 prospect is futile. Tiller already holds an offer from Tulane, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the avalanche of offers that will be arriving in the years ahead.
NEW ON THE RADAR: Tyler Bilodeau
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: A relative unknown on the national level before this weekend, Bilodeau arrived in Frisco without a profile on any of the major recruiting networks. That changed quickly, however, as the skilled 6-foot-8 forward turned in a pair of impressive games playing for the Washington Supreme Grassroots program. Bilodeau is a high-effort defender that contests everything but also has some effective high-post moves and what looked to be a pretty reliable jumper from long range. He finished a Sunday game against a Team Curry squad that was loaded with Division I prospects with 25 points and nearly 10 rebounds.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Bilodeau holds offers from Boise State, St. Louis, Montana State and UC Davis. He should see his options expand further based on his weekend.
HOT HAND: Jaden Schutt
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: Schutt can flat out shoot it. And while that aspect of his game is what gets the bulk of the attention, the Illinois Wolves point guard is a gifted passer as well. He’s capable of playing on ball or off, as he can create his own shot in addition to acting as a catch-and-shoot option.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa seem like real options for Schutt. Florida and Duke have also recently become involved. How much new interest changes his recruitment is yet to be seen.
THE MAIN EVENT: Isaac Traudt
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: No player in Frisco attracted more elite-level head coach attention than Traudt, who had Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few standing behind the basket watching him play on multiple occasions. On Sunday, the 6-foot-9 forward awarded the duo with a 23-point performance that included three 3-pointers. His versatility as a defender was also striking, as Traudt has the ability to stay in front of guards on the perimeter while muscling up bigs inside.
STOCK UP: Justyn Fernandez
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: Fernandez acted as the heart and soul of a well-rounded DC Premier team and dazzled with his court vision and ability to finish in traffic. He shot the ball from distance better on Sunday than he did on Saturday and will need to become more consistent in that aspect. Still, he constantly shines as a slasher and distributor. He has the skill set to make a push for the back end of the Rivals150.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Arizona State, Clemson, Boston College and Seton Hall have all offered Fernandez in the last month, but it feels like there may be more to come. Virginia Tech could also be a school to watch.
ATHLETE ALERT: Robert Jennings
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: There are few power forwards in the class more athletic than Jennings. So while he’s not polished from a skill perspective, he could certainly help any number of Division I teams. His raw athleticism gives him massive upside and he showed it off over the weekend, as tip dunks, impressive rebounds and tough finishes at the rim became the norm. When Jennings is finishing well, he can be a dangerous offensive weapon. When he’s not, he still manages to find small ways to impact games.
ALWAYS EVOLVING: Caleb Foster
WHY HE MADE AN IMPRESSION: One of the premiere guards in the 2023 class, Foster took center stage playing with tube Team Curry 17Us and attracted a gaggle of college coaches each time he took the floor. He’s long had the reputation for using his quickness and strength to get to the rack and finish, but he showed off his 3-point stroke this weekend. Foster is becoming a more complete point guard while adding muscle. He still needs to work on limiting turnovers, but his trajectory is encouraging.
WHERE HE MAY LAND: Following a Saturday game, Foster said Virginia, Louisville, Duke, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and Virginia Tech are the schools most involved in his recruitment. Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl was on hand to watch him play.