17u Standouts In Memphis
BY:Shanku Nair

Blake Pingeton | MPJ Elite | 2025 | Wing | 6’6

Pingeton has looked like one of the best shooters throughout the spring in Memphis and he did not shy away on the big stage against one of the favorites to win the Pro16 League. Pingeton had a standout performance against YGC as he scored a team-high 19 points on incredible efficiency. Pingeton shot 5/8 from beyond the arc, an elite blend of efficiency and volume which is something he has done consistently this season. However, this was not a “one hit wonder” situation as he shot 19/33 (58% on 8 3PA/G!!) for the weekend. Pingeton was exclusively used as a spot up shooter but he consistently punished defenders for helping off him from one pass away with his quick release and confidence to shoot during hard closeouts. He is a player that could really blossom in terms of his recruitment

Martin Kaupanger | World Class Renegades | 2025 | Guard | 6’5

Kaupanger had an underrated weekend helping lead the Renegades to a 2-2 record. He is their primary scoring option and led them in scoring with 15 points per game on 47% shooting from the field and 38% from 3 which is quite good considering the level of shot difficulty in his shot diet. Many of his shots were self-created and it was his overall confidence as a shot creator and tough shot maker that stood out as he was confident shooting over the top of defenders from all over the floor as he gets great elevation on his jump shot to do so. He has multi level touch and projects as a 2-guard at the next level. Defensively, he plays super hard, gives great effort on and off the ball with his motor being one of his most underrated traits. 

Jaden Nickens | Southern Ties | 2025 | Guard | 6’5

Nickens had one of the more dominant performances I saw this weekend in the nationally televised games between Southern Ties and AAO Flight. Nickens produced 13 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and some stellar on-ball defense in just 15 minutes of play. Nickens was unstoppable on the offensive end, using his elite explosiveness off the dribble to generate paint touches and create advantages. His ability to constantly pressure the rim forced the defense to foul him and sent him to the stripe for 6 attempts where he hit 5. He also had some really tough finishes at the rim through contact with incredible core strength and body control. When a double team came, Nickens was willing and able to make on-time and on-target kickouts to open shooters in the corner routinely. Defensively, his reaction time popped in breaking passing lanes and altering shots as a rim protector. Nickens was also defending the opposing teams primary ball handler who is extremely athletic and did an amazing job shutting down with his lateral mobility and anticipation at the point of attack. 

Landon Short | J-Uno Elite | 2025 | Guard | 6’2

Short had another stellar weekend in Memphis helping J-Uno Elite come out with a 3-1 weekend including a standout performance against Pro16 team Team Scott in which he had 26 points on a ridiculous 6/8 shooting from beyond the arc and 6/6 from 3. Short is one of the more underrated shot makers on the circuit but he could really turn heads throughout the course of the season and generate LM D1 looks. Short’s ability to hit contested shots at a high clip is among the best I saw all weekend. He has elite 3 level touch supported by his hyper-efficient free throw shooting. Short’s pull-up shooting is predicated by his footwork as he is always under control and balanced when shooting off the dribble with good agility. Short also flashed some intriguing passing instincts, but made smart reads to leverage his scoring gravity. 

Josh Irving | Team CPSA | 2026 | Big | 6’10

Irving is a really intriguing long term prospect who had a solid outing in his first game in Memphis despite the loss. Irving is a 6’10 big with a defensive identity but is still raw offensively. In terms of scoring, he did all of his damage at the rim particularly serving as a lob threat. Irving also did a great job on the offensive glass using his length and athleticism to create second chance opportunities. Defensively is where he made most of his impact as a paint protector. His blend of mobility, athleticism, and length were crucial in blocking/altering shots around the rim. His presence really deterred opposing players from entering the paint.

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