Men's Sports Sports

Talent in the Grand Canyon State – A look into Arizona Compass Prep’s (AZ) Division I commits

Nick Storlazzi

With a total of five players already committed to play Division I basketball, and a chance to increase that number before the end of their season, Arizona Compass Prep (AZ) has a talented roster that makes them one of the must-see teams at the 2023 Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Coming in with a record of 13-4, AZ Compass Prep is ranked No. 2 for private schools in the country, just behind Prolific Prep of Napa Christian.

 The Dragons are coming off a GEICO National High School tournament appearance from last March, where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Montverde Academy by a score of 72-63.

Heading into this season, it was clear that the upperclassmen were going to have to play effectively each game if they wanted to make it past last year’s mark. So far, that doesn’t seem to be an issue. 

 Leading the offense in the frontcourt for the Dragons is Oregon native Mookie Cook, who is currently ranked No. 15 in ESPN’s top 100 recruits for the Class of 2023. Cook had received offers from prestigious schools such as Kentucky and Gonzaga.

Instead of choosing either of those schools, he decided to stay close to home and commit to play for the Oregon Ducks. Cook will be a valuable addition to their roster next fall.

“Honestly, it’s home. And, I mean, I’ve had a great relationship with Coach [Dana] Altman for years now, with Coach Mike [Mennenga], his assistant behind him,” Cook said. “So it’s been perfect.”

Even after missing two games to start the season, Cook has gotten back into his rhythm –  shooting 51% from the floor. 

Zayden High, a forward out of Spring Branch, Texas, has also been a standout player for the Dragons, as he currently ranks second on the team in blocked shots and first in rebounds.

High has received over 20 offers from schools all over the country, including the University of Michigan and the University of Villanova.

High chose to commit to the University of North Carolina this past November and looks to be a valuable player in Hubert Davis’s rotation next season for the Tar Heels.

“I had no intentions of committing at the time,” High said. “But when I went on my visit, the coaches treated my family and I the best they could’ve… I felt like a want and need in North Carolina so it felt like the best situation for me.”

Before the season began, AZ Compass Prep was informed that standout player Rayvon Griffith would be transferring to the school from Taft High School (OH) for his senior season – adding more versatility to the forward position standing at 6-foot-5. 

Griffith wanted a change in scenery – but was also ready to take on the task of playing against some of the best teams in the country.

“I chose AZ Compass because I like their playing style. They play downhill, they play rough,” Griffith told The Athletic. “They’re one of the best teams in the country, they showed a lot of interest, and having the opportunity to play for them, I thought that would be big time.” 

While the frontcourt has size and athleticism, the backcourt certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

Guards Tru Washington and Jordan Ross have been in control of the offense, and use their speed effectively to drive to the basket.

Ross will be joining the Saint Mary Cardinals next fall, while Washington has yet to declare. Washington has received offers from LSU and Arizona State.

Arizona Compass Prep was able to showcase its star-studded roster at the 2023 Spalding Hoophall Classic on Sunday when they took on Oak Hill Academy (VA).

The Dragons defeated the Warriors 55-35 and look to leave Springfield College undefeated on the weekend when they take on IMG Academy (FL) on Monday night.

Photo: Jamarius Russell / The Student


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