Notre Dame Class of 2020 signee Tony Sanders Jr. ended his prep career with some impressive hardware, winning the 4A-2A Player of the Year honors for Miami-Dade County.
The Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep standout wing was offered shortly before signing day, and there is certainly an intrigue about his game. A late add for college basketball recruiting standards, the 6-7, 190-pound Sanders jumped on head coach Mike Brey’s radar early on in the spring, and once the Irish offered they became an instant threat.
While he may only be ranked No. 220 nationally by 247sports, a much lower ranking than that would represent in football, he is leaving the Florida high school ranks as one of the best players in the state and the best high school player in his county from last season.
Sanders averaged 20.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists per game during his final season as he led the Raiders to a 23-7 record. He finished the year shooting 42% from the field, 34% from beyond the arc and 71% from the foul line.
During his senior season at Gulliver Prep, he was a more physical player while also shouldering much more of the load for his team. While his field goal percentage went down (52% to 45%), he also scored more points (617 compared to 561) than he did as a junior.
His rebounds per game improved by nearly two, and probably his biggest improvement came by the way of his three-point percentage. During his first three years at the prep level he never shot over 28% from deep, including 24% as a junior. That took a huge leap during his senior season, and that likely added to Notre Dame’s late interest in him as a prospect.
The athletic Sanders will bring some much needed length and above the rim capabilities at the wing spot for Notre Dame, and will even give Brey some stretch four versatility.
With the logjam at the two and three spots for Notre Dame next year, it might be a full redshirt freshman season for Sanders, but if he can prove to be physical enough to play on the front court he could see some time along with Matt Zona or Elijah Taylor.
When Sanders committed to Notre Dame, I was vocal about him as the top commit in the 2020 class, but he is also the most raw and in need of a college weight room before he can compete at a high level.
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