The star of Denver Prep High School’s Mikey Lewis continues to rise. The 6’4” guard is already a four-star recruit and rated among the top players in the Class of 2024. On Friday evening, Lewis took to social media to announce that San Diego State extended him a scholarship offer. SDSU assistant coach Chris Acker is the program’s lead recruiter.
“Coach Acker is a really good guy, and I like him a lot,” Lewis told the East Village Times. “We had been in contact for a while before he offered me because he was thoroughly recruiting me, getting to know me and my family, and learning my game as a player.”
On tape, Lewis is a terrific scorer. He can put the ball in the net from all three levels. His game starts with an elite jumper that forces his opposition to track him wherever he is on the court. Needing only a little space to get his shot off, Lewis forces defenders to guard closer than they are comfortable with.
In this discomfort, he thrives. Utilizing good ball-handling ability, he showcases mid-range skills, floaters, creativity in getting to the basket, and the ability to find open teammates. Lewis possesses a wiry frame but is deceptively strong, giving him the ability to finish through contact.
Defensively, he is long, can get into passing lanes, and quickly transition to the other end of the floor. How high school defense translates to the next level is challenging to evaluate, especially for a school like SDSU. Most programs in college basketball simplify their defensive game plans compared to the professional ranks. According to coaches inside and outside of the program, the Aztecs’ staff teaches defense at an NBA level. SDSU’s emphasis on that end of the floor suits Lewis just fine.
“I like that it’s a defense first school,” Lewis said. “It’ll push me as a player and my development going forward to round out my game. … My defense and my offense are in the same area. I’m pretty good at both ends of the floor.”
Above all of his impressive skills, his elite efficiency stands out. He has a plethora of moves in his offensive repertoire but uses a minimal amount of dribbles and steps to find his spots on the court. Lewis does not stand out on the wing, dribbling as he hunts for an opening. When he touches the ball, it moves after a few moments, which benefits his team as a whole. If he joins the Aztecs, he can help an offense that can become stagnant at times.
He plays with a pace that is not rushed. Only a rising junior, Lewis competes with a confidence and feel for the game that belies his age. Former SDSU forward JJ O’Brien is a comparison Aztec Nation would know. Like O’Brien, Lewis plays at his own speed.
“My focus for the upcoming season is to win a lot of games and a league championship,” Lewis said. “My personal goals are just to keep developing and show well my junior year.”
Lewis’ athleticism does not jump out on tape, but that should improve as he gets older. Learning how to be more of a combo guard that can handle both guard positions equally would increase his versatility, as would gaining experience guarding smaller, quicker ball handlers. Though he makes tough shots, he would do well to create more space at times.
Currently, the four-star prospect holds offers from USF, SJSU, Sac St, Montana, Cal, and UCSD, in addition to the Aztecs. He mentioned also receiving interest from Colorado, UTEP, Xavier, Saint Mary’s, and Howard.
Lewis is in no rush to choose a school. He and his parents are eyeing December of next year as a time to wrap up the process. In the meantime, he is looking to continue to build relationships with more coaches, so he can make the best decision for himself and his family. It is too early to tell which school has an advantage for his services, but SDSU has a few factors working in its favor.
Lewis enjoys positionless basketball. With a skillset as versatile and advanced as his, pigeonholing him into a specific role does not suit him well. The freedom Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher gives his players as he builds a system around their talents is perfect for someone like Lewis, who is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
“I think Coach Dutcher is a great coach,” Lewis said. “He’s developed a lot of talent at SDSU and developed them into a top 20 program consistently every year.”
Outside of basketball, SDSU is an attractive destination because the city is a terrific place to live, and the school offers incredible academic opportunities. The incoming freshmen class at the university boasts an impressive 4.1 GPA. Lewis, who owns a 3.5 GPA, is also focused on finding the right fit for his intellectual pursuits.
“Academics are important in my decision,” Lewis explained. “I’m a good student, so going somewhere of academic value is important.”
For a player of his obvious skill, Lewis’ recruitment is a little subdued. Rated the 51st best player in his class by Rivals, he is certainly known in the high school basketball ranks. In some regards, SDSU’s pursuit mirrors their courting of Kawhi Leonard. Like Leonard, Lewis lacks the offers commensurate with his talent and production on the court. As they did with Leonard, the Aztecs’ staff is hoping that forming a relationship early in the process will result in Lewis donning the Scarlet and Black.