Lebron James Skills Academy: Evaluations

WildcatAuthority.com is in attendance at the Lebron James Skills Academy. Read on for evaluations of James Young, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and more.

LAS VEGAS - Sunday was the first day we could really evaluate prospects at the LeBron James Skills Academy, as the players finally took part in games.


Marcus Lee: Lee was the same player that we have grown accustomed to seeing. His length bothers opponents on defense and he is still developing an offensive game. Defensively, Lee is one of the better players in the class and does a good job of controlling the paint with his shot-blocking ability. His main weakness on defense, however, is the fact that he still gets pushed around on the block. Lee certainly needs to get stronger and once he does that, he will be a much more effective player.

Offensively, Lee continues to improve with his back to the basket. He had a few plays in which he was able to hit a hook shot that originated with his back to the basket. If Lee can develop a consistent offensive game, the sky is the limit for him.

E.C. Matthews: Matthews has an Arizona offer and although he needs to improve in the classroom in order to get more offers, he definitely displayed smarts on the court. Matthews has plenty of potential and does a fantastic job of getting in the lane and making the right decision, whether it is keeping it himself or dishing it off to a teammate.

In addition, Matthews is strong with the ball and displayed a nice mid-range jumper as well. Figuring everything gets straightened out, we can see Matthews' recruitment taking off in a big way because his skill level calls for it.

James Young: When we saw Young in his first game, he struggled in a big way and we left disappointed. In the second game, his jumper started to fall and we could see immediately why he is so highly regarded.

Young has a killer mid-range game from the elbow and does a great job of creating enough space to get the shot off. His long-distance game can get better as well as his all-around game, but his scoring ability is going to help a team right away.

Jabari Bird: Bird started off quiet in the game we saw him in and then hit three mid-range jumpers with a man in his face or by creating space. When Bird is feeling good and his shot is falling, he is easily one of the premier players in the country.

Keep in mind that Bird has been out of action for a bit, so it was nice to see him be able to step in and get his scoring touch back quickly. Bird has a high ceiling and is an extremely smooth player that will likely get better.

Semi Ojeleye: Ojeleye is the type of player that would be better suited if he was more aggressive to the basket because he definitely has the strength to get there. In terms of physical gifts, there are not a lot of small forwards that can match Ojeleye and, in a way, he is a nightmare for the opposition because of that strength.

We would like to see Ojeleye move away from his jumper a bit in order to utilize his skills closer to the basket, but that is something that a good coach should be able to work on.


Parker Jackson-Cartwright: At this point, we don't care how small he is or even if he grows another inch. There may not be another player in any class that improves his teammates as much as Jackson-Cartwright does.

He makes every teammate around him much better, whether it is by finding the teammate cutting to the hoop or getting in the lane and dishing it out on the perimeter. The most impressive aspect of this is that he does it with complete ease.

Chris McCullough: McCullough has insane length and runs the floor extremely well for a player his size. In addition, he has solid athleticism and scored from numerous points on the court. He can afford to get a little stronger, but McCullough is young enough to not let that be a major concern moving forward.

If McCullough does gain that strength and adds a little more aggressiveness on the glass and defensively, he will continue to be an elite prospect.


Ivan Rabb: Every time we see Rabb, he impresses us. Now, he does not have a go-to move yet and lacks a bit of fundamentals, but his potential is extremely high. Rabb knows what to do when he is on the court and does not force the issue. In addition, he seems to be growing and has nice touch around the basket.

Offering Rabb was a no-brainer for Arizona and we would expect more schools to follow sooner than later.

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