The LeBron James Skills Academy is underway and we had the opportunity to see numerous Arizona prospects in action on the first day with full games. Here is a breakdown of the players that we were able to see throughout the weekend.
Stanley Johnson: The forward was as good as advertised in his first appearance of the camp. Johnson showed that he can do a little bit of everything. He scored consistently in transition, created shots for himself in the half court, and had a solid stroke from beyond the arc. There wasn't much the defense could do to stop him, but Johnson wasn't as aggressive once his team took a large lead.
Rashad Vaughn: The shooting guard showed off his scoring ability throughout the game. Vaughn hit a couple contested three-pointers early on and it opened up the floor for him for the rest of the game. His first step isn't the quickest, but it didn't stop the guard from powering his way into the lane. Vaughn also impressed on the defensive end, knocking down a few balls in the passing lanes.
Thon Maker: The seven-footer was impressive in his showing. Maker showed off his athleticism multiple times throughout the game. At one point, the center blocked a shot away under the basket and was quick enough down the floor to get a tip-dunk on the missed layup from the fastbreak.
However, Maker is still learning the game on the defensive level. He was a little too aggressive on defense at times. While he had a handful of blocks to show for it, he was also caught out of position a few times as well.
Malachi Richardson: Richardson showed nice form on his jumper and played solid defense, but was not very involved with the offense for the most part. This was our first time seeing him, but there were positives to take away from it. We would like to see more in order to get a feel for his game.
Charles Matthews: The combo guard was playing off the ball for a majority of the game, but still managed to impress. He consistently showed a quicker first move than his defenders. Matthews shook a defender in the corner and drove baseline for an easy dunk, but had trouble finishing on some of his other drives.
The guard was aggressive crashing the boards throughout the game, getting to the free throw line multiple times because of willingness to fight for the ball. He was also perfect from the stripe.
Malik Newman: The point guard played alongside Johnson for most of his time on the court, which definitely caused problems for the opposition. Newman was able to drive at will and showed great range from beyond the arc.
What was most impressive was his ability to see the court. Newman made it seem as if he could find any of his teammates on the court at any time. He had numerous assists, though he also became less aggressive as the lead grew.