Nike Basketball Academy Evaluations: Day One

Saturday was the first day of the Nike Basketball Academy that was open to the public and we had the opportunity to see numerous Arizona prospects. Read on for our evaluations of each, including one current Wildcat.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Saturday was the first day of the Nike Basketball Academy that was open to the media and we had the opportunity to see numerous Arizona prospects in action.

Kaleb Tarczewski: There are 20 college players in attendance and Tarczewski is in good company with guys like Domantas Sabonis, Jakob Poeltl, Damian Jones, and others.

Tarczewski started off a bit slow with a jumper that failed to hit the rim, but once he calmed down he looked like his normal self. Tarczewski was one of the better defensive rebounders that we saw Saturday night and hit a few hook shots in the paint as well.

The best part of the night is when Tarczewski got to go against DeMarcus Cousins. Obviously Cousins is a better player, but you could tell that Tarczewski was soaking everything in and Cousins was talking to him a few times throughout the game.

Trae Young: The 2017 point guard may have been one of our favorite players on Saturday. He reminds us a lot of former Duke point guard Tyus Jones, but Young probably has a better jumper.

Young has range beyond the arc and he has a quick release off the dribble that is extremely advanced for a player his age. On Saturday he was a pass first point guard, but we have seen him be a shoot first guard before this. Basically, Young has numerous weapons that he can use and do so well.

Ira Lee: He still isn’t where he wants to be physically, but Lee is definitely in better shape than the last time we saw him and continues to get closer to his ideal condition.

Lee hit a few mid-range jumpers and handled the ball effectively on Saturday. We like the fact that he does not shy away from contact and seems to welcome it at times. He could really benefit from growing another inch or two, but he does not seem to be physically maxed out.

Michael Porter: I’m really not sure what position Porter is because he can probably play the three, four, and five while creating mismatches at each position.

He has really good size and may be still growing, which is a scary thought when you consider he has solid athleticism. In addition, Porter has range out to the three-point line and can get that shot at will because of his length. Porter is definitely one of the top guys in the 2017 class and we expect Arizona to pick it up a bit.

Mohamed Bamba: How do you know when a guy is a NBA prospect? Having a 7-foot-8 wingspan and a standing reach of 9’5” definitely helps. There isn’t a more impressive physical prospect in attendance and it isn’t an awkward length either.

Bamba runs the floor well, blocks shots, is aggressive to the rim, and still improving. He will eventually have offers from everyone and rightfully so.


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