Last year, the talk of the event was Joel Embiid. Hardly a known quantity at that time, Embiid performed highly impressively and enjoyed a big senior year. His performances during the summer at Kansas have caused sources to anticipate a potential one-and-done scenario, a telling indicator for how his stock has skyrocketed over the past 12 months.
Saturday's games featured seniors and juniors, and Sunday will turn toward sophomores and freshmen. While there was no Embiid this year, one future ACC wing and other prospects stepped forward to highlight the day's action.
Justin Bibbs, WG — The Ohio Basketball Club didn't draw as much attention nationally as it has in previous years, and Bibbs warrants more praise than he has received to date. The Ohio native is attending Montverde (Fla.) Academy for his senior season and recently committed to Virginia Tech. The Hokies continue to rebuild under coach James Johnson, and Bibbs likely will be a multi-year starter. He's a solidly built athlete capable of slashing and creating off the dribble, finishing on the break or locking down opponents defensively. In fact, his defensive pressure — and particularly at a camp setting where he could have coasted and still be among the best players —impressed most of all. The southpaw also knocked in several three-pointers and projects as an immediate contribute in Blacksburg.
Derrick Clayton, SG — A California import prepping in Florida, Clayton's afternoon play solidified his breakthrough event. He may have been the best shooter at The Workout, consistently drilling threes and wielding a stroke that appears college-ready. Meanwhile, he's also a pretty good athlete who possesses solid ball skills for guard and, at 6-4, has excellent size for the position. He appears to be a high mid- or potential lower high-major prospect.
Othniel Shelton, WF — Upper mid-majors on the make for an athletic wing may want to check out Shelton, a lively-legged forward who possesses solid quickness, leap and defensive potential. He didn't set the world on fire offensively but demonstrated good body control on one drive in which he took a long step with the ball through two defenders for a layup. There's promise here.
Chad Brown, PF — Just a few days ago, Brown issued an early commitment to Central Florida. The Knights definitely landed a very good one, and especially at this early date. Brown is a little heavy-legged but boasts an outstanding frame for long-term growth, and he already makes meaningful contributions on both ends. He attempts (not always successfully) jump hooks with both hands, a sign that he's thinking clearly about his future collegiate role. He also blocks shots and hits the defensive glass, and he even hits some face-up jump shots. By no means is Brown a finished product, but he's fantastic early addition for UCF.
Kevarrius Hayes, C — This early Florida commitment certainly holds some physical promise. Hayes is a good straight-up leaper and uses his leap to jump high for soft finishes off the glass. He also runs the floor well and should become an effective shotblocker over time. Without question, Hayes has a long way to go in terms of strength and polish. Who knows how far he'll progress during the second half of his high school career, however, and there physical talent is there.
Haanif Cheatham, SG — He injured his leg in July and returned to the court only recently, but Cheatham possesses obvious high-major talent. He's a slinky athlete and uses his lefty orientation to surprise defenders with unorthodox attempts in traffic. He boasts a quick first step and excels using a hesitation move to get to the rim. He'll need to get stronger but not surprisingly has drawn heavy attention.
Chance McSpadden, SG — A lefty gunslinger with impressive quickness and ball-handling ability, McSpadden struggled a bit on Saturday. He couldn't knock down his jump shot consistently, and in the past that has been a strong point of his game. That said, his talent is obvious and everyone is entitled to a rough day. And he still made some eye-catching plays, including shifty drives through traffic and several slick passes that caught defenders by surprise, though he does have a tendency to overdribble. He's definitely one for lower high-majors to monitor this season.
No Division I coaches were allowed to attend, but a smattering of D-IIs and junior colleges checked in. From a major conference perspective, the Workout delivers in word of mouth rather than in-person viewings. …