SJ Takeout: Matur Maker

HAMPTON, Va. — If you took Thon Maker and compressed him by a few inches, you'd have someone very similar to his little brother. That's the lens by which everyone assesses Matur for the time being, and yet the talent he has displayed at the Southern Jam Fest commands sharper observation than that.

When Matur Maker takes the court, the temptation to immediately compare him to his older sibling proves almost impossible to disregard. They look alike, move alike and have almost identical frames. Both are quite skinny, and both are quite mobile. Thon is the superior prospect at this point, no question, but Matur is far too good himself to be viewed as a companion piece.

Matur also may be saddled with the funniest and most unfortunate nickname in high school basketball: "Baby Maker." But while everyone can have a laugh at a slightly naughty nickname, you can go ahead and call him a high-major prospect, too.

Maker now stands 6-10 and is a very fleet and agile big guy to be a young pup in the Class of 2017. Were it not for Thon's extraordinary speed and nimble feet, Matur would draw more praise for those attributes himself. He's fast, quick, balanced and coordinated, and he makes his presence felt both defensively and as a transition finisher.

One area he's lacking is the skills department. Not surprisingly for a rising sophomore, he presently lacks an offensive plan when he receives the ball. He doesn't possess much post offense and isn't as talented facing the basket as his brother, though he did knock down at least one facing jump shot today that suggests long-term promise.

Maker also must gain significant strength. He has the kind of frame that suggests doing so may become highly arduous for the foreseeable future, but of course that future includes three more years at a high school. If he can become functionally strong enough merely to hold his own against bruisers, his assets should enable him to prevail frequently at the next level.


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