DUNCANVILLE, Tex. -- Wes Grandstaff's Next Level Baller Nationals provided Scout.com with a look at some of the best freshman in the country. Michael Porter Jr., Zach Brown and Jeremiah Tilmon all stood out on Friday.
De'Shawn Williams, SG, MWA Elite: Williams was mostly used as a spot up shooter in a couple viewings for Prime Prep this season but it looks like he's really expanded his game. While he's no doubt a big time shooter, Williams had success off the dribble both scoring and creating for teammates. His floor has always been as an elite shooter, but if he can keep adding to his scoring arsenal, he'll really up his stock.
Terrance Ferguson, SG, MWA Elite: Ferguson is a terrific shooter and was knocking down jumpers from midrange and three off the catch and pull. At about 6-foot-6, Ferguson already has the size for a wing to go along with a high level jump shooting ability. He also did a nice job playing hard on defense, while also making some nice passes in the half court.
Michael Porter Jr., SF, MOKAN Elite – Word has gotten around pretty quickly that Porter, a 6-foot-8 wing, is a high-level talent. It didn't take but a few seconds in the gym to confirm that notion. Porter obviously has good size for a wing, but he's also a pretty good athlete with impressive skill. He shot the ball with confidence and made multiple threes in the half that I took in. He also scored off a runner in the lane, a tip-in, an adjusting finish at the rim and a steal. It's still early, but he's clearly an elite prospect in the 2017 class.
Jeremiah Tilmon, C, MOKAN Elite – While Porter does damage from the perimeter for MOKAN Elite, Tilmon, a 6-foot-10, 220-pound freshman, does it on the interior. He has wide shoulders and a lengthy set of arms. To go with his physical attributes, Tilmon is an impressive athlete that runs the floor with ease. He flashed a good set of hands and nice touch in the paint. His most impressive move was a ball fake, strep through move that led to an easy lay up.
Jermaine Samuels, SF, Expressions Elite – Samuels, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound wing, was in attack mode through out Expressions Elite's win over Team South Carolina on Friday. A very good athlete, Samuels was aggressive with his drives and consistently finished well through contact. He missed his jump shot attempts, but his form looks fine. Long-term, Samuels has upside and is one of the more talented freshman wings in the 2017 class.
Austin Wiley, C/PF, Southeast Elite – From a shot making perspective it was probably a game Wiley, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound big man, would like to forget, as he struggled to finish inside. With that said, Wiley is a good-looking 2017 prospect. He's active, plays with energy and puts forth significant effort into his rebounding. Defensively he contests everything inside and doesn't mind to play physical.
John Petty, SG, Southeast Elite – On a loaded AAU team, Petty, a 6-foot-4 wing, was Southeast Elite's best perimeter threat. Petty hit five three-pointers and also a made a pull-up jumper from 15-feet. He's a good-looking wing prospect that appears to shoot the ball at a high-level.
Damari Milstead, PG, Oakland Soldiers: Milstead has a terrific approach to the game for a young point guard. His quickness and first step makes him tough for defenders to stay in front of, and he has a floater that he hits at a very high level for such a young player. Milstead can finish at the rim and never takes a play off on defense. He specializes in transition and always makes he right pass.
Zach Brown, C, South Beach All-Stars: It didn't take long into one viewing to realize what kind of prospect Brown is. He's 7-feet with extremely long arms, still very physically immature and growing into his body but more than mobile at the same time, has elite level hands, soft touch, blocks shots, rebounds, plays hard and even scored on a drop step and left-handed hook shot. He's without question an elite level prospect.
Jordon Myers, SG, MWA Elite: Myers certainly looks the part with extremely long arms at 6-foot-3 but has talent as well. He's a big time athlete – he threw down one of the dunks of the night on Alabama Challenge – used a crossover to create space and get off his own shot whenever he wanted, got to the basket and scored on putbacks.
Oakland Soldiers 16u shooting guard Brandon Lawrence had his outside shot working on Friday night. While Lawrence's three-point shot was his best weapon, he also knocked down a midrange baseline pull-up that looked good.
Ira Lee is a high level rebounder for the Oakland Soldiers 16u team and uses his strong frame, quick hops and instincts to corral defensive rebounds from the opening tip until the final horn.
Zach Brown's older brother, Clayton, is a teammate on South Beach All-Stars. He's almost as tall and while pretty raw, has a good frame with soft hands.
Alabama Challenge have a 2016 forward in Reginald Todd who has good size and length and made a lot of plays with his motor and athleticism. Todd, who also plays football, showed the ability to hit threes off the catch and pull.
Baris Ulker, a 6-foot-7 face up four-man, showed a high skill level in Expressions Elite's game on Friday. Ulker can step out on the floor and make jump shots, but also showed he was skilled enough to deck the ball and drive to the rim.
Freshman Kimani Lawrence, a 6-foot-6 forward, made multiple threes, plus a pull-up from 15-feet for Expressions Elite. He has a big reputation in the Northeast and rightfully so.
Southeast Elite guard Jamal Johnson is a 6-foot-1 combination guard with speed and scoring ability. He aggressively attacked the basket and made plays at the rim.