First of all, no, there’s no relation between 6-10 sophomore center John Salley and the loquacious media personality — and former hoopster — of the same name.
This Salley, not only tall but substantially built, reclassed to 2017 and now attends Richmond (Va.) Benedictine, where he and his coaches will attempt to mold him into the best player he can become.
No question, he’s years away from being ready for the college level, but he also has three years before he’ll matriculate to school. Salley impressed me at last weekend’s South Central Challenge with his stamina, as he was able to run at full speed for long stretches and competed throughout the day.
His mobility appears to be okay, and he even made a couple of short jump hooks off the glass. The key for him will be to develop his post footwork and do his best to improve his reactions around the rim. Some of that progress could occur naturally, as we’ve certainly observed that to be the case in the past.
Big men frequently need more time to materialize than smaller athletes, and Salley clearly slots into that designation. No one knows how his next couple years will proceed, but he doesn’t need to engage his recruitment yet or worry about measuring his progress versus that of his peers. At his size and with a frame that screams positional defender and rebounder, he won’t lack for opportunity.