Banks has strong showing at Elite Preview

Last year it was Ty Hudson, who used the Elite Preview to improve his national status, this year James Banks was among the players that emerged at Hoop Seen's event over the weekend.

As a sophomore, James Banks played at Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis, but Banks wasn’t a focal part of the team that also consisted of Malik Beasley, Kobi Simmons and Kaiser Gates, all of which are high-major prospects.

“A lot of people asked me why I moved to Mount Vernon and it’s because I wanted to make my own name for myself,” Banks told Scout. “This is a place where if I didn’t score 20, get 10 rebounds and three blocks, we weren’t in a position to win. They needed me. That’s the place I wanted to be.”

“It pushed me hard,” Banks said about the new experience. “In practice, I was the leader and I was the guy people had to look up to and I feel like that made me grown up a lot faster and made me get better.”

The move clearly worked for Banks. At the Elite Preview this past weekend, the 6-foot-10, 235-pound center was among the breakout performers. With his size, length, mobility, hands, touch around the basket and potential on the defensive end, there’s a lot to like about Banks as a prospect.

Banks, who boasts a 3.5 GPA and averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds a game during his junior season, said he’s only been playing basketball for there years, thus he’s still working on sharpening up his moves.

“I started out around the elbow, knocking down those jumpers and I feel comfortable making that shot,” Banks said when describing his offensive game.

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Banks has strong showing at Elite Preview
“As you develop footwork you can develop an inside game,” he added. “My go-to move is a hook with my left and right. I have a couple counters working with coach [Korie] McCray, who used to coach at UCLA. He’s been working on my footwork a lot.

To date, Banks has accumulated scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Tulsa, Harvard, South Carolina, USC, George Mason, Georgia Southern, Western Carolina, East Carolina, North Florida, MTSU.

“This year I went to Mississippi State, Tennessee and Clemson,” Banks told Scout. “I was supposed to go to South Carolina, but something happened that weekend. [I’ve been to] Georgia and Georgia Tech too.”

Are any schools sticking out to Banks?

“I like the guys that came in earlier because they saw something in me before the hype,” he said. “I like the guys that come see me a lot, like Mississippi State, like Tennessee and Clemson. They are always in my ear.”

“I’m talking to a lot of guys on the phone and there’s a lot of guys in my ear,” he added. “I want to go somewhere where I’m needed. I don’t want to go somewhere where I’m going to sit my first couple of years. I want to go somewhere I can get better and develop.”

Banks said he “feels like it’s really early” and doesn’t have intentions of making an early college choice.


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