NEW ORLEANS - The Under Armour Association got going in the Bayou with a solid event. Leading the way was Josh Jackson, but a few other players really emerged. Here is a look.
Class of 2016
, SG/SF, 1 Nation – Jackson has been making a strong charge to the top of the 2016 rankings all season long, and he did absolutely nothing to disappoint over the weekend. He looked the part of a super elite prospect and someone who is capable of leading a team to a title in college. His athleticism is off the charts, and also he makes everyone around him better. Now his shot does need to get more consistent, but overall it was a tremendous weekend and one that saw him really dominate.
, PG, Team Thad – It was a tremendous weekend for Fisher as he really embraced his role of point guard, and ran the show for a talented squad. Fisher consistently got into the lane, made plays, found shooters, and scored when his team needed it. He is a good athlete with good floor vision, and in a class without a ton of true point guards he proved that he is one.
, PF, Atlanta Xpress – The Harvard pledge has definitely stepped up his game in the last year. He is a good athlete with excellent strength on the low block, and now is getting more skilled and more assertive. He was excellent all weekend long, and really showed why he has seen his stock rise in the state of Georgia.
, PG, Houston Defenders – Caldwell had a nice showing over the weekend with his toughness and athleticism. He got to the rim almost at will, and then also made plays for teammates. In his final game he was one assist short of a triple-double, and looked the part of a high-major guard. He keeps on getting better, and beginning to have the game slow down for him.
, C, Indy Hoosiers – Brunk is just a solid player on the low block. He has excellent hands, understands angles, posts up with physicality, and also rebounds his area very well. He was getting a lot of attention from defenses, but still found a way to make things happen, and then also stepped out and hit mid-range and perimeter jumpers in pick and pop situations.
, SF, SYF Players – Jefferson isn’t the most skilled kid in the world, but he is just the type of guy coaches love because of his non-stop motor. Jefferson made plays going to the rim, rebounded very well with his athleticism and toughness, and then also was good on the defensive end both blocking shots and guarding the ball.
, SG, DC Blue Devils – Fultz has had a tremendous few months on the court and was very solid again this weekend. He showed his athleticism and passing ability along with his solid ability to get into the mid-range and convert. It wasn’t his best showing this weekend, but he still showed what has so many excited about his progression.
, PF/C, Team Breakdown – It was a slow start to the event for Huell, but he more than picked things up as the weekend went on. He is a legit 6-foot-10, is a good athlete, has good hands, and is finishing better and better. Add in that he is a big time rebounder, and Huell was clearly one of the best bigs at the entire event.
Class of 2017
, PG/SG, We R 1 – Duval was excellent all weekend. He is one of the most competitive players in the country, and proved it with his play leading his team during key times. Also a good athlete who can score from all three levels, Duval is very difficult to deal with for defenses, and has a ton of natural ability.
, SF, Indy Hoosiers – There is a ton to like about this kid. He is getting more athletic, as evidenced by the fact that he is now dunking in traffic, and remains skilled while growing to around 6-foot-7. Wilkes is a good passer and gets others involved, but at the same time he is beginning to know when he has to step up and make plays on his own to help his team win.
Rayshaun Hammonds, SF/PF, Atlanta Xpress – There aren’t many better players at his position in the country. Hammonds is athletic, has very long arms, and is a tremendous rebounder. He was the man all weekend long for the Xpress and created tons of second shots while converting at a high level in the mid-range. Look for Hammonds to continue to see his stock soar as more and more coaches are getting a chance to see him.
, SG, Atlanta Xpress – While Hammonds might have been the most consistent producer on the Xpress, Walker wasn’t far behind showing his impressive physical ability combined with nice athleticism. Walker is just a tough kid who loves to attack the rim and can make plays and really get buckets. He was doing it all weekend long, and continued to make himself a priority recruit for high-majors.
Mitch Ballock, SG, KC Run GMC – Ballock is the go to player for Run GMC despite being a year younger than his teammates, but he more than proved his worth over the weekend. He is a good athlete who can finish at the rim, and then also is a good shooter from deep. What he might do best though is create off the dribble and make impressive passes to teammates. He has to continue to tighten up all aspects of his game, but it was a good showing in which he more than proved he belonged at the 17 and under level.
, PF, MWA Elite – Preston wasn’t getting top billing for MWA coming into the event, but coming out of it he should have that honor. He was absolutely tremendous going against Josh Jackson, and then also continued that play as the weekend progresses. Preston is getting more athletic and playing with a higher motor. Things continue to go in the right direction with Preston.
, SG, Louisiana Elite – This is a kid who is absolutely going to blow up as the spring goes along. He is an excellent athlete who is more than capable of finishing well above the rim, and then also has the ability to get others involved when creating off the dribble. Anderson plays on a loaded high school team, and also is leading his very talented AAU team. Expect him to be someone who sees offers pour in as the summer goes along.
, SF, Louisiana Elite – There aren’t many better athletes than Alexander. He has long arms, is very athletic, rebounds well for a wing, and also just makes everything happen with his motor. Alexander has been a bit under the radar, but that is really about to change. His play was impressive, and at times he looked like the best prospect on his team.