Kyle Guy and Matthew Moyer were huge in leading Indiana Elite to the 17-and under title while Jaren Jackson and Kobe Webster did the same thing at the 16-and under level at the Adidas May Classic.
Class of 2016
Kyle Guy was very good all weekend long. He was consistently knocking in the jumper and then also made some plays for others as a point guard. Guy has had a very strong spring, and continued it with his play at the Adidas May Classic. The key for Guy is continuing to be aggressive when not playing with the ball in his hands all the time, like he does in AAU. Overall it was an excellent showing for Guy, and one that proved he has taken his game to a new level.
Syracuse pledge Matthew Moyer also had a good weekend as Indiana Elite came home with the title. Looking as comfortable as he has looked with his new team, Moyer was assertive, finished inside around the rim with athleticism, and then was also able to hit from deep. Moyer needs to continue to learn to be more efficient with his dribbles, but he has a great blend of athleticism and skill to work with, and continues to show more signs of being able to play on the wing.
The main interior force for Indiana on the week was Koch Bar. Bar blocked a lot of shots, and then also showed a bit of an improvement with his back to the basket. An athletic and long 6-foot-9, Bar is still a definite work in progress, especially on the offensive end. However it is easy to see why mid-majors are offering and more and more high-majors are giving him a serious look.
It was a solid weekend for Damien Jefferson. He suffered a bit of an injury in one game, but before and after that he did his usual stuff. Jefferson played hard with a tremendous motor, and just found ways to make plays. He is around 6-foot-4, but has extremely long arms and big time athleticism. That allows him to play taller than his size, and just makes him produce. His shot is good, and his handle is improving some as well. In an open floor style he can be dynamic, now he just needs to work on being solid every single possession.
It was a nice showing for Adida Ilkongshul. Coming from a very small school somewhat off the radar, Ilkongshul went against some of the top players in the class and had an impressive showing. He is a good athlete with long arms, and then will really compete on the interior despite being somewhat undersized. He has some wing skills, though those are clearly a work in progress. As more schools begin to learn about him, he should see his recruitment clearly pick up.
Class of 2017
As usual Kris Wilkes was extremely impressive with his play. The 6-foot-7 forward with extremely long arms, elite skill, and a solid athleticism proved why he is one of the top wings in his class. He made plays going to the rim, scored from deep, and then also competed on the glass. Wilkes needs to continue to get stronger, but that should come in time. When it does, that should only enhance his athleticism and make him someone who is extremely difficult to defend.
Paul Scruggs did what Paul Scruggs does all weekend long. He played harder than anybody on the court, and proved he is as tough as anyone in the country. While he is playing on the ball as a point guard, and that isn’t natural to him, Scruggs did a ton of good things. He got into the lane at will, he made some nice passes, and the mid-range jumper also looked better. Scruggs is going to make a home as a secondary ball handler in college where he can just be a junkyard dog player, and he showed how good he can be at that this weekend.
Maybe the most rapidly improving kid in the class in the state of Indiana is Jalen Adaway. A high, high level athlete, Adaway makes plays above the rim and is a very solid rebounder for his size. Also he is beginning to show more refinement on the offensive end of the floor. Adaway still needs to improve on his handle and be more consistent with his outside jumper, but he showed some good things this weekend and continues to make strides.
As usual Jaren Jackson showed his enormous potential all weekend long. He is still a bit more of a long term prospect than an immediate producer, but the upside here is huge. Jackson looks to be a legit 6-foot-9 with a greater than 7-foot wingspan, and plays hard when he is on the court. He has to continue to get stronger and more aggressive, but Jackson made shots, showed a great desire to rebound, and also looks improved off the dribble. High-major schools have been offering, and down the road Jackson looks like a tremendous prospect.
In leading his team to the title Kobe Webster was fantastic all weekend. A smallish point guard who doesn’t have elite quickness, Webster has a tremendous understanding of the game and knows how to play. He also is a very good shooter both off the catch and the dribble. Webster made a ton of tough shots. As he gets stronger he will only get better, and is one to watch in the state.
With a loaded class in Illinois in 2017 Cameron Krutwig isn’t getting a ton of national attention right now, but he is someone who can definitely play. He is a legit 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, and could still grow a little bit more. Krutwig has excellent hands and looks to be a very good passer out of the post. His size makes him someone who can overpower defenders on the low block, and then he showed a solid touch all weekend long. This is definitely one to monitor as things go forward.
In leading the Illinois Irish to the title game Romon Douglas-Watkins played very well. He has a bit of unique game that is tough to pin down into a position, but he is a good athlete who really competes inside and is excellent on the glass. Add in that throughout the weekend he showed a good ability to pass the ball and made some key shots, and it is easy to see why coaches are going to be tracking him closely come July.
Class of 2018
Tim Finke played up a grade level at the event and it didn’t slow him down at all. He was a big time shot maker all game long, and even showed some improvement off the dribble. The well schooled Finke projects to grow a little bit more, and with his impressive shooting stroke he will definitely be one to watch in his class.
There is no doubt that Kevin Easley has continued to improve throughout the year. He is a bit of a combo forward right now with a high skill level to 17 feet. With his strong body and solid skills, Easley was a very productive player all weekend long. He was getting to the rim, finishing through contact, and then also made a few nice passes as well.