USA U16: Sunday Top Performers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- With the USA Basketball trials down to 17 players and only 12 making the team, Sunday was competitive and majority of the prospects in attendance left it all on the floor. Who stood out on the fourth day of camp?

Scout colleague Josh Gershon raved about Jordan Brown in his Saturday notebook feature, so it wasn’t a surprise that the 6-foot-9, 180-pound post player was one of the top performers during Sunday nights competitive practice session. Although he’s quite thin and lacks the strength to play overly physical, Brown has impressive offensive tools and he flashed them both during the drills and in the competitive scrimmage. He has a good set of hands and deft touch around the basket. His scoring package is versatile, as he made moves over each shoulder on the block and also showed off good shot mechanics and the ability to make mid-range jumpers. On top of his offense, he has a lot of potential as a shot blocker because of his length and ability to get off the ground.

Recruiting: California, Nevada and Stanford

Right there alongside Brown as one of the top performers of the second session on Sunday was versatile forward Kevin Knox. At 6-foot-7, Knox is athletic, mobile, long and skilled. Knox, who is also a standout on the football field, was a live body during the scrimmage and seemed to make play after play. He rebounded the ball well, took defensive boards and started the break and even made a pair of mid-range pull-ups in the half court set. Heading into the U16 trials, Knox didn’t have much of a reputation nationally, but that will soon change as he’s a legitimate high-major prospect oozing with upside.

Recruiting: Memphis, Xavier, Florida, State, Miami, USF, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Georgia

There’s been quite a bit of buzz coming out of the USA Basketball U16 trials this week about Markus Howard and he backed it up on Sunday. His shot was a bit streaky today, but he certainly had his moments and made multiple three-pointers during the scrimmage. Where he impressed the most was with his effort level and execution on the defensive end. He did a very good job defending opposing point guards, as he moved his feet well laterally, fought through screens and played with a high-level of toughness. Howard’s speed was also a factor today. Defenders struggled to keep him in front and out of the paint. Once in that area, he has good vision, but also a floater and runner that he’s clearly spent time working on.

Recruiting: Arizona State, Indiana, Memphis, Northern Arizona, Texas Tech and UNLV

The effort level and intensity from Jalen Hill was impressive on Sunday. Hill, a 6-foot-9 post prospect out of Corona (Calif.) Centennial, took a junk yard dog type approach to the day and played as hard, if not harder, than any of the participants. Hill was active and was a noticeable force on the backboard. He contested shots, fought inside, played as physical as he could and put back misses. A good athlete, Hill also showed his mobility and willingness to run the floor as well.

Recruiting: Arizona, California, UCLA among many others

There is plenty to like about 2018 guard prospect JaVonte Smart, but perhaps what stands out the most is the variety of ways you can use him on the basketball court. The 6-foot-3 slender guard can be utilized on the ball, as he’s a good passer with a good feel for the game. But the southpaw, although sometimes is a streaky shooter, is certainly capable of making shots and he’s also able to slice his way to the basket for finishes or floaters. Smart turned up his play once the scrimmage started, making a three, a mid-range pull-up and also dropping a sweet pick and roll assist.

Recruiting: Baylor, Wake Forest, UMass among others

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