NBPA Top 100: Storylines

After spending four days in Charlottesville, Va., on Virginia's campus for the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Scout's team of basketball recruiting experts broke down the biggest storylines to come out of the prestigious camp.

Jackson moves to elite category

When we updated our 2016 top 100 a few weeks ago, Frank Jackson was a big topic of conversation. In the end, we moved Jackson, a 6-foot-3 combination guard, up to No. 11 overall and rated him as a five-star recruit.

At NBPA Top 100 Camp this past week, Jackson, who is considering BYU, Utah, Duke, Maryland, Arizona, Stanford and UCLA, solidified that ranking and even made a case that he may need to be ranked higher.

Jackson was aggressive off the dribble and consistently drove the ball against defenders. At his size, Jackson is quick and strong, which allows him to take bumps when he attacks. He’s also a promising athlete that’s capable of highlight reel dunks or adjusting finishes at the basket. Jackson’s driving ability is also effective because of his shooting. Jackson is a major threat to make shots from mid-range out to three, both off the catch and off the bounce.

While his mentality at camp was to score, Jackson has all the tools of an elite point guard. He has a strong handle, good vision and is capable of facilitating and making plays for others. With the way the position has transitioned in the NBA, it’s easy to see how Jackson fits the mold of the new generation lead guard.

With his performance at NBPA Top 100 Camp and play throughout the spring, Jackson has put his name in the conversation for best guard in the 2016 class. Currently there are two points guards and two shooting guards ranked ahead of him, but if his play and development continues at a similar rate, there’s room to move further up the list.

--Evan Daniels

Adebayo improves stock

One of the most important evaluations for the Scout team heading into the NBPA Top 100 Camp was 2016 center Edrice Adebayo.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound post from Pinetown (N.C.) Northside entered the camp ranked as Scout's 25th prospect nationally in 2016 as well as 3rd rated center, but word was he's made a jump forward in his development so Charlottesville was a good opportunity to get another look at the five-star.

Adebayo certainly surpassed expectations and proved himself as one of the elite prospects in the 2016 class.

It starts with his frame. Adebayo has good size at 6-foot-9 with broad shoulders and long arms. He's a plus-athlete with a very good motor. He has more than serviceable hands and feet and plays focused basketball on both sides of the court.

Adebayo is a very good rim protector and rebounder on defense and on offense not only does he finish very well around the basket but he's also a good passer, which makes him doubling him a problem.

Given Adebayo's physical tools, he has a very high floor and there's every reason to think he's going to be a very valuable player for his future college.

The main schools involved with Adebayo are presumed favorite NC State along with North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland, Wake Forest and Louisville.

--Josh Gershon

Maker’s Mark

One of the week’s big stories was Thon Maker’s announcement that he’d play the entire 2015-16 high school season. Maker previously had expected to spend only half the year in the prep ranks, then join a college squad in time for the second semester.

But he now appears to be a full-on Class of 2016 prospect, which naturally means we’ll need to rank him. And based on his play in Charlottesville, he undoubtedly warrants consideration for a very high spot within the class.

Although it’s difficult to imagine Maker cracking the Big Three — Harry Giles, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum comprise that trio, and none attended camp — he’ll certainly challenge for a comfy position inside the top 10.

Maker’s body of work at NBPA enabled him to finish No. 2 in scoring average, No. 1 in rebounding, No. 5 in blocks and No. 1 in free throw attempts.

Let’s take a moment to examine the significance of that final stat. When Maker has performed in subpar fashion, which he definitely has done at times over the past year, it’s typically because he regards himself as a stretch four. And he clearly is not a perimeter player, no matter how well he may dribble in isolation or hit the occasional open three.

The Sudan (via Australia) native largely avoided that pitfall at NBPA. He has become stronger in his upper body and utilized that improved muscle to spend more time delivering hooks, dunks, blocks and offensive rebounds. Yes, he still tried some jump shots, but by and large he played like a true post with some expanded range, rather than a pseudo wing.

If he maintains that inside-out focus from this point forward, his stock should rise in the eyes of the NBA folks who to this point have mostly been lukewarm about his progress. At the minimum, it was great to see him perform so well for an extended stretch.

— Rob Harrington

Duval loudly states his case

By nature Trevon Duval is a soft spoken kid. He isn't one to say too much on or off the court. Quite simply he lets his play do the talking, and during the NBPA Top 100 Camp his play not only spoke, it spoke loudly, and authoritatively.

While the definition of "point guard" is constantly changing and evolving with the way basketball is run these days, Duval made it clear that he is the top true point guard in the class of 2017. Players such as Troy Brown and even Jalek Felton will be listed as point guards by some, but each is more of a combo guard. There is no doubt that Duval is a point guard, and there is no doubt he plays the position at an elite level.

Duval is a capable scorer, in fact he can nearly score at will when he wants, but it is his ability to create for others and put pressure on a defense that is so unique. Duval showed the ability to totally control the game from the lead guard spot with his propensity of getting into the lane and always making the right decision once he got there.

There was absolutely no player close to Duval at the camp in terms of his ability to make decisions as well as score. With such a dominant performance it was made clear that Duval is as good as it gets, and that he will become one of the most heavily sought after players in the class of 2017.

Other Storylines from the event

  • Villanova commit Omari Spellman played with a chip on his shoulder. A 6-foot-8 post player, Spellman was physical with his counterparts and made strong, crisp moves when he received post entries. He favors a jump hook, which he has a high success rate with, but also bullied defender to the rim and showed off his face up jump shot. Spellman finished 7th in camp in scoring with 15 points a game through eight games.

  • Fresh off an outstanding performance at the Nike Elite 100, Billy Preston had a very good performance at NBPA Top 100 Camp. Preston, a junior, finished 3rd in total points and 5th in scoring average with 15.4 points through eight games. Preston’s versatile scoring attack was on full display. He’s active, mobile, athletic and equipped to score both facing the rim and with his back to it. It’s been a productive spring for the 2017 five-star prospect.

  • It’s safe to say that D.J. Harvey, a junior at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic is one of the top perimeter scorers in the country. Harvey finished 8th in overall points at camp, as he scored 109 in nine games. Harvey’s mid-range pull-up is consistent and he’s becoming a better and better shooter from the three-point arc. Against an older group of guys, Harvey didn’t waver and showed off an impressive all around scoring package.

    Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon & Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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