First July Eval Period: Breakout Performers

Scout.com's basketball recruiting team covered seven events over the course of the first July evaluation period. During the time on the road, a host of players improved their stock and raised their level of play. Which players broke out in the eyes of Scout.com's basketball recruiting him?

Trent Forrest | Class of 2016

Forrest doesn’t always stand out in a crowd, but he performed in a highly valuable, consistent fashion at the Peach Jam. He averaged 13 points per game for the triumphant Georgia Stars, shooting 60 percent from the field in eight total games. He notched double figures in all but one of those contests and went for 21 points in a tussle against the loaded Houston Hoops. Forrest also demonstrated his toughness and athleticism, averaging nine rebounds per game in the playoffs — a spectacular number for a guard. His three-point shooting must improve in order for him to excel at the ACC level for Florida State, but in the short-term his slashing, defense and toughness should earn him early playing time for Leonard Hamilton’s squad.


Dylan Painter | Class of 2016

Painter emerged from support status into a more prominent role for Team Final, increasing both his absolute numbers and efficiency at the Peach Jam. The 6-10 big man is sinewy and highly mobile changing ends of the court, easily able to compete in a fullcourt game yet also possessing the frame to pack on muscle for college. He catches the ball securely in traffic and has improved as a finisher, averaging 12 points per contest on 69 percent from the floor last week. He needs to improve his rebounding but shows promise in that regard as well, and he’s a solid passer. His suitors include Penn State, DePaul, Iowa, Xavier, St. Joe’s and others.


Trent Frazier | Class of 2017

Despite having a strong sophomore season in the state of Florida, Trent Frazier was almost entirely under the radar coming into July. He plays on Wellington Wolves, and mostly mid-major coaches were watching him, but that should change in a big way as the month goes on. Frazier is an elite athlete, has good ball skills, and is a good shooter, especially in the mid-range. With his all-around ability and elite athleticism, his recruitment should take off before the end of the month. Right now his offers are from Stephen F. Austin, North Florida, and Middle Tennessee State.


Kevin Marfo | Class of 2016

There is nothing flashy about the game of Kevin Marfo, but he is so solid and effective that more and more high-major schools are going to begin to pay attention to him. At nearly 6-foot-8 with good hands, a nice touch, and a good understanding of rebounding, Marfo is a very productive player who just knows how to compete. Rhode Island, Boston College, St. Joseph’s, Providence, Xavier, Georgia Tech, St. John’s, and a host of others are involved in Marfo’s recruitment.


Bruno Fernando | Class of 2016

Bruno Fernando, a native of Angolo, Africa, missed the first couple of days of Nike Peach Jam due to summer school obligations. But once the 6-foot-10 big man showed up, he had his coming out party for E1T1 against Team CP3 in the first round of the playoffs. He played physical, tough and stayed active in the paint. He flashed good hands, made a mid-range jump shot and rebounded both in and out of his area. With his pure size and tools on both ends of the floor, college coaches were buzzing about the available post player and they’ll surely be tracking him through the July evaluation periods and at Montverde next season.


Nikolas Weatherspoon | Class of 2017

Heading into the adidas Gauntlet Finale, Nikolas Weatherspoon was unknown. But he certainly left it as a name college coaches will continue to track. A 6-foot-2 combination guard, Weatherspoon showed tremendous athleticism, as he made play after play in transition. He spent majority of the time on the ball for MBA Hoops and showed good vision and passing, but he also proved himself as a scorer in the half court. Weatherspooon is the brother of Mississippi State’s freshmen-to-be Quinndary Weatherspoon.


Elijah Thomas | Class of 2016

Thomas showed up to July with two low offers but proved he's worthy of much more attention than that. At 6-foot-5 with long arms, broad shoulders and above average athleticism, Thomas has the physical attributes you're looking for in a small forward but he can also play. He can hit midrange pull-ups and catch and shoot threes, is a very unselfish player and good passer and has a big time feel as a rebounder. Cal State Fullerton and Grand Canyon are his only offers.


Alec Hickman | Class of 2016

It didn't take long into the July Evaluation Period for Hickman to prove himself as one of the west's most versatile guards in 2017 despite not holding any scholarship offers. Hickman is 6-foot-4 and can handle, score and pass, giving him the ability to play on and off the ball. He's best as a shooter from midrange but also hit several threes off the catch. He has a high basketball IQ, sees the court well and guards multiple positions. Gonzaga, Rice, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Vanderbilt, Washington State and Wichita State are showing interest.

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

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