Historically a guy with the ability of Bryce Aiken in the Northeast ends up at a Big East school. But not this time around, Tommy Amaker and Harvard swiped a top 100 lead guard out of a New Jersey. Against Miami (Fla.) Norland on Saturday in the opening round of the City of Palms, Aiken played with poise. A heady point guard, Aiken was vocal, played with great pace, facilitated and scored it from mid-range. Aiken has a very good feel for the game and is a tremendous leader on the court. Aiken finished with 13 points and five assists.
In the fall Duke signee Jayson Tatum made a slight adjustment to his shot, by moving his elbow down to increase the arc on his shot. That change, plus Tatum’s pure work ethic, has him shooting the ball from deep the best he has in his high school career. In the first half against Bartow, Tatum pumped in five of eight three-point attempts, including two side pushout moves (a move he swiped from Houston Rocket James Harden, from three. Tatum mixed in a handful of finishes at the rim and transition on his way to 30 points and w in. Tatum has an advanced skill package and understanding of how to play and is sure to be an impactful player at Duke in likely just one year of action.
North Carolina signee Tony Bradley had a strong showing on the second day of the City of Palms Classic. Although his team didn’t get the win, he scored 33 points on 14-for-20 shooting and also added 13 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Bradley, a 6-foot-9 post player, is equipped with good hands and deft touch around the basket. All of his fields goals came in the paint and he proved to be a particularly good scorer with is right hand around the basket. Bradley also finished off three plays were he scored and got the foul.
Kentucky signee Edrice "Bam" Adebayo played his normal tough, aggressive and physical brand of basketball on Sunday. The 6-foot-9 post player proved to be a better ball handler than realized, as he attacked from the high post and baseline multiple times, which ended in powerful slams. Although he only recorded one rebound in the first half, Adebayo picked up in the second and finished with nine boards. Adebayo has a strong, powerful frame and he knows how to use it in the paint. He’s also a good leaper that and rim runner. Adebayo finisehd an efficient 11-for-15 from the field.
Shooters with good size are a hot commodity and A.J. Caldwell, of Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview, certainly fits that billing. At 6-foot-4, Caldwell has impressive shot mechanics, footwork and preparation. He’s capable of shooting the ball on the move and has deep range on his shot. He connected on five of his 12 attempts against Wellington (Fla.) High and finished with 23 points in a win.
Since Andrew Wiggins left high school, those in the know in Canada have been hyping R.J. Barrett as the next guy in line. While he’s just a freshman, and there's certainly a long ways to go before anyone should be compared to Wiggins, upon first glance the buzz surrounding Barrett appears legitimate. Barrett, a wing prospect who moved from Canada to Montverde (Fla.) Academy, has good size for a perimeter player, as he stands 6-foot-6 and has a long set of arms. Barrett, a lefty, is a good athlete that is quick off his feet. He made multiple plays in transition and at the rim against Spain Park (Ala.) on his way to a team high 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting.