Which three prospects will be under the microscope in the spring?

Three prospects will have to step up in the spring to maintain their current ranking and will definitely find themselves under the microscope.

As always when rankings get updated there a few kids who are polarizing. Kids where the talent and potential are obvious, but at times the production can be inconsistent. In situations like that the further into a kid’s development track production gets more and more weight as opposed to potential.

Three kids in the class of 2017 will have a close eye on as the high school season transitions to AAU are Billy Preston, D.J. Harvey, and Jaren Jackson.

Probably the most discussed player in the entire class this rankings update was Preston. The California native who is now in Dallas at API is one of the most naturally gifted players in the class. He has great size at 6-foot-8, very good athleticism, a strong frame, and a solid skill set to the three point line.

Preston is probably at his best as a power forward, but he has enough versatility to also play on the wing because he can dribble, pass, and shoot.

With that said, Preston has been incredibly inconsistent all year long. His production hasn’t been nearly what his talent level suggests it should be. Combine that with the fact that Preston is significantly older than most prospects for his grade, and there are questions about if he will ever put it together.

All that information is being taken into account with Preston. While he stayed in the top 15 this time around, this spring will be extremely important to determining what kind of prospect he projects to be.

Another player who will be under the microscope is Harvey. It has been a weird high school year for Harvey in that during multiple viewings he has been largely ineffective. Playing at DeMatha Catholic, Harvey has taken the backseat to five-star 2016 point guard Markelle Fultz, and his game seems to have suffered.

Now the question becomes how will Harvey react in the summer. Was this high school season just a blip on the radar, or is it a precursor of things to come. Harvey has a ton of talent on the wing, and has proven it in the past, but coming off of a subpar season, the need to produce is definitely there in order to maintain his stop in the top 20 and five-star range.

Finally there is Jackson. A 6-foot-9 power forward with a 7-foot-2 wing span and a nice shooting stroke, Jackson has all the tools to play at the highest level of basketball if he puts it all together.

With that in mind, his season has been marked by foul trouble and ineffective play at times. Now to be fair to Jackson, he and his teammates have had to deal with major distractions since December due to the resignation and subsequent scandal involving his high school coach, but still there are questions for him to answer about his play.

At times Jackson seems to not compete on the glass and doesn’t look for his shot enough. Also on defense he tries to block every shot and gets himself in major foul trouble instead of playing quality defense.

Jackson has always been a work in progress, but at some point he needs to take that next step. Given his physical tools time is most definitely still on his side, but it would be nice to see some of that potential turn into production. If that happens a spot in the top 50, and potentially top 30, is definitely in the cards, but if not he looks like a kid who will fall out of the top 75.


Scout Hoops Top Stories