Playing in the open division at the Under Armour Finals, Malik Williams was one of the most impressive and dominant players in the entire event. The 6-foot-11 Williams put the entire skill set on display, and coaches from all around were buzzing with the potential he showed.
The questions with Williams have never revolved around his talent. He has plenty of that to spare. He has the requisite size at 6-foot-11, he has a long wingspan, he can really shoot the ball from deep, and also he has the ability to attack off the bounce. Instead the questions revolved around how hard would he play, and would he bring the requisite toughness needed.
Well, all week long more than answered those questions. He was routinely scoring over 20 points and grabbing over 10 rebounds per game while also blocking a few shots. When Williams plays with his motor running like he did in Georgia, it is scary to think how good he can become.
One of the most versatile players in the nation, Naji Marshall was tremendous all week long for DC Premier in Georgia. Marshall isn’t an elite scorer, but he is capable of putting the ball in the basket, and then he does everything else at an extremely high level.
Marshall showed the ability to really get to the rim, and then he made several nice decisions passing the basketball as well. At a legit 6-foot-5, he can play the point forward role, or be someone who makes plays off the bounce. With his unique skillset he is able to play in a multitude of ways, and even could be a small ball power forward if needed because of his ability to really rebound the basketball.
Though his team had a disappointing finish to the event, Marshall was still extremely impressive, and showed why so many schools are making him a priority as we head to the end of the month of July.
Class of 2019 prospect Scottie Lewis showed a ton of long term potential during the spring, and so far in the summer he has taken his game to an entirely new level. Lewis is a big time athlete with extremely long arms, and a high motor. Now his skill is looking more refined.
Playing with Team Rio, Lewis shares the big stage with teammate Bryan Antoine, and both were tremendous all week long at the Under Armour Finals. Lewis especially had the coaches buzzing with his play.
Lewis is able to get to the rim as well as about any prospect in the country, and also he rebounds very well for a wing. Add in the elite athleticism, and the fact that his perimeter jumper has come a long way in a short period of time, and it is easy to understand why people are so thrilled with his progress.
Look for Lewis to continue to improve, and if his dominant showing at the UA Finals was any indication, this will become one of the busiest recruitments in the country.
The Suwanee Sports Academy is always a place where Trent Frazier shines. The diminutive combo guard just always seems to put on a show there, and for the second year in a row it was Frazier who stole the show at the Best of the South event.
Playing with Florida Elite, Frazier proved to be one of the most explosive guards in the country. He is absolutely tremendous off of ball screens, and also is a very good outside shooter.
While his first instinct is to score, Frazier showed that he does have very good floor vision, and is more than capable of making others better. Still his ability to get to the rim and use his dynamic quickness off of ball screens makes him one of the most intriguing players in the class.
Courtney Ramey, a 6-foot-3 wiry guard out of Webster Groves (Mo.) High, was one of the most productive players at the NY2LA Summer Jam this week.
The 2018 prospect played an effective brand of basketball and showed a balanced game. He did a good job of facilitating and creating shots for teammates, while also mixing in scoring, including one game of five three-pointers.
Ramey has impressive vision and always has his head up looking to find teammates. He’s quick, plays at different speeds and is tough for the opposition to speed up. He’s already in Scout’s 2018 player rankings, but he made a strong case to move up the list.
July of 2015 was when 2018 recruit Nick Weatherspoon began building his reputation as a high-major guard. Ever since then Weatherspoon hasn’t let off the pedal.
At the Summer Jam this past week, Weatherspoon was nothing short of spectacular during a match up with Howard Pulley, nailing five three-pointers and scoring at will. Weatherspoon has a tremendous burst of speed and quickness. He’s a very good shooter on the move and off the bounce, as he does a great job of creating space for shot opportunities. But he’s not just a scorer, Weatherspoon is a good passer and has quite a bit of potential as a perimeter defender.
Technically T.J. Starks could be classified as a breakout or top performer, considering the viewings of him have been so limited. But we gave him the nod here because of his strong play at the Great American Shootout.
Starks, a 6-foot-1 combo, led Urban DFW Elite to the title and showed he could impact the game on both ends in doing so. Starks is tough and aggressive. His first step is ridiculous fast and he consistently gets into the paint. Once there he’s comfortable pulling up for mid-range jump shots, will often times attempt to get all the way to the rim or kick to an open teammate. Starks speed, toughness and strength help him on the defensive end, and he’s tracking as a potentially elite on the ball defender at the next level.
Recruiting: Verbal commit to Texas A&M Aggies
It's been an impressive string of months in Branden Carlson's development and while Scout has listed him as a four-star prospect, he's more than secured that spot at this point.
He's at least 6-foot-10, extremely mobile, plays hard and impacts the game on both ends due to his size, length and hustle. While Carlson's skill set was still developing in the spring, he's made strides there as his footwork, shooting and finishing ability have gotten better.
While Carlson still needs to get stronger, his game should only go to the next level when that happens. He's easily one of the West Coast's top center prospects in 2017.
Throughout his sophomore season, David Singleton proved his status as one of the West Coast's top scorers. This spring and summer have been no different and the consistency in which Singleton gets his points is extremely impressive.
Singleton can shoot it from three and midrange, has a floater, finishes at the basket, has good ball skills and vision. He plays hard on both ends every time out, which helps his production.
He projects as a guy who will be able to score consistently at the high major level.