Montverde (Fla.) Academy wing R.J. Barrett won the Basketball Without Borders camp MVP. At 6-foot-6, Barrett has good size for a perimeter player, plus has a lengthy set of arms, a 35-inch max vertical and is gifted all-around scorer. The consensus among NBA executives that we spoke to was that Barrett was not only the best player, but also far and away the best prospect at the event. Barrett was aggressive on the offensive end and did a great job of finishing at the basket. He adjusts his shot well at the basket and was particularly impressive from mid-range, where he hit multiple pull-ups and runners.
While Barrett was the best prospect at the event, I’m not sure anyone was more productive than Luguentz Dort. A native of Canada, Dort showed his versatility, playing on and off the ball. Dort has a strong, chiseled frame and is a powerful driver. Opposing defenders struggled to keep him out of the paint and he ripped through contact for tough finishes at the basket. Dort also worked in catch and shoot jump shoots, picked up full court on defense and competed at a high-level. Although Dort is already regarded as the No. 70 overall player in 2018, this was somewhat of a breakout performance.
2018 wing Emmanuel Akot had some bright moments at Basketball Without Borders. A 6-foot-6 forward, Akot is strong, tough and a talented athlete. Akot is effective in transition and a very good finisher once he gets to the basket. To go with aggressive moves to the rim, Akot also mixed in catch and shoot jump shots. Akot has potential on the defensive end, as he has good instincts, can defend multiple spots and moves his feet well.
Karim Coulibaly, one of the many prospects at BWB that also played in the FIBA u17 World Championships this past summer, had a strong showing at camp. Coulibaly is a left-handed face up four-man. His scoring package is fairly versatile, although he’s at best when he’s focused on scoring close to the rim. He has a hook over his right shoulder and a nice scoring touch around the basket. Now he is capable of stepping out and making jump shots from mid-range and three, but he did have a tendency to fade out to the perimeter a tad too much. Regardless, Coulibaly was one of the best power forward prospects at camp.
2017 recruit Ignas Brazdeikis showed some ability at Basketball Without Borders. A versatile combo forward, Brazdeikis showed he could score points in a variety of ways. The southpaw was very aggressive, almost too much so at times, as he looked to attack the basket from the perimeter and hunted long-range shots He did a good job of finishing at the rim and he’s certainly at his best when he’s looking to get there. Brazdeikis is a physical player and he certainly plays hard.
2017 prospect Jacob Epperson emerged playing with AUSA Hoops, an Australian travel team program, during this past July evaluation periods. Since, Epperson has moved to La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere and the moves appears to have been beneficial. Epperson played with a different level of confidence than we’ve seen in the past. On offense, Epperson was aggressive when he had opportunities. He connected on jump hooks and hit a number of short and mid-range shots. Epperson also was an active presence on the glass and looked to protect the rim. Epperson is still in need of weight/strength, but his game appears to be coming together.
2017 forward Sandro Mamukelashvili had the strongest performance I've seen from him since arriving in the United States over the summer. The native of Georgia was active and aggressive on both ends of the floor. At 6-foot-9, Mamukelashvili has the ability to step out and on the floor and make plays, but this was the most active I've seen him around the basket. He went to the glass, ran the floor and in general just played hard. Mamukelashvili, a southpaw, is equipped with good hands and touch and is capable of making a jump shots from mid-range out to three.
Sergi Martinez, of FC Barcelona, was one of the most effective, efficient and productive wing prospects at BWB. The 6-foot-6 wing from Spain picked his spots and was as good of a pure scorer that was at the camp. Martinez made a number of off the catch jump shots from long-range and his ability to make shot opened up driving lanes. A solid athlete with good strength, Martinez finished well at the rim and also made plays in transition.
Recruiting: Not expected to go to college
One of the top pure prospects at the camp was German forward Isaac Bonga. At 6-foot-8, Bonga has a unique skill set and game that allows him to play a number of spots on the court. Bonga played some with the ball in his hands and certainly handles it well for a player his size. He also proved to be a good passer with impressive vision. As a shooter, Bonga shoots a bit of a set shot, but he did make a number of three-pointers off the catch.
Recruiting: Not expected to go to college