Arguably the most dynamic guard and playmaker at the USA Basketball u16 trials was Minnesota native Jalen Suggs. At 6-foot-3, Suggs is an explosive athlete that could excel at the point guard or shooting guard spot. Suggs has a quick first step, a high skill level that allows him to break down defenders with ease, as well a jump shot that is equally effective from mid-range and there. To go with all of that, Suggs is a terrific finisher at the basket and a very good passer with impressive vision. Suggs made his case for No. 1 player in 2020 and he was heard loud and clear.
Right on his Suggs’ heels as the top perimeter performer at the event was 6-foot-4 combination guard R.J. Hampton. There was plenty of buzz surrounding Hampton after his big spring on the AAU circuit, but he showed up at camp determined and showed a versatile game and scoring attack. Hampton has the ability to play either guard spot and is effective in both roles. Hampton is a very good shooter from long-range and he’s capable of breaking down defenders for mid-range jump shots and finishes at the rim. Despite being such a good scorer, Hampton is probably at best when he has the ball in his hands, as he has a very impressive blend of scoring and distributing. He’s one of the elite prospects in the 2020 class.
Arguably the best all around scorer at the event was 6-foot-5 guard Jalen Green. A native of California, Green was aggressive off the dribble, made shots from all three levels and shot it well from long distance throughout the camp. In scrimmage play, Green led the event in scoring and was efficient with his scoring attack. Green, who has grown to 6-foot-5 since last October, competed on both ends and showed an extra burst of speed and athleticism in transition.
Of the post players at the trials, none stood out more than James Wiseman, who was measured at 7-feet tall with a 7-4 wingspan. Wiseman appears to be blossoming right before our eyes. Wiseman has been solid in the EYBL this spring, but at the u16 trials, he was downright dominant at times and appears to be developing into his immense potential. Wiseman runs rim to rim every change of possession, has very good touch around the basket and has a comfort shooting mid-range jump shots. His length, timing and athleticism impacted the game as well, as he consistently got hands on shots and rebounded in and out of his area. Already a top 10 prospect, Wiseman is making a case to move up to or near the pole position in 2019.
A week ago at the Under Armour Association event in Los Angeles, Isaiah Todd was among the standouts. Similarly, he showed up in Colorado Springs at the u16 trials and was among the best prospects there. At 6-foot-9, Todd is a power forward prospect that likes to face the rim and has very impressive touch from the mid-range area. Todd has very good foot work for his age and he's confident in his ability. Todd is also a good athlete that is mobile and runs the floor. Because of his touch and impressive scoring ability, I'd like to see Todd spend a little more time in the post, as he can be very effective there. Overall, he's in the conversation for the top prospect in the 2020 class.
2020 guard Nico Mannion, who runs with Earl Watson Elite on the Under Armour circuit, played the best I've seen him at the u16 trials. In scrimmages, Mannion made more three-pointers and tossed out more assists than any player at the event. Mannion, a 6-foot-1 point guard, showed improved feel, made good decisions with the basketball when he got into the paint and was effective when he was put in pick and roll situations. But how Mannion stood out the most was with his ability to shoot from long-range. Mannion took good shots, showed good range and played with confidence.
One of the toughest players at the event was De'Vion Harmon, a 6-foot guard that was measured with a 6-6 wingspan. Harmon is quick laterally and because of that mixed with his length, strength and his motor he impacts the game on the defensive end. To go with his defense, Harmon impressed with his versatility and his ability to make shots on the offensive end. Harmon can play and defend either guard spots with success. He's also gaining confidence in his jump shot. The southpaw made seven of his 10 three-point attempts in five scrimmages before the first cut.
2019 wing Wendell Moore played a tough, physical brand of basketball throughout the u16 trials. Moore is a gifted athlete with impressive physical gifts that allows him to defend either perimeter spot, plus the power forward position, at least at this level. Moore, who was measured at just under 6-foot-5 in shoes and with a 6-11 wingspan, used his athleticism in transition, was aggressive with the ball and looked to attack the rim. Not known for his shooting, Moore also made shots from the mid-range area and was extremely efficient on the offensive end. Moore backed up his No. 32 overall ranking in the 2019 class and showed winning intangibles throughout the event.
The youngest player at the event was also among the best. Zion Harmon, who helped lead Bowling Green (Ky.) High to a state championship last year, impressed with his feel, basketball IQ and ability to run a team. Harmon is quick and exudes toughness the point guard position. His head is always up and he constantly pushed the ball ahead in transition for easy baskets. Harmon also showed he could make jump shots off the catch and was effective as an on the ball defender. Just a 2021 prospect, Harmon was very impressive and could very well be a big part of this u16 team.
- A number of players ramped up their play and showed more and more confidence throughout the event. David Johnson, a 6-foot-5 wing, was among those that got better over the course of the three days. Johnson became more aggressive as the event wore on and he proved that he can make shots from long distance. Unfortunately for Justin Lewis he missed most of the first workout, so that put him a little behind. But each and every session, Lewis seemed to get better. At 6-foot-7, Lewis is a strong frame, good hands, nice touch close to the rim and a developing past game. He's certainly one that high majors will want to track. The third player that fits this billing is 2020 power forward Greg Brown. At 6-foot-7, Brown is a tremendous athlete that plays with an impressive motor.
- 2020 guard Jaden Springer Jaden Springer showed off his potential at the u16 trials. A 6-foot-4 guard, Springer is a bouncy athlete and an equipped scorer. Spring was aggressive off the dribble and showed an efficient scoring attack. He constantly made shots from mid-range and also showed he's a very good finisher at the rim.
- 2019 big man Eric Dixon was effective in the low post throughout the three days of trials. Although undersized at 6-foot-6, Dixon has a wide base and uses his strength and physical play to carve out space inside. The southpaw is also pretty skilled, as he finished well inside with left-handed jump hooks and mid-range jump shots. Dixon also showed impressive passing out of the post.
- 2020 prospect Jabri Abdur-Rahim showed off his skill level throughout the camp. At 6-foot-6, Abdur-Rahim, who is the son Shareef Abdul-Rahim, was especially good from mid-range, where he consistently made shots. He handles the ball fairly well, is a good passer and understands how to play the game.
- Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI guard Jeremy Roach showed progress throughout the event. In fact, as the trials wore on, Roach, a 6-foot-1 lead guard, began to excel. Roach plays at a good pace and is extremely impressive in pick and roll situations. Roach makes good decisions with the ball and to go with his ability to run a team, he's a talented scorer that can make shots from three or finish it at the rim.