Patrick: MoKan Elite PG Trae Young
POSITIVES: Young (above) has range out to nearly half court on his three-point shot, and he’s fearless – give him any space and he’ll shoot it. He can shoot off the dribble, over a defender and in catch-and-shoot situations. He’s a good ball handler, especially in traffic. He dribbled through a defender’s legs and switched hands before pulling up to take a short jumper in a game against Team CP3. Young sees the floor well, which makes him an adept passer. He gets open without the ball in his hands, setting himself up for good shots.
NEGATIVES: Shooting when given any space is also a weakness. Young gets too trigger-happy and forces shots. He shot a three from beyond NBA range with 10 seconds left. That’s a poor shot 100 percent of the time. After a couple early makes, Young went cold for the rest of the first half against CP3 and began forcing shots. He was trying to shoot himself out of a slump. He took smarter shots in the second half of that game. Young can get to the rim and he draws contact well, but he doesn’t go through a lot of contact and finish plays. At 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, he’s a little light, but since he’s just finishing his sophomore season, he might not be done growing yet and has time to add weight.
PATRICK’S TAKE: Young is a dominant scorer already. He’s averaging 20.1 points in 12 games this AAU season, and he topped 22 points in every game in Houston. He’s a bit of a volume scorer though: he takes 9.7 three-pointers per game (compared to just five two-pointers per game), but is shooting 37 percent on them. He gets to the line nearly six times per game and shoots 81 percent on free throws, which boosts his offensive efficiency. With an improved shot selection and a little more physical maturity, Young can become an even better scorer. He projects best as a point guard at the college level.
Patrick: Albany City Rocks G Quinton Rose
POSITIVES: Rose is a long 6-foot-5 guard who can play both guard spots and a little at the three. His length makes him a tough man-to-man and perimeter defensive matchup at either guard spot. He uses his long arms mixed with good lateral movement to get into passing lanes and disrupt passes. Offensively, he is a strong dribbler with both hands who can create his own shot off the dribble. His length helps him shoot over defenders too. He plays with a pop in his step and elevates well when going for a rebound or block. Rose will also take it to the rim and go through a little contact.
NEGATIVES: Rose can create his own shot, but his shot itself needs work. He displayed inconsistent touch in a May 9 game against E1T1 at the Houston EBYL, missing shots by too much, then too little, then to the left and right. He also forced a few low-percentage shots. The other big issue with Rose is weight. He’s only 170 pounds, and even that seems a tad high. Rose plays tough 1-on-1 defense, but he gets swallowed up on screens from bigger players because he’s a little small to fight through them.
PATRICK’S TAKE: Rose needs to develop a consistent jump shot before he can become a full-time scorer. He’ll also need to gain more weight, but that’s needed for offense and defensive improvement. But the moves, smarts and approach are there for Rose, so it won’t be surprising to see him turn into a dependable and fairly high-scoring guy if he improves in those areas. The length will allow Rose to be position-versatile in college, but if he came to SMU he might be playing a lot of point guard. Larry Brown loves longer, tougher point guards, and Rose certainly fits that bill.
Billy: Houston Hoops F Jarred Vanderbilt
POSITIVES: His incredible athleticism is one of the many reasons why Vanderbilt is a top-10 player in 2017 and Scout's No. 1 power forward. His ability to hit the glass hard on both ends of the floor and the length to guard were highlighted in the couple times I watched Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt runs the floor well, which helps him contribute more than most in transition and making the first pass to start the break. When his three-point shot really develops, he'll be able to add that option for his teammates on the run as well.
NEGATIVES: While it's not a necessity, Vanderbilt is working to improve his game from beyond the arc. Sometimes when he would step out to defend, Vanderbilt would over-extend and get caught and have to rely on major help from his team. His ability to break down and defend on the perimeter will need to improve so he can play better "team basketball." I did feel like Vanderbilt settled at times for shots from the elbow, but when you're trying to improve your range, sometimes you have to take those shots. In the post, Vanderbilt has incredible quickness to attack the rim, but has to demand the ball more on the offensive end of the floor.
BILLY’S TAKE: An incredible athlete with the potential to truly be a special forward at the next level. With Vanderbilt’s length and if he adds more weight over the next two years, he will be more of a one-and-done than he's already looking like. Vanderbilt reminds me of Myles Turner, but just shorter with his athleticism and ability to play all five positions. SMU is on the trail here, but will have to fend off major blue-bloods to land this stud.