Cole Anthony (Nike/Jon Lopez)

2nd Live Period Friday Player Evals

VUSports takes a deeper look at the play of some Villanova prospects that played in early games Friday night in the Nike EYBL and Adidas Gauntlet events ...

Nike EYBL (Indy): PSA Cardinals lose to All Ohio Red 67-74

Cole Anthony (18 points (3-7 FG, 3-4 3PFG, 9-10 FT), 2 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 2 Turnovers, 1 Steal)

Solid game from Anthony overall.  He hit a corner three-ball, one from the top and one from the right wing.  He gets square from three-point range and puts a good rotation on the ball.  Anthony is a good ball-handler that plays with a consistent demeanor at a controlled pace.  He doesn’t over-dribble, he gets everyone involved and in a close game he can put pressure on defenses and get to the FT line - where he is a good FT shooter as well.  In  this game, Anthony didn’t get anything to fall from mid-range or close but he was fouled on many of those attempts.  He demonstrated the ability to execute precise post feeds and he uses high ball screens effectively.  On the flip side of this performance, Anthony made both of his turnovers in the closing few minutes of a close game - off a one-handed perimeter pass that didn’t have enough mustard on it and then getting stripped on a take through the lane.  He could also improve in terms of his footwork (and perhaps lateral foot speed) when guarding on the perimeter.  Should Villanova miss out on primary 2018 PG prospects like Jahvon Quinerly, Prentiss Hubb and Elijah Weaver, then Cole Anthony stands out as an outstanding option for the Cats to pursue in the Class of 2019.

Hameir Wright (7 Points (3-4 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 1-3 FT), 3 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Turnover, 1 Steal)

There isn’t any buzz regarding ‘Nova in the recruitment of Wright at this time - but since this was an opportunity to see how his game has improved over the past nine months, he is included here for a quick synopsis.  Wright is a team-oriented player with a good motor and a blend of inside-outside skills.  He played with City Rocks last year and spent much more time banging on the interior.  With PSA Cards, Wright is getting less playing time total but more PT facing the basket on offense.  He made a nice ball-fake, one dribble move to get a clean, pull-up 15-footer (which he drilled) and later poked a ball loose on the perimeter and got out in transition to finish the break with a lay-up.  His free-throw rhythm is inconsistent.

Jake Forrester (7 Points (1-1 FG, 5-6 FT), 0 Rebounds, 1 Block)

Forrester is a good athlete with mobility and some hops.  He has the length and height to be versatile and defend multiple positions.  He lacks the offensive skill package to be anything but an interior player at this stage in his development.  From a basketball IQ and instincts perspective he is a bit pedestrian.  He doesn’t anticipate plays well - as evidence by consistently being a fraction late on slightly out of area rebounds and committing some meaningless, off-the-ball fouls.  In this game he made a nice block as the help defender after Anthony lost his man.  Forrester showed some ability to attack the basket off one and two dribble moves on the baseline of slashing trough the paint - he got to the line off a couple of those moves.  When at the FT line, he stays square and is somewhat fluid with his release.  When Forrester received the ball stationary in the post, it became apparent that he needs to improve his ability to feel the defense and be ready to make his move on receipt of the pass.  Improvement in this area will allow him to make the correct next move more rapidly.  Forrester didn't shoot the ball enough to get a feel for his range or form as a shooter nor did he demonstrate if he can handle a basketball well enough to play more on the perimeter.

Adidas Gauntlet (Atlanta): N.E. Playaz defeat Exum Elite 53-51

Nate Laszewski (9 Points (3-11 FG, 1-3 3PFG, 2-2 FT), 11 Rebounds, 1 Block, 1 Steal)

This 6-9, PF prospect from Northfield, MA has a solid blend of size, skill and basketball savvy.  Laszewski didn’t shoot the ball for a high percentage in this outing - in part because a decent number of his FG attempts were on put-backs in traffic.  On the plus side of the ledger, Laszewski brings size, mobility, and the ability to shoot the ball.  He plays with a good motor and demonstrates a solid feel for the game and is a willing passer.  Laszewski will likely develop into a very effective pick-and-pop guy.  With his size and mobility, he can set a good screen at the right time and have it be effective - then pop out, make himself available for the pass and shoot over most defenders.  He scored off tip-ins, a made trey from the right wing, and a pair of FTs.  Laszewski is a good positional rebounder with nice hands and a willingness to get after it on the glass.  As far as improvement areas: it was hard to judge from this performance just how good his post-up game is or if he has a handle good enough to take guys consistently off the bounce from triple-threat position on the wing.  Defensively, he has some versatility because he is mobile and long enough to guard multiple positions and hard-nosed enough to take charges and scrap for balls.

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