NBPA Top 100 Recap: XU Targets Shine

Three of Xavier's top guard targets in the 2016 class showed off their skills at the NBPA Top 100 camp this week in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Xavier Simpson- After a slow start on Wednesday, Simpson bounced back and played as well as he ever has on Thursday and Friday. He exploded for a single-game high 25-point performance on 11-of-13 shooting Thursday night, and then topped that high point total the next night on Friday with a 27-point performance on 10-16 shooting (1-4 3PT, 6-6 FT) with five assists, five rebounds, three steals and two turnovers. He was at his best all week when attacking in ball-screen situations. While he's typically looking to assist a teammate in those instances, he constantly applied pressure on defenders at the camp by using his length to gain a step and then rising for a pull-up jumper or floater. His mid-range game was exceptional, and he also knocked down several 3-point looks both off the catch and the dribble. Even in a camp setting with a randomly paired group of elite talents, he was able to establish himself as an on court leader and developed chemistry with teammates to make them better. He averaged 17.3 points while shooting 46.2 percent from three (6-13 3PT, fifth best in camp). Defensively, he stood out as one of the top defenders in the entire camp. While many campers blew defense off entirely, Simpson relished the opportunity to challenge some of the top guards in the country, and came out on top in many of those matchups. With showing more consistency as a shooter being his most needed improvement, his shooting displays on Thursday and Friday were good signs for the consummate point guard.

Markelle Fultz - Fultz showed off his ridiculous skill level and was one of the more consistent guards throughout the camp. He knocked down open 3-point looks, but he was most impressive when working in isolation and scoring from the mid-range where he has a fully-loaded arsenal (Pivots, spins, crossovers, lean-ins etc. He's very similar to Georgetown guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera in that way.) He's not an elite athlete but he has sneaky good acceleration, good length and a tight handle that allows him to break defenders down and get buckets consistently. He also showed skill as a passer with good instincts and vision - something that stands out in a camp setting. He also averaged 17.3 points per game during camp (Both Simpson and Fultz were tied for eighth highest scoring average). Defensively he has room to improve as he took some plays off and needs to add strength, but he also used his length well while showing some playmaking ability in the passing lanes and on the ball. Overall it was a really strong camp for the XU target.

Quentin Goodin - Goodin typically thrives in an up-tempo style where he's out in transition or attacking his man off the dribble to get to the bucket. And he did that throughout camp, but what really stood out about his play were his point guard skills. The Musketeers are recruiting him as a point guard, while others see him as a two guard, and in Charlottesville more than any previous viewing he showed off his passing skills and improved feel. Right now, his shot is where he needs to improve the most. He shot extraordinarily well on Wednesday, but then was inconsistent with his jumper the rest of camp. His athleticism and effort also stood out on the defensive end where he matched up well against a handful of big-time guard talents with ranging size and skill-sets.

Sedee Keita – Keita is a mobile and agile big with legit size and length. Despite getting limited touches on the offensive end (normal for a post player in a camp setting), he made the most out of his opportunities by flashing his physical tools and offensive skills. He showed touch on back to the basket post moves, a quick first step when facing up his defender and penetrating to the rim, plus touch all the way out to the perimeter when he swished a pick-and-pop three. He didn’t dominate the camp by any means, but he showed why the Musketeers and several other high major programs have been recruiting him for a while now. On the defensive end, he moves pretty well laterally when defending ball screen situations, and he has the length and lift to provide some rim protection in the paint.

James Banks - Banks is a raw but talented big man who possesses most of the desirable tools for a center. He needs to add strength, which stood out in this camp setting, but he has a wide base and long arms to go with solid athleticism. On the offensive end, he’s a huge work in progress in terms of his footwork with his back to the basket, but he also showed a go-to shimmy hook shot move this week that was in it’s beginning stages. Banks was at his best when he was most active on the offensive glass, finding easy garbage points on tip-ins and put backs. On the other end of the court, he showed timing and instincts when blocking shots.

Curtis Jones – Jones is a volume shooter that stood out during camp by taking (and at times making) tough shots. He’s a skilled shooter that has deep range and no conscience. He had a few games at camp where he was locked in, and it seemed like there was very little defenders could do to throw him off his rhythm. At times his feel and decision-making got questionable with some of the shots he was taking, but it makes it tougher to argue when he makes some of those “bad” shots. When he penetrated, he did show willingness and skill when kicking out to other shooters.


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