LeBron James Skills Academy: Day One

LAS VEGAS -- Nike's crew of scouts compiled a number of the nation's best prospects for the LeBron James Skills Academy. While the action started on Wednesday, Friday marked the first day Scout.com was in attendance. The top performers of the day were Jayson Tatum, DeAndre Ayton and Ted Kapita.


Dillon Brooks, SF: One of the best performers of the game session was this 6-foot-5 strongly built wing. Brooks made strong, aggressive moves towards the rim and finished well once he got there. During his scoring spree, Brooks also worked in a pull-up three-pointer and showed his vision by dishing to a big man off a screen and role.

Jalen Brunson, PG: There aren’t many guards in high school basketball that can run a team like Brunson. The 6-foot-1 lead guard plays the game with poise and understands how to properly run a team. Brunson has very good vision and seems to make the right pass at the right time quite often. He also knows how to use screens and put his teammates in successful situations. Brunson can also shoot the ball and he buried a pair of three-pointers in the first half of his game on Friday.

Matt McQuaid: Ever since McQuaid made his college choice, he seems to be playing looser and with more confidence on the court. Heading into LeBron he was recognized as one of the premier shooters in the country. He’s only confirmed that with his play here. In the first half McQuaid connected on five three-pointers and two of them were well behind the three-point stripe. While his reputation is that of a shooter, he has more to his game, as he will mix in drives to the rim and has a floater.

Prince Ali, SG: Normally a dedicated slasher, Ali did plenty of driving and scoring on Friday, but he also showed off a part of his game you don't always see but has been rumored to be improving - his outside jumper. Ali knocked down multiple threes, forcing the defense to respect him from outside and giving him more space off the bounce, where he's always been lethal.

Aaron Holiday, PG: Holiday is known as a defending, slashing and athletic combo guard, and he's certainly all those things, but he's also a capable passer, something he's shown progressively more as his career has moved forward. On Friday, Holiday made several terrific passes to teammates in half court and transition situations, giving further evidence that he'll be able to play the position at the next level.

Ted Kapita, C: It's hard not to love Kapita's upside. He's 6-foot-9, about 230 pounds, very wide shoulders, long arms and impressive athleticism. On top of all that, Kapita has very good footwork and is a really good athlete. He played hard throughout the game, fought for rebounds, defended and scored around the basket. His upside is elite.


Jayson Tatum, SF: College coaches have been raving about Tatum all week and he certainly didn’t disappoint on Friday. Scout.com’s top player in the 2016 class is versatile and skilled. At 6-foot-8, his ball skills are very good. So good that he can effectively play on the ball. He’s also a good passer with impressive vision. As a scorer, Tatum is equipped to get points from all three levels and he’s able to create space with his dribble. He’s also developed a one footed leaner that is tough for the opposition to defend.

Omari Spellman, C: Over the past few weeks Spellman, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man, has earned a lot of ink. He did it again on Friday. For his size, he gets off the ground really well. He knows how to utilize his size, strength and athleticism on the glass. Offensivley he’s a talent and can score in a variety of ways. He scored off a mid-range pull-up, cleaned up misses around the rim and tossed out a post dish. A five-star prospect, Spellman is quickly becoming one of the top centers prospects in the 2016 class.

Malik Monk, SG: A big time athlete, don't let Monk get going in transition or he will get his team going with a ridiculous dunk. Monk isn't only capable of scoring in transition, as he can also get to the basket in the half court or pull up and hit a three-pointer. He's one of the most exciting players to watch in the country, regardless of class.


DeAndre Ayton, C: A quick glance to the court and you would never think that Ayton, a 6-foot-11 post player, recently finished his freshman year of high school. His physical gifts are impressive. He has strong, wide shoulders, a lengthy set of arms and the mobility and athleticism you want out of a big man. He was active, aggressive and consistently ran rim-to-rim trying to get easy points. Ayton is clearly one of, if not the, best long-term prospect at camp.

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