Last night was one of those nights where I was actually glad that the NBA went on strike. The nation got to see 6 great high school basketball teams play on the ESPN networks. There were so many great players on display that the average basketball fan never bothers to watch until they get to college. The Oak Hill vs Miller Grove was a classic basketball game between two of the best teams in the country. Here a few quick thoughts on the top players from each game.
Emmanuel Mudiay – Ever since I saw him play live for the first time this pas summer I knew he was special. I think he is going to end up playing the point at the next level because he loves to have the ball. I have not seen anything that shows that he won’t be elite at the point.
Isaiah Austin – Isaiah just keeps getting better and better. He seems to be working on his game a lot. The comparisons to Anthony Davis are obvious, especially the way he blocks and changes shots. PCA had no one big enough to stop him and he took full advantage of it.
Jordan Mickey – It will be interesting to see if or how much he grows in the next couple of years. He is very skilled but I can’t see him being a big man at the next level. I think he would be better served at the 3 unless he gets bigger.
Jelon Hornbeak – I came away very impressed with Hornbeak. He is a great get for Oklahoma. He can really play defense and shoot as well. He played with poise and under control.
Prestonwood Christian Academy
Julius Randle – Everyone knows he is explosive and is gonna be a star. He showed that on the fast break dunk in the first half. The thing that worried me a little bit is that he seemed to have trouble scoring and rebounding when Austin was on the floor. I wish he would’ve used the big stage to show a killer instinct and tried to take over the game.
Zach Peters – Peters has quite a motor and a nose for the ball. I loved watching him grab his 14 rebounds He has a good handle and will be a good 4 year contributor for Kansas. He was great in the open floor, but in the half court on both ends when he was one on one with Austin he was over matched. That is more a credit to Austin than it is a discredit to Peters. He was just giving up way too much size.
Marquan Botley – I have always been a Botley fan and I think more people got to see why last night. He isn’t great at any one thing but he is very good at everything. He is a small growth spurt away from being a major recruit. Even if he doesn’t he is gonna be a great get where ever he lands.
Mickey Mitchell – If someone can get back to me how old he is I would love to know. I cant remember a high school freshman with so much facial hair. He is clearly gonna be an elite prospect by the time he is a senior…..in three years. The turn and drive with the big flush showed he is gonna be a great one.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera – I said it on twitter last night but I think D’Vauntes is underrated by most. He has a great stroke and high basketball IQ, which is a staple of most Georgetown recruits. He could work on finishing around the rim. He is a good defender but takes some plays off but I’m sure JTIII will fix that.
Tyler Lewis – Tyler Lewis had his coming out party last night for most. You could just tell by how many big time pros and college stars were tweeting about him. The Steve Nash comparison is pretty much spot on. He is the best passer in the country and he knows how to get by his defender which makes another defender guard him and then he finds the open man. He also has a great mid range floater game. He needs to dominate the ball which is the only drawback he has. He kind of just keeps dribbling and dribbling until he can make a play more so than letting his teammates do it when its not there for him. It will be interesting to see him in the next 4 years in college to see if the bigger more physical guards will be able to stop him.
Jordan Adams – Jordan hit some big 3’s early in the game but I am not his biggest fan. I think he takes way too many bad shots and is more of a me first guy. He definitely has talent I just think the next level may be a problem for him when everyone is as good as he is. The mental not the physical aspect will be his biggest problem at the next level.
Montarius Hall – I actually like what I saw out of Montarius last night. He did a good job filling in for AJ Hammons since he was in foul trouble and since Darion Clark go hurt. He will be a solid mid major player even though he is not getting a lot of attention right now.
A.J. Hammons – A.J. got in the path of the Tony Parker train last night and it did not turn out well for him. He was in foul trouble for pretty much the
whole game. That being said I saw some promise when he was on the floor. He showed good footwork on the offensive end around the bucket. He also played good help defense. He will have better days.
Tony Parker – I saw the beginning of the Parker transformation when he played in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 midnight run against the pros this summer. He was out there battling with Derrick Williams and Kennerth Faried and holding his own. In the game last night were there were at least 7 Divison 1 players he was by far the best on the floor. This was not one of those I am bigger than everyone on the floor so I can score games. This was even though you are the same size I am just that much better so I am gonna score. For a while last night it was Tony Parker vs Oak Hill and he kept them in it. If the rumor of the Shabazz, Slo Mo and Tony to UCLA comes true look out as that will be one of the great balanced recruiting classes in a very long time, sorry Kentucky.
Justin Colvin – I think after the game last night Justin’s phone will be ringing a lot more than it has been. He made some big shots and plays especially at the end of the game. He definitely made the most of his moment on the big stage.
Brandon Morris – Brandon Morris played good for 31 minutes last night until he turned into Marion Barber. He is a good player and hopefully he bounces
back although he seemed to be taking it hard on the bench. He is a good get for Mark Fox and Georgia.
Marcus Smart – Last night was just Marcus being Marcus. He is such a great all around player that is not selfish and makes his teammates so much better. he plays under such control and takes over when he needs to. He is one of those players that is truly fun to watch.
Nick Banyard – Nick Banyard is so underrated its not funny. He is such a complete player that can finish around the rim, drain the game winning 3 and lock up the other teams best guard at the end of the game. It surprises me that playing on such a high profile team that he flys so under the radar. New Mexico absolutely stole one in Banyard.
Phil Forte – While his shot was a little off last night, although 4 of his misses were in and out, you can see the stroke and why he is one of the best shooters in the country. He also plays with great intensity and will be a great asset for Oklahoma State.
Justin Anderson – Very explosive athlete who can definitely score. Sometimes he looks out of control but that’s to be expected. He has worked on his shot and that will help greatly at the next level.
Ishmail Wainright – I wish he would be a little more aggressive. Ishmail is every bit as good as Justin Anderson but I think he gets out of the way a little too much. Next year when Anderson is gone and its Wainright’s team I think he will really blossom.