The Las Vegas stretch of the last evaluation period is exhausting, to say the least. Watching games for at least 12 hours a day can take its toll on the mind and body. However, there is nothing better to get the juices flowing again when you can arrive at the gym and take in an epic matchup of 2016 prospect Lonzo Ball against the terrific trio of Oregon-bound Kendall Small, San Diego State-bound Jeremy Hemsley and Stephen Thompson Jr. The game was sloppy at times and the defensive intensity was an afterthought, but the game exhibited the talents of these four West Coast talents.
Isaiah Briscoe (Union, N.J./Roselle Catholic)
2015, PG, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds
AAU Team: NJ Playaz Gold
Arizona, St. John's, UConn, Louisville and Rutgers appear to be in the hunt for the nation's No. 1 point guard prospect. Briscoe is just too strong for any guard on this level. Despite being right-handed, he attacks much better going left and has the strength and moxie to finish plays while carrying defenders on his hip. He is as equally adept at scoring as he is at dishing out high-level assists. His jump shot needs polishing, but overall he has been one of the elite players this summer, regardless of class.
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills)
2016, PG, 6-5, 185
AAU Team: Big Ballers VXT
Ball is a tall point guard prospect who continues to add to his game. He is getting much better attacking off the dribble to create plays for his teammates. He is the ultimate facilitator( pick-and rolls, skip passes, etc.) who corrals rebounds at a high rate and threads the needle with his pinpoint passing. Against Superior Athletes Black, he even posted up a few times and scored over the top of Hemsley.
Chris Silva (Elizabeth, N.J./Roselle Catholic)
2015, PF, 6-8, 205
AAU Team: Sports U
Silva continues to put together dominant performances at the Fab 48. The sinewy 4-man is a force to be reckoned with off the dribble and in transition. He had a few mind-blowing finishes against Team Philly when he was a foot above the rim, at least. He needs to put on weight, but he attacks the offensive glass with a vengeance and can knock in shots from all three levels.
Stephen Thompson Jr. (Torrance, Calif./Bishop Montgomery)
2015, SG, 6-3, 160
AAU Team: Superior Athletes Black
In his game against Big Ballers VXT, Thompson poured in nine 3-pointers, many of two dribbles and up-fakes to get the defense off balance. The wiry scoring guard has a potent floater in his arsenal, but he needs to become more explosive off the dribble to increase his stock.
Li Angelo Ball (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills)
2017, WF, 6-5, 205
AAU Team: Big Ballers VXT
Unlike his brother Lonzo, Li Angelo is strictly a scorer, or better yet, a shooter. Against Superior Athletes Black, he knocked in several jump shots off the catch. His range extends out to 25 feet and it's effortless. He needs to improve his ball-handling, but he has added a fairly potent post game to his evolving arsenal.
Sleeper No More
Kerwin Roach (Houston/Northshore)
2015, CG, 6-3, 165
AAU Team: Houston Rockstars
Roach is one of the better unknown talents in the country, and should make a push for the ESPN 100 when it is updated in August. The ultra-explosive point guard prospect is a bit rough around the edges in terms of a polished skill set and fundamentals (he forces the issue), but his first step is powerful and he can elevate well above the rim when attacking. His jump shot was off against BTI, but his release is very quick and the rotation on the shot is smooth. Not to mention he dropped off several nifty assists in traffic. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Rice, TCU, Florida State, Fresno State, Tulsa, and Marquette have all offered scholarships to this high-flying point guard prospect who possesses an immense upside.
On The Rise
Donovan Mitchell (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy)
2015, PG, 6-1, 175
Indiana, Villanova, Providence and Louisville are the four schools most mentioned with Mitchell. The fast-rising point guard prospect has broad shoulders, long arms, and a chiseled frame. He has a tremendous first step and he has the strength to make plays in the tightest of situations. In his team's overtime victory over Lakeshow Elite, he carried his team down the stretch by burying a couple of deep jump shots and handing out a couple of high-level assists.
Jarred Reuter (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy)
2015, PF, 6-7, 240
AAU Team: New England Playaz
Rueter has an old man's game as he utilized his savvy, strength and skill to dominate Big Red (Mater Dei) in the paint area. He doesn't have great length (short arms), but he has nimble feet, excellent footwork and soft hands. He punished MJ Cage with up-and-under and reverse pivot moves to hinder Cage's shot-blocking prowess, which ultimately led to the Playaz victory.
Leroy Butts (Marlboro, Md./Clinton Christian)
2015, PF, 6-7, 200
AAU Team: DC Premier
Butts is yet another example that skill and savvy can counter not having elite explosiveness. The sinewy, left-handed 4-man has an unorthodox release on his jump shot from the elbow, but it goes in more often than not. However, the most impressive aspect of his game is an innate ability to convert buckets in traffic and snatch rebounds against player who have significant height advantages.
Markis McDuffie (Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony)
2015, SF/PF, 6-7, 200
We were on sleeper watch on Friday and there was plenty to see. This was my first look at McDuffie and he is a very nice talent. He has great size and solid skill. The combo forward is a streaky shooter with a smooth stroke and range to 20 feet. McDuffie is a big-time sleeper who should have heavy interest from East Coast high-major schools.
Justin Patton (Omaha, Neb./North)
2015, C, 6-11, 220
Committed to Creighton
Patton is a sleeper who could become an absolute steal for Creighton. He is tall, but needs to add strength, which should be an easy fix once he gets to college. He is an effective shot-blocker with solid hands and feet. Patton runs the floor well and showed the ability to be an effective face-up shooter. He needs to learn how to be consistently productive, but Patton has the tools to be an impact player down the road at the next level.
Marshawn Wilson (Maplewood, Minn./Murray Hill)
2015, PF/SG, 6-3, 200
Wilsen is a strong, power point guard. He can score and distribute. His big body is hard to stop from getting into the lane by high school guards. Once he gets into the lane, he is proficient at both scoring and finding open teammates. Wilson is a streaky shooter with range to 20 feet. In a class that is not loaded with point guards, Wilson should be a priority for many Midwest schools.
Point Guard With Speed
Qundarious (Tookie) Brown (Madison, Ga./Morgan County)
2015, PG, 5-10, 175
Committed to Mississippi State
Brown is strong and fast. He is, at times, a one-man fast break who can push the ball through traffic and finish in the lane. He is adept at finishing himself or finding an open teammate for an easy shot. Brown is just an average shooter, but with his speed, he is still hard to stop. He should be a solid contributor for Mississippi State once he gets to campus.