The (#) indicates the difference in the winning half
1. Point Guards: Trae Young has established himself as the headliner in this year’s class of point guards with his scoring and playmaking ability. Collin Sexton has remained an active scoring guard who is a relentless on-ball defender, and Trevon Duval has thrived in his role as the pass first point guard and who puts pressure on the defense by getting into the paint. A name to continue to watch as we get closer to March is Aaron Holiday. He’s producing offensively as the lead guard for UCLA, and after years playing behind other talented guards, he’s proving he can carry scoring and playmaking load for this team night in and night out.
2. Shooting Guards: The top of this position guard isn’t quite as distinguished as others in terms of top tier rankings. Right now Bruce Brown has shown slightly more consistency on both ends of the floor for Miami. Allonzo Trier is still the ready-made go-to scorer for Coach Sean Miller’s offense, showing he can score running a two-man offense with DeAndre Ayton or creating off the bounce in one on one scenarios. Chandler Hutchinson from Boise State has displayed a lot of polish with his game offensively and given his prototypical 2 guard size, he may be looked at as someone who can increase his draft stock with enough impressive performances in the month of March.
3. Small Forwards: Mikal Bridges has been by far the most consistent and improved player in this position group at this point. He has continued to flash his improved jump shot and decision making skills on offense while maintaining his dominance and playmaking defensively. Kevin Knox appears as if he is ready to play up to his potential as the number scoring option for Kentucky, now that he understands exactly how he needs to attack the paint offensively. One small forward to monitor going forward would be Troy Brown Jr. The freshman entered the year as a potential first round lock for the draft, but his play has been inconsistent so far this season. Look for him to begin to assert himself as a constant facilitator and or scorer as the season progresses.
4. Power Forwards: Marvin Bagley III has exceeded expectations as the number one overall recruit in the Class of 2018. He’s dominating each and every game, showing his ability as a scorer, rebounder and rim protector. Bonzie Colson has been leading Notre Dame offensively and is using his length exceptionally well on defense when it comes blocking shots at the rim. Freshman forward Omari Spellman is a player to really watch as Villanova looks to make their Championship run. Not only does this freshman have three point range, but he’s very active on the defensive glass, and has shown he can consistently protect the rim when Villanova uses a smaller lineup. Look for Spellman to make a noticeable impact throughout the month of March.
5. Centers: DeAndre Ayton has cemented his position as the best center in college basketball so far this season. The scary part about Ayton isn’t that he’s averaging 19 & 10, it’s that he is far from a finished product on either end, and really hasn’t put his three point range on full display so far this season. Mo Bamba has been fun to watch because his length and upside really seem endless. He’s averaging a double-double now and could prove to become a more dominant player on defense in the latter half of this season. Jessie Govan is really reaping the benefits of having Patrick Ewing as his head coach. His offensive game has developed to show a lot promise as back to the basket scorer, who can step out and hit the 3, and make his free throws.
Defensively he has room develop as an inside presence that can routinely defend the paint without picking up unnecessary fouls.
Overall, this class is proving to be deeper than many originally thought going into the season. There’s a lot to like about the top players in each of these position groups, but there are several players in the top 25 and honorable mentions with break-out potential going into the final months of the season. Check out these names as chances are there could be multiple guys who end up on the NBA draft radar by the end of this college basketball year.
See the Full List Here
Written by Edwin Blebu
• Size at the PG Position: Standing at 6’5” Tony usually has the size mismatch over most opponents which allows his to exploit certain match up aspects of the game
• Scoring Versatility: it’s rare in today’s game, at any level, to find a player who can score from the perimeter, utilize the mid range game, score from the post, penetrate to the rim and use the floater to score over length. In addition, he’s not one to shy away from contact because he’s shooting 86% from the line (50-56). His ability to score at all three levels makes him an intriguing prospect
• Rebounding Ability: he rebounds the ball well for his size but what’s most important is what he’s able to do after he gathers the board. He triggers the transition offense, where he excels in open court because of his ability to read and react. Most importantly he controls tempo
• Court Vision: he sees the court very well and plays unselfishly. He plays with a variety of scoring options which allows him to penetrate and kick to wings such as Shep Garner (40% 3PT) and Josh Reaves (38% 3PT), or drop off passes to guys like Mike Watkins in the paint while looking for Lamar Stevens an excellent slasher with good scoring instincts. His ability to draw defenders makes the game easier for everyone around him
• 3PT Shooting: Tony is currently shooting 51% from three this season, on 49 attempts, which is improvement from 32% last season
•Per Minute of Production: 0.58
•Points Per Possession: 1.00
•True Shooting %: 55.8%
Early NBA Comparison: Sam Cassell
2017 City Legendz Classic Gaucho Gym
Saturday Lineup 5 Games:
Holcombe Rucker High School vs. Green Tech Charter School Final Score: 72-47
Standout Player(s): Josh Rodriguez #1 Green Tech (Freshman)
Stat line: 28 points. 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 7 turnovers
Rodriguez got off to a rather slow start in the first half and struggled with turnovers during that span as well. But throughout the game is dribble penetration, speed and quickness helped Green Tech get out in transition and score off Holcombe’s turnovers. Rodriguez is a freshman and will continue to improve as he grows physically and develops better court awareness as the lead guard on offense. He simply plays too fast at times often trying to split double teams instead of making the simple pass. His lateral quickness, mid and long-range jump shots were on full display all game long. He has a chance to be one of the best point guards in the area, so long as he continues to improve skill set on offense and defense.
All Hallows High School vs. Wadleigh High School Final Score 58-49
Standout Player(s): John Egbuta #1 Wadleigh (Senior)
26 points, 5 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 turnovers
John Egbuta plays with a type of physicality catches your eye immediately. He is an athletic finisher around the basket and uses that same athleticism to be an impact player on defense. John was relentless attacking the basket, blocking shots, and creating second chance scoring opportunities for Wadleigh high. Egbuta has a very quick second jump that really helps him erase shots at the rim and finish put back misses as well. Going forward, he will need to continue working on having a consistent release from beyond the arc. At certain points throughout the game you could see the ball was leaving his hands a little too late on his shot release. Overall Egbuta was an impressive two-way player to watch during this game that remained very close up until the final 2 minutes of the 4th quarter.
Nicolas Johnson #10 All Hallows (Junior)
Stat line: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Nicolas Johnson really came on in the second half as he was aggressive on the offensive glass, helping All Hallows reduce and eventually take the lead from Wadleigh. His decision-making on offense was impressive, as he took midrange jumpers or aggressively attacked the basket for a layup. Johnson was a key contributor in the All Hallows comeback especially in the 4th quarter because of his defensive effort and limiting second chance points for Wadleigh. He has some finesse to his game and his ability to compete even harder when the game is on the line is very impressive.
Game 3: Brooklyn Collegiate High School vs. Eagle Academy Final Score 56-44
Standout Player(s) Glen Anderson #1 Brooklyn Collegiate (Junior)
Stat line: 19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 4 turnovers.
Glen Anderson’s foot speed was just too much for Eagle Academy. Even though Anderson finished the game with only 1 assist, he made many impressive passes to set up his teammates who made the extra pass to a wide open player. Anderson was at his best when it came to playing with pace and forcing Eagle Academy to play faster than they wanted to. At times it felt as though he was playing a bit too fast, when he turned the ball over, but it became clear that Brooklyn Collegiate wanted to dictate the overall game pace early on and find out of if Eagle Academy players would be able to keep up. Anderson was able to harass players on both ends of the court by forcing turnovers with his pressure defense and driving hard to the basket. He will need to keep mastering his ball handling skills and continue learning when to use his speed on offense in order to reduce his turnovers and increase his control of the offense
Game 4: Our Savior Lutheran (Post grad) Mount Zion Prep Final Score 49-52
Standout Player(s) Trace Young #14 Mount Zion
14 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks.
Jaylen Saddler #11 Mount Zion
11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers
Damien Chung Qui #1 OSL
18 points 1 rebound, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 turnovers.
Trace Young played a very smooth and clutch game over two halves of basketball. Trace’s help defense was consistent and helped Mount Zion get needed stops down the stretch. Young came through in the clutch when his team need him to hit a timely three or knock down free throws in the final minute of the game to extend their lead. Trace appears to be the most reliable player on the squad and it showed during various points throughout the game
Jaylen Saddler was a key player in the win for Mount Zion because of his shot making down the stretch. Saddler was making the right decisions on offense by knowing when to attack the basket and pull up for the mid range jump-shot. Jaylen was able to play within the offense to help his team score when it matter most, and got his teammates involved whenever he could.
Damien Chung Qui was just relentless in trying to win the game. He is a promising lead guard because of his ability to hit the outside shot, penetrate the lane, and facilitate scoring opportunities for his team. Chung Qui had the hot hand from three for most of the second half and gave Mount Zion just about all they could handle from the point guard position. Chung Qui hit several big shots to keep his time within striking distance of taking the lead during the final 2 minutes of the game. This point guard plays with a ton of confidence and has the type of stamina that allows him to go out and be ruthless on defense and hit in rhythm shots for 4 quarters of basketball.
Game 5: St. Raymond High School vs. Wings Academy Final Score: 74-54
Standout Players: Dallas Watson #0 St. Rays (Senior)
Stat line: 25 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Dallas Watson is as advertised. He’s a volume shooter with an aggressive style of play. He plays with a lot of emotion and is relentless as a finisher around the basket, with a score first mentality. Watson has the ability to create shots for teammates but is working on becoming much more consistent as a playmaker. Dallas also has the ability to play consistent on ball pressure defense because of his athleticism and lateral quickness. Dallas will need to focus on becoming less streaky as a shooter and improve his overall scoring efficiency going forward. Watson has the ability to really impact and takeover a game with his scoring ability, we just want to see him be as efficient as possible when doing so.