Archive - Article
August 21st, 2016
For three days adidas Nations, the annual showcase of college, high school and international prospects took place in Garden Grove. With one huge headliner in Dennis Smith and a number of first round hopefuls, the 37 college prospects that participated gave NBA scouts a glimpse of what to expect going into next season. The 2017 draft has been built up as a very strong one, and while the incoming freshman class certainly has a handful of elite talent, the depth of this draft may not be nearly as strong as advertised. Regardless, here is a look at how the top prospects performed:
By Michael Visenberg and Evan Tomes
Dennis Smith Jr. will be a freshman point guard at North Carolina State next season. He's a 6'2 point guard with a mesmerizing combination of speed, athleticism and point guard skills. He had scouts fixated on him at adidas Nations last week as he plays the game with great pace, showing leadership to go with the physical gifts. He showed that he is completely back from the ACL injury he suffered at the same event a year ago which forced him to miss his entire HS senior season.
By Michael Visenberg and Evan Tomes
Each year, adidas Nations is known for showcasing a great deal of international talent, and this year featured some exciting new prospects along with some improved veterans. With Canada and Africa both making the Monday ESPNU televised games, there were quite a few players on both teams that will factor heavily into the next few high school classes. All of the teams seemed improved from past years, here is a look at the brightest talents.
From July 16th to July 24th, Helsinki, Finland hosted the FIBA U20 European championships. Spain clinched gold over a gutsy Lithuanian team, which surprisingly bested favorite Turkey in the semi-final. Here are our top prospects from the competition.
1) Lauri Markkanen (’97, 6-11, PF, Finland)
In July we looked at the Top 10 International prospects from FIBA’s U17 World Championships in Zaragoza, Spain. Team USA dominated the event, confirming its supremacy once again. The rest of the world clearly didn’t have an answer to the superiority of Team USA in the aspects of athleticism, strength and advanced skills set. We'll take a look at the top prospects from the U19 European Championships soon. Here is a break down of the top five from the U17 USA Select team.
The Nike Basketball Academy provided a glimpse at some of the best high school talent in the nation. A number of top players sat the majority of the camp but there was still had a nice collection of talent. Here are the standouts that performed and caught our eye.
Wendell Carter 6’9.5, 248, 7’3 wingspan, PF/C - 2017
Hamidou Diallo is one of the top guards in the 2017 high school class. He is currently participating at the adidas Nations. His play was limited at the Nike Basketball Academy but we had the opportunity to catch up with Diallo and talk to him about his experience in Chile at the U18 Fiba Americas, matching up against Devin Booker, and a few other topics.
NBADraft.net: What pro have you learned the most from?
Last year's Nike Skills Academy was loaded, producing five lottery picks (Simmons, Dunn, Poeltl, Sabonis and Valentine) and nine total first rounders. This year all it took was one glance at the roster to know that the talent on hand was not nearly as strong. Nonetheless the group competed hard for three days in drills and scrimmages, giving scouts a glimpse of what to expect next season. It's possible that as many as 3 or 4 first rounders could ultimately emerge from this group.
Wendell Carter has played well at the Nike Basketball Academy, giving his stock a bump, at least in our eyes. An Al Horford type, he has a rare combination of size, explosiveness, and finesse making him one of the top prospects in the rising senior class. A thoughtful young man, we got to talk to Carter about his Team USA experience, possibly teaming up with Gary Trent in college, and a few other topics.
NBADraft.net: What’s been your impression of the Academy so far?