insider help- players in 2014 with most nba potential
Saw this insider article and thought it'd be pretty interesting. Espicially considering they don't even have Tyus Jones in the top 10. That seems a little low for what a lot of people are calling a chris paul lite.
Tyus Jones, left, and Emmanuel Mudiay are the top two point guard recruits in the Class of 2014 and both project to be stars in college. Mudiay, however, has a much higher NBA ceiling.
Let me begin by saying how much I love watching Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) run a team. He’s the consummate pass-first point guard who makes all of the correct decisions and knows exactly what he has to do in order to lead his team to a victory. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jones, ranked the No. 1 point guard in the 2014 ESPN 100, lead whatever college program he chooses to a national championship.
However, I’m worried that his game doesn’t quite translate to the NBA level. Will Jones be a terrific floor leader in college? Absolutely, especially if he goes to a program where he is surrounded by numerous offensive weapons.
But I see too much D.J. Augustin in him down the road, and that’s no knock on Jones or Augustin, who is a competent NBA backup point guard. The issues for me -- and also several NBA scouts I have spoken to who have had a chance to watch Jones on multiple occasions -- have to do with Jones’ size (6-foot-1, 171 pounds), lack of explosiveness and athleticism, and a mediocre perimeter shot.
“I think he’s probably a guy that will wind up getting drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round,” one veteran NBA scout told me in July. “But I just don’t see it at our level. I think he’s a career backup.”
That said, there are plenty of prospects in the 2014 high school class with huge NBA upside. Let’s take a look at 10 recruits in the class who have the most NBA potential.
1. Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity)
He’s a legit 6-11, 225 pounds, is extremely skilled and has just started to come into his own. The Dallas native has a size-21 shoe, can step out and make shots and is also able to score in the post. NBA guys love length and potential, and Turner possesses both. Turner, who could become a LaMarcus Aldridge-type down the road, has a final eight of Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona and Ohio State.
2. Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young)
While his upside isn’t quite as high as Turner’s, the 6-11 big man has the size and is super skilled. He can score with both hands in the post, has terrific footwork and has an extremely high IQ. He won’t necessarily blow you away with his athleticism, but there just aren’t many post guys at any level with his skill set. He’s a true center, and those are few and far between in both college and the NBA. Okafor is considering Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Arizona, Baylor, Michigan State and Ohio State.
3. Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep)
He’s almost the opposite of Jones at the point guard spot. Mudiay is big, strong and athletic. He’s a big-time talent who will be a scoring point but is able to find teammates for easy baskets as well. He’s also quick enough to get past defenders and strong enough to finish through contact. His weakness is consistency with his perimeter shot, but that easily can be improved with repetition and work ethic. His final five are Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and SMU.
Small forward Kelly Oubre might be a surprise on this list, but his potential has NBA folks intrigued.
4. Kelly Oubre (Fort Bend, Texas/Findlay Prep)
This one might shock a few people, but I love his blend of skill, size and athleticism at the wing spot. He is a highflier who also can make shots and has the potential to be a terrific defender. NBA folks at the Nike Global Challenge were as high on the Texas native as anyone else in the gym. Oubre is still looking at Kansas, Kentucky, UConn, Florida, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon and UNLV.
5. Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie)
The 6-9 power forward already has an NBA-ready body. He’s big, strong, physical and has a higher skill set than many people realize. He’s the prototypical 4-man, and his game will translate due to his size, aggressiveness and ability to rebound. Alexander’s recruitment is still unclear with teams like Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State, Louisville, Memphis, Kentucky, Florida, DePaul, Indiana, Baylor and Arizona in play.
6. Stanley Johnson (Fullerton, Calif./Mater Dei)
Johnson was as good as just about any player in the country during the July recruiting period. He’s a big, strong wing who puts points on the board whether by powering his way to the basket or making shots from the perimeter. He’ll rebound well for his position and also can defend. Johnson has the body, toughness and skill set to be successful both in college and the NBA. The front-runners appear to be Kentucky, Arizona and maybe either USC or UCLA.
7. Trey Lyles (Indianapolis/Arsenal Tech)
Lyles is an average athlete, but he does everything well despite being limited in that regard. The 6-8 power forward knows how to play, can score in a variety of ways, passes it well and also rebounds at a high rate. He has some Tim Duncan in him, even though he’s a few inches shorter. Lyles, a one-time Indiana commit, has narrowed it to Kentucky, Louisville, Florida and Butler.
8. Karl Towns Jr. (Metuchen, N.J./St. Joseph)
The length and talent are unquestionable, but there are many who question whether Towns will ever put it all together. He plays soft and has a reputation for being selfish at times, but the Kentucky commit is a legit 7-footer and has so much natural talent for someone his size. Towns could be a star down the line, but he also very well could be g a bust.
9. Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep)
Vaughn is still a work in progress, especially when it comes to shot selection and decision-making. However, he has the size, length and ability to put points on the board in a hurry. The Minnesota native is legit 6-5 shooting guard and is able to put the ball on the floor as well as make shots from deep. Vaughn still has plenty of schools in the mix, including Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina.
10. Justin Jackson (Tomball, Texas/HCYA)
It was actually a tough call for this last spot between the skilled Jackson and another North Carolina commit, athletic forward Theo Pinson (Greensboro, N.C./Wesleyan Christian). However, there’ll be a place for Jackson in the NBA due to his ability to make shots from midrange at an impressive rate and also his ability to make enough from beyond the 3-point arc. Jackson is simply a playmaker.
Hurley’s new-look URI Rams
Dan Hurley’s Rhode Island team was overmatched on a nightly basis in an eight-win 2012-13 season. That won’t happen this season.
Hurley brings back a potential all-league guard in leading scorer Xavier Munford, but it’s whom he's adding that has Hurley excited about this season. The Rams had four players sitting out in 2012-13, and Hurley also adds a talented incoming freshman guard who could vie for Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors.
The Rams just returned from a 3-0 trip to Italy, where Hurley got an opportunity to get his first real look at his club. Here were some of his thoughts on his squad after seeing them in Italy:
• What did Hurley learned on the trip? “ Jordan Hare has really come along, we’ll be able to score and play faster, and we’ll have multiple options and depth.”
“He probably played the best of anyone on the trip, especially from where he was last year,” Hurley added. “He’s really come along in terms of his maturity, his work ethic, and his skills and understanding. Last year he played at 177 pounds, and now he’s almost at 200. We hope to have him at 205 or 210 by the time the season starts. He had two double-doubles on the trip, including 27 points and 12 rebounds in the last game.”
• What is Hurley’s biggest concern coming out of the trip? “We need to establish leadership,” he said. “Which player is going to learn to lead? Munford is our best returning player, and he needs to be more of a leader. That will be key for us.”
• Hurley played 11 guys on the trip and each player averaged between 16 and 20 minutes. “I wanted to use it to evaluate our players,” he said.
• The Rams averaged more than 100 points in the three games. Sure, the competition wasn’t exactly stellar, but this is a program that put up an average of just 61.6 points per contest last season. Hurley’s teams are known for their toughness and defensive intensity, but this year’s group should be able to put points on the board and get out and run.
• Hurley is excited about the addition of freshman E.C. Matthews, a four-star guard out of Michigan. But he also said junior Mike Powell is the incumbent starting point guard after averaging 8.9 points per game last season. Matthews eventually will be a floor leader, but he’s not there quite yet. Look for Hurley to rotate four quality perimeter guys in Munford, Matthews, Powell and Texas Tech transfer Biggie Minnis, who also can play the point. Rutgers transfer Gilvydas Biruta and Hare are near locks to start along the front line.
• URI got virtually nothing out of its bench a year ago, but this season should be different. The Rams will have Rice transfer Jarelle Reischel, big man Ifeanyi Onyekaba, freshman forward Hassan Martin, junior guard T.J. Buchanan and sophomore forward Mike Aaman, which will give Hurley 11 competent bodies. “We’ll actually have competition,” he said.
• Curtis Malone, the director and founder of the well-known D.C. Assault summer program, was indicted by a grand jury on drug trafficking charges and was denied bail Wednesday. Malone, who pleaded not guilty, could face a prison sentence of up to 40 years and a fine of up to $25 million.
• Fresno State has kicked highly regarded big man Robert Upshaw out of the program. The 7-foot local product was an ESPN 100 prospect coming out of high school in 2012, but had been suspended three times. He averaged just 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a freshman last season.
• VCU band director Ryan Kopacsi posted on Facebook on Monday that he was resigning from his post. The school then put out a statement that it hadn’t received anything official from Kopacsi and it was negotiating with him. This is all about finances, according to multiple sources, and it looks as though Kopacsi may continue to lead one of the most entertaining and talented bands in the country. He posted that the school has reached out to him “to continue discussions regarding my contract. I hope there can be a resolution in the next day or two.”
I dont see why having a size 21 shoe makes him any better then the other guys, but I guess that sort of gives him a leg up
Lol, I was thinking the same thing. Oh, this guy wears size 21's, like that's beneficial in any aspect of basketball? Comical
Tyus Jones has a mediocre jumpshot? Nonsense. His size scares me, but he'll be a monster in college. He kills at every HS competition. Has high FF% and always racks up a ton of assists. He's a baller.
Jahlil Okafor - For being only 17 years old he is listed as now 6 ' 11" 270 and is a player who knows how to use his size. Hell there is a chance he could still be growing. I know he lacks some explosiveness but with the right college/NBA training mixed with his high basketball IQ his ceiling is high. He has a soft touch around the rim and is able use his body to get position down low.
Karl Towns Jr. - I've been following him for a while now and he showed his talent right away at a young age. Playing with the Dominican Republic and with the help of Coach Cal early it could only help him playing at a high level. He is already a 7 footer with room to grow and a great shooting stroke with 3 point range. He is a relentless rebounder with a huge wingspan.
Jahlil is a pure center while Karl Towns Jr. I could see be more of a Power Forward in the league. I want to see them play in college before I make an NBA comparison.....
No Exum, tsk.
Every point guard thats around 6'1 thats considered a "pass first" point guard has to stop being compared to chris paul..Tyus Jones is not chris paul