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Prep Prospect Watch: Top 10 Wings

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 8:04am

The July live evaluation period had plenty of wings and wing forwards who can do damage in the future as the Classes of 2019 and 2020 have some promising players to keep tabs on.

Here's a look at 10 notable wing players during the three-week period.

Anthony Edwards, Atlanta Xpress -- Perhaps the best guard in the Class of 2020, the 6-foot-5 Edwards got rolling once again during July after some strong performances during June. A natural scorer who can score anywhere within 25 feet, Edwards made some impressive plays around the rim. With nearly identical dimensions, he's even drawn comparisons to Utah Jazz standout Donovan Mitchell.

Anthony EdwardsAnthony EdwardsAn intesnse competitor, when his jumper wasn't falling, Edwards used his natural strength and athleticism to get to the rim as he finished with explosiveness. A strong defensive rebounder who can push off of it, Edwards is really tough to stop with a full head of steam. Also playing a little bit more on the ball as a lead guard, Edwards handled double teams and passed out of them to open teammates -- although he'll need some work to be an actual point guard.

Cassius Stanley, Team WhyNot -- Helping lead Team WhyNot to a surprising appearance in the championship of the Peach Jam, Stanley put together a strong opening week in trying to once again make a five-star ranking. Although the 6-foot-6 wing has fallen in the eyes of many scouts, Stanley did a lot of positive things during eight games at Peach Jam.

Showing a consistent ability to efficiently score, Stanley got off to a hot start shooting from three-point range as he had solid overall field goal percentages for the week. Also rebounding and adding steals, Stanley was more than just a one-dimensional shooter as he played hard on both ends of the floor. Although Stanley still needs to become a better passer, as he gets some tunnel vision as a scorer, he has a natural ability to create offense that shouldn't be ignored. Things weren't as positive during a viewing in Las Vegas as Stanley was forcing the issue more on offense. It could be fatigue at that point, as Stanley did look better earlier this month, but consistency could be something to watch for as well.

CJ Walker, E1T1 -- Also a top performer when we saw him at the Pangos All-American Camp in June, the 6-foot-7 Walker appears to have an even higher skill level than initially anticipated.

While the Pangos Camp showcases a lot of run-and-jump athleticism, Walker showed more polish at in July by flashing some mid-range jumpers and a workable perimeter jumper. Walker even pumped in multiple three-pointers one game as well as a two-dribble pull-up. An great leaper and secondary leaper, Walker finishes over bigger players and also rebounds in traffic since he can just outjump many other players while jumping sideways. With the motor that Walker displays, he is trending upward nationally as he could become a national recruit by the end of summer.

Scottie Lewis, Team Rio -- Although Lewis has been on the circuit the past few summers, he didn't disappoint during his final stretch. Showing competitiveness once again, Lewis got after it on both ends of the floor with blocks, dunks, cross-court passes and deep jumpers.

Lewis gets great elevation on his perimeter jumper and his consistency is starting to show through with more results. Going off the dribble is also something Lewis has been working on, as he operated more ball screens while passing to open teammates. Lewis is making basic reads and seeing open players across the court at this point, and he's skilled enough to get them the ball with tough one-handed passes. Defensively, Lewis stayed locked in most of the time as his length and quickness make him a pest -- especially as a trap defender.

Jaden Springer, B Maze Elite -- Established already in the Class of 2020, Springer has played through a busy summer in the camp and grassroots circuits. The 6-foot-4 Springer continues to evolve as a scorer, as he's starting to make a lot of crafty counter moves and fakes. Effective with the pivot foot, Springer allows his soft touch on his jumper to help shots fall if he has to force one late on the clock.

Springer also knocked down three-pointers and got to the rim, as he's able to finish effectively off of two feet. If Springer continues to show progress finishing over and through length in the paint then he'll be intriguing at the next level since he also has some passing ability.

Josh Green, West Coast Elite -- Before injuring his shoulder to end the July period, the 6-foot-5 Green looked like one of the most complete guards in the class during his time in Atlanta. Improving greatly as a perimeter shooter since the spring, Green has a better and more consistent release now that resulted in much better results.

More smooth than powerful when it comes to his athleticism, Green glides up and down the floor and does a good job of changing direction while playing in attack mode. A three-level scorer, Green also distributed a little bit, as he has a positive relationship with lead guard Nico Mannion. Green is also a willing defender and rebounder who takes pride chipping in at all facets of the game. The Australian continues to be efficient and productive in nearly every setting and he has a good feel for the game.

Kahlil Whitney, Mac Irvin Fire -- Stepping up his play throughout July, Whitney played some huge games and looks like a natural wing scorer from all three levels. With an improved handle and more confidence and aggression, Whitney got to the rim easily, hunted putback dunks and also nailed feathery pull-up jumpers, including a buzzer-beater in overtime in Vegas.

Also a big-time leaper off two feet, Whitney can load up for rebounds and blocks while his lateral quickness and length enables him to be a two-way player. After being in the spotlight since his freshman season of high school in Chicago, Whitney is starting to put together the complete package as he's trending towards the McDonald's game.

EJ Liddell, Brad Beal Elite -- An emerging four-star prospect in the Class of 2019, Liddell is starting to gain more respect nationally as he should rise a bit in national rankings. Pushing 6-foot-8, Liddell gets off the floor very quickly with a good first and second bounce as he's a strong rebounder and shot blocker. Natural timing as a shot blocker is also something Liddell has as he can catch defenders by surprise with his instincts.

Liddell does most of his offensive damage from 15 feet and in at this moment, but he's starting to work more on his perimeter skills. Sporting a workable jumper, Liddell's jumper has steadily improved since the end of the high school season as he could eventually be someone to respect from there. If Liddell can become more than an undersized double-double threat than he could be a really intriguing two-way wing. He has the tools to be a potentially very good defender.

Scottie Barnes, Nike Team Florida -- Already considered one of the top Class of 2020 prospects in the country, the 6-foot-7 Barnes was once again tremendous during the July live period.

With ball skills and an ability to defend up to five spots on the floor, versatility is the best thing about Barnes at this point. Armed with good passing skills and vision, Barnes can set up others off of pick and rolls and also finds others in transition off of rebounds. Getting better as a scorer, particularly attacking the rim, Barnes still has to work on his jumper. But there are so many tools to work with, and his defensive intensity remains very good, as Barnes is one of the elite prospects in the country.

Ziaire Williams Jr., BTI Elite -- This 6-foot-7 Class of 2020 product started to receive positive buzz from West coast scouts in June and it's easy to see why. Williams has the skill level and versatility to be a matchup nightmare at the next levels. Scoring at will from all three levels while playing above the rim on both ends, Williams is capable of making plays all over the floor as he scored on some tough defenders in Scottie Barnes and C.J. Waker.

Williams can pump in deep threes with his jumper while also using a solid first step to attack off the bounce, as he can finish around the basket using his athleticism. Although E1T1 overwhelmed the BTI team Williams was on in the end, Williams left a strong impression on the many coaches and scouts in attendance as he is trending in the right direction.

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