By Ian Powers
Aaron Gordon San Jose, CA/ Archbishop Mitty 6’7" 210 SF 2013- Gordon was at his best in North Augusta this week. Athletically he has few peers and he takes advantage of it at every opportunity. He is a monster on the offensive glass and is a great ball handler and passer in the open floor. Most of his work comes inside of 15 ft and in transition at this stage of his development. He has good form on his jumpshot but he rarely utilizes it. For Gordon to reach the next level as a player he will have to expand his game and become more of a threat as a perimeter shooter. Gordon has great upside and has already established himself as one of the truly elite prospects in the class and the country. The sky is the limit.
Andrew Wiggins Toronto, OT/ Vaughan 6’7" 200 SF 2014- Wiggins had an up and down week but he was great Thursday morning. He finished with 19 pts and showed off his great athleticism and was efficient from the perimeter which has been an area of inconsistency for him. He is a prospect with a very bright future and he just has to fine tune some aspects of his game to become an elite player. At this point he is more prospect than player, but he’s one of those guys that oozes potential and all the tools are there.
Tyus Jones Apple Valley, MN/ Apple Valley 6’0" 160 PG 2014- Jones was fantastic against BABC Thursday morning. He was solid all week and saved his best for the last day before the quarterfinals started. He finished with 31 pts and 6 rebs. He was 13-19 from the floor, including 3-4 from three. He scored in every way possible. He got to the basket and had his jumper working. He is a natural leader and knows how to run a team. He is a mature player and plays with the poise of a kid 3 or 4 years older. He is arguably the top point guard in his class and some think he might be the top PG in the country regardless of class.
Jake Layman Wrentham, MA/ King Phillip 6’8" 190 SF 2012- Layman got my attention at the last EYBL session in L.A. and his great play continued at the Peach Jam. He is a long and skilled player with untapped potential. He can shoot the ball from deep, shows an ability to put the ball on the floor and runs the floor very well and can finish above the rim. Layman finished with 29 pts on 12-14 from the field, including 3-4 from long distance. His recruitment has picked up and he did nothing this week to diminish that.
Tony Parker 0 Lithonia, GA/ Miller Grove 6’8" 280 PF 2012- Parker is a man sized big who carves out space down low and knows where the basket is. He has a good set of hands and has a nice jump hook over his left shoulder. He rebounds on both ends and runs the floor well for a guy his size. He could stand to tone his body and increase his stamina, but he is a talented player who will be a very effective scorer on the box for a college program.
Sim Bhullar North York/ Huntington Prep 7’5" 300 C 2012- To say that Bhullar is big would be an understatement. He is extremely big but he is also fairly skilled. He’s a plodder but he doesn’t slow a team down in transition. He catches everything and finishes in traffic. He has a nice jump hook over his left shoulder and rebounds both ends fairly well. Like a lot of big kids, conditioning is an issue but he has time and will be fine once he gets to Xavier. Will get a look from NBA scouts because of his sheer size and skill.
Kyle Anderson Fairview, NJ/ St. Anthony 6’8′ 220 PG/SG/SF/PF 2012- If you’re wondering why I have so many positions listed for Anderson it’s because he can play all of them. He runs the show for his Playaz team and is the most unique player in the country. His nickname is Slo-Mo and when you watch him play it’s easy to see why. He’s not very athletic or quick but he gets anywhere he wants to get to on the floor. He has parts of his game that are reminiscent of Magic Johnson in the way that he backs down and turns on his defender and uses his size to his advantage. The thing that stands out about him is his intelligence. He directs his team and makes good things happen whenever the ball is in his hands. He had two triple doubles during the week and recorded 20 pts, 10 rebs, and 9 ast in the game I watched. He can shoot the ball and although he won’t jump over anybody he is crafty enough to finish when he gets into the lane. Having Anderson on your team gives you a chance to win.
Jahlil Okafor Chicago, IL/ Whitney Young 6’10 255 C 2014- Okafor showed why he is considered by many as the top big in the 2014 class. He is big, strong and nimble. He has a great feel for the game and displays that with his ability to make the right pass out of the double team. His quick feet allow him to face up from 10 to 15 feet and put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. He has very soft hands and has a great touch around the basket. He has an advanced game down on the box for a player so young. He reminds me of Jared Sullinger and is already taller and more skilled.
*Check back for a final recap early next week.